Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What Does "Toning" Really Mean?

I have been absent for the past week, but for good reason. Of course for Thanksgiving, but also because my whole family has been fighting off what seems to be the never-ending cold.

On Thanksgiving day I actually saw 133 lbs on the scale and I was ecstatic! Then Friday after Thanksgiving my in laws wanted to watch the kiddos for the day so I decided to actually go to the Y and lift the heavier weights that I don't have access to at my home. I lifted and did cardio spurts in between, but I lifted pretty heavy on my legs. Upon leaving I felt fabulous, but 24 hours later was a completely different story. My legs haven't been that sore in a really long time, and then to top it all off I hopped on the scale - a BIG NO NO! It read 135! How on earth could I have gained 2 lbs in two days??? Then I read this article of Jillian's and it clicked. I was actually building up my muscle - which weighs more. And on top of that I wasn't giving my muscles the time they needed to recover. Take a look at the article. I found it really helpful.

What Does "Toning" Really Mean?

Let me just give a little clarification regarding the word "toning." The word has nothing to do with the size of a particular muscle; it refers rather to making a muscle lean by burning intramuscular fat, and conditioning the muscle for better performance.


You can't actually build muscle mass unless you're eating more calories than you're burning, but you can "tone" a muscle to make it leaner. To tone your muscles, you should plan to do weight training four days a week, working each muscle group twice a week, with two days of rest after training a particular muscle group.

For example, try:
Monday: Chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques

Tuesday: Back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques
Friday: Back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Cardio

Remember, exercise is the architect, but recovery is the builder. You have to give your body adequate recovery time to heal itself and grow stronger. If you work out too often without resting, you'll just continue to break your muscles down.

(Michaels, 2008)

5 comments:

Hope said...

Hey Sarah,
Here's a question. I've always worked out this way (Body for Life, etc.) and I completely agree with it. I read "Making the Cut" and that's the way she does it. But, I'm currently trying to do "30Day Shred" and I'm completely confused. The DVD uses all muscle groups in the same workout and the DVD makes it sound like you should do it every day? Seems like not giving any recovery time to me, what did you do when you did 30 Day Shred (or did you?) I've just been trying to do it 4 days a week, but not necessarily giving the correct breaks inbetween and I've been doing cardio every day also (very slow, can't run because of back injury). Okay, just sparked my question when I read your post! Hopefully that made sense? Thanks a bunch!

Sarah said...

Hope,
I did do 30 day shred, but I didn't do it everyday - and I did it along the Making the Cut book. I would alternate it with her book workouts. The one muscle group that 30 day Shred doesn't really hit is the Hamstrings (back of the legs), and it doesn't do alot of glutes.

Here is what I recommend (I don't know what level you use on the DVD so this is just an example)...

Monday: 30 Day Shred Level 2
Tuesday: 30 Day Shred Level 3
Wednesday: Off Day
Thursday: 30 Day Shred Level 2
Friday: 30 Day Shred Level 3
Saturday: Cardio
Sunday: Off Day

You can also just do this:

Monday: 30 Day Shred Level 2
Tuesday: Kind of follow the DVD for Level 3, but change her "strength training" moves to another muscle group that you didn't hit the day before - then follow her cardio and Ab workouts on the DVD.
Wednesday: Off day
Thursday: Same as Monday
Friday: Same as Tuesday
Saturday: Cardio
Sunday: Off day

Even though you might be working some of the same muscle groups you might be using them differently. But taking those days off can be crucial for the muscle rebuilding. There is nothing wrong with doing cardio everyday - I actually recommend it.

I hope this helps - Good luck!

Hope said...

Thanks Sarah! That is very helpful. I actually haven't even looked at Level 2 or 3 to see if they worked different groups or not (or to notice the lack of hams and glutes). I've been doing level 1 until I do it without modification, but I realized I'm mostly modifying because of how some of the moves effect my back not because it is too hard. I may have to check out level 2 and 3 to see how much of them I could actually do now.

I find it interesting that she is so clear in her book about giving two days off with the different muscle groups, but then she doesn't do it with 30 Day Shred since it works both upper and lower body every time you do it. I'd love to talk with her about it! Then again, I don't think she "talks" to anyone, she'd be making me do it! :)

Thanks again for your help! I'm trying to lose more pounds before using "Making the Cut". I'm hoping to start using the book workouts in the New Year. Just need the motivation!

Sarah said...

Since you've been doing level 1, maybe then you should alternate

Monday: Level 1
Tuesday: Level 2

and so on...

A couple weeks ago I did level 3 and wasn't even sore the next day so I felt that I didn't get a good enought workout. So, on Sunday (which is normally my day off) I did level 2 and I was sore.
So I really think it's what your body gets used to - so you have to shake it up a bit.

You sound like your making some progress - that has to feel good. Let me know if you have any more questions. I will answer them as best as I can!

Hope said...

Thanks Sarah! It is VERY SLOW progress, but I'm just trying to plug along! I keep telling myself I'll get there someday! Thanks for your help and I don't mind you telling me about your comment on the blog, I appreciated you letting me know! Depending on what exercises are on each level, I may just try to do one day of each level each week (with modification of course!) I also have a Christian-alternative yoga DVD that I want to try, so I may try that for my fourth workout and keep the cardio six days. I think the yoga would be fun for the girls to attempt with me! I've never done yoga before (tried pilates), so I'm sure it will be more challenging that I imagine! Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to see what exercises are in each level probably!