Bombshell time...Muscle toning is an enormous myth which was created and fabricated by people who don't really understand the human body and exactly what they needed to do to get the look they wanted. Unfortunately this myth has kept a number of people from actually making any progress for years on end. An understanding of our anatomy, human physiology combined with research clearly shows us that this myth of muscle toning is unfounded.
Don't believe me? Consider this. A muscle can only get stronger or weaker, bigger or smaller it cannot and does not become toned or untoned. A muscle by nature is always toned, it is simply the amount of tension a muscle retains while in a relaxed state. So it is appropriate to say that a bodybuilder has higher muscle tone than a couch potato. This tension or toned state is not a thing of its own but rather a byproduct of gaining muscle so improving the tone of the muscle or the tightness of a muscle is determined by the amount of muscle. By nature a non-muscular fluffy fellow will not have a toned look. A muscular lean individual with a low body fat will have a toned look.
Everybody still with me?
Ultimately it really doesn't matter what we call something but rather that we are clear on what we are trying to achieve. What we want is to get rid of that soft and flabby look and at the same time tighten everything up giving it a more firm and lean appearance. This means if you tell me you want to get more toned your two training goals for the rest of your life are this: 1) Gain muscle, 2) Lose body fat. Repeat after me Build muscle, lose fat. If you feverishly work to adhere to these two rules of longevity, vitality and performance I promise you will be as toned as you have ever been!
3 Ways to Get Toned Lose Fat and Gain Muscle
1) Heavy Resistance Training, remember we need to build muscle here. Muscle tone is not developed by doing endless repetitions with your 5 pound pink dumbbells or 30 minute core circuit composed of 5,000 crunch variations. Heavy means heavy.
2) Intense Interval Training, Say goodbye to the never ending hours on the elliptical, you need to turn it up a notch if you want to get that metabolic furnace burning hot.
3) Optimizing Nutrition, Bottom line if you want that lean look you better take this one very, very seriously. Remember you cannot out train a poor diet. We eat poorly we look poor, funny how that works.