T Nation

Toning or well read and you'll see. :)

I remember Poliquin going of his nut about people saying they want to tone their muscles. Cause all they really need to do is lose fat in most cases. He also mentioned something about it being rather difficult to change the actual tonus of the muscle. So my question is how easy or possible is it to change muscle tone. Going by myself well I don’t think my muscles feel any harder since I started training but they were always freakishly hard to begin with…that and I’m alway trying to gain muscle not lose fat. I’m asking this cause my mom is going to start lifting and she wants to lose her arm…wings. Heheh. She has already lost alot of weight. I told he she needs to lose more body fat to get ride of her “wings”. Then I felt her arm and well it seemed like loose muscle not fat. Well some fat. Ahhhh I don’t know. Thanks. :slight_smile:

I think tone is controlled by your muscle spindles and unless you are dead they will always have ‘tone’. I feel it has quite a bit to do with fat percentage and maybe not just adipose but rather intracellular and extracellular fat, which may make a muscle feel softer if present in large amounts. during times of calorie restriction muscles may feel softer as well due to less glycogen causing cell volumisation. I am sure joel marion and others are going to disagree with me.

I have explained this 10 times in the last week; I will try to bump one of the many threads up for you.

I’ll just paste a previous post that should give you some insight to your question. This is how to go about doing it:

This is probably the biggest myth in all of bodybuilding. If I hear someone else talk about 15-25 reps for cutting I think I’m gonna shoot myself! Ahhhhh! Nah, but let me seriously answer your question:

The ideal rep range for cutting is 6 and under. Why? Well there are a number of reasons, but let me just elaborate on the the reason you stated: “the cut look.”

First of all, what is muscle tone? If you don’t know what tone is, you’ll never choose the right rep range. Muscle tone is nothing more than the resting tension of a given muscle. The greater the tension, the more cut you look.

Heavier weight puts greater tension on the working muscles. The Malibu Ken and Barbie weights being used when doing 15-25 reps do nothing for muscle tone; nothing! This higher rep range will leave you looking FLAT and SOFT. The total opposite of the desired outcome.

So where the heck did this myth come from? Well, the 15-25 rep range gives the illusion of “cutting” you up by the buildup of lactid acid within muscle tissue. This produces a temporary hardness, but unfortunatly for you to keep this “hardness” you would have to die. Yes, DIE! Rigor Mortis would have to occur; that’s the only way.

The 5x5 approach is a great program for cutting and dieting. For further explanation of this program, a sample program, and it’s benefits while dieting see my reply to the “5x5” thread by Mike Freidman and the post entitled “Joel Marion, Re:” on the Getting Ripped Support Group Part II

My left bicep is weaker than my right bicep. But when I flex, my left bicep is a ROCK and the right one is kinda mushy. Grrr.

Thanks guys. I’m thinking the high rep range training came possibly due to burning more calories thus burning more fat? Just a guess. El_Machinae possibly you may have a nerve impingement. :slight_smile:

have you any evidence that higher tensions during training result in higher resting tensions, I personally have not seen any but would be interested in any references you have. It is true that higher loads cause greater recruitment during the movement but I doubt that this effects resting tension. rigor mortis is due to the body being not able to produce ATP to hydrolyse myosin-actin cross bridges (cross bridge cycling) and release the bond between them, so I do not understand your connection with lactic acid and rigor mortis, unless you are trying to state that lactic acid will effect the production of ATP through inhibition of phosho6fructase ( I think) and therefor cuase a muscle to remain in a tense state. Higher rep or slower concentric programs will have a higher energy cost as well as higher lactate levels leading to greater groth hormone levels and therefor lipolysis.

Pavel also states in his books that heavier weights produce higher resting muscle tensions and I think he backs this up with Russain studies. And from my own experience, I agree with Joel that when on a heavy, low rep type program, I always feel and look harder and more “ripped”, especially if at lower BF%. But if on a higher rep hypertrophy style program, I don’t have the hard look even if at lower BF%. I have to agree with Joel.