While more South Africans now need to lose a few kilos than at any other time in the past, not everyone who tries to achieve this may actually have the same goal in mind. For some of them, it will be the desire to fit into a little black dress or perhaps a well-loved tux, while others may be more concerned about their bodies that they will be displaying on one of KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast beaches. Among those in this latter group, the need to get toned in time for summer will be growing in urgency with each passing day.
While the terms “toning” and “getting ripped” tend to be used interchangeably, those who are more informed will insist that these two goals differ significantly. In practice, both efforts are aimed at reducing the level of body fat, but while acquiring a ripped appearance requires aiming for extremely low levels, when even the muscle striations become visible, toning is a little more conservative in its goals. As such, toning is generally recommended as the option best suited to the natural body composition of women, especially given that at 3%, the body fat percentage in healthy males is just a quarter of that needed for health among females. It is therefore the ladies who should be aiming to get toned for summer, while the more enthusiastic among the male population might well be tempted to take things to the next level.
Both of these goals may be attained by following a regimen that combines steps to reduce the percentage of body fat with resistance training and cardio workouts. In practice, this differs little from those programmes designed to achieve a ripped appearance, the differing end results being determined more by the relative intensity applied to each of these three areas.
While attending a gym offers the benefit of access to the various equipment used in resistance training, there are plenty of toning exercises that can be performed at home and require no special apparatus at all, making them a reasonable option for those who want to get toned for summer, but who have obligations that tend to keep them at home. Press-ups, squats, sit-ups, and variations on these will all work those seldom-used muscles and, together with a programme of healthy eating and some regular sessions on a static bike or treadmill, they should be enough to provide a balanced and effective programme.
Be wary of slimming aids, which at best are likely to be minimally effective and at worst, could have some unpleasant side effects. Dieting carries the risk of missing out on certain essential nutrients, so it is advisable to shop around for a reliable dietary supplement. Finally, don’t bank on seeing any dramatic improvements overnight. If you are relying on this type of conventional approach as the means with which to get toned for summer, bear in mind that the process is a gradual one.
On the other hand, if you are strapped for time or too unfit to attain your goal before the holidays, there’s another option. In a single weekly session of just twenty minutes, you could hit your target in a fifth of the time it would take with conventional programmes. With Body20 EMS training, you could still get toned for summer.