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quick reflex
muscle tension
resistance training
safety mechanism
tone muscle
gaining muscle
muscles
posture
How To Build Muscle Tone
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How To Build Muscle Tone

It is very common to overhear someone discussing there goals in regards to bodytype etc. where resistance training is involved that they are looking to get toned as opposed to huge. Especially for women looking to achieve perfect muscle tone as opposed to men, most women have no interest in getting big but have more interest in just getting toned, what is muscle tone? and how can you get this without getting a massive bodybuilder physique? well continue reading to learn the real facts about gaining muscle tone.....

But What Is Muscle Tone?

There two definitions that people consider 'muscle tone'. on the one hand you have true, physiological definition and in the other, popular, contrary belief definition:

The Real Definition Of Muscle Tone

Muscle tone is also known as residual muscle tension or muscle tonus, is an unconscious contraction of your muscles whilst resting. Basically muscle tone makes your muscles feel firm even when not tensing them, Think of it like this, when you tense your muscles, they feel much firmer than when you relax say, well that small amount of muscle tension that you feel when relaxed is known as muscle tone.

The Popular Belief Of Muscle Tone

This is where someone may use the term 'muscle tone' in regards to someone who looks at muscle tone as muscles that look firm and defined, the usage of the term in this sense is that someone is 'toned' because of the look of the muscles.

The Purpose Of Muscle Tone

The real purpose of muscle tone is to keep all your muscles ready for action, the constantly ready state of your muscles that are partially tensed is to help maintain balance and posture, this also functions as a safety mechanism that allows for a quick reflex reaction to any sudden muscle stretching.

Think of it like this, when you are sat up falling asleep and your head starts to dip (i'm sure you have seen plenty of people doing this) and suddenly your head will jerk back upright startling you and waking you up, this is an unconscious reaction that happens because of muscle tone.

Muscle tone also generates heat and keeps muscles healthy, if you ever damage a muscle nerve, you may no longer be able to stimulate the muscles necessary for muscle tone leaving the muscle to start deteriorating.

Getting Toned

We shall assume for a moment that you are thinking of 'getting toned' in the sense that you are looking to achieve the conventional thought of toned i.e. you are looking for your muscles to have clear definition and a nice firm appearance, If you are female you will be wanting to make sure you don't get too big.

1. The two things to follow to acquire this muscle tone:The first thing you will need to do is reduce your overall bodyfat, Reducing your bodyfat will thin out the subcutaneous layer under your skin, pulling the skin tight around the contours of your muscle.

Sometimes after completing just this one step, people find they have achieved enough of a toned look as they already have a good muscle structure beneath the fat, however most people sadly do not have this luxury so will require an additional step to get the results they desire.

2. The next step to perform is some valuable strength training, for most people a strength training program is also required as well as bodyfat reduction to achieve there body toning goals.

The optimal training programme focuses on muscle strength as opposed to size or endurance, this training requires you to lift heavier weights for fewer repetitions.

Women - Get Muscle Tone Without Getting Big

One huge mistake that a lot of women make is to lift light weights for a high number of repetitions as they believe this is the correct way to achieve muscle tone without getting big, unfortunately they could not be more wrong, lifting light weights for a high number of repetitions builds endurance not strength, it also gives next to no improvement in muscle tone, You need to increase strength on the muscles to increase tone.

Do not worry about getting too big by lifting heavier weights, the main reason being is that women are not genetically disposed towards gaining muscle, women's blood typically contains around 15 to 70 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter, now compare this to men who average out at 300 to 1000 nanograms per decliter.

Testosterone is one of the main hormones when it comes to building muscle, even though men have much more of it in there bodies naturally, it still takes them huge amounts of time and dedication to make noticeable levels of muscle mass changes. Whilst it is true that lifting heavier weights for fewer reps will increase muscle size, women should not be overly concerned as the increase will be very slow and any gains tiny.

The brilliant thing for women is the low testosterone levels is perfect conditions for developing muscle tone as you can put on small amounts of muscle until satisfied with the muscle tone, at which point you may modify your strength training programme to allow you to maintain the small amount of muscle that you have gained, never fear about getting too big as you can halt your progress at any point due to the small increases that women make.

Still not convinced? Start training as described and check your progress in the mirror after each workout session for tone and size. If the worst does happen and you get much bigger muscles after a couple of workouts then you are one of very few women on the planet to ever do so, all you have to do is stop weight training and your muscles will return to there original pre-training size.

I hope this article helps you out and feel free to comment below to discuss how it works out for you.


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