Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics but I cringe whenever I hear the phrase muscle toning. Although it is extremely common, the word tone actually means nothing in fitness. You can look it up in any textbook – it won’t be there.
Fit muscles have strength, endurance, mass and CSA (cross sectional area) if you want to be technical. However, there is no state of muscular fitness even alluding to tone.
How can muscle toning be a myth if there are so many classes, DVD’s, books and articles on the subject? How can all the trainers, instructors and websites be wrong?
The myth in muscle toning is the suggestion that exercise can make your muscles tight and firm.
This is completely false. Unfit muscles are not loose or flabby and they do not shrink with exercise. They grow.
Some people shy away from muscle growth because they see images of body builders pumped up on steroids. But those men and women train for hours a day at extreme intensities and their results are determined by genetics as well as the use of supplements. They are the exception rather than the rule. For most people, muscle building means a modest increase that is just enough to reveal the shape of major muscle groups.
It is better to think of toning your body through muscle building and fat loss. Avoid under-training with exercise programs designed to tone but not build. You know better now.