Toned Arms – The Fastest Way To Get Them
Toned arms are an aesthetic feature desired by many, but few people truly understand how to go about achieving that desired look. First off, what are “toned” arms? Well, the definition isn’t quite well defined. When most people are asked what they mean by “toned arms” they usually say something along the lines of “not too big, not bulky, but they look like you workout – like you’re athletic”.
To me, as a fitness professional, what I hear when someone tells me that they want “toned arms” (or toned anything for that matter) is they want to lose body fat, and gain a little bit of muscle. For some it may just be a matter of losing body fat and maintaining the muscle mass they currently have, but either way, it’s all about not having too much muscle or too much fat.
So what are the sure fire things you can do to achieve a lean, sexy, and “toned” set of arms that look great in a tank top or t-shirt? Well, wonder no more – we’re covering all of it today in this blog post.
1.) Toned arms are made in your kitchen
You can’t outrun a doughnut – or simply put, you can’t out work a poor diet. If you want toned and lean arms, as well as a lean physique over all, you must manage what goes into your body. This means centring your nutrition around clean, real, whole foods. Follow the simple steps of eating when you’re hungry, stopping right before you get full. Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruit, nuts/seeds, and clean fresh proteins and meats. Avoid processed junk, snacks, refined sugars, and fast food. Cook at home, pack meals for work and on the road. Eat this way 80%-90% of the time and enjoy a few fun meals here and there. In time, you’ll feel great and be well on the way to leaner physique and the toned arms you want.
2.) Train with a focus on large compound movements
Believe it or not, your arms will look great without ever focusing on isolating them in the gym. That’s right, you don’t actually have to do endless sets of dumbbell curls or triceps extensions to actually achieve a lean and toned pair of arms. Classic exercises like the chin up, pull up, dips, push ups, bench press, over head press, bodyweight rows/suspension trainer rows, and more will not only help grow your arms, but the larger muscle groups of the back, shoulders, chest, and core.
When we train large compound movements such as the ones mentioned above, we burn more over all calories during our workouts – when compared to isolating small muscles. This will help play into getting leaner, along with your clean diet.
Also, in day to day movements and athletics, the arms are only really assisting the larger muscle groups to create movement. When we push something, we push using our legs, core, and chest – and the arms come along for the ride and provide assistance. When we pull something, we use our legs, core, lats (and other back muscles) – and the arms provide assistance. We almost never do daily movements, that require any real strength, with our arms alone. So by training the arms through large compound movements, they’re actually being trained in a manner that respects how they’re designed to be used – as secondary muscle groups. This method of training will also allow the body to gain muscle, or maintain muscle, in a much more balanced and proportioned way. After all – you’re training everything together, with an emphasis on the larger muscle groups. Everything will grow together in a balanced way – meaning not too much muscle in any one area.
Try basing your upper body training around large pushing and pulling movements, such as the ones listed above. Keep things within the 8-10 rep range, for 3-4 sets, with around 30 sec – 1 min of rest between sets. Don’t train to absolute failure, make sure you have enough gas in the tank to at least perform 1-2 more reps each set if you had to.
3.) Isolate muscles as needed
Of course there’s always time for isolating muscles. While isolating your arms isn’t essential to having a nice set of toned arms, it can help. You may find that you’re lacking definition in your triceps, or maybe your biceps aren’t growing the way you would like – if that’s the case, add in some isolation exercises at the end of your workouts. This means, do your whole upper body workout, with the focus on larger muscle groups, and then finish off by blasting your arms at the end with isolation based exercises. Pick 1-2 isolation exercises that target the muscle and hit it for 12-15 reps, for 3-4 sets. Don’t be a hero with the weight, the goal is to get a solid pump in the muscle and to control the weight the entire time with absolutely stellar form. This is a sure fire way to help those muscles that are lagging behind catch up the rest.
So there you have it, a few simple ways you can help yourself gain a set of lean and toned arms, that will look great in a tank top or t-shirt. If you have questions, if you need help, if you don’t know what to do, where to start, or need someone to help you along the way. Any one of our great Wynn Fitness Trainers can help you achieve your goals, answer your questions, and guide you along the way to becoming the best you possible.