Stephen Cabral, CPT/CSCS is the author of Fatlossity as well as founder and director of FitLife by StephenCabral.com. The Diet.com video contributor has been an active member of the fitness and personal training community for over 10 years. His passion has led him all over the country in pursuit of continuing to further his education, certifications, and health & fitness philosophies.

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Fit Life with Stephen Cabral

by Stephen Cabral, Fitness Professional
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adapt to the new stimulus.

All that means is that if you don’t give your body a reason to change, it won’t.

Also, the term "heavy weight" is subjective and varies widely depending on who you're talking to. A fit 25 year old guy or girl may think anything over a 60 pound dumbbell is heavy, whereas a 45 year old non-exerciser may feel 25 pounds is really heavy.

It also varies depending on the exercise that you’re about to complete. For example, you may lift 35 pound dumbbells for a deadlift with your legs, but may only be able to shoulder press 15 pounders.

The bottom line is that there is NO SET WEIGHT for what you should be lifting " only the intensity at which you should lift!


1. Complete 1 warm-up set per exercise and then make each additional set after that count.

2. Choose a challenging weight you can control with good form for the number of reps required in that set.

3. If you feel that you could have completed an additional 2-3 more reps increase your weights for that exercise in the next set (instead of just doing more reps with the same weight).

This type of progressive overload will not only tone your muscles much faster than what you were previously doing, but it will firm them up as well.

Lastly, if you're still worried about bulking up from lifting more challenging weights just keep in mind that slabs of muscle don't just come overnight (although most guys wish it did!) and if you ever feel like you are bulking up you can always ease back on the weights you're using.

Enjoy the results you get from this type of program and email me with your success!

For more information on my 12-week workout, nutrition and weight loss system go to: www.Lose5in7.com

Committed to your success,

Stephen Cabral, CSCS, CPT, NS
Author of Fatlossity, Lose5in7 Weight Loss System
Health Consultant for MTV, NutritionData, Diet.com, Gather, EDGE

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@ 8:18am ET on September 21, 2009
Thanks so much for this clarification! It's always hard to sort fact from fiction on this particular topic, so it's nice to know the truth on how to tone up!

@ 10:35am ET on September 21, 2009
Great advice, but I think we really need to get rid of the word "tone" in terms of fitness advice. Too often we hear, "I just wnat to get 'toned'." What does "tone" mean? Scientifically, it just means a muscles ability to move from flexed to extended. What most people think of as a "toned" muscle is just one that doesn't have a lot of fat lying over the top of it!

Rather than talk about "toning" we should talk about muscle building and fat loss. Building muscle helps to burn fat and it's the burning of the fat that give us that "toned" look.

@ 3:13pm ET on June 11, 2012
Thank you. I felt that more reps would give me better definition but now I will push myself!!

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