My bangs say I’m sorry

Lainey Posted by Lainey at November 8, 2011 22:00:52 November 8, 2011 22:00:52

Say what you will about Jennifer Aniston but she has a rockin body…it’s not even her abs or legs I yearn for but her arms. I think she achieves that toned yet feminine target without bleeding in Cameron/MDNA territory. Any tips for those of us who want to tone without achieving too much muscle definition. Is it about repetition of sets versus increasing weights?

There is a fine balance between having nicely toned arms and then looking like Cameron Diaz. Her arms just don’t match up with the rest of her toned and petite figure, do they?

The first thing you need to consider when trying to tone your body is reducing the amount of adipose tissue (another term for fat but I think adipose tissue sounds so much nicer) that you have on your body.  We all have muscle under there somewhere but sometimes we just cannot see it.  One common complaint I hear from women is that when they workout they get bigger rather than smaller.  This is because they are adding muscle to their bodies, which is a good thing, but they are not reducing their body fat composition.  Cutting out unnecessary sugars, late night binging, reducing simple carbohydrate intake, increasing protein, getting lots of sleep and increasing cardio are all ways to help reduce your adipose tissue.

The term tone, which people use to refer to the definition of their muscles and how great they look in a racer back tank top, actually is a physiological term that means the conscious and passive contraction of your muscle and the more muscle fibres in your muscles that are being recruited, the more tone your muscles will have. Have you ever had to wear a cast for an extended period of time and when you remove the cast your muscle has vanished and your limb seems almost limp? This is what happens when our muscles lose their tone. To create tone in your muscles you need to teach the brain to recruit as much of the muscle as possible (muscular adaptation) and this is done by lifting light weights multiple times.  Ideally you want to choose a weight that by 20 repetitions your exertion rating is an 8 or 9 out of 10.  So, if you hit 20 repetitions but feel like you could do 20 more you might want to pick a heavier weight the next time.  To add size to your arms you want to then do fewer repetitions but lift a heavier weight where you are fatiguing between 8 and 12 repetitions. Do 2-3 sets when trying to improve your tone and do 3-5 sets of heavier weights to build size.

Another trick is choosing cardio that will also target your arms, such as swimming, rowing, kayaking and skipping rope. And try this arm circuit that was posted earlier in the month.


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