One of my worst exercise nightmares is a lady approaching me at the gym and getting right in my face while uttering, “What do I do about my chicken wing arms?”
Then she shows me.
This nightmare usually goes one of four ways:
1. With me giving an explanation that the body doesn’t pick and chose where to burn fat from
2. With me showing her every triceps exercise imaginable
3. With me smiling politely and wishing the conversation would end
4. Telling her I like my wings deep fried and smothered in BBQ sauce
Number 4 usually doesn’t go over to well.
The way your arms look is a big deal, particularly when you want to wear your favorite sleeveless shirt or dress. However, if you’re thinking of showing your arms to anybody while seeking advice, please don’t. In my experience it’s awkward and slightly embarrassing.
Instead do these exercises below in the comfort of your own home to get rocking arms that you’ll be happy to show off when the weather starts getting warmer. Do this routine now, and the next thing you know, people will asking you for arm advice.
Pick one exercise from each section and perform as a circuit, completing two -three rounds. Rest as little as possible between each exercise. Do this at the end of your usual workout or on your off days to get some extra volume in.
Either way, get after it and have some fun.
Using a light resistance band/dumbbells (have a stop watch handy), do as many curls as you can in 30 seconds. Make sure you glue your arms to your side and curl the handle/dumbbell to the top of your shoulders. Keep track of your repetitions and try to beat it next time around.
Isometric biceps curl– Using a resistance band or dumbbells, curl one arm to a 90 degree angle and hold. On the other hand do 15 biceps curls as described above. Then switch hands and repeat the sequence on the other hand.
Doing either of the above variations with palms facing towards each other to emphasize the lateral forearm and for a change of pace.
A solid incline base like a kitchen bench or chair arm rest works best. Place hands shoulder width apart and get into a solid push up position. Lower yourself down slowly until you feel your upper arms by your side and push back up explosively. Do anywhere between eight-twelve reps depending on your strength level.
Standing on a light resistance band with both feet and holding one handle, bring your bent arm to your ear. Extend elbow overhead, keeping your elbow close to your head and concentrating on the lockout. Do 12- 15 reps on both arms. A dumbbell can be substituted for this movement, too.
Lying two way triceps extension
Lie face up on the floor, holding one dumbbell facing towards and above your head. Lower the dumbbell down to your ear and extend. Then with the dumbbell facing away from you lower the dumbbell to your opposite shoulder and then extend. That’s one rep. Do eight-twelve reps on both arms.
Get in a strong push up position with your wrists underneath the shoulders. Then take one hand of the ground and tap the front of your opposite shoulder and return to the start. Then do the other side. Keep alternating sides for 30- 60 seconds.
Hinge your hips back and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the ground. Your back should be straight from head to butt and you should feel tension in the hamstrings.
With arms hanging down and thumbs point forward, raise your arms until they’re by your head and return to the start. Then raise your arms into Y and return to the start. Last but not least raise your arms until they form a T. That’s one rep. Do anywhere between five- eight reps.
Single arm in and outs (resistance band or dumbbell)
Standing tall holding the weight in one hand do a front shoulder raise. Return to the start and then do a lateral raise, going not further than shoulder height with both raises. That’s one rep. Do anywhere from six- eight reps on each arm.
Do this routine two or three times a week for best results. With a little hard work, dedication, persistence and sweat, better looking arms will be within your reach. You may end up needing a license for those guns.
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With springtime creeping up, you’d prefer to spend more time enjoying life rather than slogging away for hours in a gym. However, you still want to look good and get results from your exercise. This is when high intensity interval training comes to your rescue.
HIIT is repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals interspersed with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. Yes, it’s hard work, but that 15-20 min of intense exercise will turn you into a lean, mean calorie burning machine.
Other benefits of HIIT include
- You don’t need gym equipment
- You’ll be burning calories after exercise because of EPOC
- You can do this anywhere and anytime
So go ahead and eat that sundae with chocolate sprinkles. You can burn it off later with a little help from HIIT.
1. Total body tri-set
Warm up for three minutes and do this total body tri-set to pump up those arms and legs.
Rest when need between exercises and one minute after each circuit. Do three-five circuits.
Warm up for three minutes and then use the tabata protocol (20 sec work/10 sec rest for six- eight rounds) with the following bodyweight exercises.
Usually one will do you but by all means, you can stack them. Make sure to rest 3 min between tabata rounds.
3. Circuit training
Do the following five exercises as a circuit (doing one exercise after another), completing two-four rounds for a sweat-inducing good time.
1B. Front plank
1C. Speed squats
1D. Towel rows (alternate legs)
Use these HITT work/rest intervals for the circuit above.
20 sec work/40 sec rest (Beginner)
30 sec work/30 sec rest (Intermediate)
40 sec work/ 20 sec rest (Advanced)
4. Walk/sprint combo
Find yourself some open space and get your Usain Bolt on.
Walk for three minutes and then sprint for 15 seconds (100 % effort) followed by a 15 second walk. Repeat for five work/rest intervals and then cool down with a three minute walk.
Keeping your cardio short and sweet leaves you more time to enjoy the finer things in life, like ice cream with sprinkles.
I love birthdays. Some people hide from their birthdays, but not me. I’m a pig in mud when it’s my birthday and everyone around me KNOWS it’s my day.
Besides, birthdays mean cake. Mmmm, cake.
I’ve managed to roam the earth for 47 years now and for most of that time, the gym has kept me on the straight and narrow. If it wasn’t for the gym, I wouldn’t have a career, attention from the opposite sex or biceps.
Here are 25 (because I wish I was 25) of my random observations of gym, life, love and Chuck Norris.
Blowing out 47 candles is hard work. Growing old isn’t for sissies.
- Exercise is something we get to do. That guy in the wheel chair would love to do squats.
- You will walk out the gym a more disciplined human being.
- Lifting weights lifts your mood. In a shitty mood? Go to the gym and workout.
- The gym is a place to de-stress, throw some weight, and get better every day. It’s a great place to improve the mind, body, and soul.
- If you’re training just to look good, you’re missing the point. Find one deeper reason to keep the fires stoked.
- There are three areas where you cannot be strong enough: Core, upper back, and grip. Often, one of these three areas will be your limiting factor. Carrying around some heavy weight fixes this.
- When it comes to fitness, many different paths will take you to the same destination. Choose the fun path.
- Is it normal for a 47-year-old man to be obsessed with Chuck Norris?
- Coffee is the best pre-workout boost around and I never leave home without it.
- If you want to get strong, master the deadlift. I love to deadlift.
- If you want to get bigger and stronger, master the squat. It’s the best cure for chicken legs ever invented.
- When you’re at the gym, you’re surrounded by like-minded people whose focus is to get better. It can’t help but rub off on you.
- It’s much easier to be kind rather than nasty.
- Take advantage of the good days and grind through the bad ones.
- Treat every repetition in the gym like your one rep max. You’ll get hurt far less and stay stronger, longer.
- Exercising through pain is never a good idea. Please get it checked out pronto.
- In the world of fitness, if sounds too good to be true, it’s usually bullshit.
- Make exercise fit into your schedule.
- Personal training is one of the best jobs in the world because trainers get to wear tracksuit pants.
- Most of your training should be spent squatting, pressing, pulling, hinging and carrying something heavy. There are endless variations and sets and reps schemes that should keep things interesting for the rest of your training career.
- The gym is a place that can transform you into a bigger, stronger and healthier version of yourself. What other place does all this?
- Walking is a fantastic recovery tool and a great way to de-stress after a long day.
- A smile can change your mood instantly. Come on, show those pearly whites
- Exercise doesn’t stop once you leave the gym. The world is your playground.
- Move, smile and be kind every day and good things will happen. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
Congratulations, you made it the end.
If you haven’t exercised today, what are you waiting for? And while you’re at it, bring me some cake.