Many people like to talk about muscle tone. “Toning up” basically means performing resistance exercises with the aim of increasing muscle definition and tone, rather than bulking up like the Incredible Hulk.
In the past, it was quite common for women to desire big assed muscled bodies, but in more recent years, thanks to the super fit guys like Brad Pitt, perceptions have changed, and more and more people have begun desiring bodies that are nicely toned and defined.
How times have changed…
The definition “muscle tone” can fall into two different categories. Firstly, there is the “academic” definition, and then there is the “popular” definition.
Let’s start with the academic definition…
Muscle tone (a.k.a. residual muscle tension, a.k.a. muscle tonus) often refers to a “low-level contraction” of the muscles while they are resting. This is usually done without thinking.
Another way of looking at it is when your muscles feel firm while you are in a resting position and you are not tensing them.
This is different to when somebody intentionally tenses them so they look bigger.
Muscle tone in everyday language normally refers to muscles that are visible, defined and appear firm.
Quite often an individual fitting this description is referred to as being “toned”.
Convention tells us that muscle tone is something that should be desired because we are made to believe that it looks attractive and sexy
The main purpose of having good muscle tone is that it means that your muscles are ready for action in any given instance.
The heightened state of partial contraction helps to maintain better balance and a healthy posture. It also acts as a safety mechanism which allows for super quick, subconscious muscular reflexes.
When was the last time you was a passenger and whilst nodding off, your car drove over a bump and suddenly your head subconsciously jerked itself into an upright position?
I think you know what I’m talking about!
That jerk that triggers your head to straighten itself is an unconscious reflex action that is only made possible by…yes you guessed it…muscle tone!
A healthy muscle tone helps to generate heat that keeps all the muscles in a healthy condition.
If you want your muscles to be more defined and visible, you don’t want to get too big.
There are two steps you can take to acquire good healthy muscle tone.
Reducing overall body Fat is the first thing you must do if you want good, healthy muscle tone. By reducing excess body fat helps to thin out the subcutaneous fat that is located just under the skin.
This will help to tighten the skin so it can wrap around the peaks and troughs around your muscles.
For most people, simply by reducing overall body fat brings them the satisfaction of feeling more toned without necessarily undertaking any resistance training.
In our opinion, the incorporation of resistance training into any fat loss regimen can help to speed up the process.
The idea that the fans of bodybuilding want exclusively “grow” makes many people avoid training with weights in fear of weight gain. You have to remember that the training with resistance helps to improve various aspects of health.
Research data indicates that strength exercises accelerate the metabolism and promote the burning of fat even at rest, which can enhance the results of a weight-loss program.
It is important to remember that as much as any other activity aimed at weight loss, proper nutrition along with fat burners is fundamental to the athletes of bodybuilding.
Especially for demanding even more of your body in the process of recovery of muscle, your diet should provide nutritional support of fundamental elements for the construction of muscle tissue: proteins and carbohydrates.
Otherwise, you may suffer an undesirable catabolism.
There are only a handful of people that are fortunate enough not to require any element of resistance or strength training, because they already have nicely proportioned muscles, aesthetically speaking.
Unfortunately, for most people, and I include myself in this category, a strength training program is an essential addition to a fat loss program.
Ideally, your training regimen should be focused on developing a healthy muscle tone by improving overall strength, instead of focusing on enhancing muscle size.
This usually involves performing more reps and sets and fatiguing the muscles as opposed to lifting really heavy weights.