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MUSCLE TONING: THE NEW TREND IN FITNESS REGIMENS In the present day, people are becoming increasingly more health conscious and a large chunk of the population enrol themselves to gyms or make their own workout regimens, the latter of which turns out to be more economical. But in the midst of all this, the one crossroads which keeps people guessing is that on the decision between adding muscle, and maintaining the given muscle. The trend today though has started to tip in the favour of muscle toning exercises and the crowd favourite “cardio� workouts. Muscle toning, as opposed to what people conventionally make of the term, is not only involving strengthening of the muscle, but also to improve the working capacity of them, and involves minimal addition in the muscle bulk per se. And these muscle toning workouts can be mixed with or interspersed with the regular workout regimen that people commonly follow in their gym sessions. And another common misconception is that muscle toning is all about resistance workout sets, and pushing heavier weights on the bench press equals better results in lesser time. This however is not the case. Muscle toning does involve a degree of resistance training like almost all exercise regimens, but overdoing it will lead to nothing more than a over exhausted, and more often than not, excessively cramped up body. Given this situation, most people wonder: how to strike the right chord? The answer can be concluded from, after one gets to know one’s body, what their aim is. The first level of dichotomy arises with the physiological difference that exists between the male and the female body, which makes it necessary for one to have separate training regimens for men and women. Muscle toning exercises for women mainly concentrate around the fact that womenchoose figure rather than bulk, and therefore involves more of stretching and endurance routines admixed with more rounds of fat burning exercises to burn the excess flab; whereas the toning exercises for men involve predominant resistance training sets to not only augment the muscle bulk, but to improve the overall productivity of the activity. The one thing that most people forget about muscle toning regimens are warm ups and cool downs. Both of these are essential components to the whole regimen and therefore require a thorough understanding of the importance of these auxiliary processes. Without a proper warm up, the muscles and the circulatory system will be unprepared to face the onslaught of the muscle toning workout regimen that follows; and without a proper cool down, the accumulated metabolites in the muscles will not be cleared and thus two hours of muscle toning exercises could end up having a week long lay-off from the gym. Therefore, when people opt for muscle toning workouts, they should be in full cognisance of the regimen that they are to follow, and therefore have a well-planned schedule of what people should do when they are to comply with the entire scheme of things.