PDA

View Full Version : "Toning" and "Firming"...... if you still don't get it!



DUMB BELLE
06-21-2006, 08:12 AM
Coming from a dance background, I was under the ridiculous notion that if I just looked at a weight, I would B.U.L.K!!!! We were constantly encouraged to “firm” and “tone” by doing “butt squeezes”, “arm circles” etc. and if we insisted on using weights we were given pink Barbie and Ken weights to do super high reps. Aaaaaah, IF ONLY I had done my OWN research I would have known then what I know now. I have since, converted to WEIGHT training and been working my ass off to gain some lean muscle mass and through my progress and results discovered: that if you wanna be ripped you need the correct nutrition and heavy training.

I recently came across this article in Vince Andrich’s Sport’s Supplement Review (4th Issue) in which he questions Russian Master Trainer: Pavel Tsatsouline about the issue of “toning”. I found this explanation incredibly clear and concise so I thought I’d share it with those of you who still don’t get it.

“Tone” is nothing more than resting tension in a relaxed muscle.

People ask: Aren’t you supposed to cut up your muscles with ultra-high reps and super ‘burn’?” To that I give an emphatic “No.” The ‘burn you feel from high reps is from lactic acid buildup and does absolutely nothing for toning up your muscles. Pick up a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records, and look up the picture of Captain America, who holds the world record of the most consecutive sit-ups. It’s in the ball park of 25 000! This guy must have felt “the burn” more than anyone else on this planet, and he does not even have a six-pack to show for it, even at his low level of body fat. Let me further explain: The reason you feel hard during and after “the burn” is the same reason a corpse is stiff - ATP depletion. Your muscle fibers are like mouse-traps - they go off by themselves, but need energy to be reset to contract again. A dead body is out of ATP, the energy compound that relaxes the muscles. A “stiff’s” muscles are permanently contracted. A high-rep workout exhausts ATP in your muscles and leads to temporary hardness, unlike the rigor mortis! The only way to make this type of tone LAST is by killing yourself!

REAL tone is residual tension in a relaxed muscle. This kind of tension comes from intense muscle contractions, and not merely energy exhaustion. Strength = Tension = Tone. It is that simple. Power and definition training is the same thing.
Millions of women these days ask “Why am I having trouble getting buns of steel?” the answer is that our glutes have tremendous strength and leverage. When you see a power-lifter squat or deadlift bar-bending weight, their glutes carry the brunt of that multi-hundred pound load! When you do butt squeezes or similar silly moves popular in “muscle sculpting” classes, you do not even come close to tapping the force/tension potential of your body’s strongest muscles. You’d better get on a first-name basis with heavy deads if you are after a hard butt!

terracotta
06-21-2006, 11:34 AM
Bump

imperfectly_lou
06-21-2006, 11:39 PM
Awesome post!

God, some women are sooo dumb... I just cringe at the sight!

Miranda
06-22-2006, 12:16 AM
someone make this a sticky

ab-swing asianbabe
06-22-2006, 02:57 AM
nice one!!

benjamin88
06-22-2006, 03:00 AM
ya keep your reps nice and high, ul tone the muscle, dont lift to heavy or youl get to bulky

DUMB BELLE
06-22-2006, 01:56 PM
Uuuuhm...... Benjie-Boy, either you're pulling the piss or you obviously STILL don't get it!

darkangel
06-22-2006, 02:43 PM
I'm guessing the latter.

kbdub
06-23-2006, 06:50 PM
yeah...keep your reps nice and high and youll be like the other flabby people in the gym wanting to get RIPPED. you can day dream about that nice hard body. or you could lift heavy and get hard and cut.

slyng
06-25-2006, 04:36 PM
That whole book is an awesome read.

Defiant1
06-26-2006, 03:44 PM
Hmmmm.....

I'm not sure about all this.

First, I have and have read lot's of Pavels stuff, as well as Siff, Zat, Bompa from the "science" side, and practically everyone from the practical side.

In my training knowledge growth, I have vacillated between science and experience.

Don't be so quick to throw the experience out.

What Pavel is saying about "tone" is of course correct, but what WE as fitness enthusiasts call "tone" may not be "tonus". It is a difference in appearance and tangible quality between muscle developed through HEAVY training and muscle developed through endurance type or constant tension type activities like dance, etc. I personally see a difference, and in fact KNOW there is a difference though I can't explain what is going on scientifically except most likely a different type of fiber development.

To draw a parallel, many on the site (at least when I first started on here) said shape training was "impossible" based on non-contiguous innervation or whatever reason. This goes against gym experience for sure. But now due to research into "compartmentalization" the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way.

So, pay attention to the science, but don't disregard what your eyes tell you and what experience tells you.

DUMB BELLE
06-28-2006, 09:55 AM
Point taken, Defiant1! Gave you a rep for that. Couldn't agree with you more.

Personal experience (and gains) does often account for more than theory or science (I just have to look around me in the gym every day at the many so-called "personal trainers" to realize that) but the article certainly gave me a different PERSPECTIVE on things.

Personally I believe that when it comes to training there is no SINGLE solution. That's why I like to vary my workouts (sometimes heavy weight, low reps and sometimes Lighter weight, higher reps) to target the different muscle fibres. I didn't mean for it to sound like I believe the approach in the article is the ONLY way but rather to shed light on the fact that there are also OTHER options to "firming" and "toning" than doing 100+ reps with little pink weights!

After being brain-washed for so long about how WOMEN "should" train, it can be useful to be exposed to different theories and explanations such as Andrich's article!

terracotta
06-28-2006, 10:29 AM
I think MOST of the problem is with celebrities and fitness models in women's fitness magazines suggesting that they got the way they look with NO or very little weight training (eg. using lil' pink dbs or yoga). There is somehow this conception that real weightlifting is a "male" thing, and when celebrities do weightlift they try to hide it for some reason.. maybe because they feel it is more feminine to say they do not, I don't know :confused:

It is also quite annoying when someone who wants to look like a dancer, asks bodybuilders what to do..

IronMaiden1522
07-03-2006, 05:10 PM
Oh great post!

Miranda
07-05-2006, 12:29 PM
There is somehow this conception that real weightlifting is a "male" thing

being ‘strong’ is a male thing whereas being ‘dainty’ is reserved for females. physical strength spells out ‘aggression’.
a muscular woman is a frightening one; she isn’t supposed to be assertive or come up for herself.

you could blame it on the ideals the society as a whole (media, parents, teachers, ourselves) still projects on women.
females are quiet, nice, beautiful, self-sacrificing, care for their offspring* and stay at home.

how many interviews with an actress make mention of her fan-tas-tic physique and the fact she’s a size 0?
how many interviews with an actor make mention of inseam?

*i’m gonna be shot for this :o but i noticed quite a few members here call themselves ‘mom’ this or that.
is that how you see yourself? not a loose individual but a ‘mother of'?
and no, i don’t have children myself so i obviously don’t have a damn clue of what i’m talking about.

terracotta
07-07-2006, 06:40 AM
or.. men are afraid of being weaker than a woman

Saw this over in misc.. :D

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 07:45 AM
LOL!!!!! Brilliant!

Check out this thread:
http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=829556

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 08:40 AM
being ‘strong’ is a male thing whereas being ‘dainty’ is reserved for females. physical strength spells out ‘aggression’.
a muscular woman is a frightening one; she isn’t supposed to be assertive or come up for herself.

you could blame it on the ideals the society as a whole (media, parents, teachers, ourselves) still projects on women.
females are quiet, nice, beautiful, self-sacrificing, care for their offspring* and stay at home.

My experience of general perceptions is totally different from most of you.
I must say, that I’m lucky enough to train at a gym where there is an awesome vibe and great camaraderie amongst male and female trainers. Can’t say I’ve ever been training hard and noticed a strange look from anyone (ok, maybe my weights just aren’t impressive enough yet. LOL!) In fact, I’ve often seen people looking at a chick training hard and heavy with looks of awe and approval and no disgust at all.

I’ve heard guys mutter an unimpressed “Cute.” When they look at the “skinny-flabby” girls with their pink dumbbells whereas when they look at girls that REALLY train I’ve heard them say a loud “Wow!” or “**** look at THAT.” with a tone of utmost respect and approval.

Maybe, I’m just luckier than most to be in a supportive environment or maybe its all about out-looks and mind-sets (as I really don’t think my gym is very different to most - in fact it’s actually quite mainstream). I do believe that people see what they look for, so if you proud of the way you training you’ll be more likely to see the approval of others but if you have some issues or doubts (even subconsciously) about what you “should” be doing according to the “norms” which have been established by a patriarchal society - then you’ll be more aware of THOSE looks of disapproval.
I think a lot of it has to do with “like tuning into the right vibrations, dude”. LOL!
I’m going off on a tangent here……
What I’m saying is: Believe in what you do and do it with pride - and you’ll be less aware of the negative attitudes out there if your focus is in the right place.

[/QUOTE]*i’m gonna be shot for this :o but i noticed quite a few members here call themselves ‘mom’ this or that.
is that how you see yourself? not a loose individual but a ‘mother of'?
and no, i don’t have children myself so i obviously don’t have a damn clue of what i’m talking about.[/QUOTE]

Hey Miranda, I FULLY agree with you. Guess there’s now gonna be a hit out on BOTH of us!!! Of course, I don’t have my own kids either but I would hope that IF I ever do, that I won’t categorize my entire identity as just a mom but still also as a woman, lover, friend, wife, trainer, individual etc.
Each to his own though! Guess it’s easy to say when we haven’t been through the process ourselves but just wanted to say I’m with you on that.

mostsolid
09-03-2006, 10:53 AM
Dumbelle, please posts this on "workout program" section, "teen" section and any section regarding to bodybuilding.

IMO good posts!