How to achieve a toned body

08 Juni 2020
Just a few practical statements: "I have no muscles, does strength training make sense?" "Can I convert fat into muscle?" "I don't want to look like a guy!" All these are common statements by some women when strength training is introduced to them.
How to achieve a toned body - photo 1.1

Building muscle
Most of us know the answers to the above statements, but let's start with the important role that muscles play in our body:  without muscles, we would collapse like a bag of bones. Our body is a mass of muscles, whether underdeveloped or hiding under a layer of fat. Besides, our heart is also ... a muscle. So every person has muscles! The degree of muscle development can vary from person to person due to his or her genetic background, through proper training, or a combination of both.

With the right strength training you can alter your muscles in a way that increases your muscle mass. For some people this is a little easier to achieve than for others. But believe me, the majority of people are able to build muscle mass. Muscle building serves several purposes: improving your health, posture, improving sports performance or striving for a dream body by, for example, "sculpting the body”, or bodybuilding.

Muscle mass and health
The right strength training, where you build muscles, also has beneficial effects on your health: It improves your circulation and blood supply.  In addition, the muscle fibers change, so that the muscle density increases and the size of your muscle mass increases.  This has a favourable effect on bone density, especially for women, for example to prevent osteoporosis (bone loss).

How much muscle mass you build up depends heavily on several factors. It varies according to gender, hormones, predisposition and the balance between rest, nutrition and the intensity of your training. And no, unfortunately we cannot convert fat mass into muscle mass. Fat cells are completely different cells from muscle cells. It’s possible to build muscle, where you slightly speed up your metabolism in a state of rest and thereby stimulate the burning of fat.  This mainly relates to strength training, aimed at the larger muscles such as the leg and buttock muscles.

A toned body or a bulky body
The vast majority of women don’t have to worry about looking Hulk-like when they do strength training. Developing such large muscles is virtually impossible due to our lack of testosterone, compared to men. In fact, women can achieve a toned body through strength training. How about that?

If you really want to develop muscle mass in the form of bulky muscles, you will have to adjust your training and nutrition regime accordingly: several workouts per week, where you vary the muscle groups per training session and you need to consume more protein than the average person, in order to develop and recover muscles. In addition, rest is a very important factor for muscle recovery and also for the production and supplementation of the body's own hormones (testosterone and growth hormone) that promote muscle growth.  After all, there’s a reason why top athletes say: Rest is also training!

This blog is written by one of our Personal Trainers, Angelina Hammond.