What's the Best Way to Exercise for Good Muscle Tone?

Conventional wisdom states that lifting heavy weights makes you big and bulky. Many women (and some men) who want slim and “toned” physiques opt for lighter weights, lifted more times.

But the notion is not supported by science. Producing bulky muscles requires not just heavy weights but heavy calorie consumption as well, typically far above the 2,000 daily calories recommended for many adults.

For people who lift weights to tone up and slim down, experts say, a regimen that includes a combination of challenging weights and fewer repetitions can help significantly. In a 2002 study, for example, subjects lifting more weight fewer times burned more energy and had a greater metabolic boost after exercise.

For better tone, try fewer reps and more challenging weights.

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