Arm day (and back day) are my FAVORITE days at the gym. Most of the time people say it’s leg day – nope. Not me. It’s ARM DAY. I. Love. My. Arms. Now. Why? Probably because I’ve seen the most progress (most likely because the amount of time I have spent on my arms… just a guess). I love that I can SEE my biceps, I can SEE my triceps, working on those deltoids, and I have BACK MUSCLES (all the heart eyes). I can see the progress and it helps me to continue.

Health, fitness, exercise, arms

I know for many girls/women, they don’t want to have “bulky” or “manly” arms. Because of this very reason was why I started my workout journey just toning (less weight, more reps). I was seeing results, but the more I went to the gym, the more weight I wanted to lift. I’ll just be upfront – when I first started going to the gym, lifting 15s (per arm) was A STRUGGLE. Once I began increasing in weight, I thought “I can do more than 20s” so I moved up to 25s. I’m currently still fluctuating between 20-25 lb weights (mainly because of the circumstances right now).

I can tell you right now, once I get back in the gym, I won’t be able to successfully lift 25 pound weights and have good form. I believe it is more important to have good form and push yourself instead of “throwing” weights around. When I get back in the gym, my plan is to restart with 20 and do my regular 8-12 reps with good form. Once I feel I am ready to move up, I will.

For upper body workouts, I generally split up my days into biceps, triceps, shoulders (one day) and then back (lower and traps) and chest for another day. I’m not one to do one single muscle group every day. My favorite arm workouts (my go-tos) are:

  • Bicep curls (biceps)
  • Hammer curls (biceps)
  • Dumbbell bicep curls on knee (biceps)
  • Cable tricep pulldown (triceps)
  • Tricep extensions (triceps)
  • Single tricep extension (behind back – triceps)
  • Dumbbell tricep extension on flat bench (triceps – also good for chest)
  • Tricep dips (great body weight workout – you can use anything from a chair, couch, coffee table, etc)
  • Triangle pushups (it’s OK if you can’t go all the way down on these – modify them as long as you feel it working in your triceps)
  • Machine shoulder press (shoulders)
  • Dumbbell shoulder press (shoulders)
  • Dumbbell lateral raise (shoulders)
  • Dumbbell front raise (shoulders)
  • Single arm lateral cable raise (shoulders)

Helpful Hints: Obviously I don’t do every single one of these in one day. I use the Fitbod app to help me target muscle groups (biceps, triceps, shoulders) and sometimes I replace things (example: if I did tricep extensions last week, I might switch it to cable tricep pulldowns). The Fitbod app groups different workouts into supersets for me (I have it set at this in my settings). I love this app because it allows me to choose what muscle groups I want to work and I get to replace things. I also use the app called “Workout” and you can also click on muscle groups and get an idea for what one can do with the equipment they’re provided.

Increasing weights: I can speak more for strength training because this is what I have been focusing on for almost a year now. When I can do 10-12 reps easily of bicep curls for awhile (without it getting hard), that is when I increase weight. When I increased to 25lbs, it was hard. I could do MAYBE 5 reps. But that is strength training. As time goes on, push yourself to do 6, then 7, and so on. It is important when increasing weight to allow your muscles time to rest. Increasing is strenuous on the muscles – you. will. be. very. sore. Drink water, rest the muscle groups, STRETCH STRETCH STRETCH. Stretching is SO important for muscle recovery and flexibility. Always stretch and rest.

I’m telling you – progress HAPPENS!! It is inspiring and fulfilling – especially when other people see it and say “keep it up, you’re doing great.”

I encourage anyone who is going through a journey of building muscle, losing weight, beginners to advanced, KEEP GOING. It’s easy to get stuck in ruts – I definitely have. Dig yourself out of those ruts. Go. Get. It. DONE! You will NEVER regret a workout (well you might but hopefully not). There is satisfaction in finishing a workout and knowing it’s going to make a difference in YOU. I also encourage you to find people who will support you in this journey or even join you. There is nothing greater than being able to send results to other people and have a support group right next to you.

Comment/share some of your favorite arm workouts with me. I love to try new things! Now go MOVE and get that workout in!