Maximize Your Muscle Tone!

by Greg Landry

Are your muscles flabby, or maybe just not what they used to be? Toned muscles are important for several reasons:

1. Toned muscles send your metabolism through the roof! They have a tremendous affect on your basal metabolic rate (BMR), causing you to burn more calories 24 hours a day.

2. Toned muscles are stronger muscles. Strength gives you confidence and makes daily activities easier.

3. Toned muscles improve your posture and help you to avoid injuries.

4. Toned muscles look great!

Toning your muscles becomes much easier to achieve if you avoid one common mistake. My estimate is that over 80% of people who are weight training for muscle tone make this mistake. This causes their efforts to be much less effective and perhaps almost useless.

The mistake is in using a weight that is too light to challenge your muscle. You should choose a weight for each exercise you do based upon being able to do 12 repetitions with that weight.. and being near failure at that 12th repetition.

If you could continue and do 15 or more reps with that weight, then it’s too light. Conversely, if you can’t perform 12 reps with *good technique*, then the weight’s too heavy.

If you’ll look around a gym at people “pumpin’ iron”, you’ll see many of them just going through the motions with very little effort. That won’t work! Our muscles need to be challenged. They need to be pushed to their limit. That’s what they respond to and that’s how they become toned.

If you’re using the appropriate weight for your weight training exercises, and you’re using good technique, you can expect to begin seeing results within six to eight weeks. Start pumpin’!

By Greg Landry, M.S., Exercise Physiologist

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