No one wants to wear sleeveless shirts or dresses when you feel like a small child could swing on your arm jiggle. Get your arms in shape and go from flab to fab by doing these 6 steps
1. Melt the fat over the muscle. How? Bump up your cardio routine to at least 30 minutes four times a week, eat lean protein after your muscle workouts (like grilled chicken or a hard-boiled egg), and make sure you eat 6 healthy meals a day, including lots of fruits, veggies, and fiber. This will keep your metabolism regulated and ensure that you’re never starving, which could lead to making unhealthy meal choices.
2. Build muscle by increasing your dumbbell weight. You won’t see definition in your arms if you never move beyond your 5 pound weights, so you need to up the ante on what you’re lifting. Increase the weight by two pounds each week. Aim for 8 reps your first day, 10 the next, and 12 the last day—then up the weight. Work on your arm muscles three times a week with a rest day in between. Don’t worry about bulking up. Even if you’re using 15 pound dumbbells, your arms will still remain lean.
3. Work the different muscle fibers by hitting them from different angles. For example, do outside biceps curls (elbows in by your sides, hands lift away from you out to the sides, then up to your shoulders), forward curls, hammer curls, preacher curls and cross curls (bring weights across body from left hip to right shoulder). Start with 5 pound weights then work your way up to 15 pounds. Do three sets of 12 reps three times a week. Rest the arms in between days and do cardio on those ‘off’ days.
4. Do French presses. Make your triceps a triple threat with French presses (hands together overhead holding weight, then lower weight behind your head keeping elbows pointing to the ceiling and press back up), kickbacks (lean forward, lift elbows up near your ribcage and move weights from shoulders to hips and back to shoulders), and tricep bench dips (sit on a bench, hands at your sides and lift your butt off the bench, lower down toward the floor until elbows are bent at 90 degrees and lift yourself back up by pressing through the palms). For the French presses, start with 5 pound weights then work your way up to 15. Do three sets of 12 reps three times a week. For kickbacks, stick with 5 pound weights and do 20 reps each time. For dips, work up to 30-50 reps each time.
5. Push that weight off your shoulder. Do overhead presses with weights facing forward and another set with them facing your ears using the same routine as the French presses. Do front and side extensions by keeping arms straight and lifting the 5 pound weight away from your body forward and to the side. Do 20 reps each time. Throw in some planks and yoga style down dogs in your other workout days to continue to define those delts. For down dogs and planks, hold up to 90 seconds each time.
6. Do push-ups. If you can’t get to the gym or you’re traveling, push-ups work all three areas (biceps, triceps, shoulders) and your pecs conveniently. An easy travel workout is 5 sets of 20 push-ups to equal 100. Doing 100 push-ups a few times a week is my best trainer secret, and I do them religiously. Here is a link to my push-up routine.
Tip: If you’re ever unsure of how many reps of each set to do, just go until you can’t do any more. Then rest and move into another muscle group and go back to that move for 3 sets throughout the routine. Working until ‘failure’ is the best way to ensure muscle fatigue and amazing results.