I have coached, trained and/or advised over 500 women about their fitness challenges. The questions women ask me have a common theme, and they are often about physique improvement. I have been sharing my answers to the most asked questions on my Instagram and Facebook page.
Because so many people requested this information, and many busy women may have missed it on social media, I am sharing it here.
Attractive arms and shoulders, are the result of a consistent training and nutrition plan. Many women bust it up in the gym, but they are disappointed when they don’t see results. This may be from ineffective exercise choices, an ineffective diet, or both.
Strong muscles are the foundation of a toned look. But strong muscles with fat over them will look bulky.
Now, I know your have heard me say repeatedly, that lifting weight will not make us bulky. That is still true.
Remember building very large muscles, as a woman is extremely difficult, without performance enhancing drugs. We can thank our hormones! Because as women, we do not make enough testosterone to yield huge muscle growth.
Ok, so what IS the bulk from?
The “bulk” is excess body fat. A bulky look on a woman, is a woman with some muscle and too much body fat.
To get ‘the look’, the one where it looks like we actually work out, we need muscle without much fat.
How do we get that?
We get it with consistent lifting, and diet habits that don’t add fat to our frame.
This does not mean we have to go to the gym for hours every day, (True fact: my workouts are never more that 40 minutes) but we do have to train consistently.
We only need two key components. First we need to check our diet habits:
- Are they in alignment with our goals?
- Are we eating enough to fuel our workouts and yet not so much that we are storing unused energy as fat.
Next, we effective training to strengthen our muscles:
- A highly effective approach is to use compound exercises.
- Compound exercises utilize multiple muscle groups.
- This allows us to get more muscles involved for the time spent, a greater calorie burn, and more overall benefits.
- Add variety in your workouts by changing up the number of sets and reps and length of the rest periods.
Check out this video for visuals.
For even more information, and a PDF with more information on how to get those arms, subscribe to the Grateful Fitness Newsletter . PS- the newsletter is all about solutions to struggles women in their 40’s and 50’s.
Next week on this Grateful Bytes blog, the topic is how to #WhittleYourMiddle, because trim tummies are another area spot women inquire about often.
Ps -if you are not yet in your 40’s yet, but working on your strength and nutrition habits now, you will hold onto your toned physique more easily later on.
It is never too early or too late to invest in your self.