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How to ACTUALLY Tone and Sculpt!

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Have you ever heard someone say or even found yourself saying you want to “sculpt” or “tone up” a bit?


Having been in the fitness industry for many years, we’ve heard these terms a lot. But where did they come from and what exactly do people mean when they say them?


These words originated as marketing terms!

  • In the past (and even still today), a lot of women were intimidated by strength training. They thought that lifting weights would make them bulky and look like a body builder. 
  • In reality, the bodybuilders most women are imagining spend 3+ hours in the gym every day for years and years, eat thousands of calories and maybe even take male hormones... aka it takes a lot of hard work and time to gain muscle like that. 
  • BUT becoming “bulky” was a fear for them nonetheless!

The world’s solution to this problem? 

  • The marketing terms “tone” and “sculpt”! 
  • They came out of no where and made it so that women specifically would feel like they could go to the gym, lift weights and get the results they actually wanted!


The problem to this solution? 

  • A trend of lifting very light weights for very high reps and focusing more on cardio was born. 
  • People started to believe this was the best way to make progress towards getting these “toned” and “sculpted” results. Spoiler alert - it isn’t!
  • Cardio is an important part of fitness but if all you're doing is losing fat but not adding any muscle, you're not going to achieve the "toned" look most people envision when they use that word. Cardiovascular training has to be complimented with lifting weights.


What are the desired results of people who say they want to “tone up”?

  • Most people mean that they not only want to lose body fat but they want to tighten up as well. 
  • What they are basically saying is that they want to gain MUSCLE!


So… how do I gain muscle?

  • By strength training!
  • One of the main, tried and true scientific principles for gaining muscle is called PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. 
  • Progressive overload = increasing some type of the intensity when lifting weights (weight, sets, reps, rest time, range of motion, speed) 
  • Building muscle is hard so only a few sets of heavy squats and deadlifts isn’t going to make you pack on muscle - it takes time!


How do we help you gain muscle and tone up at Creed?

  • At Creed, this is exactly what we do with our strength cycles in our group fitness classes. 
  • 3 days out of the week we have dedicated “strength” days in class where we focus on 1 primary movement (i.e. a squat, deadlift, etc.)
  • Rather than rushing through 100 reps of each move at lighter weights, we take our time working through 3-5 heavier, working sets.
  • We typically will do the same 3 movements for a few months in a row so that our members can progress in those specific movement pattern in addition to seeing their strength levels increase.
  • We also offer more customized and hands on strength training programs for all of our personal training clients! 


Watch the full youtube video here!

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