Yepâ€¦your personal trainer is wrong. Seriously, you will experience a new level of muscle definition if you take the time to understand what causes muscle tone.
So What is The Cause of Muscle Tone?
Let’s get the Wikipedia Definition: Muscle tone (aka residual muscle tension or tonus) is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles. Unconscious nerve impulses maintain the muscles in a partially contracted state.
So basically the higher the residual tension in a muscle, the higher the muscle tone in that muscle. The way to increase tension in a muscle is to engage in “high tension training”. Lifting heavy weights generates higher tension in the muscle than lifting light weights.
Photo Intermissionâ€¦LOL (I don’t want to bore you to death with technical jargon).
Okayâ€¦Intermission Overâ€¦Back to “Muscle Tone” Talk.
So if lifting heavy is what helps increase muscle tone, why does the fitness industry recommend “high reps” for muscle tone?
High reps are basically a way of doing “inferior cardio”. What I mean by this is that you will burn a few more calories than heavy liftingâ€¦but not as much as if you hit the treadmill hard.
High reps give you a pump, which is actually just “temporary muscle tone”. With high reps you will make your muscle look great for the hour you are in the gym, but once you lose the pump, you lose that toned look.
Lifting heavy for low reps will give you “permanent muscle tone“â€¦your muscles will look toned, because they will have a “greater residual tension” even when in a relaxed state. You will look great in or out of the gymâ€¦even without the pump!
After years and years of thinking that “high reps” = “high muscle tone”, I don’t expect to convert you quite yetâ€¦It is going to take me 5-10 more posts about “true muscle tone” to convince you of this heavy weight approach.
For now, I hope I just got you thinking a bitâ€¦
Until Next Time!