By: Robert Matasich
We all know that reaching your goals takes hard work, commitment, and the right mindset. To add to that you should make sure to take starting measurements so you have something concrete to work towards. Also, follow these five easy tips to help you reach your goals for stronger, toned arms and a defined core.
Tip #1 Exercise your arms at all angles
Don’t do the same old exercises expecting a different result, that’s insanity. Try new exercises and choose exercises that will challenge your muscles from various angles. Here is a sample arm workout using exercises from all different angles:
A1: Close Grip Bench Press, 3×8-10
A2: EZ-Bar Reverse Curl, 3×8-10
B1: DB Hammer Curl, seated w/60degree angle 3×10-12
B2: DB Triceps Extensions, lying flat 3×10-12
C1: Kneeling Zottman Curl, 3×12-15
C2: Overhead Triceps Ext, seated 3×12-15
Tip #2 Train your arms with shorter rest intervals
Because the arms are a smaller muscle group and require less motor unit recruitment they recover faster. For example, you will recover faster between sets of biceps curls than sets of squats. This also forces you to work your arms harder because they are not fully recovered between sets. So if you normally rest 60 seconds between sets of arm exercises, rest only 30 to 45 seconds, and if you rest 2 minutes, rest 1 minute. This will help you save time in the gym.
Tip #3 Use the most “bang for your buck” exercises
Favor exercises that use the most muscle; this means use free weights over machines. So instead of doing Triceps Cable Press-downs do Dips or Close Grip Bench Press to work the triceps, do squats over leg extensions. This is especially important when you have less time to work-out because you get more work done in less time; this tip goes right in line with tip #2.
Tip #4 The fridge is where you will find your “6-pack” of abs
Nutrition is what everybody knows they need to do better. A few cookies here and extra slice of bread there and before you know it your body-fat goes up and your goal of getting tight abs seems farther out of reach. One simple rule to apply if you are struggling is to make sure that your meals consist of only carbs/protein OR fat/protein. Try to minimize the amount of fat/carbs combined in a meal. I did this before a powerlifting meet and dropped 5 pounds in a week. If you need more help with your nutrition come to the Y and talk to our trainers to get you started. Right now we have the upcoming Fast Food Fat Loss 8-week program designed to help you make fat loss happen anywhere!
Tip #5 Do sprint (anerobic) intervals to burn belly fat
The first reason to favor intervals over steady-state cardio (same pace throughout workout) is that it takes less time; no more than 20 minutes is required to produce results! Research shows that a 15-week sprint interval cycling program produced over 5 pounds of fat loss in women, most of the fat lost was in the legs and belly. Sprints improve your hormone response for greater belly fat loss. Growth hormone and adiponectin, both important hormones in fat burning, are released in greater amounts during sprints over steady-state aerobic exercise.
If you are tired of working out and dieting without making improvements then come to the Y and sign up for my 6-week Arms & Abs workout program where I will guide you through these 5 tips. It starts July 9th at 9:00 a.m. and runs every Tuesday /Thursday thereafter from 9:15 to 9:30 a.m., followed by a free 30 minute cycling interval class.