Exercise to lose weight and tone body

Took me forever to find that thread (you mispelled KidCharlemagne :slight_smile: ). Offhand, I’d say that Epimetheus conceded that one.

It looks as if there was a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word “tone”. Lack of use of muscles will result in loss of muscle tone (what one of Epimetheus’s quotes called “tonus”), and regular exercise will maintain muscle tone. However, when some people say they’re “toned” they’re talking about muscle definition.

So yes there is such a thing as toning a muscle, contrary to what Epimetheus says above, but when a person tones their body, they are reducing fat and building muscle, more or less agreeing with what Epimetheus says. But that’s two different uses of the word tone in the same sentence. Drn hmphnes.

Personally I recommend yoga for a few reasons.

  1. You will never, ever, ever find a fat yogi. Ever. They just don’t exist.

  2. Look at a yogi the next time you get a chance - beautifly sculpted muscles, little bulk, huge rib-cage (it’s a by-product from the breathing - the KEY to good yoga practice)

  3. It makes you feel so very, very good. Relaxed. Envigorated. If you have any sort of back, neck or muscle stiffness, or soreness, a 1.5 hour yoga session will solve it, baring anysort of serious medical condition. (Obviously, if you have a herniated disk, yoga won’t fix it, but it will sure help with pain control.)

  4. You will never, ever be cold again. I realize you’re in Australia and potentially aren’t very cold anyway. That being said, I’m in Canada. On some days it gets to -40C. That’s damn freekin’ cold. Yogic breathing will warm you up in about 1 minute. Really.

Thats it. For the record, in case you hadn’t caught on, I looove yoga. Ashatanga is my personal fav - it’s a bit more aerobic, but all the disciplines are super.

Wowsers. Please ignore the plethora of typos in that post.


Oh - and a quick check reveals that 1.5 hours of hatha yoga (the less intense form) will burn about 280 calories.

Yeah, but who wants to exercise for 1.5 hours straight?

There are a few general principles that matter when selecting an exercise program:

  1. The best exercise program for you is the one that you’ll stick with.
  2. To make a change in your body composition, you’ve got to work hard. What is hard for you is personal, but if it’s easy, it’s probably not worth the time.
  3. It doesn’t matter what you do in the gym if you eat everything in sight.
  4. Body composition is only one of five officially recognized components of fitness. The others are flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular endurance. Don’t concentrate on one all the time, cause they’re all important.

Personally, I’d advocate weight training along with high intensity cardiovascular work, along with a good diet, whatever that is. Sure, hatha yoga burns about 300 calories if you do it for an hour and a half, but an extra pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories per day even if you don’t do anything. Of course, low-intensity yoga is a good way to recover between lifting sessions.

Looking back at the lifting advice I gave earlier, I don’t agree with one point anymore. You shouldn’t train to failure all the time–it’s tough on your body, and doesn’t work very well with some exercises (anything where you’re under the weight). It might be good every once in a while, but only as variety.

ultrafilter - you are correct of course; however, please allow me to respond:

  1. 1.5 hours of yoga is a joy to do. 30 minutes of weight training is boring, repetative and not much fun. I know - I’ve done both.

  2. Lots of women (not all) are worried about getting bulky muscles - I’m one of them. I build muscle very, very quickly and wind up looking like a line-backer. Yoga TONES (which I belive is what the OP said she was looking for) without building bulky muscles. Long. Lean. Toned.

Raquel Welch is well into her 60’s (70’s?) and has a body that many 20 year-olds would kill for. She’s got the benefit of some superior genetics on her side, but yoga is what she uses to keep fit. That’s enough evidence for me. (Well, that and my own personal results :slight_smile: )

Of course weight lifting is good too, for some people.

But of course.


If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. Nothing wrong with that. But that’s your opinion, and just as good as anyone else’s. Personally, I don’t have room to be bored when I’m squatting my 5 rep max for eight or nine sets. Plus, the endorphin high is very nice.


First, muscle length is determined by bone length, tendon length, and points of insertion. These tend not to change, so I wouldn’t count on yoga making your muscles longer.

Second, you may want to refer to RM Mentock’s recent link for a discussion over whether what’s commonly referred to as tone is related to anything but subcutaneous fat levels. It isn’t. That’s not to say that yoga won’t help you knock off that fat, but it’s certainly not the only way.

Third, lifting heavy weights with low reps (3-4 sets, 2-5 reps) will increase your strength dramatically without causing you to add too much mass.

If you add muscle easily and you don’t want to, then yeah, maybe yoga is better for you. I don’t mean to knock your choices in any way, shape, or form. I just have a different preference.


That probably has more to do with the fact that she does some form of exercise, rather than any particular form. I’d bet that’s not all she’s ever done, too.

I will agree with you on one thing, though: Raquel Welch has a nice body. :slight_smile:

Is 1000 situps a day a good idea?

If your goal is to be able to do a lot of situps, then it’s great. I wouldn’t rely on it for much else. What are your goals?

Just as a point of reference here…

Being a former Olympic road racing cyclist, I’d just like to stick up a hand in defence of cycling as a means of body fat reduction.

Somebody mentioned earlier that swimming is just about as good an endurance exercise as there is - with the exception of running.

Well, I dunno about that. When I was at the peak of my sport, circa 1984-1988, I used to know a lot of world famous swimmers at the time, and generally, we “roadies” had a lower body fat percentage than the Olympic swimmers. Not by much, but it was enough for the swimmers to constantly marvel at how lean us “roadies” were. Indeed, at the height of our annual season, it was quite common for the veins in our thighs to be exposed all over like the veins on a race horse. To do such a thing, you’re talking about exceptionally low heart rates and body fat percentage.

You’re talking about a resting heart rate of less than 40 beats per minute, and a body fat percentage of less than 8% - which is getting really low. If memory serves me correctly, if we started getting as low as 6% body fat, we would be advised to start eating rich fatty foods for a while because at those levels, your immune system was extremely exposed - the slightest bug and it would wipe you out for a fortnite.

But getting back to the swimmers? The one thing they used to ask us “roadies” all the time was “how do you get so lean”? And we’d reply with something like, “Oh simple really… just do 5 hours a day on the bike - minimum. 7 hours on the hard days…”

And their jaws would drop. You see, the swimmers would resign themselves to the following simple reality about swimming. To quote my friend, 1988 200m Freestyle champion Duncan Armstrong… “Man, there’s no way we could do 6 hours a day in the pool… that’d be like sticking your head in a bucket of water and gargling for 6 hours while you stare at a black line… at least you guys get to see the country side!”

Which is not to say that Duncan Armstrong didn’t train 6 hours a day or more to beat the legendary Matt Biondi - indeed he did. But a lot of it was outside of the pool - doing gym work and cross training and specific resistance motions etc. His point was that to do 6 hours of SWIMMING alone would have been deathly boring, but with cycling, you can do up to 6 hours in the beautiful countryside and really enjoy every second of it.

Anyway, in closing, my point is this. Lance Armstrong attempts his 5th Tour de France win shortly - about 3 weeks away I believe. As you watch le Tour each night on the telly, just make a point of checking out incredibly lean the competitors are. I’m pretty safe in saying that professional road racing cyclists are the leanest human beings (overall) of any sporting discipline - rivalled perhaps only by Olympic long distance runners. But even then, the cyclists generally have superior muscularity in my opinion. Olympic long distance runners tend to be very scrawny, at a physical level - in my opinion. Put it this way, you wouldn’t see too many Kenyan marathon runners in the NFL would you? But if you check out Lance Armstrong for example, he’s astonishingly lean, no question - but also, without too much effort he could also be built like a good boxer if you know what I mean. A really top flight pro road racer has to have amazing bike handling skills - which requires some pretty strong shoulder isometric strength. Not up to swimmer standard, but significant nonetheless.

Indeed, but you get that from yoga as well, mixed with a lasting feeling of well being. Really - sounds cheesy but it’s true.

Well - obviously, if you’re 5’2" you’ll never have muscles as long as someone who’s 5’8" - however, yoga has a stretching, lengthening effect. If you’ve ever seen someone who does a lot of weights, typically incorrectly, you’ll notice they have bunchy, bulgy muscles. If you look at someone who does yoga, they have long, lean, feminine muscles - and yes I know that some people think that massive female body-builders are very feminine. Most of the women and men I know do not.

Of course it’s not the only way. But it’s a very effective way.

Yoga is an excellent strength builder.



Actually, if you go to a recent interview, and read the words out of her own face she says:

She does yoga, walks and weight trains. Goo already said she had the walking thing down. :slight_smile:

Yeppers. :slight_smile:

Oh - and the pic of Madonna here (scroll down to the end) - I can do that with both legs.

Weight training will just not get you that. :smiley:

ultarfilter always has something to say that’s worth listening to on the subject. IMO, you’d be hard pressed to find a better workout routine that one that combined freeweights, cardio and yoga.

I differ from many in this thead who equate being toned with being cut or ripped. Tone is a measure of the quality of muscle while cut/ripped is a measure of body composition.

Hold on, the point of my last post was to point out that there are two different uses of the word “tone.” Both are in common use, and in fact the one that you are using is actually a misuse, or at best, slang. But you can’t say that people are wrong just because they use the dictionary definition of a word.

The dictionary definition of muscle tone is tonus, which is definitely not related to subcutaneous fat levels.

One aerobic exercise I haven’t seen mentioned is boxing. I walk about 30 to 50 minutes/day with my dog and play soccer twice a week – 90 minutes of straight running/sprinting. I’ve also got a punching bag in the basement, and 5 minutes of going to it at a rate of 1 punch/second or faster wears me down. I’ll do 3 rounds of 5 minutes each and get a very good sweat going. The added bonus is that it’s a great way to let out frustrations.