We’ve had a ton of questions pour in to our anonymous survey, and this is the first one I’m answering on the fitness front.
This is a common question – one I used to get all the time in the gym (especially from women).
It also grinds my gears – though it’s more a terminology issue than anything else.
Anonymous writes (links and emphasis mine):
I totally understand what Anonymous wants. He wants to look like the guy on the left, not the guy on the right.
That’s great. I can do that for you. But please don’t say “toning muscle” again. It means nothing at all. What you really mean is “tone” your body over all.
There is NO SUCH THING AS TONING MUSCLE.
Muscle can be lots of things. Big, small, strong, weak, torn, fast-twitch, slow-twitch; on and on and on. Muscle can not be “toned.”
But that’s really just terminology I take issue with. I still understand what he’s really asking here. Anonymous doesn’t want to get any bigger, but he does want his muscles to be more visible. That means losing body fat.
How to Lose Body Fat (to Get That “Toned” Look)
But Here’s the Catch
When men lose body fat, they start feeling SKINNY.
See you have body fat all over the place. Between your skin and muscle, around your organs – even between muscle cells. When you burn all that fat off, you’re bound to end up much thinner (duh, right?).
Well in my (vast) experience, these men now feel too skinny, and now they want to build muscle all the sudden. And this makes sense to work on from the start.
Because Anonymous doesn’t want to get smaller (well maybe in the belly). He wants to stay the same size, but look more muscle-y.
That means he has to lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time. At a surface level, he’ll take those three bullet points above and just be sure to add a strength focus to his HIIT training. That will be plenty to gain a few pounds of muscle over a few months, especially for a newbie.
Adding a strength focus could be as simple as one 5rep set of 5RM back squats or deadlifts before leaving the gym.
That way he’ll end up lean and muscular – toned as he calls it – but not get any smaller in the process.
FYI The Six-Week Guide to Six-Pack Abs falls in about the middle of the two options, meaning it will get you all lean and toned, and you’ll end up just a little bigger. And right now it’s over 50% off! How convenient.