So I was lifting weights with my daughter the other day, when Jackie suddenly remarked, “Mom, you have sexy arms!”
Talk about a showstopper! When I asked her exactly what she meant, Jackie went on to explain:
- From the back, she could see my arm muscles moving
- They looked firm
- They looked shapely
Good enough for me. And what a compliment for this 60-year old grandmother!
Although I prefer to think of them as sculpted, toned, or strong-looking, strengthening my arms wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t a Herculean task, either. So here is my one and only vanity blog this year for all you ladies who crave firmer, more defined arm muscles. If I can do it, so can you!
But first, it’s critical to note that although I love the “sexy arms” designation, what’s important is that my arms and upper body are strong. I can pick up my grandchildren with ease, carry my own groceries, and help my husband with chores around the ol’ avocado ranch.
Before I present the “secret to my success,” just a few disclaimers:
- Unlike many trainers, I haven’t spent a lifetime in the gym. As a matter of fact, I’ve only been working out diligently for about a year and a half. Sometimes I pick up my weights at home, and don’t even step foot in the gym!
- I’m entering my seventh decade of life, so my arms will never look as tidy as those of a 20-year old.
- And finally, I have a family history of obesity, hypertension, cancer, and kidney disease. Because of that, I have watched my weight all my life.
So here it is–how I’ve strengthened and toned my 60-year old arms:
- Upper body strength building, twice a week (no less, and definitely no more)
- This means back, chest, biceps, and triceps
- Use of multiple muscle groups for pushing and pulling
- Then a focus on individual muscles—e.g., biceps, triceps, deltoids (shoulders), etc.
- Increasingly challenging resistance (use of weights that allow for only 12 – 15 reps before reaching failure; that is, heavy weights, and constantly adding more resistance)
- A total of four of these exercises, done twice (interspersed up with lower body moves)
- A caloric intake of 1600 – 1800 calories per day (I know because from time to time, I do keep a food diary)
- Three small meals and two to three protein snacks per day
- Fueling my body before activity (this means breakfast, as I prefer morning exercise)
- Re-building my muscles after activity with a mixture of quickly-absorbed protein and carbohydrates (this is usually one scoop of whey protein powder with 8 oz. cold water)
- Diligently following this pattern as closely as possible, every day, because as we all know—life happens–vacations, holidays, and emotions derail us at every chance!
And that’s it! If you’d like more details, send me an email and I’ll be happy to schedule a consult.