If you want to tone arms really fast, intensity is the name of the game. Especially if you’ve been doing arm workouts for more than a month. The human body adapts to exercise very quickly. A lot quicker than most women realize.
And if you’re not sprinkling your workouts with intensity-enhancing techniques, your results will plateau before you can even realize what’s going on. The key here is to preempt your body’s adaptive response.
Thus, today I will reveal 4 ways to increase the intensity of your workouts so that you can tone arms faster than ever before.
1. Negatives. When you do a biceps curl, the raising of the weight is the positive portion of the movement. And the lowering of the weight is the negative. In more technical terms, the positive is when the muscle contracts and shortens. The negative is when the muscle lengthens. When you do a curl and raise the weight (positive), for instance, your biceps form a bulge because the muscle is contracting and shortening. How do you do negatives? The easiest way is to have someone help you lift the weight through the positive portion of the movement and then you should slowly let the weight go through the negative portion of the movement. If you have never done these before, they will feel awkward. But negatives are very effective. There is a catch, however. You should use negatives sparingly as they cause A LOT of muscle damage. If you do them every single workout for many exercises, you may not be able to fully recover.
2. Drop-sets. These are very useful for targeting all the muscle fibers in your arms and for depleting all the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in your arms. Now drop-sets aren’t easy, they are really hard. But if you want fast results, you have to work out hard. No excuses! I’m sorry, but you can’t tone your arms if you are not breaking a sweat. Anybody that tells you otherwise either wants to lighten your purse or has no idea what they’re talking about. So what is a drop-set? It’s a combination of 3 sets for the same exercise wrapped into one with no rest in between. The first set is done with heavy weight, the second with medium weight and the third with light weight. Each subsequent set targets a slightly different range of muscle fibers. Now it’s very hard for me to give specific numbers here because each woman is at a different level, but by the time you reach the third (light) set, you should not be able to do more than 15 repetitions.
3. Forced repetitions. A simple tool, yet brutally effective. Again, these are not easy and require a lot of will power. To do forced reps, you will need help from a workout partner or someone else in the gym. The concept is simple. Once your arm muscle has reached exhaustion during an exercise, you have your partner help you move the weight for a couple more “forced” repetitions. Basically, this technique allows you to go above and beyond what you would be able to do alone. The end result? No adaptation and accelerated results. The key here is to make sure your form and technique does NOT deviate since your muscles are in an exhausted state. Let me repeat that, do NOT let your form or technique deviate when doing forced reps.
4. The 5/5 Tempo. The 5/5 refers to the positive and negative portion of an exercise. The positive portion should last 5 seconds, and the negative 5 seconds. In other words, you are doing an exercise in slow motion. This technique creates a very distinct “burn” in the muscle that causes grown men to cry for mommy. But I’m sure you can handle it! Ok, grown men do not cry when doing this (at least I’ve never seen one), but you get the point. What’s the biggest drawback when doing the 5/5 tempo? It’s extremely boring! Who enjoys working out in slow motion? Not me, and I’m pretty sure you won’t either. Thus, for the preservation of sanity use the 5/5 tempo sparingly.
Alright, now you know 4 ways to tone your arms faster than ever before. These are advanced techniques and will require a little practice before you master them. Just remember that they are brutally effective and will prevent your results from reaching a plateau. And plateau’s are extremely demoralizing because they make you feel like your work is in vain. So make sure you implement these techniques on a regular basis! And don’t miss part 2 of this article. Until then…