Why Getting Toned Is A Myth

By Steve Hall

March 12, 2021

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our Disclaimer to learn more.

People the world over continue to look for answers on how to get toned. Why? Because the fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that loves to come up with gizmos and gadgets that will 'get you toned' whilst you do almost no work.

This myth about getting toned has plagued consumers for years and is pushed over and over again. A common belief that surrounds strength training is that if you lift heavy weights you’ll get big and bulky, while if you lift lighter weights you can trim and tone your body. We’re here to dispel that myth and show you what to do instead!

The only way to really get a 'toned' is through strength training. This type of resistance training builds strength, gains lean muscle and burns fat. Through consistency it will improve your ability to push harder for longer. Exercising and living an active lifestyle has many positive impacts. From changes physiologically to changes psychologically strength training can enhance one’s quality of life.

Why Getting Toned is the Biggest Myth

If you or anyone you know is jacked and in super awesome shape, I guarantee it took a ton of hard work and dedication to reach that level. They didn’t just set out looking to get toned. They put in a ton of work through consistent effort. They showed up to the gym when training was required. Made sure to eat right and get the right amount of rest also. So much work that only a small percentage of people actually reach these elite levels of fitness.

Bodybuilding is a very demanding sport and comes with great resilience. The average person is not going to put in the amount of effort necessary to learn what works for them. Instead they would rather look for the next gimmick, diet or fad and be told what to do. The fitness industry sees this and continues to capitalise on selling you the idea that getting toned can be done easily. Listen pals, it’s really simple. If you wanna get big and bulky you have to train and eat for that. If you want to really learn how to get toned then start doing more strength training, trust me, it isn’t gonna make you look like the Incredible Hulk.

how to get toned with strength training

We have all seen the commercials talking about getting toned and transforming your body.  These products continue to fly off the shelf and land in homes across the globe. They sell the idea that getting ripped and shredded is way out of your reach and that if you buy these amazing products you can just tighten and tone up your body.

These things may work to a small degree if you’re never done any resistance training before, but if you wanna see real results you need a proper strength training program.

How To Get Toned Is Not Just About Burning Fat

If you want the most awesome body you ever dreamed of then you have to work for it. So get the idea of getting toned out of your head and understand you have to build some muscle to burn some fat.

You have to figure out what is going to get you there. You have to experiment, make constant changes, build a strategy and keep working at it. That's what it takes. You see there are many programs out there like 5x5 or one’s that are labeled as the best for beginners. But what they’re not saying is that no matter which one you choose it’s all about how hard you try.

If the fitness industry actually shifted the way they present their ideas and products to consumers then the industry as a whole would benefit. If consumers don't demand better products by searching for alternative answers however, the industry will never change. A simple way to do this is to continue to educate one another on the topics and ideas we are passionate about. A basic understanding of fitness and nutrition can go a long way. Burning fat is not the same as getting toned since getting toned is a myth.

The best way to burn fat is by finding a method that works best for your body and something you can do continuously over time. It’s also critical to have a keen awareness of what’s required to reach your goals. Food, rest and recovery are key elements to transformations. It’s through a proper fitness program that you’ll reach any goal you desire.

Don't 'Get Toned', Transform Your Body

Dismiss these magical myths and put the bologna behind you. Getting toned is just a marketing gimmick to make you buy the next shake weight or fat burning pill. You can transform your body and create the physique you desire through hard work, a little bit of effort and some know how. Try looking at different routines or even adding things like flexibility training and cardio into the mix.

weight lost pills

We can find clues and hints as to how success was achieved in various areas of life. For those that want to learn about business they research successful businesses and those that are responsible for creating them. If you want to learn how to be a race car driver then you look at race car drivers of the past and figure out techniques on how to win! So why not do it with bodybuilding? Learning from the past greats can put you on the path to physical fitness. The greats didn’t focus on getting toned. They focused on transforming their bodies.

Bodybuilding dates way, way back all the way to ancient Greece. In the early 1900's and so on there were many great men that helped to pioneer the sport and bring acceptance in today’s society, Eugene Sandow, Reg Park, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, and Dave Draper to name a few. These men were more than a bunch of fellas getting toned muscles and ripped abs. These men worked hard to build amazing physiques.

Studying the past we can make decisions on how to shape the future. Transform your body by learning what to do. It can be as simple as throwing out the myths of getting toned and trying something new.

How To Get Toned? Get A Plan!

Making a small change in how you do things you can begin to make larger improvements. It takes many swings of an axe to chop down a big tree but eventually it will fall. It also takes a strong desire to throw the idea of getting toned by the wayside and implement these tips you can use to start transforming your body.

  • Learn compound movements and focus on making them the dominant exercises in your workout routines. Things like squat, deadlift, bench press, barbell row, and overhead press.. Multi-joint compound movements utilize more muscle groups at once. Therefore being more efficient for building muscle and burning fat.
  • Eat more food. Even if you think you're eating enough you probably not. Learning what and how much to take in is key. Your body needs fuel in order for it to perform. The more active you are the more you're going to need and want to give you the energy you need.
  • Get enough rest and keep your stress levels low. All the compound lifts are going to be a toll on the body. Make sure you get plenty of rest and keep your stress levels low so your body can be as efficient as possible at doing its job.
  • Grasp the concept of quality over quantity. Proper form is key. If you do five reps and all five of them are in poor form you are definitely missing out on the benefits. Proper form and contraction of the muscles are essential.
  • Make progressive changes to your routines. Progressive overload is a concept often neglected. But it is probably the biggest tip that can change training protocols dramatically. Either add a little bit of weight here or there. Or make changes in your reps and sets. Just make small incremental changes over time and reap the rewards.

If you incorporate those ideas and concepts into your training routine, stay consistent with the effort required and forget about the 'how to get toned' question, you’ll be on your way to creating the physique you always dreamed of.

Wrapping It Up

The most important thing to remember is that you need to make training fun. Enjoy what you're doing and share that enjoyment with others. It shouldn't be a chore. The question 'how to get toned' comes from a marketing ploy to sell products to a specific portion of the population. If you’re really interested in transforming your physique you need to know the basics of fitness and have a training program that will guide you along the way.

Social box scroll stop element

Steve Hall

Steve is a strength training fanatic who geeks out over the best, most efficient workouts, nutrition and gear to help get you stronger and healthier!

More to explore


Whether you’re just starting out or starting again, these strength training for beginners workout routines are the best to get your body back in shape and ready for [...]

Strength Training For Beginners – Workout Plans

The name sissy squat is hardly any indication of the level of gusto required to perform this quad trembling feat. In fact there isn’t anything sissy about this [...]

Sissy Squat – Don’t Let The Name Fool You

The Shark skill test is a performance test designed to measure lower body agility, muscle control and single leg functional balance.It is a progression from single-leg squat assessments [...]

The Shark Skill Test