What’s toning? ……CRINGE!!!

If you type the two words “Toning Exercises” in to Google you will receive over 1,870,000 responses in less than 0.04 seconds. This makes me cringe I must confess. The word “Toning” has no place in the world of exercise anatomy and physiology. The term “Tone/Toning “in fact means a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength: they were speaking in hushed tones the piano tone appears lacking in warmth a modulation of the voice expressing a particular feeling or mood: a firm tone of voice (Source: The Oxford dictionary)
Yes I do confess the word is creeping into the world of exercise science via Wikipedia and some other dictionaries and many within the exercise industry are now using this term to describe what we once described as an increase in muscle mass and loss of adipose tissue (Fat), and the tension in muscle on contraction. By using these terms we are adding to a further loss of credibility within our area.
The study of exercise and nutrition is in indeed a lifelong study that allows us to better understand the human body and how we respond to certain foods and stimuli we place on our bodies. The sad part of the evolution of the fitness craze now sees a new breed of people who get RPL through courses and or complete a weekend study in some exotic country and emerge as a “Personal Trainer” who then gives bad and misleading and in some cases dangerous information. It does seem that everyone is an expert in this field and as stated before often the information is received via the following sources “I know it is true because it worked for my best friend’s cousin”!! No more do we seek out professional refereed articles and more and more people are not aware of where and how to access “The right Information” (see my article on “The Right Information” http://www.johnhartfitness.com/the-right-information )
The list is endless, low carbohydrate diets, high protein diets, eat all you want and lose weight and the list goes on preying on those who are vulnerable. We live in a society that revolves around the quick fix whether that is in relation to consumerism, immediate gratification, living standards or weight loss and muscle growth. Hence the incredible increase in the use of anabolic steroids which will ultimately destroy the human body. Yet people are willing to in fact risk their own health for the “PERECT BODY IMAGE”
Those who are serious about their area of profession (Exercise, Sport, Health and Wellbeing) need to be careful not to fall into the trap of using unconventional terms so quickly. The Science of anatomy and physiology were first accepted as sciences during ancient Greek times. Hippocrates (c. 460-377BC), who is considered the father of medicine, established medicine as a science, separating it from religion and philosophy.
In Alexandria, Egypt, there are 2 surgeons named Herophilus and Erasistratus. Herophilus who are also known as the Fathers of Anatomy. These two men were involved in the human cadaveric dissections for 30-40 years. After that time, human dissection was prohibited for the next 1800 years. All the terms we use worldwide today all centre on these fathers of anatomy and physiology. Let’s try and keep it to real science and not get side tracked by the snake oil salesmen.

By
John Hart
“Master’s In Education” (Disability) Newcastle University Australia
“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia
“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”
“Cert 4 Personal Training”
“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

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