21 Jan How Muscle “Toning” Really Works & How Emsculpt Can Help
When people talk about their muscles, they either want to get them “toned” or they want “gains”—even though the latter sounds much more gym-bro like, it’s actually much more correct. However, you don’t need to hit the gym to put those muscles to work because now there’s Emsculpt available at Parson Skin Center. Before we get into the details of why Emsculpt is even better than a gym workout, let’s get back to basics. What exactly are we doing with our muscles, and what are we trying to achieve?
There’s no such thing as “toning” muscles. Muscles can get stronger, and when this happens they get bigger in size. Technically, getting bigger muscles is called hypertrophy. When we stop using our muscles, they weaken or “atrophy.” Sarcopenia is the term for loss of muscle mass due to aging, and it begins when we’re about 30 years old. Fortunately, we can fight sarcopenia and atrophy by regularly challenging, strengthening, and growing our muscles.
What’s Going on Below the Muscle Surface
There’s very little evidence that our muscles get bigger via an increase in the number of muscle fibers. In the past, we have learned that muscles get bigger through an increase in the cylindrical total volume of several muscle fibers. We can encourage individual muscle fibers to get bigger by exposing them to “mechanical loading.” In other words, when we “load” our muscles with resistance or weights, they respond by getting larger to continue handling that kind of challenge in the future.
However, a number of studies have found that this isn’t the only factor when it comes to muscular growth. There are other factors at play including muscle damage. It’s actually the “damage” of the muscles that occurs with mechanical loading that encourages the muscles to get bigger. Your muscles aren’t going to magically get bigger and stronger when they’re faced with a challenge. If that were the case, you wouldn’t get sore after a good workout and you’d be able to keep increasing the weights you lift without any problems or rest in between.
Good Damage to Muscle
When our muscles are faced with a challenging amount of weight to bear, they contract in order to protect themselves (and you!). Just the right amount of mechanical loading means muscles contract over several reps. These contractions cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers. This kind of damage is a good thing because it’s what will lead to bigger muscles. As the muscles repair themselves after a workout, they get stronger and (in time) bigger.
This is why rest is so important. If you don’t give your muscles time to rest after they’ve been micro-damaged, they won’t have any time to heal—and healing or “rest days” is where the actual muscle growth takes place. This is also why it’s so important to achieve just the right amount of mechanical loading, which leads to just the right amount of contractions. If the load is too light, you won’t achieve supramaximal contractions, which is key for growth. If the load is too heavy, you risk seriously tearing muscles. A severe tear does not cause growth, and can lead to atrophy if it’s severe enough.
This is Where Emsculpt Steps In
The most common way to achieve perfect, supramaximal contractions and muscle growth for years was through mechanical loading—until now. Ultimately, your muscles don’t know what exactly is causing them to achieve supramaximal contractions (and they don’t particularly care). Emsculpt is a non-invasive technology that forces key muscles, including the glutes, abs, upper arm muscles, and thigh muscles into 20,000 supramaximal contractions in just 30 minutes. It’s identical to performing 20,000 lunges, curls, or crunches.
These Emsculpt-caused contractions lead to ideal micro-tears in the muscle fibers and finally to muscle growth. It’s all gain, no pain with a system designed for safely achieving fast, incredible results. Achieving the equivalent of 20,000 reps in just 30 minutes frees up your time to focus on other important parts of your life, whether it’s more cardio or more time spent with loved ones. Learn more about Emsculpt and schedule your consultation or appointment today with Parson Skin Center by calling (480) 282-8386.