Understanding Muscle Tone and What Makes a Muscle
In order to chose the most effective route to increasing your muscle tone,
you must have an understanding of what muscle tone is in the first place.
Muscle tone is residual tension in a relaxed muscle. What that
means is that your nervous system is tensing the muscle to a certain extent
while you are in a relaxed state.
Muscle Tone is a Byproduct of An Alert Nervous
Basically a body part with great muscle tone has a strong mind-to-muscle
link in that body part. If someone wants more muscle tone in a particular part
of their body they need to increase the efficiency of the nerve impulses to that
body part. Keep in mind that muscle tone is not a “muscle fiber” issue, it is
a “nervous system” issue. This is the number one mistake that people make in
their quest to increase muscle tone.
Why the “Light Weight and High Rep Approach” Isn’t
Lifting light weights for high reps is the conventional advice that
trainers tell clients to increase muscle tone. Lifting light weights gives you
an illusion of increasing muscle tone. High reps generally give the muscles a
great pump. When the muscles are pumped up they will look more toned, but when
the pump is gone the muscle tone is gone. If you want muscle tone for the
hour you are in the gym then lifting high reps and light weights will let you
accomplish that goal. If you want great muscle tone 24 hours a day, then you
need a different approach.
Lifting Heavy Will Make Your Nervous System More Efficient and
Increase Muscle Tone
The only way to lift heavier weights is to increase your muscle size -or-
increase the efficiency of your nervous system. If your goal is muscle tone,
then you should try to get progressively stronger without
putting on size. A great way to do this is to lift for 3-5 reps for 5 sets
or so. Do a basic strength workout, but then hit the cardio really hard after
that workout. Keep your calories low as well.
Why Don’t Most Strength Trainers Have Great Muscle
Most of the guys you see in the gym who are lifting heavy are also not
doing any cardio and they are eating a ton of calories. They are trying to get
as big and strong as possible. That shouldn’t be your goal! If you want to
get unbelievably defined then focus on gaining strength while losing weight.
Learn a Lesson from Olympic Level Athletes
If you have ever seen a middleweight boxer in person these guys are
unbelievably ripped…so are gymnasts. These guys focus on gaining strength
while maintaining or losing weight. These athletes have unbelievable muscle tone
as a byproduct of their training. They aren’t even focusing on muscle tone,
yet they have more muscle tone than most bodybuilders. Keep in mind that most of
the pictures you see of bodybuilders are after they have pumped up and have
dehydrated themselves almost to the point of heart failure.
Lift Heavy, Get Stronger and Increase Muscle Tone…What’s Not
Follow a basic strength training program and hit cardio hard. Train like an
elite athlete and you will create an amazing body. Leave all that “pumping up”
nonsense to the Mongoloid bodybuilders.
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