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Breakthrough Fitness

Your Guide To Great Looking Arms

The dreaded arm flap. The saggy, meaty backside of the arm that jiggles and shakes. No one wants it or likes it. Women are mostly affected by it. Partly due to hormones, this becomes a storage spot for fat. Another reason is the lack of use. The triceps muscle doesn’t get used much in our day-to-day activities. 

Your great arm guide

The arms are made up of the biceps (front of the arm) and triceps (back of the arm) aka Bi’s and Tri’s. The biceps are placed under stress during pulling movements and elbow flexion.

  • Pull ups
  • Rows
  • Dragging sleds and things
  • Carrying stuff
  • Direct bicep training which involves flexion of the elbow – curls.

The triceps are called to action during pressing or pushing  movements and elbow extension.

  • Push ups
  • Chest pressing with barbells, dumbbells or machines
  • Overhead pressing with a variety of training tools
  • Dips
  • Crawling
  • Direct triceps training which involves extension of the elbows

Just tell us how to get better arms already

Let’s not beat around the bush. Here is how you will get better looking arms:

  • Lose fat
  • Direct arm training
  • Indirect arm training

Lose fat

 If you want nice, shapely arms, you have to lose the fat that’s covering the muscles.

The nice arm diet

  • Eliminate processed foods which contain lots of sugar and salt.
  • Eat plenty of protein to keep your body in an anabolic state (growth/recovery).
  • Make sure to eat good fats to control inflammation, provide energy and help in the absorption of vitamins.
  • Eat carbohydrates based off of your physical demands. Laying around like a bump on a log doesn’t require much immediate fuel. Carbs are your immediate fuel source.
  • Drink water. How much? A lot.

Direct arm training

In your quest for better arms, direct arm training has it’s place, but until you lose the fat you won’t see any real definition in the arms. This means most of your training should be based on losing fat. Fat loss training to me is:

  • Strength training
  • Interval/circuit training
  • Conditioning – sprints, sled pushing, kettlebell swings, swimming.
  • Low/moderate steady cardio – waking, jogging, biking.


  • If you have fat to lose you shouldn’t be spending an entire workout dedicated to just arms.
  • You will get much more out of indirect moves like push ups, bench press and rows because they use so much more muscle overall.
  • This makes your sessions more intense and more metabolic – both necessary for fat loss.
  • After you’ve finished an intense strength training session or interval session and you want to add a little direct arm work at the end, go for it. Actually do this:

6 minute density zone- TRX curls/TRX triceps extensions

Do 6-8 reps of each exercise continuously, resting as needed. See how many sets you can do in the allotted time period.

Indirect arm training

This is where nice arms are built, but it all depends on how you train.

Q & A

What works the triceps more?

A. Jogging

B. Push ups

C. Bear crawls

D. Both B and C

  • If you want better looking triceps then you need to do movements that activate the triceps.
  • Both B and C involve the triceps.
  • Jogging can help with fat loss, but you need to do exercises that stimulate the muscles you want to change.

Grab some dumbbells and give this circuit a try!

Circuit #1 – Hammer curls (palms face each other), triceps extensions on the ground or floor press with elbows tight, bear crawls.

  • Set a timer to a set amount of time – 5-10 minutes.
  • Do 6-8 curls
  • 6-8 extensions or presses
  • Crawl forward 4 strides then back 4 strides a few times.
  • Repeat until you can’t or the time is up.
  • Train smart and use your judgement.

There are many ways to add extra arm work into your training.  Get creative and try new things. The important question to ask yourself, what will produce the fastest results? If your nutrition isn’t promoting fat loss that’s where you need to start.

Keep moving,

Coach Dom