Weight and Resistance Training - How do I tone without looking muscular?




PatLib
04-13-2013, 02:39 PM
So, I needed to loose about 80 pounds and I have lost 40 over the last 3 years.

I kind want to loose the next 40 in a year which I don't think is very extreme but I want to add some toning exercises but I really don't want to get muscular.

Does anyone have a good video? I started the Jillian Michaels one but I feel like I am getting too muscular.

And I cannot do yoga or Pilates I just don't have the coordination! lol


JohnP
04-13-2013, 02:59 PM
There is no such thing as tone.

Muscles can be bigger or smaller. From there it is a matter of body fat percentage. If you can post a picture of someone who looks like you want to look like than it would be helpful. My guess is the way you want to look is not going to be possible because you don't have the right genetics but go ahead and post a picture.

In my experience, women who want to look toned but not musclar are actually describing a woman with very little muscle and very low body fat.

I don't know how you currently look but my guess is that if you lost more fat you would appear to be less muscular. A lot of guys I know think they're big but really they're just fat. Obviously I could be wrong.

At the end of the day - lifting weights is good for you in a number of ways. gwyneth paltrow is a good example of looking toned. She follows some goofy fitness guru who says women shouldn't lift more than 5 lbs when exercising to acheive a toned look. Gwyneth Paltrow also has osteoporosis. Now I'm sure there is a genetic component but I'm also sure if she had been lifting heavy she would have built up more bone density.

Jez
04-13-2013, 03:15 PM
Agreed.

You do the exact same thing you'd want to do if you DO want to look muscular. And unless you're a freak of nature or supplementing, you are not ever going to look "muscular", especially without a very low body fat percentage.

You are definitely not getting muscular from videos, I promise.


belovedspirit
04-13-2013, 03:28 PM
To be honest, I'm not sure and I don't want to give you incorrect advice. What might help is having this post moved to the Weight Training sub-forum under "Fitness". They have sticky posts that may also be informative.

I do have a question for you. When you say you don't want to look muscular, how muscular is too muscular for you? Any chance you can share some pictures so we have a shared understanding of the look you'd like to achieve?

belovedspirit
04-13-2013, 03:29 PM
Also, congratulations on the weight loss so far! :congrats:
I also think your goal is entirely reasonable. :)

Jez
04-13-2013, 03:31 PM
Usually when women talk about toning, they mean they want less jiggle or to make an area tighter. What they really mean is they just need to lose more body fat.

PatLib
04-13-2013, 03:53 PM
I prefer a J.Lo body to a Madonna body if that helps explain it. This is just personal but I want a curvier womanly body, everything tight but not skinny. I get that genetics are a huge part of it but I have always had a very proportional body even at my heaviest. I am one of those people who is always told I just have big bones that I am not fat. (But a doctor weighing me in a water tank told me I wasn't just fat but obese so so much for big bones).

My biggest problem is my stomach and what I would like is to find a good stomach exercise that will make my stomach look smoother but not have a six pack.

Thanks you guys!

http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/24000000/Jennifer-Lopez-Bikini-Birthday-jennifer-lopez-24045853-369-500.jpg

http://munfitnessblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/madonna-in-bikini-wih-fit-body.jpg

PatLib
04-13-2013, 03:58 PM
The J.Lo pic isn't working here is what I mean.

http://www.hawtcelebs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/JENNIFER-LOPEZ-in-Black-Bikini-at-a-Hotel-Pool-in-Miami-13-535x932.jpg

seagirl
04-13-2013, 03:59 PM
The less fat you have on you, the less muscular you will look. And your genetics and body shape will play a part. JLo couldn't look like Madonna if she tried, and vice versa. Kim Kardashian will never look like Gwynth Paltrow.

Lift weights, they will make you look better. Just don't lift too heavy. You can bulk up, look at some of the cross-fit facebook pages and you'll girls that are quite bulky.

I have 15 pound dumbbells that are giving my arms great shape and definition.

PatLib
04-13-2013, 04:00 PM
I realize I will never look like J.Lo, I am not delusional or anything. But I have noticed from friends who have lost a lot of weight they end up being depressed about how "mushy" they look. They focused so much on cardio and weightloss and they don't think about muscle build up.

I want muscle just not bumpy muscle like Madonna.

PatLib
04-13-2013, 04:04 PM
The less fat you have on you, the less muscular you will look. And your genetics and body shape will play a part. JLo couldn't look like Madonna if she tried, and vice versa. Kim Kardashian will never look like Gwynth Paltrow.

Lift weights, they will make you look better. Just don't lift too heavy. You can bulk up, look at some of the cross-fit facebook pages and you'll girls that are quite bulky.

I have 15 pound dumbbells that are giving my arms great shape and definition.

I disagree to a certain extent, probably a better comparison is Paltrow and Madonna. They have a similar body type but Paltrow isn't bumpy with her muscles. Paltrow is smoother and more womanly in my opinion and that is what I like.

seagirl
04-13-2013, 04:04 PM
you won't have "bumpy" muscles unless your body fat gets way too low, and you've got 50 pounds to worry about that. It's really something you would have to work quite hard at, you won't accidentally get madonna arms.

Don't stress about it. Find a weight routine you like, even if its just push ups and sit ups, and keep going.

Jez
04-13-2013, 04:19 PM
You just want to lose body fat. You don't want muscle. Sit-ups, push-ups, etc, are not going to give you a slender body. A smooth, flat stomach is just lack of fat. You don't do that with exercise.

JohnP
04-13-2013, 05:13 PM
I realize I will never look like J.Lo, I am not delusional or anything. But I have noticed from friends who have lost a lot of weight they end up being depressed about how "mushy" they look. They focused so much on cardio and weightloss and they don't think about muscle build up.

I want muscle just not bumpy muscle like Madonna.

Ok - this is very simple. Lift heavy weights. stay out of the hypertrophy range. Do 12+ reps and circuit training. Do compound exercises and don't do any isolation exercises for your upper body.

I'm not familiar with any workout videos but if it is having you do any isolation exercises you should find another video.

You will never look like Madonna without a very focused effort to get lean. She is sub 20% in that picture. Not easy to get to.

If you don't lift weights and retain muscle you're going to end up like your friends. Skinny fat - aka "mushy"

sacha
04-13-2013, 05:43 PM
I've been powerlifting for almost 10 years now and lift more weight than the vast majority of women ever will.

Here's what I look like after 10 years....
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal-photo-album/278309-my-featherweight-goal-15lbs-150-130lbs.html

in other words, it's not even an issue. It's not even an issue with performance enhancing drugs unless again, years of hard work. Notice how all these 'musclebound' girls are at least 35,40,45+ years old? Because that's how long it takes, even with drugs.

Madonna has a very rigid diet and trains for hours daily for about 30 years now, remember that ;)

berryblondeboys
04-13-2013, 07:37 PM
Of all the women I see at the gym there have only been TWO that have been noticeably muscular and they were also incredibly SKINNY. Their body fat percentage had to be under 20% or lower. Women just have thicker fat layers with their skin unlike men, so you have to be extremely lean to look muscly. And I see a lot of very strong women at the gym... they just don't LOOK it.

Amarantha2
04-13-2013, 07:38 PM
Re osteoporosis, I have lifted weights since my 20s & I have osteoporosis, honestly it helps with building bone but not for everyone. I still lift but lighter because in this phase of life it is like running, it exacerbates the joint pain. I replaced jogging with walking & heavy weights with lighter weight & more circuit & body weight stuff. I am less muscular in the sense of being cut but I like the smaller, leaner look I am getting.

Paltrow, whose look I don't really aspire to, uses Tracy Anderson as a trainer, I believe. I am not a TA fan but you can find her videos online & in stores.

novangel
04-13-2013, 08:10 PM
I would keep going with Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred and then Ripped in 30 with 5-10p weights. As you lose and get within your last 10p you will get definition (tightness) with her but not anything like Madonna. If you don't do anything with weights you will be mushy thin. You may feel you're getting too "bulky" from her because you still have a lot to lose but in the end you will get much smaller and tigher.

Matter of fact now that I am at goal (close enough) I'm going to start using her DVD's again because I am getting soft from doing mainly cardio. I was bored with her after about 7 months and started jogging. I can't say enough good things about Jillian. I will post pics of my progress from her if you like.

PatLib
04-13-2013, 09:55 PM
I would keep going with Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred and then Ripped in 30 with 5-10p weights. As you lose and get within your last 10p you will get definition (tightness) with her but not anything like Madonna. If you don't do anything with weights you will be mushy thin. You may feel you're getting too "bulky" from her because you still have a lot to lose but in the end you will get much smaller and tigher.

Matter of fact now that I am at goal (close enough) I'm going to start using her DVD's again because I am getting soft from doing mainly cardio. I was bored with her after about 7 months and started jogging. I can't say enough good things about Jillian. I will post pics of my progress from her if you like.

I actually quite like Jillian Michaels, I have done her videos for awhile. But I just got her ab one and a lot of the ladies on there had six packs and that's sort of what started my freak out.

shcirerf
04-13-2013, 10:45 PM
I think a lot of women have a skewed notion of weight lifting. It is very difficult for a woman to get that bulky look. We don't have the testosterone. The women who do, are uber dedicated to their nutrition and training, and their body fat percentage is very low.

I lift and I enjoy it. So, I'll give you a few stats.

I am 53, 5'5" 137 pounds.

I can Olympic bar back squat 105.
One arm bumb bell row 40.
O bar bench press 90.
Seated cable row machine, 100.
I can hold a 90 second plank.
Deadlift personal best 185.
Kneeling lat pulldown 100.
A minimum of 10 reps each.

I walk/jog/row/bike or whatever I'm in the mood for 3 days a week.

I also, one day just for kicks, lunged the whole 1/10th mile track at the gym. 148 lunges! OMG!

Guess what? I still have jiggle, and stretch marks from having kids. Is what it is. Plus, gravity is not nice!

Muscle "toning" is another of those silly myths about exercise. You either build muscle or you don't.

If you start out doing bicep curls with a 5# weight and all you can do is 5 reps, but eventually you can do 20, you have built muscle endurance, not strength. You have to keep upping the weight to build muscle.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now!:D

We all need to choose something to do for fitness that we like and will stick to, no matter what it is. :carrot:

belovedspirit
04-13-2013, 10:54 PM
PatLib -- I found an article that might help a little bit. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1662.

I think you'd have to have to have stellar genes, train aggressively, and strip your body of all fat to have the hard madonna look. It also seems to me that even if it were possible, it would take months to go from having no tone to looking like madonna, which means you'd have ample time to notice your body changing toward that look. To add to that, even if this happened, I'm sure you could easily tweak your routine and/or diet to maintain some softness. So, until then, I definitely encourage you to strength train and work at toning your body. You'll have a great look once the last 40lbs come off, and you'll be MUCH healthier because of it. I hope this helps. Good luck!

geoblewis
04-13-2013, 11:20 PM
For me, my body is happiest when it's doing some sort of weight resistance workout. Within 20 minutes of starting Pilates or my weight training circuits, endorphins start working their magic and I'm in love all over again with the workout.

I recently had a DEXA scan. Showed that I have 152 lbs. of lean body mass. There are muscles in there! But I still look like an amorphous blob. Why? My body fat is 49%. I have another 100 lbs to lose before anyone would even guess that there is a hard body underneath my layers. When someone hugs me, it's all squish!

By the way, my DEXA scan also showed that my bone density is 2.1. Normal is considered -1. Nearly every woman in my family has a bone density below -1, and a few have osteoporosis. Both my dad and his mother had kyphosis (dowager hump). I was heading in that direction about five years ago, but I turned it around with Pilates. I attribute my healthy bone density to years of weight training.

My Pilates instructor is in fabulous condition. She can do push-ups and pull-ups, she out swims most people, she can hold planks for a very long time. She's been training people for 25 years. There isn't a single bulging muscle on her.

AlmostMe
04-14-2013, 02:23 AM
Love what you got!! That doesn't mean don't seek improvement, but love your body's natural potential.

I DO get muscly. I'm still really fat and when I was doing yoga I could see my obliques and abs moving in the mirror in certain poses. Men were commenting on my biceps in the bar on Friday. (My arms are really fat, the muscle underneath it is re-shaping my arms. My biceps aren't as big as they will be) I'm not even lifting weights right now very much. Love it!

I will always have a layer of fat over my muscles - so when relaxed I won't look muscly like a man does. I don't have a skinny goal. I don't want to look like Madonna - and I never will as I'm not willing to eat that way. (I have to admit, I don't mind the muscles, it's the veins popping that freak me out)

novangel
04-15-2013, 05:50 PM
I actually quite like Jillian Michaels, I have done her videos for awhile. But I just got her ab one and a lot of the ladies on there had six packs and that's sort of what started my freak out.

They didn't get those washboard abs from Jillian's workouts. ;)

krampus
04-16-2013, 01:54 PM
Ha. I am TRYING to get muscular and I'm just getting thin. I work out 6 days a week sometimes twice a day and lift heavy weights 4 days out of those 6 and I drink protein shakes and eat a ton of meat, Greek yogurt and eggs. If I lost 5 pounds I might look like that J.Lo pic. You don't give muscular looking women their credit due! It's very difficult for women to get bulky looking.

It's a good thing to build muscle. You won't have to starve yourself to have a nice shape and a "toned" appearance, and you get to eat more food if you have more muscle and less fat.

LandonsBaby
04-17-2013, 03:01 AM
They didn't get those washboard abs from Jillian's workouts. ;)

Exactly. You get sixpack abs from low body fat, the way you eat and genetics. Perhaps you are of a body shape that loses fat in your middle more easily than others. Still, you won't accidentally wake up with a six pack one day. :D

I would wager a bet, looking at some pictures of Ms. Lopez, that she works out with weights and does so with gusto.

Mii
04-23-2013, 04:18 PM
I have a related question on this subject - a lot of strength training looks to leave women with a rectangular shape. How do I avoid building out obliques with weight training? I want to incorporate kettle bells into my work outs but I want to loose the love handles w/o replacing them w/ muscle.

Also, are there any exercises to help get a smaller waist / more waist definition?

JohnP
04-23-2013, 05:38 PM
I have a related question on this subject - a lot of strength training looks to leave women with a rectangular shape. How do I avoid building out obliques with weight training? I want to incorporate kettle bells into my work outs but I want to loose the love handles w/o replacing them w/ muscle.

Also, are there any exercises to help get a smaller waist / more waist definition?

Google how to build obliques and don't do those exercises. Pretty simple. :D

You have to try to get obliques and a very low body fat to worry about having obliques showing as a woman.

AlmostMe
04-24-2013, 02:30 AM
I've got obliques. I only had a vaguely rectangular shape for about two weeks as my obliques gained and my waist didn't drop. Then my waist dropped fat. I've got a nice curvy shape. The only time you can see my obliques is when I do certain yoga poses.

The best way to have a great waist is to be born with one, I'm sorry to say. But the stronger core you have the better you will hold yourself and that in itself will give you a better waist. Posture is a lot of it.

I was born with a great waist/ hip ratio (or rather with the potential). I was also born with upper arms and thighs that attract fat like a magnet. My upper arms are so bad I struggle to wear regular shirts, I have to wear oversized coats and finding suit jackets...nightmare. You get what you get.

fitmom
04-30-2013, 09:24 AM
Why would not want more muscle? It's a big indicator of whether you'll wind up in some assisted-living facility when you're older.

You cannot tone muscles....you simply lose the fat around them while building them with weights. You won't get bulky. Women don't have the hormones to build HUGE muscles.

I've been lifting for 2 years and if anything, I've gotten smaller, firmer and curvier. Good eating helps too.

Good luck - you've made great progress thus far!

devadiva
06-09-2013, 02:29 PM
Lean is what makes the muscles show..unlike you it's what I want.Though I would say they are long and lean muscles. I use 5 to 15 lb weight and run.
And I agree you have to work dang hard for a six pack,I am flat but no six pack getting a 4

PudgyFellow
06-10-2013, 06:28 AM
hey there,.. I know this is a old tread but I just wanted to point out most women would have the same question. My sister-in-law is always telling me "I don't want to bench press and I don't want to work my shoulders else I look like a bodybuilder". Thing is, generally women cannot get massive like a bodybuilder no matter how hard they try.

The reason is testosterone, or lack of. In order to build muscle, you'll need the hormonal support of testosterone is get BIG. That is why men are bulkier looking. Down to the numbers, men have a testosterone level range of 200-1200 ng/dl versus females 15-70 ng/dl. Even the lowest for men vs highest level women cannot compare. So if you see a person that looks like they could lift a house off its foundations, they are lying if they aren't doing some kind of anabolic/testosterone steroid. Getting ripped can be achieved. Like JohnP said, it's your body fat index that is the key.