Workout Routines for Toning is the Same as Getting Lean and Muscular

When people are looking for workout routines for toning what they are really saying is they want to lose fat and build some muscle. The lean and muscular look is appealing to a lot of people but there really isn't such a thing as toning up as a method of training.

To "tone up" your body basically you have to build some muscle and then burn the fat off that muscle in order to achieve the look of a lean muscular body. Once you understand that then it explains why workout routines for toning always include weight lifting and cardio, typically in a circuit format. The circuit training format is a high intensity workout that is designed to focus on different elements of fitness in a single workout. Typical combinations include strength training and cardio exercises strung together to form a circuit. This circuit is performed non-stop and then after a 1 minute rest it is repeated. Three to five times for each circuit is about all it takes to wear you out and have you shedding the pounds. This workout style is very popular for fast fat loss but I have to warn you that it is not for the faint of heart.

I guess that is my biggest problem with recommending circuit training to those looking for workout routines for toning. No doubt that it will achieve their goal of building some muscle and burning fat but the problem is, can they do it? Circuit training is super intense and takes a lot out of you. When some out of shape person comes to me and asks for workout routines for toning it is difficult to recommend a high intensity workout program with jumping, bodyweight exercises, minimal break periods and moving heavy weights.

Odds are they won't even attempt the program. If they do attempt the program they probably won't be able to put the intensity required into it without a personal trainer standing nearby. Then, of course, there is always the very real possibility of them getting seriously hurt, having a heart attack, or just giving up on their fitness goals.

If you think you are ready for circuit training then check out the article on how to build your own circuit training routine but for those of you that are willing to head my warning let me recommend much more practical workout routines for toning that you are more likely to stick with until you see results.

If You are Really Out of Shape or Obese:

Don't lie to yourself and go out there trying to be superman. If you are out of shape or obese then start slow and be smart. Clean up your diet by controlling your calories. Once you have a solid eating plan and are seeing results, just stick with it until your progress slows. At that point you will be ready to incorporate some exercise. I recommend you start with walking a couple of miles a day. Once you can do that, try interval sprinting where you walk and then sprint for a short period of time. Drop back to the walk. At first one or two sprints during your walk will be enough. After awhile you can try sprinting for 30 seconds then walking for a minute and repeat through your whole distance. This is an excellent way to introduce yourself to interval training and to prepare for high intensity circuits that involve weights and multiple exercise.

Within 20-30 pounds of your goal weight:

If you are in pretty decent shape or have some experience with interval or circuit training then you might be ready to step up the challenge some. If you don't have any experience weight training or doing cardio then you might want to start with the walking and sprint program I suggested above. For these workout routines for toning your best bet is to start with bodyweight exercises and some sprinting. Try doing hill sprints to get started. Find you a hill and run up it as fast as you can. When you get to the top, drop and do pushups (20-30). Jog back down the hill and do some crunches (20-30). Repeat until you can't do it anymore. Don't get all crazy and try to do this for hours. Normally 30 minute is more than enough and will burn close to 1,000 calories depending on your condition.

Weight is already where you want it?

Okay so you are the ones seriously looking for workout routines for toning. Your weight is good and you need some muscle so that you have that lean muscular look. You probably don't need workout routines for toning. What you really need is a strength training program to pack some muscle on your frame and give you the look you want. Don't worry about becoming super big like the pro bodybuilders. Those guys use steroids, train all the time, and eat like 7,000 calories a day to get that big. If you do some strength training for about 3 months as a raw beginner you would pack on about 20 pounds if you were eating enough calories to support it. This will be the best weight you ever gained and the scale won't matter. If you have some training under your belt then 20 pounds a year is a good goal. Strength training is the quickest way to get the results you are looking for. Throw a little bit of cardio on at the end to keep your conditioning up and you are good to go.

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