September 1, 2009
Here it is…what you’ve all been waiting for- the well kept secret to achieving that “buffed” look….
Ok, there really is no secret- the answer has been right under our noses all along. The best approach to achieving a well-toned, firm body is to participate in a balanced exercise program (aerobic conditioning and strength training) and to eat sensibly.
I feel pretty strong already…I just don’t look it.
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is you are not alone, as many individuals have strong muscles, including washboard abdominal regions. The bad news? Unfortunately for most of us, a layer of body fat covers our abdominal region and subsequently sends our six packs into hiding.
So are you saying I’ll never be big and buff?
Not at all! Everyone has the ability to increase muscle strength and muscle tone to some degree, however what is important to note is that relatively few adults (male or female) possess the genetic capability to develop large muscles or the cut physique of the models seen in many of the popular fitness magazines.
Well what if I only want to tone my muscles?
Physiologically there is no difference between toning and strengthening a muscle. Often individuals are confused regarding the relationship between muscle strength, muscle tone or definition, and muscle size. As muscle strength improves, muscle tone also improves due to a greater density of the muscle fibers.
Ok, bottom line….is it possible to look cut?
Yes! If your desire is to achieve that cut look, you must develop reasonably significant levels of muscle mass while simultaneously reducing the amount of fat under the skin. When this effect is achieved, the well-developed muscles can be seen from under the skin.
Remember, a well-rounded exercise program, comprised of aerobic conditioning and strength training, and a sensible diet are key to helping you reaching your individual health and fitness goals…whatever they may be.
So while it may not have been the bombshell “secret” you were hoping for, isn’t it refreshing to know that our goals are well within our reach?
Jessica Matthews Contributor
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT, is a well-known blogger and assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. In addition to holding ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach certifications, she is an experienced registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. Jessica has cited as an expert by CNN, Shape, Self and Oxygen.More Blogs by Jessica Matthews