I've seen a few posts today that made me think of a particular article that you might find interesting. It's part of a series of "Mythbusting" articles addressing various popular myths about exercise and diet: Mythbusting: toning and spot reduction Two of my least favourite myths surrounding exercise and weight loss are: - you can "tone" your muscles - you can target your weight loss to a particular area They're my least favourite because they're so hard to bust. A lot of people believe so strongly in these two that convincing them otherwise can be a real uphill struggle - and it's a struggle most trainers have to deal with regularly, because these myths are particularly widespread. The problem with the myth of "toning" is that it's based on a misinterpretation - the idea that you can tone a muscle, giving it more definition and firming it up. Sorry, you can't. The reality is that you can only "tone" your body as a whole, by losing weight and gaining muscle. The only things you can do to a muscle are: a) make it bigger b) make it smaller You can't lengthen it, change its shape, or make it firmer. You can give your arms better definition by losing fat in order to reveal the muscle, and building up that muscle so there's more to show off (the huge added benefit of this is that muscle burns plenty of calories, even at rest - so if you build a bit of muscle, the fat will melt away that much more quickly!). I often hear it suggested that this mythical "toning" is achieved by lifting light weights for lots of reps. Not so! Lifting light weights for lots of reps will build muscle just the same as lifting heavier weights for fewer reps, but you'd be working on your endurance, whereas lifting the heavy weights for fewer reps you'd be working on strength. "Toning" often goes hand in hand with spot reduction. The theory here is that if you work a particular area, you will lose fat from that area. For example: lose belly fat by doing lots of crunches (doesn't work!) or eliminate bingo wings by doing tricep dips (sorry!). I'm afraid it's just not possible. When you lose fat, your body will decide where it's going to go from, and you can't influence it. You can, however, speed up your fat loss (see above - a pound of muscle burns a whopping 25 times more calories than a pound of fat) through weight training. It'll also increase bone density, improve your strength, flexibility and general health and fitness, and reduce your risk of disease. While we're at it, I'll bust one more myth, because I can imagine some female readers might see this and think, "well, I'll just not bother with weights, then! I don't want to make my muscles bigger!" Relax. We ladies don't produce enough testosterone to build a lot of muscle without a fairly intense training regime. Add a bit of resistance exercise to your training programme and you'll look great, feel great, and burn more fat faster.