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Who doesn't crave for that perfectly chiseled look with a well-toned body, packed abs, strong and broad shoulders and sculpted muscles? Well every young man does. And it's not just men who work towards getting muscle tone. Women are not less eager to get a well-toned body. Every woman craves for the curves that give her an attractive look. In their individual endeavors to get a toned body, some prefer to abstain from lethargy while some simply abstain from food. Simply put, some prefer exercising while others prefer dieting. Whichever way you choose, the end result, which is a well-toned body, can only be an outcome of sincere effort; efforts put towards working out on the body. Building muscle tone is not a walkover indeed. But it is also not a moonwalk (read as near-impossible) either. Getting muscle tone is very much possible if you have the aspiration and you are ready for perspiration. Well, let's come straight to the point.
What is Muscle Tone?
Muscle tone, by definition, is the passive partial contraction of the muscles that helps maintain posture. It is also known as residual muscle tension or tonus. But having muscle tone is commonly interpreted as having tight muscles which makes them visible from under the skin.
Muscle tone is related to your body composition. If you have a high amount of fat deposition on the skin, your body does not show muscle tone. On the other hand, if you have less body fat, your muscle tone will be visible, giving you that well-toned look. In simple terms, getting muscle tone is about losing body fat. Well, this applies to those with a higher body fat percentage, while you might need to build muscle if you belong to the lean and thin category.
How to Get Muscle Tone?
Fat loss is the key to getting muscle tone fast. If your body fat percentage is high, while resistance training is one of the best ways to building muscle tone, if you have less fat percentage. Muscle tone is related to the functioning of your nervous system. It is when the nervous system tenses the muscles to a certain degree, that muscle tone is achieved. An effort to increase muscle tone is an effort towards increasing the efficiency of nerve impulses that go to the muscles. Becoming strong while losing the excess of body fat, is the key.
Weight and Resistance Training
Resistance training repetitions, if rapidly done, may not be of much help in achieving your goal, as speedy reps increase momentum, thus stressing your muscles to a lesser degree. Slowing down the rate of doing the repetitions is of help. Reducing the speed will reduce momentum, whereby you'll be working towards getting muscle tone.
For this, you might have to use lighter weights. Rather, some recommend the use of lighter weights for getting muscles toned, as the heavier ones are believed to increase bulk, and not tone. But using very light weights won't be of much help. By doing this, you will only reduce the intensity and thus not work on your muscles. So, it's best to start with lighter weights and slowly move on to heavier ones.
A good way to gain muscle is to increase the number of sets per exercise session. Stretch your limits and push yourself to do that maximum number of weightlifting sets during one exercise session. Around 30 minutes of weightlifting with 5-10lb barbells, done thrice a week should work fine. Increase the weights gradually. Use free weights for your weight training exercises; work with dumbbells and barbells. Thereby, you'll be working on more muscles, which shall help you achieve good muscle tone. Free weights stimulate your muscles to grow faster too. Now, this is not all. Getting muscle tone involves other body parts as well. Running and swimming are two of the excellent ways of getting muscle tone fast. Running is a good workout for your thighs and legs while swimming is a workout for the whole body and helps tone muscles of your arms, legs and chest.
Variation in Exercise
Who would want puffed up arms and thin thighs or well-toned legs and thin arms? Well, no one would. So, it's important to include compound exercises in your exercise regimen. That is, see that your workout routine includes all kinds of exercises and ensure that you are working on different muscles of your body. Do not overtrain but also make sure that you are working on different muscle groups on different days in your exercise regimen. Lower body exercises are equally important. In fact, the lower body makes up around 65% of your musculature. Apart from weight training using barbells, also include squats, dips and lunges for toning the different muscles of your body. Go for a total body workout.
High Protein Low Fat
Know what food is right for your body. What suits you may not suit someone else. Metabolic typing analysis can help you understand what kind of a diet you should follow. A high protein diet supplemented by foods rich in vitamins and minerals are recommended to tone muscle fast. Also, it is not advisable to consume foods that you are intolerant to, during your muscle toning regimen. A high protein diet that consists of protein-rich foods like vegetables, milk, chicken, beef and eggs should be followed. It's advisable to have more than two meals a day, which distributes your food intake across the entire day. A good way to build muscle mass and get toned muscles, is to feed the body with iron and protein rich foods after the workout. This also helps muscle repair. To build muscle tone is to have strong muscles. For that, you require to shed excess body fat, which you can do by cutting down on your calorie intake. Strictly avoid eating fast foods and high calorie foodstuffs and follow a low fat diet religiously. A healthy diet that is high on protein and low on fat is your key.
Adequate Rest
Have you wondered about how exactly muscles grow? While most of us think muscles get toned because of weightlifting or that weight training exercises help build muscles, muscles actually grow as a reaction to the weights you make them lift. Yes, muscles grow bigger, so as to make the lifting of weights easier. Interestingly, they grow while you are resting. Yes, the answer to how to get muscle toned fast also lies in taking adequate rest. Building muscle requires you to give the muscles sufficient rest. Sleep for at least 8 hours a day; take adequate rest when you are on a rigorous exercise regimen. The workouts should be intensive, not excessive. After all, muscle fitness is important. Couple your workout routine with a good amount of rest, and give your muscles the peace and time to build themselves.
Though building muscle tone is not easy, it's also not impossible. Perhaps, the first step in finding a solution to getting muscle tone fast, is having a clear understanding of what muscle tone means. Then come muscle tone workouts, a protein-rich diet and sufficient rest, that go a long way in giving you a well-toned body.