Widgetting Makes Me Ramburgasted!?!

Joes Barbell
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My goal for this pic 2 fold.  1) to get you off the cake and 2) get you thinking about a more specific type of fitness
Disclaimer!!!  My mood as of late has been, to put it nicely, JUNK!!!  With that in mind please excuse the tone of this post.  However, regardless of the tone the info is quality, mostly because I am directly quoting a coach of supreme intelligence and talent.  Thanks Coach Rippetoe.
As a coach, trainer, or simply a person who enjoys talking about fitness I often speak about characteristics of fitness.  Sounds simple enough right?  Even sounds like a reasonable thing for someone who fancies themselves a “fitness enthusiast” to do – Right?  The truth is that most people speak of fitness and its characteristics without ever properly defining the term or its characteristics.  It’s actually somewhat ridiculous when you think about it.  It’s like me saying that I enjoying widgeting because it makes me ramburgasted.  Funny right huh?  Equally funny statements, some that I hear often, go something like this, “I don’t lift heavy because I don’t want to bulk up” or “I just want to tone up.  I don’t wanna get that strong.”  Really?  In an effort to get some quality info out there and clear some things up I offer an excerpt from Rippeteo & Kilgore’s Practical Programming for Strength Training.  It’s short and really just a drop in the ocean but I believe something that everyone in the general public should understand about one of the characteristics of fitness they commonly speak of.  For your reading pleasure:
Reality Check
The modern fitness industry’s concept of “toning” muscles is specious – it might sound cool, but it lacks any tangible and definable meaning.  The term “muscle tone” or tonus describes an electrophysiological phenomenon, a measure of ionic flow across muscle cell membranes.  It can be thought of as the muscle’s readiness to do anaerobic work.  The more fit the muscle, the more electrophysiological activity it exhibits at rest.  Lack of exercise leads to poor tone, aerobic exercise improves tone a little bit, low-intensity weight training improves tone more, and high-intensity training improves tone the fastest.  As a test, go poke the traps or quads of an elite weightlifter, if she’ll let you.  They’ll be hard as a rock.  The same muscle of an elite road cyclist at rest will be firm, but not hard.  Then compare the athletes’ muscle tone to that of a sedentary person.  The results will be quite enlightening.  Most exercise programs that claim to improve muscle tone are actually lower-intensity hypertrophy programs and are only moderately effective for improving muscle tone.  If “tone” is the goal, strength is the method.
By the way if you have said something like the two previously mentioned statements don’t feel bad about it.  The governing bodies of the fitness industry have done a poor job of defining fitness and the characteristics of what it is to be fit.  It’s not your fault.  Its mine and every other coach, trainer, and doctor who let you speak the silly jibberish.  If you are really interested in your fitness (and you should be) it starts with properly defining fitness and setting some specific personal goals.  Some places to look for a clear definition of fitness, a good strength coach (obviously not me, I have been dropping the ball on this topic for too long), crossfit.com, or a quality training text like (wait for it) Practical Programming for Strength Training.