I’ve heard clients say it, friends ask me, and even myself at one point have asked, how do I get toned arms? The names Kelly Ripa and Michelle Obama have been mentioned once or two hundred times. I guess one of my pet peeves is the misconception women’s fitness magazines make. They post an article stating things like “5 Exercises for Sculpted Arms,” but then they show a skinny girl lifting only 3-5 pound weights. In my opinion, the only reason anyone should be using 3-5 pound weights is
a) You are a child.
b) You have a recent injury.
c) You are very frail either due to age or some other circumstance.
So that leaves most of us over the age of 15 or so banned from the use of 3-5lb weights.
Ladies, men have already figured it out, why can’t we? If you want toned and sculpted arms, you need to lift heavy! Not too heavy where you can barely lift it at all, but that by the last 2 or 3 reps of a set of 12, you’re really struggling to lift the weight.
Now you never want to compromise form for any exercise. I always tell my clients that I put them at a weight I think they can lift 12 times but it doesn’t have to be in a row. Sometimes when I’m lifting heavy and I get to about 8 or 9 and I feel my form lacking, I stop, take a deep breath, roll my shoulders back and continue.
A good rule of thumb – if you think you can do more than 12 in a row, up the weight.
I recommend men and women to do 3 sets of 12 for each exercise. You can do 1 set and take a minute break then do the next, or you can do what’s called super-setting.
Super-setting – Performing back-to-back exercises of opposing muscle groups with minimum rest in between. For example, you could do 1 set of bicep curls followed by 1 set of tricep extensions and repeat 3xs. This will guarantee you worked those two muscle groups well and by super-setting you save time, which is something we all love.
So ladies, get rid of those 3-5 lb weights and start lifting those 12, 15, 20 lb dumbbells. You’ll feel strong and look cut.