A Guide to Myogenic and Neurogenic Muscle Tone
Ladies, before getting into how to tone muscles, we need to discuss the two different types of muscle tone and how they differ from each other. Have you ever noticed how the shape, hardness and size of your bicep changes when flexed like when trying to lift something? That change is your muscle going from one tone to another.
When you flex your arm muscle, it firms up, hardens and grows just a little. That change when you use it is the neurogenic tone coming through. It is only seen when the muscle is actually in use.
However most of time the bicep is not flexed because it is not being used. This is its myogenic tone. And because myogenic tone is what people see most of the time, this is the toning most women want to improve.
Contrary to what you have been told, doing lots of reps with those little 2-pound dumbbells (in pink no less) are not going to give you the sculpted sexy body you are looking for. However, it is not your fault; most likely you have been told or read that you don’t want to lift heavy weights for fear of bulking up. Don’t worry, it is not going to happen regardless of how much weight you lift or how many times you lift it.
Men bulk up because of the amount of testosterone in their body. Women have far less – about 8 to 10 times less. The bulky female bodybuilders you see are most likely using steroids to boost their testosterone level. So go over to the “men’s” plate rack, grab some weight and get to it!
But before doing that, one question you should be asking yourself right about now is “How much weight should I be lifting?” Nobody can give you an accurate answer because each woman is different. But I can tell you when you’ll know you have enough. To get the proper toning effect, you should be able to lift 3 to 6 repetitions per set at a specific weight. And you should be able to do a couple of sets. If you can do more than 6 repetitions, then you are not using enough weight. Conversely, if you can’t do at least 3 reps, then you are using too much weight.
Concentrate on compound exercises as they give you the most return for time invested. If using a barbell, try deadlifts and full squats. If using dumbbells try weighted lunges and squats. If you don’t know how to do any of these compound exercises, just Google them and all kinds of videos will come up and show you how to do it right.
Once you start lifting heavier weights, you’ll start to see the muscles you are working starting to tone up. Now when you look in the mirror, your muscles at rest will look firmer, more defined and maybe just a tad larger, but it won’t be bulky by any stretch of the imagination.
A Guide to Compound Exercises for Women
To get that sexy fit body you dream about having, you have to work your muscles. Lifting a little 2-pound dumbbell for 100 repetitions isn’t going to get you the results you want. But the gyms are filled with women doing just that, for fear they will bulk up if they lift anything heavier.
Actually to get the toned body you want, you will have to bulk up – just not to the level most think about when talking about bulking. As a woman, it just isn’t going to happen.
So how do you get the beautifully sculpted body? By training with heavy weights and doing compound exercises that bring a lot of muscle mass into play.
Before we discuss how to do it, let’s first discuss what they are. Typically, they are exercises that engage more than one type of muscle. For example, dumbbell lunges. Lunges alone work just the lower body, but when adding in dumbbells, now you are also working the upper body too.
Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand arms hanging naturally. With your right foot, step forward while bending your left knee at the same time. As you step forward, raise the dumbbells until they are level with your shoulders. Next, push back with your forward leg and lower the dumbbells until you are back in the starting position. Now repeat using your left leg forward. Complete 10 lunges with each leg per set.
Another weighted compound exercise is squats with dumbbells. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand outstretched over your head. Bring the dumbbells down with outstretched arms until they are level with your shoulders; keep your elbows out to the sides. At the same time, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you come back up, raise the dumbbells back to directly over your head; Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions per set.
One question commonly asked is how much weight is enough. Because everyone is different, there isn’t one answer, however it is easy to calculate what is right for you. Your intensity – the rate at which you train – should end with you not being able to do another repetition in that set. To lift with more intensity, or to challenge your muscles even more, increase the weight and drop the number of reps. It is the intensity (heavy weights/low reps) that builds a lean fit body.
Searching the internet for the phrase “Compound Exercises for Women” will being up several more compound exercises that can be done using weights. Just adjust the weight and reps to get the desired intensity.