Exercise! - Excellent Article on "Toning" and Building Muscle




PhotoChick
09-29-2008, 12:53 AM
I honestly think everyone should read this article. It's long but chock full of great information.

http://www.answerfitness.com/181/body-toning-myth-fitness-tips-answer-fitness/#more-181

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Taurie
09-29-2008, 05:07 AM
Thanks PhotoChick!

I love reading articles like that. I'm still baffled by women who avoid weights in fear of bulking up or even worse are the ones that do over 20 reps with light weights. That's just ridiculous. lol.

belezura
09-29-2008, 09:53 AM
I loved the article...
Thank you!!!


Lovely
09-29-2008, 10:17 AM
I've read The New Rules of Lifting for Women and I appreciate that more articles are addressing this "toned" issue.

Hey, I'm like any average chick who's read a women's weightloss mag. I thought lifting weights would make me all bulky. I thought more reps with less weight would be "better" since women "should" focus on endurance.

Thank goodness that phase is over & done with! Thanks for posting, Photo.

nelie
09-29-2008, 10:18 AM
Its an interesting article with some very good points. Of course I have to say I didn't really care for the female pictures they chose. Well the first 2 were fine but the toned one being some fitness model with obvious breast implants? I would actually think someone 'toned' would be a bit more muscular looking than she is but everyone has a different ideal.

Shannon in ATL
09-29-2008, 10:42 AM
This is great!

So, I currently do 45 minutes of pretty high intensity cardio six days per week(I keep myself between 155-180 bpm on my heart rate monitor pretty much the entire time it seems) and am trying to do resistance training two-three days per week, though the reality last week was that I only made the resistance training once, twice the week before. I also do some yoga and ab exercises at least three times per week. I've pretty much lost all the weight I want to lose and am looking for definition now.

According to this, I could do less cardio and more weight training and might see better results - do you guys think if I did three days of cardio and three days of resistance training it would help or maybe shorten the cardio three days per week and toss strength training in those days?

PhotoChick
09-29-2008, 10:47 AM
Nelie - I wasn't thrilled with the images they chose either. I think they could have come up with better examples from popular culture. One of my role models as far as a goal to aim for is Billy Blanks daughter, Shellie. I love the way she looks - totally fit, but not "fake" or overdeveloped. That middle picture esp - I love the definition in her arms.
http://www.billyblanks.com/images/en_US/local/meet_billy/about_shellie_right.jpg

Shannon
do you guys think if I did three days of cardio and three days of resistance training it would help or maybe shorten the cardio three days per week and toss strength training in those days?Totally! I do weights/resistance 3x per week and HIIT cardio 2x or 3x per week. Sometimes after the weights I'll throw in 30 mins of ss-cardio ... just becuase it feels good and helps loosen up my muscles a little. I see more results when I'm good about keeping that schedule.

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pintobean
09-29-2008, 11:25 AM
Thanks for posting this article Photochick :D It definitely put things in perspective for me. I started doing strength training couple weeks ago and am doing it 3 times/week but wasn't doing it for more than 30 mins. But reading this article makes a lot of sense. And I also did walk on the treadmill after the weights cuz it helped me loosen up the muscles too. Thanks :D

Tomato
09-29-2008, 11:49 AM
Thanks for posting the link, PhotoChick (as well as the pictures of Shellie - she does look great).
The musings on the meaning of "toned body" and how it came about are interesting. But even if it is technically incorrect, I am sure the word is ingrained in our minds now and everybody will keep continue using it (especially if you see if in all the magazines).

I never understood the fear that weight training will result in bulking up. But then again, I am not your typical female. I DO want to see a nice muscle definition and even if there is a bit of bulk associated with it, I would say 'bring it on'. I always laugh at the assurances (so often found in fitness magazines) that "these exercises won't bulk you up".

PhotoChick
09-29-2008, 11:51 AM
I am sure the word is ingrained in our minds now and everybody will keep continue using it (especially if you see if in all the magazines).I'm fighting the good fight to maybe try to change that a little.

I might be struggling uphill, but I'm gonna keep trying. *grin*

.

nelie
09-29-2008, 12:07 PM
I went swimming on Sunday and was sharing a lane with a runner. She had awesome shoulders and definitely had the kind of look I'd want. She didn't have what I think of as a typical runner body and it was obvious she does lots of cross training. Of course to get muscle definition you need low body fat beyond weights and obviously she had both.

ddc
09-29-2008, 02:37 PM
The term toning is used as a reference to firming up muscles--it's in the dictionary:

Physiology. a. the normal state of tension or responsiveness of the organs or tissues of the body.
b. that state of the body or of an organ in which all its functions are performed with healthy vigor.
c. normal sensitivity to stimulation.


tone up: a. to give a higher or stronger tone to.
b. to gain or cause to gain in tone or strength: toning up little-used muscles.

To make firmer or stronger. Often used with up: exercises that tone up the body.


So, I don't think it's wrong to say that someone has good muscle tone or that you'd like to tone up your muscles. :dizzy:

mandalinn82
09-29-2008, 02:44 PM
I think the use of the word "toned" is OK - it's just an adjective, after all, with a dictionary-defined meaning.

When it gets confusing is when people start referring to "toned" in the same sentence as "but I don't want to build muscle". That'd be impossible. The common conception seems to be that "toning" and "muscle-building" are different things, and really they're not.

I would like to be toned. But to acheive that, I've gotta LIFT..."toning exercises" aren't going to work. As long as people get THAT distinction, I think "toned" is actually a GOOD word...I think it adds a shade of meaning to "muscular" that most people understand and can picture.

Tomato
09-29-2008, 04:18 PM
by the way, ddc, I love your arms!

nelie
09-29-2008, 04:36 PM
I'm with mandalinn on my feelings of the use of toned. You can't tone without building muscle. Toned is fine as an adjective because it is descriptive although people may have their own definition of the term.

ddc
09-29-2008, 04:39 PM
by the way, ddc, I love your arms!

Thank you :D

PhotoChick
09-29-2008, 04:46 PM
Well .. hm. :)

I have to respectfully disagree with both Manda and Nelie. But that might also be because I'm a bit of a grammar and language geek and I believe that using the right words is very important.

I think that continuing to use the word "tone" when what you mean is building strong, fit muscle, simply reinforces the girly-fitness-magazine concept that women shouldn't get strong, they should "tone". Because as it's used currently "tone" is the OPPOSITE of "building strong muscle". It's used in the context of "I want to be toned, but not built".

That's just my opinion of course, and I'll continue to avoid the word "tone" when I talk about building muscle and gaining strength and getting fit. :D

.

junebug41
09-29-2008, 05:00 PM
Because as it's used currently "tone" is the OPPOSITE of "building strong muscle". It's used in the context of "I want to be toned, but not built".

How is it the opposite of saying, "building muscle"?

I want to be "cut". I want to be "toned". I want to be "fit". When I think of toned, I think of DDC's arms in her av (wow!). The lady next to me on the weight bench might say DDC is "built". Maybe the mood would strike me to say her arms are "cut".

I would think all 3 would be a compliment to DDC and basically means the same thing :)

"I want to be toned, but not built"

Who cares? Maybe to some people, toned just means smaller muscles than their own definition of someone who is "built", per a personal preference. Aren't both versions accomplished by doing the same thing? I mean, to obtain muscle tone and definition, thus, to build muscle, I lift. I just don't see the difference. :shrug: To me this is an argument on semantics. Also, where exactly was it set into stone that "tone" is incorrect and "built" isn't? It seems like it's more of a declaration of empowerment with female lifters than grammatical truth.

nelie
09-29-2008, 05:17 PM
Because as it's used currently "tone" is the OPPOSITE of "building strong muscle".

To some misguided souls, yes they do say they want to tone but not build muscle which is something that needs to be corrected. You can not be toned, no matter what your ideal is without building strong muscle. You can be toned, based on various definitions, by building strong muscle AND losing body fat.

People will use the term toned because honestly I think it is part of our vocabulary when referring to a certain body look. I think the emphasis of what is needed to get there is important.

And ddc, your arms are awesome :) Mandalinn has some awesome arms as well.

junebug41
09-29-2008, 05:29 PM
To some misguided souls, yes they do say they want to tone but not build muscle which is something that needs to be corrected. You can not be toned, no matter what your ideal is without building strong muscle. You can be toned, based on various definitions, by building strong muscle AND losing body fat.

People will use the term toned because honestly I think it is part of our vocabulary when referring to a certain body look. I think the emphasis of what is needed to get there is important.

Very true. I think if people are serious about getting in shape, learning how to obtain a certain physique is almost inevitable. At least I would hope, anyway, because otherwise they wouldn't get very far...

get fit in ky
09-29-2008, 06:05 PM
I liked the article....I've lost some weight, (and most of it is fat), but I'm not where I want to be. I know to do that I've got to lift...regularly and heavier. I know this from past experience and from the lack of muscle definition. I'm going to 52 next month, I weigh less than I did in high school, my pants are a size smaller than at age 16, but I need more muscle.

That article may help me get motivated to get back on track...

mandalinn82
09-29-2008, 06:38 PM
Nelie - aww, thanks :o

I love shades of meaning and having precisely the right word for what I'm trying to convey. For me, "toned" and "built" are different. Built to me implies bulk...muscle has been literally built up to the point of being bulky. Toned also means muscle has been built up, but to me, there is less of it, bulk wise..the muscle size is built up less, though the muscle STRENGTH may not be in women, who physically cannot build muscle bulk to the degree that men can. I think that is probably the general consensus on what these words mean.

I know some BUILT women (one trainer at my former gym used to be a competitive body builder) and what they have isn't what people are generally talking about when they say "toned", so I like the different shades of meaning the two words provide.

Taurie
09-30-2008, 08:25 AM
Ugh! I just read an article in Elle magazine titled, "Why The Gym's Not Making You Slim". Supposedly the article is written by experts. While they do say many people overestimate the power of cardio it won't lift your butt or give your arms definition. This I agree with, but then it goes on to say, "... Women often fear muscles will make them appear bulked-up, but this is rarely he case provided you keep your weights low (don't strain) and your reps high."

I've never met anyone who got definition in their arms lifting 3lb weights. At least use your own body as resistance!

ddc
09-30-2008, 08:35 AM
My whole workout yesterday was with 2.5 lb dumbbells. ;)
I add dynamic tension though, so I use more force than just bebopping a 2.5lb weight up and down. Think into the muscle! :)


Are people reading Elle magazine really looking for a workout anyway?
I don't know, I've never read it, but I'm thinking it's more of a fashion mag, instead of fitness. (?)
I can see where this kind of statement is misleading, however:
I have done Jari Love's workouts in the past. Her workouts use light weights with high reps.

Taurie
09-30-2008, 09:30 AM
My whole workout yesterday was with 2.5 lb dumbbells. ;)
I add dynamic tension though, so I use more force than just bebopping a 2.5lb weight up and down. Think into the muscle! :)


Are people reading Elle magazine really looking for a workout anyway?
I don't know, I've never read it, but I'm thinking it's more of a fashion mag, instead of fitness. (?)
I can see where this kind of statement is misleading, however:
I have done Jari Love's workouts in the past. Her workouts use light weights with high reps.

Well then, I take back what I said... you're the first. Btw, you have nice definition. Do you use your own body weight for resistance?

Because I do use light weights but only after I've lifted heavy to fully exhaust the muscle. I do have definition... but, only when the light hits it just right. :D

I did come across this on AtoZfitness.com which might explain the high rep thing...

"The high reps sets don’t directly CAUSE muscle growth (the resistance isn’t high enough), they just improve blood circulation to the target muscle so when you DO train heavy and for lower reps, your target muscle gets more nutrients and can grow and recover more easily."

ddc
09-30-2008, 09:59 AM
Due to tendonitis issues (and maybe weak joints -??), I can't lift heavy. I have some 8 lb dumbbells that I use rarely because they bother my elbows and shoulders.
I do alot of isometric and dynamic tension exercises.
My workout yesterday was from a book by Joyce Vedral called "the 12 minute total-body workout" (old book, got it on ebay), and I'm sore today.
The only body weight exercises I do are squats and lunges, some pushups against the kitchen counter, and planks.
The other dynamic tension moves that I do are from "The Miracle 7" by John Peterson and Wendie Pett. They don't use weights at all.

Thanks :)

Tomato
09-30-2008, 12:28 PM
Due to tendonitis issues (and maybe weak joints -??), I can't lift heavy. I have some 8 lb dumbbells that I use rarely because they bother my elbows and shoulders.
I do alot of isometric and dynamic tension exercises.
My workout yesterday was from a book by Joyce Vedral called "the 12 minute total-body workout" (old book, got it on ebay), and I'm sore today.
The only body weight exercises I do are squats and lunges, some pushups against the kitchen counter, and planks.
The other dynamic tension moves that I do are from "The Miracle 7" by John Peterson and Wendie Pett. They don't use weights at all.

Thanks :)

Oh geez, NOW you are telling me after I coughed up a small fortune on 8, 10 and 12 lb dumbbells! I think I went a bit too far in my enthusiasm although at the gym I use 10 and 12.5 lb dumbbells but I am thinking even the 8 lb ones are a bit too heavy for my triceps (I have the Jackie Warner "Workout" DVD but I haven't done the upper body yet). :^:

ddc
09-30-2008, 12:37 PM
If you can lift them, then go for it.
They're just hard on my joints and I've found other ways to compensate :)