If you’ve already read the first part of this guide on how to tone your arms, you know what causes a lack of arm tone, the different exercise modalities that can fix it, how to do an arm-toning workout, how to integrate cardio with weight lifting, how to eat, and how to measure your progress correctly.
If you missed the first part, make sure you read it before moving onto the more advanced, second part below.
Now if you follow the advice in the first part to the dot, you’ll be way ahead of the curve. However, as always, there are ways to boost results further.
So let’s review some techniques that will allow you to tone your arms faster.
Right before weight lifting
You have two primary goals here: to stimulate your adrenal glands and to prevent your blood sugar from dropping in the middle of your workout.
Stimulating your adrenal glands is easy: just have some caffeine.
I prefer to take caffeine tablets because it’s easier to control the dose, but green tea or coffee can also work.
Now keep in mind that this will be temporary – much different than chronic, unhealthy stimulation from things like stress, for example.
You see, stimulating your adrenal glands will make the “fight or flight” effect work for you – you’ll burn more arm fat, you’ll be more focused, you’ll be able to exercise harder, and you’ll won’t feel as much pain.
Preventing your blood sugar from dropping is a little trickier.
If you eat too little your blood sugar will drop, and if you eat too much your blood sugar will drop.
So you have to hit the bull’s-eye.
To do this, I recommend having a small snack of slow-digesting carbs – no more than two hundred calories – before your arm-toning workout. Some good choices here would be 2 small pieces of whole wheat bread or a large apple.
If you have a meal within one and a half hours of exercise, a snack is not necessary.
Why you shouldn’t have a protein shake
A protein shake with carbs will make your blood sugar go up and then down, usually in the middle of your workout. Liquid calories are not the answer here.
So don’t worry about supplemental shakes before your arm-toning workout.
During your arm-toning workout
Because your workout will be short and intense, you will not benefit from ingesting calories.
The only exception here would be if you are going to run a marathon before or after your workout, but I strongly recommend not doing this.
After your arm-toning workout
This is a rare situation where supplemental food can actually benefit you more than whole food.
Here’s the catch: right after your workout you need calories ASAP, but high body heat blocks hunger.
An effective workaround here is to drink a protein shake with carbs – this is much easier than having a balanced meal as the sweat pours from your forehead.
The good news is that you don’t need anything fancy here – a basic carbohydrate supplement and protein supplement will do. You don’t need to buy the latest and greatest and most expensive supplement – these can actually be worse for you because of all the additives and fillers.
All you need is about forty grams of carbs and ten grams of protein right after you finish your arm workout. This will help with recovery and blood sugar stabilization, while not causing fat gain.
Then, try to eat a balanced meal – according to the guidelines in part one of this guide – within thirty minutes of having the shake.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but it’s true: eating more frequently will help you tone your arms faster. Optimally, you would eat every couple of hours – at this frequency you’ll recover the fastest, you’ll maintain the lowest blood sugar, and you won’t get ravenous from being in a caloric deficit.
But nobody lives in a perfect world.
So do your best to eat more frequent, but smaller meals – and don’t sweat it if you can’t hit the couple hour mark. Three meals per day is better than two, and four is better than three.
You can also gain benefit from having healthy snacks and mini-meals in between your regular meals – no need to view things as black or white here.
There is a period of time when you don’t feel pain: when you sleep.
So it make sense to let your blood sugar drop the most when you won’t feel it. A good way to do this is by reducing the size of your last meal by half.
But you have to be careful here.
If your last meal is not close to bed time your hunger could keep you awake. So position your last meal close to bed time – this will happen automatically if you eat every couple of hours – and reduce its size.
Your blood sugar will drop when you are asleep and you’ll burn more arm fat.
Even better, when you wake up your hunger will drive you to eat a big breakfast which in turn will increase the amount of calories you burn for the remainder of the day.
As you do this over and over again the results will add up.
Manipulating carb intake
Make sure you try the nutrition strategies from part one before doing this – doing too much too soon can backfire on you.
But if you’ve already tried part one, are exercising hard and still not getting results, then this technique could help you.
You see, you can manipulate your carb intake in such a way that your blood sugar drops lower while not putting you into ketosis or lowering your quality of life too much.
The key is to cycle your carb intake – you want to have days of normal carb intake and days of low carb intake.
Here is a sample routine you could implement:
- Monday: weight lifting + normal carb intake
- Tuesday: low carb intake
- Wednesday: weight lifting + normal carb intake
- Thursday: low carb intake
- Friday: weight lifting + normal carb intake
- Saturday: low carb intake
- Sunday: low carb intake
I don’t want to define what a low carb intake is because this number will vary for every woman – some can get by just fine with no carbs, others hate life without carbs. Tolerance to carbs varies.
But a good way to figure out what works for you is to start off by only having carbs in the first two meals of your day. Then, depending on how you feel, you can increase or decrease intake.
And you can always have some “natural” caffeine like green tea or coffee for a modest boost in energy.
So that concludes our guide on how to tone your arms. Make sure you take action here and drop us a line below!
To your arm-toning success!