If you ask someone about their fitness goals, many men and women will reply that they want to become more toned. However, what does toning up your body actually mean? These individuals do not want to become big and overly muscular; instead, they would like to get rid of the extra body weight that you are carrying throughout your body. In actuality, there is no such thing as a toned muscle. Muscles do not get harder or softer–they actually get larger or smaller.
What “toning” is really about:
• Increasing the size of a muscle
• Decreasing the layer of fat that covers the muscle
When exercisers attempt to achieve the “toning” effect, they mistakenly opt for light resistance and a high number of repetitions. Though this strategy is great for increasing endurance, it does not result in the larger muscles or decrease in fat that are required to achieve the appeal of toned muscles.
To build larger muscles, exercisers should select relatively heavy weights and train for eight to ten repetitions. On the last rep, muscles should be approaching failure. On subsequent workouts, increase the amount of resistance used (i.e., go from thirty pound weights to thirty-five and then forty, and then so on from there).
Muscle growth must be supported by a proper diet with plenty of protein
Do not worry about your muscles getting too big. When your muscles are big enough, you can stop increasing the amount of resistance you are using and switch to the maintenance of your muscles.