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Everyone has an idea in their head when it comes to looking their fittest and healthiest. For some, it's fitting perfectly into a certain outfit, or walking on the beach in a bikini with total confidence. For others, it may mean seeing a defined midsection reflected in the mirror, or having strong, toned shoulders or legs. We all have our own goals for how we want to look and feel. Although your specific goals may be different from those of others, almost everyone wants to look and feel toned and fit.

But what does "toned" really mean? And is it different from "bulking" up? This article sets out to define just that—and to dispel some myths about toning, strengthening and bulking up.

What Is Toning?

When most people say that they want to "tone up," what they usually mean is that they want to become leaner. Basically, they want to lose fat, and add a little muscle definition—but not so much muscle mass that they look like a bodybuilder (much more on that later).

In the fitness world, there is no real definition for toning that is greatly recognized. Rather, toning is a term used to describe the end goal, which usually results from a combination of basic weight-lifting and fat-burning.

What about Bulking Up?

Typically, men want to "bulk up" and women usually wish to avoid building big, bulky muscles. Although there is no strict definition, "bulking up" means adding a lot of muscle mass to the body and possibly (although not always) reducing one's body fat, too. Bulking up harkens images of bodybuilders and big football players—usually male and usually beefy!

Read more: Toning vs. Bulking Up: The Real Facts

I heard strength training for women will get you super bulky? Wrong!....

Fitness marketing companies often caters exclusive to women and with inaccurate information and the wrong approach. I mean how many of them are truly selling the truth? In nearly all women fitness magazines, you will find a new kind of workout that would promise you stunning results and that you are going to tone your muscles and get a perfect body. However, is it really so? You usually come across super diet pills or machines that claim they target belly fat and will get you skinny in no time.

All of this makes me uneasy because come on, what pieces of crap they usually are! So, here we are to set all the correct information and give you an insight into what is right and what is wrong with the way women train. You need to be educated about the details to know how to train yourself the correct way even if you are looking for a beginner workout.

Let us bust a few myths now...

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Your body is a machine that constantly reinvents itself. Every minute of every day, it breaks down its own tissues and replaces them with new stuff it makes from a combination of the food you eat and recycled material it scavenges from other tissues.

No matter how old your Facebook profile says you are, your component parts are considerably younger. Even your bones replace themselves every 10 years. By that standard, your muscle cells, with an average age of 15 years old, are the adults at the party.

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Top bodybuilder's have even cited yoga and functional fitness training as pivotal changes that put them on the podium at competitions. Yoga is an excellent means of improving flexibility and reducing an athlete's risk of injury—which, for hard training bodybuilders lifting all the time, is significant. While adding flexibility and functional strength, yoga also alleviates much of the soreness caused by heavy lifting.

While yoga has applications for many lifestyles and health conditions, we'll explore specifically how yoga can help weight lifters, given the specific goals and demands that face these sorts of athletes. We'll go over a few of the key reasons to explore yoga and why so many people turn to this ancient practice as a means of improving their health, both physically and mentally.

# 1 Strength & Flexibility

Read more: How Yoga Will Help You Build Muscle Mass

We're huge fans of running. It allows you to get a stress-reducing, endurance-boosting workout with just a pair of shoes and an open road.

It also burns calories, of course. At a 10-minute per mile pace—roughly the average guy's marathon pace—you'll fry about 10 calories a minute.

That's a solid number, and if you run faster, you can burn even more.

But if running isn't your favorite activity, there are plenty of other modes of exercise that can help you torch calories at a lightning fast rate.

Related: 3 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

"In general, you burn more calories by doing high-intensity weight training than you do running," says Harold Gibbons, a trainer at Mark Fisher Fitness in New York City, and the New York State Director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Read more: 10 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

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