The Arms Race
There is an arms race going on and you should consider jumping in. Summer officially kicks of on June 22nd and with it comes short sleeve weather. Golf shirts in the office, t-shirts on the weekends and, thanks to FLOTUS Michelle Obama, we know that the ladies too are concerned with muscle tone these days. How are your guns faring after a period of hibernation? Do you need a minor tune-up or a major overhaul? No worries. There are simple routines to get you back in shape and you don’t need an expensive gym membership to accomplish it either.
As a society, we tend to show more flesh in the warm weather months and that brings attention (either welcomed or not) to areas of the body that are normally covered; most notably legs and arms. Today it’s all about the “guns” baby and, specifically, how to look your best when exposing them. Are your arms swimming in your shirts? Or showing a little more flab than you want? Don’t fret. Grab some ammunition Hominids and Man Up because the gun show is open for business!
Sporting big muscles sends a message to the world that you are fit and strong. It really is less about this:
And more about self-confidence and pulling off the look you want (though I’ve loved this old Atlas ad since I was a boy!). Building arm mass is not as daunting a task as you think and can make a dramatic difference in your look without killing yourself in the gym. Your arms are comprised of two small muscle groups; biceps and triceps. Because these muscle groups are small, it only takes a small amount of stimulation to get them going.
It is important to work both sets of muscles to get the optimum effect. Strong triceps provide the necessary support for strong biceps. Dedicate two days a week (one for biceps and one for triceps) 30 minutes each day utilizing four different exercises for each muscle group. You don’t need much more than that and, in fact, you run the risk of over-working your muscles and that can be counter productive. Why? Your muscles require rest and protein to build. They do their growing and developing during the rest/recovery stage. So don’t kill yourself because it just is not necessary.
The general rule of thumb with regard to these muscle groups is “push” and “pull”. Any exercise using your arms that requires you to pull is working the biceps. Any exercise using your arms that requires you to push is working the triceps. Therefore, working other muscle groups like chest (push) and back (pull) can help you accomplish your arm goals. Use proper form when working with weights. Lift as much weight as you can for maximum effectiveness. If you are curling dumbbells with 20 reps a set, then you don’t have enough weight. You want to experience muscle fatigue on your 8th or 10th repetition.
Try these simple biceps routines:
Standing Barbell Curl
Standing Dumbbell Curl
Single Arm Dumbbell Row
Seated Hammer Curl
On a separate day try these triceps exercises:
As you see, these exercises can be done in the privacy of your own home with just a few simple pieces of equipment. Do these exercises and others that you are comfortable with just twice per week, 30 minutes per workout and you will see noticeable results in a few weeks. Don’t eat too many calories and get a good amount of protein in your diet. You’ll impress the fellas on the golf course in no time!