What Does 'Toning Up' Actually Mean?
The fitness industry is like any other industry, it targets a specific group and then hits them with some marketing slogans, pictures and promises! The explosion of marketing in the fitness industry has led to a very over-complicated and busy domain which has a bunch of buzz words and made up concepts.
As women tend to make up the majority of consumers in most markets, the fitness industry went in hard with the promise that women can ‘tone up’. A completely made up word as our muscles don’t ‘tone’ they either build or shrink! Marketeers are referring to the building of a muscle as it starts to feel harder, they named this ‘toning’. In other words, or to correct the marketing mumbo jumbo, workout to build muscle and that is what they refer to as ‘toning’.
The problem with workouts directed at women specifically is they all look at using very light weights or bands to do high reps - usually 15-20 reps of each exercise. This works for training your slow twitch muscle fibres which are used for endurance but you will see no visible change. If your aim is to ‘tone up’ (aka build muscle) then you need to focus on developing your fast twitch muscle fibres the muscle fibres we use for fast explosive movements. If you lift heavier weights you train the muscle fibres which lead to more muscle growth and therefore the ‘toned’ body you are dreaming of! Growing the muscle gives the illusion of a toned muscle! Ignore the fitness marketing speak and look at the science to help you reach your goal!
Have fun lifting!