What is Really Means to be Toned?


Women everywhere are getting fooled by social media into doing ridiculous workouts, diets, and other irrelevant gimmicks in the name of losing weight and getting “toned.” 

But I am convinced that the millions of women who use that term do so arbitrarily without truly understanding what it means.

Ladies, I’m calling you out, so listen up. What you actually mean when you say “I want to tone up” is that you want to add muscle mass and decrease body fat. Don’t be scared to admit that! 

The elliptical, your spinning class, or the stairmaster are great methods to expend a ton of calories, but they won’t really shape your body in the way you’re envisioning (which isn’t completely your fault given the marketing strategies of those companies). At the same time, lifting little pink dumbbells to transform your body is not going to work either. You need some iron in your life, girl. And I’m not talking about taking your vitamins.

Let’s go back in history for a quick moment. 

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the weight room was no place for a woman. There was a stark divide between the side of the gym filled with iron, grunting, and chest hair and the side of the gym with nothing but step aerobics. Very few women ever dared to cross over to the iron war zone in fear of judgment, embarrassment, or worse: getting bulky.

Thanks to women who dared to pave the way and normalize the concept of women lifting weights, this stigma has somewhat been swept under the rug over recent years. Strength training for women is definitely more widely accepted today, especially given all of the evidence of its benefits:

  • Improved bone density
  • Increased muscle density
  • Increased confidence
  • Injury risk mitigation
  • Feel more badass
  • Help your friends move heavy ass objects

However, there is still a prevalent fear among women of getting too big after hitting the weights. The first thing nearly all of my new female clients tell me is “I don’t want to get too bulky”, as if getting bulky was something easy to do! That’s like saying “I don’t want to go for a jog today, I’m afraid I’ll turn into a marathon runner.” Or, “I don’t want to drive my car today, I’m afraid I’ll turn into a NASCAR racer.” 

Gaining substantial muscle mass, especially to the degree of a physique competitor, takes intense, daily training for hours on end and meticulous nutrition habits. There are people who literally spend their entire lives chasing muscle gains, only to live #foreversmall. 

Let’s set this straight once and for all. The only two ways you will end up looking “like a man” are:

  1. a) if you consistently increase your calorie intake and begin eating in a calorie surplus.
  2. b) if you take exogenous testosterone.

 Both of these actions are completely within your control when you have the right knowledge and tools. It doesn’t happen by accident.

The term “toning” has been bastardized by trainers and influencers to play off of this prevalent fear to imply that their workouts will not make you bulky. I’ll say it again: TONING is the act of simultaneously adding muscle mass and decreasing body fat. All you need is some heavy weights, a well-rounded resistance training program, and sound nutrition habits. 


We can help you out with all of that. Head to hybridperformancemethod.com to get “TONED” today.

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Get access to our world class training program library that’s delivered life changing gains and podium finishes for thousands of people.

Take your training and nutrition to the next level, get a personalized nutrition plan and a dedicated coach in your corner, helping you navigate your nutrition journey. 

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