The “Muscle Toning” Myth


Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics but I cringe when I hear the phrase “muscle toning.” Although it is extremely common, the word “tone” has no meaning in fitness.

You can look it up in any textbook – it won’t be there.

Fit muscles have strength and endurance. Athletic performance also includes power. 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, books and blogs on the subject? How can all the trainers, instructors and writers 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.

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.

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