Siobhan Sentry: The Secret To Toning Up

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Our fitness expert, Siobhan Sentry of Advanced Fitness Education, on how to tone up…

HOW many times have you said or someone you know said “I simply want to tone up” well, I’m going to write a bit about toning up and what it really means.

I believe a lot of people have slightly unrealistic views on toning up and what it takes to tone up your body.

To tone up your body, to appear tighter, more sculpted or ripped looking involves more than doing some floor exercises. Nevertheless, people often say it with the false pretense that it’s something that is relatively easy to achieve, when it really it isn’t as easy as people seem to think.

To tone up essentially you need to have some amount of muscle in your body, but the hard part is having a low enough body fat percentage so this muscle can be seen that is what gives a toned look.

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The Streat new

Then it comes down to decreasing body fat while increasing muscle mass and unfortunately one or two bums, legs and tums a class week just won’t do it for most of us.

Tackling the simple equation of less calories in through food and more calories out through exercise is what it comes back to again with strength training added to the mix to get that toned look.

But, and there is a but, (that you’re not going to like) the notion of toning up the tummy or any other specific area of the body is not possible.

It’s sad but true, we can’t pick and choose where we loose fat on our bodies. The body will lose body fat from where ever it chooses usually defined by our specific body shape.

Performing hundreds of crunches won’t make a single difference to the look of your tummy if there is a layer of body fat covering the tummy muscles.

But there is a silver lining! You can get more toned and defined. You will need to do the following:

1. Lose body fat. You do this through a good diet plan low in sugar and saturated fat with a combination of cardio exercise.

2. Get a good well designed weight training programme to build muscle and keep increasing the intensity of the program regularly. (Ladies who are thinking “oh no I don’t want muscle” have a quick read of my previous article the myths of strength training)

Increased muscle + less body fat = body tone.

> Calories in + < Calories out = decrease in body fat.

It’s that simple.

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Well, not simple, it’s hard work, but you can try every trick in the book it always comes back to those simple equations.

While not everyone can afford weekly personal training sessions or gym memberships to have personalised programmes made for them.

I offer a lot of clients a one session diet and exercise consultation. What this consultation includes is diet advice (I do not believe in diet plans!) and an exercise programme that is instructed to the client during this session.

Following this session the client follows the programme on their own for 12 weeks and then comes back to me to have the programme changed to increase the intensity to continue seeing results.

That add’s up to just 4 personal training sessions in a year, which makes it very affordable for most clients.

You do need to be motivated and disciplined with yourself for it to work, but for some clients it works very well.

If you think this could be something that would work for you, have a look at what personal trainers are available locally and ask them if they would be interested in tailoring a similar package.

Ask friends and random people you meet of any recommendations of trainers, the best ones usually advertise through word of mouth.

• Siobhan Sentry is Course Director with Advanced Fitness Education at Tralee Sports And Leisure Centre. She has eight years diverse industry experience. She has worked worldwide as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor and a top level wellness specialist designing and implementing health and wellness initiatives for multinational corporate companies. For more visit their website by clicking here

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