Friday, July 1, 2022

What is muscle ?

What is muscle ?
When I was younger, I’d never really thought about what the ‘stuff’ between my skin and my bones was made of. I understood that muscles were what bodybuilders had, and fat was something that made you fat, and that I had some of each. I think, though, that I believed that they existed inside some kind of other substance that filled the space between my skin and my bones. Then, in secondary school, I learned that, in a healthy person, most of this magical substance was just muscle. In fact, I learned that, aside from my body’s networks of organs, blood vessels and nerves, and my skeleton there isn’t really much under my skin except for muscle and fat.

I learned that muscles were an incredible network of fibres that allowed me to move my limbs, to stay sitting or standing upright, to talk, breathe, and pretty much to translate any thought I had into action of some kind. I learned that if I didn’t use them, muscles would shrink and weaken, and if I did, they’d grow stronger. And I learned that as my muscles grew stronger, so did I.

All of this was quite a revelation for me at the time, so I can understand the initial confusion that exists amongst so many of my clients – why they want to tone without building muscles. The truth though, is that muscle is the only thing under their skin that can be toned, and that ‘toning’ often simply means that muscles become slightly more visible (which then makes the whole body look smoother and firmer). So without enough muscle to start with, there’s nothing there that can be toned.

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