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So many women still fear muscle and end up detouring their progress instead of achieving what should be a relatively easy goal, “muscle toning”. Women are told they can’t build big muscles because of hormones but then paradoxically told to use low weight and high reps and go for the burn! What the heck?!

Females spend years trying to achieve what a few months could potentially bring if the intensity of the workouts were progressed in an intelligent and structured fashion. Here are 5 muscle toning myths and female weight training myths that must die!

Myth #1 – Toning is not “firming up the muscle”. 

The Facts: Muscle is already firm. There is no such thing as a soft flabby muscle only soft flabby fat.  Muscles do not go from soft to hard or hard to soft – they shrink, grow or stay the same size.  Muscles can get weaker or stronger. Muscles themselves do not “firm-up” or “tone”.   There is no such thing as a “toning exercise” and your abdominals don’t tone themselves by doing 100 crunches!

Myth #2 – Toning is not a result of just burning fat

The Facts: Toning is in fact a two-step process.  Burn fat and add lean muscle.  All the healthy bodies you find attractive are shaped by muscle and covered by a healthy layer of fat that smoothes it out to a shapely appearance.  You must dedicate a phase of your year to gain 3-5 pounds of lean muscle so your butt looks round, your legs look trim and your shoulders and arms are sculpted.  Plus, adding just one pound of calorie-burning muscle revs up your daily metabolic rate.  For every pound of muscle you add you’ll burn an extra 50 calories a day or 350 calories a week or 18,200 calories a year!  You need to burn about 3500 calories to lose one pound so just one pound of new muscle can help you keep off  5.2 pounds of fat a year! If you gained 5 pounds of muscle then you would keep off 26 pounds a year! That’s insane and now you know why females who lift weights have an easier time staying lean! In a moment I’ll show you how to really tone your muscles…

fitness tips for women

Myth #3 – Toning is not a result of just adding lean muscle

The Facts: Again, toning is a two-step process.  Add lean muscle and burn fat.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that by just adding 3-5 pounds of lean muscle, you’ll never have to watch your diet again. Muscle certainly increases your metabolic rate to help you maintain your weight but you need TRUE metabolic workouts that have a huge AFTERBURN and calorie burn or else you’ll never have the muscle definition underneath the layer of fat! Once the fat is removed and you’ve added some muscle, you’ll find it much easier to maintain your lean physique. My upcoming program, CURVALICIOUS, will teach you how to do targeted metabolic fat loss workouts to burn fat and sculpt your muscles at the same time!

Myth #4 – Toning is a result of low weight, high reps and lots of bodyweight exercises.

The Facts:  Somehow the media has convinced you that if we just do bodyweight exercises or light weights for high reps, your muscles will magically take on a beautiful shape without growing or bulging.

Training with light weight, higher reps and primarily bodyweight exercises is not wrong but you must understand it results in myogenic muscle tone, which is not the muscle tone that results in killer definition and curvy body parts.

Myth #5 – Heavy weights will make you look “bulky”. 

The Facts:  Eating too much food will make you look bulky! Your muscles grow on calories so as long as you manage your calories, you’ll manage your weight and shape.

Again, the media has detoured your progress by having you believe that if you challenge yourself with moderately heavy weights, your body will take on a bulky and unfeminine appearance.  If you believe this, you probably still believe in the Easter Bunny & Santa Claus!fintess tips for women

Women need to trust that building minimal amounts of lean muscle speeds your metabolism, burns fat and the most important factor to having a shapely body.  Muscle is what gives the shape to your body!

Plus, most women don’t produce enough testosterone to bulk up from a few gym sessions a week. God didn’t intend women to look like men (go figure), so he made the chemistry of each gender’s respective bodies different.  (Can I get an amen?) In fact, most women produce 10-30 TIMES less testosterone than men and most men have a hard time bulking up! A big, bulky body is only attainable via one means: steroids.

Women must also trust that getting bulking doesn’t just happen by accident.  You have a better chance of winning the lottery than bulking up overnight.

And lastly, gaining lean muscle does not require you to gain fat. That’s simply not true. It’s possible to gain lean muscle without putting on additional fat weight and I’m about to show exactly how to do that in a sec!

The entire CURVALICIOUS Body Sculpting System will be released on May 21st! If you have any comments or questions about this article, please leave them below!


Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • RB says:

    I think the word “toning” should die when talking about muscle. In physiology, medicine, and anatomy, muscle tone (residual muscle tension or tonus) is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles, or the muscle’s resistance to passive stretch during resting state. It has nothing to do with how a muscle looks or feels.
    As for programs for women, since I want to gain about 20 lbs of solid muscle, and want bulk, I’m not going to bother with your program. I had success gaining 16 lbs of lean mass in 3 months using a program for men, called Muscle explosion by Nick Neilson. These were not girly workouts at all. I’m using Ben Paklulski’s program with one variation that is that I am eating llbm x 30 calories instead of the recommended x 12 for women. I’ve gained 6 lbs in 2 weeks so far. I think for my goals, programs for men would work better. Maybe you can create a program for women who want to bulk up and gain about 20-25 lbs? Not all women are afraid of bulking up. Some of us are too skinny and come from a culture where skinny is not attractive.

  • Michi says:

    Hey Flavia,

    First off, thanks very much for all the info, the interesting articles, great recipes and your amazing workout and nutrition program – I’ve been following both for several months now and I’ve never felt this healthy, energetic and all-round happy with myself!
    I’m really excited about your new curvalicious body sculpting system – one question I do have is, will I be able to carry it out in my home gym? I do have free weights, stability balls, resistance bands and a suspension kit – will this do or does the program require machines?

    Thanks a lot and can’t wait for May 21st! 🙂

  • Trelle says:

    Hi there. I am excited about your new program. I have had FANTASTIC results on your Bodilicious program! Love it! What I love the most is that you included an “at home” version. I am curious if you will be doing the same for the Curvilicious program? I ONLY work out at home. There is no way for me to get to a gym. At home is where I am more consistent. Thank you so much for your time and dedication. Very glad I found your programs. 🙂

  • Karlen says:

    How will your new program differ from your Flavalicious program? Will it include diet and exercise or exercise only like your Flavalicious program?

    • Flavia says:

      Please see the comments on how the programs differ. There is a complete nutrition package that is included with Curvalicious.

  • unbelievable info.great work.i am sure it will help me.I have book marked the site.

  • Sandra says:

    Hi, Flavia, I have been doing your Flavilicious routine for a while, and I am really happy with the results. Now I would like to change the exercises a little and I was anxious to know about a new routine from you. So, I am surprised to hear the Curvalicious will be released on May 21st, but please tell me: Is that a new routine of exercises? Thank in advance and for your response.

  • Nggz in Paris says:

    The first myth has a problem. there is such thing as soft flabby muscle. Soft muscle is what you get when your muscles do not contract very hard when you flex. The more you practice flexing your muscles the harder they will be when you flex and the harder they will be even when you don’t flex as well. It is called Neurological strength, the more you have this special strength the harder you muscles are.

    Strength does not come from the size of you muscles it comes from the contraction of your muscles. Thats why there are skinny guys in the gym who can lift heavier weights than the bigger guys, because they have more neurological strength.

    The more you have of this special strength the harder your muscles will be.

  • lindsey says:

    Thanks Flavia for the tips! What ratio of moderate weight and high reps with body weight do we do to HIIT and cardio per week? Or is the combination of moderate weight, high reps and body weight exercises instead of cardio? Thanks, Lindsey

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Lindsey, I am going to be saying this a lot…it depends on your goals and where you’re starting from. Personally, I would start with the first exercise heavy and then change to moderate lifts for the rest of the sets in that muscle group. As far as HIIT – if you’re goal is to build muscle while keeping the fat or losing fat you want to do HIIT 3-4 times a week and keep them 20-30 minutes and add one long run or cardio session once every week or even two for 40-45 minutes.

  • Jacklyn says:

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so important to provide scientifically proven information that people can use to better understand how to take care of their body without harming themselves…

  • Danny says:

    Great article with plenty of really useful info and insight. How many times do you see people just pounding the machines and spending hours doing cardio trying to achieve their ideal shape.

    As you point out a few workouts doing the right type of exercise would achieve so much more.

  • Bischa says:

    Hey Flavia i just wanted to let you know that there is a pretty huge calc. Mistake in myth 2…
    As you say that every added pound of lean muscle burns 50 cals pr day, wich adds up to 350 caps a week (not 250 as stated) but this only adds up to 18250 caps a year ( 50 cals x 365 days) ( and not 91250 as stated) and this def. Do not ad up to an equal of burned 26 pounds it only equals
    18250: 3500 = 5.21 lbs burned or kept off pr year…
    Hope you’ll correct this otherwise great article looking forward to see the program launching;-)

    • Flavia says:

      Hi Bischa

      You’re correct! My mistake. Thank you for noticing that. I fixed it. You’ll keep 26 pounds of fat off a year if you gain FIVE pounds of muscle! Thanks again.

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