Strong is the New Toned

Let’s face it. As far as we’ve come in the world of fitness and fitness marketing, there’s still a whole load of horseshit out there.

How is your fitness BS Meter?

First, not everyone can be tiny. Let me repeat. Not everyone is capable of being tiny. There are these things in people’s bodies called hip bones, and some people have a larger pelvis than others. And that’s not a character flaw. Tiny people often struggle to get a booty or shapelier legs. This is also not a character defect. People are generally dissatisfied with how they look because there are plenty of different ideals out there, and no one can fit them all. So, before you go hating on a particular body type, remember that we’re all in this world of unattainable bodies together.

Screw beauty standards. The best looking women are strong, healthy, and happy.

At least part of this can be attributed to what's happening right now in the fitness marketplace. There is a lot of focus on how certain types of exercise can make you look, rather than what they can do for your overall health and physical fitness. There is also a lot of emphasis on the word toning. We’re guilty of using it. But what we don’t do at Fuse Pilates is treat women like delicate flowers who can’t do a real pushup. Because you can do a real pushup. And you can do it on your toes. And you can do it with your feet on a ladder or on a reformer’s moving platform. Also, ladies, you can hang from your hands. You might not be able to do a pull-up just yet, but we think you can get there sooner than you think you can because we know that your body is capable of truly awesome things.

Jocelyn's arms look great, but more importantly they can hold a plank for FOREVERLONG, hoist her up to hang on the Fuse Ladder, nail arm balances on the Wunda Chair, and keep her steady in crow pose and Chaturanga.

I have had so many people tell me they are scared to try ladder because it involves a lot of upper body work. Fear not, arm strength is not your enemy. You can build it if you try, and it will make you look toned, but what you’ll really be is strong -- and you might be finding that the two-pound weights you lift in barre class all the time aren't getting you there.

The ONLY way to increase visible muscle tone is to BUILD muscle and REDUCE body fat.

You should be able to lift your body weight. I repeat, you should be able to lift your body weight. Or at least hang from a bar for a couple of seconds (that hanging part of ladder class is no longer than a couple of minutes).
You should be able to lift your body weight. I repeat, you should be able to lift your body weight.
So stop just trying to get toned. Get strong. Instead of focusing on how an exercise will make you look, think about how amazing it will make your body feel: healthy, energized, capable, and confident. Be able to do a roll up (strong abs and hip flexors). Hold a plank and do a full push-up (strong abs, arms, shoulders and back). Lift more than a couple of pounds (strong biceps). Then challenge someone who has spent all of their fitness time and money on toning to feats of strength. You’ll win, and look just as good as them doing it. Stay hardcore, Mariska

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