This is by far the most common desire and goal for anyone who exercises for the purpose of health.
While there is a vanity factor we should all acknowledge within ourselves (it’s natural, it’s actually not vain but driven by our species’ need to thrive, survive and reproduce), not exercising 3 times a week is actually bad for you (something I see plastered on the walls of Gold’s Gym Venice, based on some scientific study which I don’t recall the exact source…).
Why yes, it is bad for you if you don’t exercise, because of one word: entropy!
Not doing squat (I am not referring to the exercise) is bad because as we age, we lose about a pound of muscle every couple of years past 30. If a pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day (at rest) and you lose 5lb of muscle in your 30’s, when you reach 40, you can gain up to 90lb! How does that work? If you’re not burning 50 calories a day for a year, that’s 50×365=18250 calories the pound of muscle made you not burn. A pound of fat is 3600 calories, so that’s roughly 5lb between the ages of 30 and 32. Compound that over a decade, you get pretty close to 90lb, EVEN IF YOU ARE EATING THE SAME HEALTHY FOODS YOU’VE BEEN EATING THE WHOLE TIME!!!
HOW DO I GET TONED?
Well, that’s the culmination of all things wellness related: nutrition, training, sleep patterns and hormonal balance and environmental factors (work, home, stress…). I emphasized exercise for health in the first sentence. Performance based exercise is geared at a specific goal, such as an athlete trying to lift a certain weight, run a certain distance, fight X amount of rounds… The result leads to improved muscle tone and a greater functionality in the muscles anyway, without being the main goal. Consequently, let me ask you this: why not pick a performance-driven goal so you can both look good and do stuff? You don’t have to be an athlete to train like one. Besides, training like an athlete puts you in a better frame of mind for EVERYTHING else in your life. That competitive edge, the desire to push and better yourself is something society is lacking. We make excuses, look for shortcuts and fail.
So, go ahead and DO it. Don’t try, that’s just a promise to fail!
Become Flexible, so you can have more mobility, less aches and pains and greater ability in your daily activities.
Develop your Agility and hand-eye coordination, so you’ll never be off guard, always ready and better prepared with sharper reflexes.
Lift to get Strong, because no one needs to be weak. Lift that baby while you’re carrying groceries, move that couch, push the stranger’s dead car off the main road, rescue the damsel from the fire.
More muscle, more speed, more movement leads to more Tone anyway.
Congratulations, you are now FAST!