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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I get asked a lot "What are the best weights to choose if I want to tone up my muscles versus wanting to add a lot of muscle?" It's a great question and one that has a somewhat strange answer.

Let's first start with wiping away the MYTH that...

... lifting HEAVY weights for low reps is going to make you bulk up.

... lifting LIGHT weights for higher reps is for toning.
The truth is that unless you are on testosterone-enhancing "supplements" you simply aren't going to look like the guys you see on the cover of magazines. You can trust me when I tell you that massive veins and crazy muscle striations on top of muscle striations is not "natural," or anything you have to worry about if you are lifting weights.

Plus, if you're like most people who exercise 2-3 times per week with weights you need to get the most out of your workouts. You simply can't fall prey to "old school" myths if you want maximum results! That means that if you're opting for light weights that you can easily handle for 15 or more reps you're definitely short-changing your results.

I'm not saying you need to pick up the heaviest weight in the gym, but you do need to lift a heavy enough weight for your body to produce enough effort in order for it to be FORCED to physically ...    Continue

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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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