Tone and increase muscle mass: what is the difference?

Exercise is the best medicine, but it also promotes an aesthetic component from definition and musculature. In that sense, toning and increasing muscle mass can promote self-esteem, acceptance and trust. For this reason, discovering what each of these terms consists of is decisive.

We invite you to take a trip to know the function of the muscles, the clear definition of toning, the best techniques to increase volume and the main differences between the aforementioned concepts.

What is muscle and what is its function?

Muscle is understood to be the tissue, mass, covering or structure that is capable of increasing or reducing its size. gradually. This is possible through a series of electrical and chemical impulses or signals that originate in the nervous system. The contractions and dilations of the muscles are due to responses to specific situations.

Types of muscle tissues

Now that we know exactly what a muscle is, the moment is ripe to internalize the types of muscle tissues that exist, as well as its location and preponderance, as explained by the United States National Library of Medicine:

  • Skeletal striatum. It is attached to the bone and its movement occurs voluntarily. Allows bone and cartilage oscillations fluently.
  • Smooth. It is located in the walls of organs such as the uterus, the urinary bladder and the stomach. It favors movements with a greater degree of elasticity in parts with hollow characteristics.
  • Cardiac. Present in the myocardium and it is constituted in the form of a mesh or network that facilitates a contraction response with perfect synchronization. It does not follow orders from the nervous system.

In short, the ultimate goal of muscles is ensure movements to promote vital functions. The objective of each type is specific. However, in general they can promote the generation of heat, boost blood, promote digestion and dilate the pupils, among others.

What is toning?

Pilates is one of the best exercises to tone the body.

Toning is strengthening and defining the muscle through the elimination of fat in order to gain power. However, this does not imply that an increase in volume is generated; in fact, the goal of toning is that there is no increase in muscle mass and size.

If we move to the origin, the verb to tone comes from Latin tonus which, in turn, means tension. Thus, it is easy to induce that tension, tone and toning are related.

A common characteristic of people who choose to tone their muscles is related to being thin, but with marked muscles. So that, to sculpt the body there are very effective techniques and within everyone's reach; therefore, we will indicate some useful exercises for this outcome.

Effective exercises to tone

Depending on the area of ​​the body that you want to tone, then we will perform a particular exercise. The four recommendations that we will indicate to you have been used by experts in different disciplines for a long time:

  • Squats They directly affect the hips, buttocks and thighs. Elasticity is another aspect that it favors. More specifically, both the quadriceps and hamstrings benefit from this exercise.
  • Step. Strengthens the area of ​​the legs, buttocks and arms. In addition, it has a positive effect on cardiovascular activity. The ease and comfort of its implementation make it one of the most used for definition purposes.
  • Plank or anaerobic iron. It hardens three areas: the abdomen (rectus abdominis muscle), the shoulders (deltoid muscle) and the back (erector spinae muscle and transverse abdominis muscle). It requires a component of patience and balance to maintain the position for a considerable period of time.
  • Pilates. It allows you to lose fat while toning all areas of the body, since the variants that can be performed with this practice are really extensive. At the same time, it manages to perfect or correct posture defects and combat nervous behaviors.

To know more: The best squat exercises

How do you increase muscle mass?

Increasing muscle mass involves pushing the body to its limit of effort.

To know how to increase muscle mass, we must first quickly break into the phenomenon that occurs. Input, When performing different exercises with high intensity, trauma, failure or damage to the muscle occurs.

As the study Role of satellite cells in muscle hypertrophy and regeneration in response to exercise points out, this deficiency is immediately captured by what are scientifically known as active muscle cells; These fulfill the function of informing and transmitting what happened.

Subsequently, the receptors of what happened are the satellite cells (present in the muscle fibers), which are responsible for modifying and fixing the damage. However, in that process an activity occurs junction between the fibers and the aforementioned satellite cells. What finally happens? The significant growth of muscle fibers, that is, an expansion of muscle mass.

Tips to increase muscle mass

In a simplified way, we will show recommendations that will clear all doubts and ensure that increasing muscle mass is not a daunting or overly exhausting task.

Work all muscles

For the increase to be uniform and balanced, the initial recommendation is plan routines that allow each muscle group to be touched at least once a week. However, the most used and effective is that each group works twice a week.

Eat enough good protein and fats

Proteins are essential in the subject of gaining muscle mass. Without these, it will not be possible to preserve the desired and valued muscle fibers. Nor should we neglect the fact of having a favorable calorie balance. In other words, eat above what you lose with every effort.

In turn, it is important incorporate good fats into the diet, since they are a great ally to counteract unwanted fat. They are found in foods such as cashews, walnuts, and almonds, among others.

Repetitions with awareness

Are preferable short series with an estimated weight of between 60% and 70% of the total load that we are able to lift. Sustained training will allow each person's top to rise gradually.

Living with the pain of failure

When performing a series as directed by the coach, pain will only indicate that failure is very close. As we explained previously, only with this disturbance will an increase in muscle mass be possible.

In this sense, you have to continue to achieve hypertrophy (increased muscle fibers). Finally, we cannot close this chapter without emphasizing how vital it becomes to differentiate failure from possible injury.

Read this article: Exercises with dumbbells or weights to work the back

Main differences between toning and increasing muscle mass

The main differences between toning and increasing muscle mass go through localized results generated in the body from exercises, habits and routines. Within the dissimilarities, we can find:

  • In gaining muscle mass, the muscle is pushed to failure, something that is not necessary for toning.
  • The goal of toning is to define the muscles with as little fat as possible, while working with muscle mass seeks to increase volume.
  • Toning can be done with a static weight over time. For its part, muscle enlargement occurs with increasing loads.
  • The toning exercise is done with higher repetitions and an intermediate weight. On the other hand, to increase muscle mass, greater weights and shorter series are sought.

Exercise is the least expensive medicine for life.

Final recommendations on toning and increasing muscle mass

Choose the exercises based on your goals.

The recommendations for those who hesitate between toning and increasing muscle mass go through the elucidation –first of all– of what they want for their bodies. After projecting exactly what you want, it is best to go to experts to establish a precise routine depending on each type of body.

The generalization of work should be avoided, since biotypes have particular characteristics that require routines, repetitions, positions and changing cycles. Without a route, there will be no endpoint for the muscle goals that are displayed.

No matter what the choice is (tone or increase muscle mass), perseverance is a non-negotiable aspect to get what you want. Results may take time, but maintaining mental toughness on target will always pay off.