There is a lot of evidence coming to light that as long as the weight lifted is repeated to VMA or more, adaptations will be simiar across rep ranges. Granted that hypertrophy still is more pronounced in the 8 to 12 rep range. But set backs and injuries are also more prevalent in the lower rep range VMAs. If hypertrophy is the main motivator (not that I would recommend such a narrow focus), then the 8 – 12 rep range to VMA will work well.
A more adaptive resistance program would be my advie.
Tone is not a word for this site. It is used by magazines and people who do not understand the fitness industry or body mechanics.
If you mean “tone” in the way it is used with “more reps, less weight” then yes. Shooting for higher reps creates more muscle breakdown and causes them to repair in a more ascetically pleasing manner.
As we all know, high reps, low resistance builds endurance in the muscle, high weight, lower reps, builds on strength or hypertrophy, and short high intense bursts build power. This theory uses specificity as a program model. You look at what you are looking to accomplish and program accordingly. Muscle tonus or tone is residual muscle contraction. So that in effect a disused muscle has low contractability or contractile proteins, myocin and actin. A more useful muscle has more contractile protein, and therefore more muscle resting tension ot tone. The more demand you put on the muscle the greater the residual tonus, see body builders.
Most clients want to tone up, which means they want to lean out. Very rarely they will say that want muscular endurance or they want hypertrophy in their muscle. In reality, it is all about diet! If they already have the muscle mass, then looking at their food intake and cardiorespiratory exercise will be the next section to investigate. When toning up or leaning out, muscle mass is going to be lost, so one thing that you have to let clients know who want to keep as much muscle as possible, when you tone up or lean out, muscle loss will occur (counteract with resistance training) and food intake & aerobic activity will be monitored on a regular basis. Doing high repetitions throughout the your activity will create some sort of an aerobic affect, and doing a certain duration will help in achieving the overall goal, but it is not the cure all solution to toning or leaning out.