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toned arms : a how to & advice

Monday, July 18, 2016

weight lifting

Genuinely, I have a lot to say about weight lifting. I started when I was 16, under my Dad’s supervision he taught me the importance of strength. He has taught me a lot of incredible, invaluable mantras but the exercise discipline he insisted on is the one I am absolutely most grateful for. Not enough women prioritize strength and we all should. Before I go on, let me debunk the biggest myth: weight training will not bulk you. We don’t have sufficient testosterone for muscles like The Rock, so remove that silly notion from your head, immediately. Lifting will in fact give you the most beautiful, slim arms with hints of shadows that show your strength. And all you need is a set of free weights and a floor, and so after much demand, I put together this post showcasing the four, shockingly simple exercises I do twice weekly. Now, I should disclaim here, I also use a rota of machines at the gym but these are my solid essential arm exercises. I hope you start doing them. I hope you decide to honour the strength we as women all have. I hope you make it your mantra to be strong rather than skinny. I hope you decide to start being a badass and lift some weights.

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the ease of free weights at home

The freeweights I use are 10 Kilograms each, they are rubber coated so as to not damage my floors and retail for 25 euros from Amazon. Now, if you are a beginner, I’d opt for something far lighter, invest in a set with adjustable discs so you can add as you get stronger and more comfortable in the exercises. The beauty of buying free weights is you can fit in an entire arm workout before a dinner party or as soon as you wake up in the morning or you can do sets between household chores. I’ve photographed myself doing each exercise here with the exception of push ups, I think we all learnt the pain of those in gym class at school. I will do 3 sets of each exercise, usually around 25 reps with the same 10 kilogram weight across all exercises. As for the push-ups, do as many as you can in 3 sets. I usually can knock out 25 -30 in a row. And avoid the ‘female’ version, those are useless and an insult to our sex. I’ve said this once, twice, a hundred times but ultimately for results, it’s about consistency. Aim for 2 arm workouts a week, each around 20 minutes but do it every single week. I promise, with time and discipline,  you will see a difference in the shape of your arms, they will be more defined, more graceful and you won’t struggle lugging your groceries home anymore.

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other reasons to start lifting

As working women we don’t utilize our arm muscles in the way they were built to be used. We aren’t harvesting crops or hauling water to the house like back in the days. But we still need to be using these muscles, hence why lifting is important. No matter how thin you are, gravity is an undeniable force and lazy muscles will sag. I think we all as women fear arms like wings. Weight lifting essentially 100% prevents sagging. However, I don’t advise aesthetic motivation ; physical strength increases mental strength which as a consequence, builds confidence and that is the most incredible reason to lift. As a practice mostly male dominated, it always makes me happy to see a fellow women picking up a set of weights in the gym. Also, increased muscle mass speeds up the metabolism, which means even sitting down you’ll be burning more calories, which is a great excuse to eat more food. And you’ll look wonderful in anything strappy or strapless.

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some gym apparel advice & an apology

This post is in collaboration with Primark – my absolute favourite brand for gymwear. All my work out clothes are by the brand. It’s comfortable, affordable and washes well – I sweat a lot at the gym so I need sportswear that can sustain a great deal of washes without turning threadbare. Now you’d think given the cheap price tag, Primark gymwear wouldn’t last but all of mine really has. I don’t believe in fancy gym clothes, my supplements and gym membership are already cripplingly expensive. The hat, mirrored aviators & dappled navy co-ord are all by Primark & available in stores worldwide now. Also, usually I don’t condone makeup for work outs, but beneath my thick coat of matte lipstick is a nasty cold sore I didn’t want you ladies to have to see, so I’m sorry.


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