Monday, September 11, 2006

Toning is a Bad Word

If you mention that you want to tone your body to a trainer or other fitness professional, he or she is likely to do a mental cringe. You see, from a physiological point of view, there is no such thing as 'toning' your muscles. Muscles can only get bigger (called Hypertrophy) or smaller (Atrophy).

So why then did I put Tone as one of the main goals on the Agile home page? Because I need to find a way to relate to you. I know what you're looking for, and I know how to give you that, but it may not be words that you'll readily embrace (i.e. words like hypertrophy, lean body mass, vascular muscle tissue). I want to speak to you in terms that you will understand, and then teach you about your body as we get to know one another.

The initial effect from weight training is a perceived tightening, or firming, of the muscles. So when people say they want to tone their body, they're looking for this firming effect plus some fat reduction in certain parts of their body. But, the idea of making your muscles grow longer or shorter is really not possible. You cannot manipulate the length of your muscles - you can make the more flexible and vascular, but not physically longer.

You can still achieve a lean look. You can get this look by reducing your body fat weight and increasing your muscle mass. This is where some people, mainly women, get afraid - it's that word 'mass' - they don’t want to get bulky. Well, okay, I won’t make you ‘bulky’ but we’re still going to lift weights and increase your muscle mass. You would have to lift weights 6 times per week with high volume and intensity cycles to get so muscular that you look bulky. If you appear bulky because your muscles are growing a little bit but they’re layered under fat weight. Well, that’s a diet issue.

Now what about those whose muscles grow fast, they've lost their excess fat weight and they actually think they're too bulky? Don't worry, even hear we can lean out your muscles by increasing your cardiovascular exercise volume. But this is very hard to do because it requires a lot of cardio conditioning and a strict diet.

I can show you how to reduce the fat that is over your muscles and I can show you how to increase the size of your muscles. I can show you how to strengthen your heart muscle and increase your cardiovascular efficiency by growing more capillaries. I can help you increase your coordination and balance. I can tweak each of these benefits to a certain degree so that your body has a certain look and feel.

If you want to call that toning, that’s okay, it’s just a word.

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About Me

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NY, New York, United States
I'm 34 years old, the proud father of 2 beautiful children and husband to Jennifer, a beautiful, smart, and very caring woman. I'm an athlete - someone that was blessed with the ability to move fast and fluidly past, around, up and over my opponents. But, my body now reminds me that those days are numbered. I'm the Founder of Agile Fitness, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their fitness goals. Resume: - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist ('96). - Bachelor of Arts & Science, University of Delaware, ('95) - Masters in Business Administration, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business ('01)