With all the pseudoscience out there, figuring out how to get toned arms can be a challenge.
You may find yourself sifting through advice from “gym bunnies”, infomercials, magazines, websites, and fly-by-night experts. How do you decide what information to act upon?
Even more challenging, how do you deal with the setback of acting upon faulty information that has put a deep dent in your slim arm goal?
Well, here are some common myths on how to get slim arms that you need to avoid:
1. It’s all about calories burned during exercise. Women who use this as the main metric for their workouts will spend exorbitant amounts of time pounding away on a treadmill and/or lifting weights. The problem with focusing so much on calories burned is that you leave out the most important part of the equation: hormones. You see, hormones aren’t restricted by the calories in vs. calories out model.
In fact, one study showed that men who sat on a couch all day could actually gain muscle and burn fat when given testosterone. Now I’m not saying you should start artificially manipulating your hormones—but you get my point.
Even worse, if you try to burn too many calories during your workouts, you could decrease the amount of arm-fat-burning hormones in your body.
Bottom line: focus on how your workout will affect hormones in your body, don’t obsess over calories burned. And for best results keep your workouts short (no more than 1 hour) and very intense.
2. It’s all about the percentage of fat burned during exercise. Again, your main focus should be hormones. You see, in order to burn the highest percentage of fat calories during exercise, you would have to do very low intensity exercise for very long periods of time—the perfect recipe for hormonal disaster.
3. Two short workouts are as good as one long one. While this may be true in terms of health benefits, if you want to maximize arm toning, stick with one intense workout and stay away from exercise “splits.” The main problem with working out multiple times per day is that it places a higher demand on your sympathetic nervous system—the system responsible for stress responses.
You will feel better (and burn more fat) by having no more than one intense workout per day and letting your body fully recover.
4. Exercising right before bed burns more calories. A bunch of magazines have begun to promote this concept. Exercising earlier in the day, however, will allow you to burn more calories for the remainder of the day and will shuffle a higher percentage of what you eat towards active tissues—thus starving your fat cells.
Even worse, a pre-bed workout can increase nighttime micro-awakenings leaving you dead tired in the morning and increasing levels of “hunger” hormones.
There is a lot of chatter out there on how to get sculpted arms. And at times it can be really difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. So make sure you pay attention to the above myths so that you don’t become a misinformation victim!