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Muscle Growth, Fat Loss

Get Rid of Flabby Arms

By Shannon Cole on Nov 3, 2023 9:00:00 AM
4 Minutes Reading Time


It seems like it should be pretty easy to get rid of flabby arms. Just diet and exercise, right?

Well…..yes. But there is more to it.

When we lose weight, we can’t control where we lose fat. Some people lose fat pretty quickly in their thighs, while with others you can clearly see just from just looking at their face that they’ve lost weight.

If you want to lose fat in your arms, there are a couple of things that you can do to help you along and get those sculpted arms you’re looking for.

First, you need to lift weights.

Hours of cardio won’t do much if you’re looking for toned arms. Losing weight from cardio can feel very gratifying, but cardio isn’t successful when it comes to reducing flabbiness and building muscle.

And that’s the thing: you NEED muscle if you want to get rid of flabby arms. Now, ladies, I promise you that building muscle will not make you look bulky; we simply don’t produce enough testosterone to get to that powerlifter status a lot of women associate with lifting weights.

Weights are your friend. It’s gaining muscle through weight training that gives you the definition and toned look you want for your arms.

Obviously, you’ll want to focus on a lot of upper body movements if you want more defined arms; squats aren’t exactly the go-to exercise for nicer biceps, triceps, and delts.

You’ll want to do a healthy combination of push and pull exercises that target both the chest and lats; when we do chest exercises, triceps traditionally assist the pecs during the movement, while the biceps assist the lats during pull exercises. Depending on the exercise, the delts also play a part in push and pull movements. At the end of your workout, I suggest completing 3 to 6 focus sets on either the biceps, triceps, or delts. Or, you can also dedicate one workout a week to just these three muscles. Keep in mind that volume of exercises come into play. If you only spend one workout a week on these muscles, you won’t progress as much as someone who spends at least 2 to 3 workouts a week, spending some time focused on the arms.

You also need to be mindful of your protein, and calorie, intake.

Calories aren’t everything, but they can make the difference between muscle definition, and simply getting stronger. Let’s look at the difference between powerlifters, and body builders. Powerlifters eat and lift weights to get as strong as possible, while body builders eat and lift weights to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible (at least in terms of industry standards). When it comes to diet and exercise, body builders will be more inclined to complete more reps at a lower resistance, while being more conscious of how many calories they are consuming to prevent gaining the least amount of fat as possible. With powerlifters, they are not as concerned with gaining fat, as long as they can lift more weight. Their rep range when training will be fewer than a body builder’s, and most likely at a greater resistance.  

These are extreme cases, but they make great examples when trying to determine how you want to eat and train. If you want to get rid of the flabbiness in your arms, there needs to be some fat loss. Resistance training, as we’ve already discussed, will certainly help with that, but you also need to consider your diet as well.

Start with setting a calorie deficit of about 10-20% of your current intake; this is a realistic number for most people. So if you are eating 2,500 calories a day, set a new goal of 2250 to 2000 calories a day. As you do this, focus heavily on protein to ensure you are still initiating a muscle-building response. If at least 20% of your diet isn’t coming from protein, you’re not eating enough.

In the end, you can’t control where or how quickly you lose fat and build muscle in certain areas of the body, but focusing on these two things will certainly help. If you want some workouts specifically designed for your arms, check out MAPS MODS, or MAPS Aesthetic if you want to get dialed in on your physique, with an emphasis on your arms.

Flabby Arm Guide | Mind Pump Media

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Shannon Cole

Shannon Cole is an ISSA certified personal trainer and lives in the Dallas area. She is a certified nutrition coach through NASM and NCI, and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Sports Science and Rehabilitation. After obtaining her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication she eventually gravitated to personal training, and hasn't turned back since. Her passion for athletics and fitness initially stemmed from her high school years playing golf, and her love for the sport still hasn't faded; her career goal is to obtain her Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification and develop strength and conditioning programs for golfers. You can usually find her working out in her garage gym, or training for the next Spartan Race with her husband.

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