QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TONING AND STRENGTHENING A MUSCLE?
ANSWER: Physiologically there is no difference between toning and strengthening a muscle. Many individuals are confused regarding the relationship between muscle strength, muscle tone or definition, and muscle size. As muscle strength improves, muscle tone improves due to a greater density of the muscle fibers. Everyone has the ability to increase muscle strength and muscle tone to some degree. Relatively few adults (male or female), however, possess the genetic capability to develop large muscles or the cut physique of the models seen in many of the popular fitness magazines. To achieve the buffed look, you must develop reasonably significant levels of muscle mass while simultaneously reducing the amount of fat under the skin. When this effect is achieved, the well-developed muscles can be seen under the skin. In fact, the majority of individuals have washboard abdominal regions. Unfortunately for most of us, a layer of body fat covers our six packs. Participating in a balanced exercise program (aerobic conditioning and strength training) and eating sensibly is the best approach to achieving a well-toned, firm body.