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Added On November 7, 2011
Fitness Myth: Toning, Shaping and Mass Building Exercises

by Rusi
One of the most popular bodybuilding myths is that there are toning and mass building exercises.

Oh.... boy is this wrong.....

First there is no such as thing as toning. I don't know how it started but usually you will hear people talking: "Let's get muscle tone..bro." Muscle toning is no different than combination of mass gaining and bodyfat reduction. Many trainees believe that ab exercises or isolation triceps work will decrease their gut or "fatceps" when in reality you cannot spot reduce and you cannot change the shape of your muscles with exercise.

Let's be logical here. You can make your muscles bigger but the shape is genetic and so are the attachments and their length. You can't make your muscle longer or shorter. Period. Also doesn't matter what kind of exercises you are doing you will never reduce bodyfat from a specific region. Your body is smart enough to put the accumulation of bodyfat on auto-pilot and it's up to your organism to decide where most of the fat will go. If you are eating tons of junk every day you will have a big gut whether you do 1000000 crunches or not.

"Ok. Bro. But they say that there are mass builders and shaping exercises. That true?"

No. Every exercise is a mass builder. How are you supposed to "shape" your muscles by doing something different than gaining muscle mass in particular area of lagging muscle group. For example many people say that chest flies are not a mass builder and yet they are good for bringing the outer pecs. What this really means is that doing flies places more stress on the outer pecs and you gain muscle mass in that region. You don't change the shape your muscle. You just make it bigger. If that's what you mean by shaping I'm ok with it.

"Ok. Bro. But many famous gurus say that you first have to develop a good "block" of muscle with compound exercise and than shape it with isolation movements? That true?"

Look...dummy. I just told you there are only two options - gaining muscle and losing bodyfat. That's how you "shape" your muscles. I don't care what the self-proclaimed fitness gurus say there is no such thing as shaping exercises. There are exercises that place more stress on a certain portion of a specific muscle group like I've already said but you still have to gain mass. So in my eyes they are still mass building movements.

If you start with a 10kg curl and after 2 years your curl 30 kg or more guess what: "You will have bigger biceps." At the same time if you can do 1 chin-up and after 2 years you can do 10 with 20kg added weight you will also have bigger biceps. Please tell me that you understand it now.
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