Toned Muscles Vs. Big Muscles.

When it comes to working out, I’ve heard a number of guys express their concern about getting too big: “I just want definition and toning – I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.”

As it turns out, there’s no need to fear big muscles. They’re really, really hard to get; it doesn’t happen overnight. Arnold Schwarzenegger trained 6 hours a day. And if you notice yourself getting “too big”, just ease up or take a week off.

To look like a bodybuilder, you have to work really, really hard for a very long time. It doesn’t happen by accident.

Along the same lines of “it’s better to shoot for the stars and land on the moon”, I recently heard a trainer dare his definition-oriented client to try to get big. “It’s hard. Really hard. Toneville is farther away than you think, so you should train like you’re going to Bigville.”

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Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. the guy in the picture is hot

  2. Brandon Nguyen says:

    Haha I don’t have time to workout but when I do I workout to get a body that I want. I mean, I have nothing against my current one but I know it can be better.

  3. Whenever I try and convince my female friends that lifting weights won’t make you “bulgy” they never believe me!

    Tone is different from bulk!

  4. I’m currently trying to put on weight and bulk and finding it so hard! I work for Cirque du soleil, and most of my show is cardio cardio cardio… seems like the bane of my existence! Cause sometimes it feels like no matter how hard I weight train I just burn SO many calories that putting on weight is difficult. I’ve tried weight gainers but sometimes dont like the after effects (ie. stomach aches and bloating..)… Do you have any tips? I do the show 8x a week, 6days a week.. so thats alot of cardio… and I train weights 3-5 times a week… Suggestions?


    • I went through a phase of trying to gain weight myself, but I think because of my metabolism I can’t gain or lose weight quickly. I was eating 3000+ healthy calories a day, and let me tell you that eating 3000+ calories a day is easy, eating the same in healthy calories is a lot harder.

      My recommendation… Go for foods that are calorie dense, like nuts, avocados, bananas, etc. Nuts are great because they are high in protein also. So snack on nuts between meals. Healthy oils are good to add also, just finding the right balance is the trick. It’s different for everyone. Might be good to talk to a nutritionist.

  5. Thanks Davey, I have always tried to tell people the same thing. You can’t do one work out and then the next day BAM! you’re huge. If that were the case, everyone would be huge.

  6. Haha Davey you sure know how to post pictures in order to grab our attention.

    Also, not only is getting as big as arnold really hard, but low weight high rep build lean muscle which is stronger then bulky muscle. maybe try toning down the low rep high weight and mix it up and youll have a very good medium. not to mention high rep = cardio! =]

  7. I had that concern when I started weight training again also. My trainer has the veins and stuff, and that’s not what I am looking for. I just want people to say the same things about me as they do about the guy in the picture. I have been doing 3 a weeks for about 4 months and do see the results.

    To the people that say that they don’t have the time…I have one question for you… How much time in a day, week, month do you waste? Everyone has time that they could use to exercise, even for 10 minutes a day. Do 10 minutes of push-ups or take that time to walk around the block. If it becomes a habit, even that will show results.

  8. Another important thing to know is that the only reason certain bodybuilders can pull off the big muscle look is because their skeletons are built to handle it. I can tell you right now that if I tried to get big muscles, I wouldn’t fit through doorways, because my shoulders are so broad naturally. I’d rather aim for definition there.

  9. I don’t think “toned” has meaning. When I have asked training clients for their goals they would often, especially women, say I want to be toned. Asking them what that meant to them disclosed they really wanted to lose fat-they just didn’t like saying that word.
    I get the difference between muscle size and definition. I prefer the term “definition” to “tone.”

  10. One of the most essential things is to realize what makes you most comfortable under your skin ? a TONED BODY or BIG BOI BULK…
    General perception i think even among a lot of people here who reply to your blogs is — Lifting Heavy Weights or Increasing the amount of weight you lift in each set will result in a bulkier body !…. Thats not true i think !

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  1. […] general, I advise concerned clients to fear not – and that it actually takes a lot of deliberate and intense training to develop the muscular build of a bodybu…. It doesn’t happen by accident, and it’s especially challenging for women due to […]