Muscle definition or “toning” our bodies is a fantastic way to feel good and look good. It’s hard not to want the same when we see people who have amazing body physiques.

It’s a great way to boost your confidence, feel energized and stay healthy.

We are going to cover how long does it take to get toned and how to get a toned body following a few simple steps and 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Let’s get started!

How long does it take to get toned?

With weight training, cardio and clean eating, muscle tone will develop within 4 to 8 weeks.

Eating a healthy diet while in a calorie deficit will reduce body fat and see an appearance of “toned muscle” (less body fat). Combine strength training and HIIT on 3-5 days a week. You will begin to see changes in your body composition.

BUT, there are other factors you need to know!

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Results will vary depending on other factors, including gender, age, genetics, hormones and body fat percentage.

Here’s a starting guide to toning your body

How long does it take to get toned

Exercise for around 45 minutes to 1 hour a day, following a healthy diet plan all while tracking your macros. 

I found a popular macro-nutrient profile for losing weight and getting toned is around 40 percent protein, 25 percent fat and 35 percent carbs.

You will likely see the definition in your arms, legs, and shoulders first. Buttocks, thighs, abdomen, and love handles generally will be the last areas holding stubborn fat.

Men have higher growth hormones and testosterone levels, so they will generally see results and get muscle tone faster.

I’ve always been curious to know what exactly muscle tone is and how exactly I obtain the chiseled Greek-God or Goddess like appearance.

What Does Toning Truly Mean? Breaking It Down.

There is a lot of confusion around toning and how to get toned.

Part of the confusion probably comes from the media and the word “tone” itself.

Muscles shrink or grow. They do not technically “tone” or get harder.

So, there are many different ideas of what toning is, but in general, it is defined as lowering the body fat percentage to show muscle definition or “muscle tone”.

When I think of looking toned, I think of my arms and legs, but technically any muscle you can work out can gain muscle tone. It all comes down to the body fat percentage and your genetics.

The fact is genetics determines where your body will burn fat from first to reveal your underlying muscle definition or tone.

Fast Track Weight Loss and See Muscle Definition (Toned)

Toning exercises

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To speed up the process of getting toned, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or Tabata training for three or four days a week in conjunction with some strength training.

HIIT workouts have been linked in multiple studies to boost your metabolic rate.

HIIT workouts have also been shown to have positive impacts on both people who are new to working out and highly trained athletes.

Not only does HIIT help you build muscle and boost your metabolism, but it has also been shown to increase endurance and general health.

HIIT is also a great workout regime for those of us with busy lifestyles, as the amount of time needed is generally lower than most workouts. I personally like doing one HIIT workout in the morning and one in the evening since I do not usually have one big chunk of time to workout.

It is important to realize even though HIIT workouts require less time, the intensity is a very important part of HIIT, so I definitely would not consider them an “easy fix.”

When doing HIIT workouts you usually try to push yourself in a short amount of time, so it is kind of like running sprints instead of running a marathon. Like a sprint, you are not trying to endure for long periods of time, you are more focused on pushing yourself.

With HIIT the more intense the exercise, the more fat you will burn. Still, be aware of your personal limits and do not hurt yourself.

The intensity can take some time to get used to. Personally, I like using Youtube videos for my HIIT workouts, I find they help me push myself to keep up with the video and not be as tempted to give up until the end.

It is also important to remember HIIT, just like any other type of exercise must be balanced with calorie intake in order to lose weight and gain muscle.

Unfortunately, most of us cannot just do HIIT and eat cake all day and still expect to lose weight.

Muscle Tone Is Made In The Kitchen. Do You Know Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure? (TDEE)

I heard my friend at the gym the other day say, “abs are made in the kitchen” at first I laughed and thought it was odd.

When I started to look more into muscle toning though, I figured out what my friend was talking about. In addition to working out, nutrition is a major key factor.

Protein is known as “the building blocks of muscles,” so it is important to add more protein to help build muscle definition. It is also important to be aware of your calorie intake and calorie expenditure.

If you are trying to lose weight and tone your muscle, eating fewer calories than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is a good idea.

You should aim to eat in a calorie deficit of 250-500 calories less than your TDEE. This way, your body will start to use stored fat as fuel and this is exactly how you will achieve weight loss and appear of muscle tone.

Your TDEE is a breakdown of the total amount of calories you are burning in a day based on various factors, including age, gender, and activity level.

If all this sounds confusing, you can use our advanced macronutrient calculator to do all the formulas.

Once you have calculated your calories and macro split, it’s much easier to create a diet plan around your goals, like losing weight, building muscle, and toning your body.

What Not To Do: Four Commom Toning Mistakes.

Toning mistakes

1.    Incorrect form

Be careful to use proper form when working out to get the most out of your exercises and to prevent injury.

If you are not sure if you are using the correct form try looking in a mirror as you perform the exercise or ask a friend to help check your form.

2.    Not getting enough rest

Whether it is through taking a rest day or just not sleeping enough in general, your body needs to recover. Working out is technically tearing muscle fibers, so if you do not give them enough time to rest, recover and grow you are not going to get the full benefit.

That is also why you should vary the muscles you exercise.

3.    diet and Nutrition Confusion

Diet is a vital part of muscle toning. If your muscles are covered by fat you won’t be able to reveal your muscle. People trying to obtain muscle tone will focus too much on exercise and forget the importance of diet.

That’s because there’s a lot of confusion around dieting and what exactly you should be eating. You can read a great guide on how to eat less for more.

4.    Flying solo

Finding a workout buddy is a great way to motivate yourself and a great way to build friendships. Whether it is an accountability partner, virtual personal trainer, or an app like Reverse Health, it is good to find someone to keep you accountable and motivated.

Wrapping It Up

So, all in all, it takes about a month to start looking toned but through HIIT, watching nutrient intake and being mindful of common mistakes are great ways to help you reach your health goals and obtain muscle tone faster.

If you are a woman and struggling to lose weight, even while following these tips you may need to follow a weight loss program, especially for women.