Not too much to report today. For today, I got my arm workout from an unexpected source – the NHS! At least I know their advice will be medically sound, haha. The website was a little less pretty than previous pages, with pictures being clear and accurate, but not necesarilly that interesting to look at.
Also, the workout itself seemed a little short. Although the page stated that it was a 10 minute workout, I realized that with just one set of 10-15 reps for each exercise, there was no way it would take 10 minutes. However, with my muscles still ahing from yesterday’s workout (ironically I think my abs workout worked my shoulders and lower body more than my abs!), I was thankful for an easier day.
The workout itself had some parts that seemed pretty tricky (e.g. 15 pushups!), while others seemed overly simple (e.g. tricep kickbacks with no weights). I modified the triceps kickbacks by adding weights, and also added in 15 bicep curls with 5 kg weights.
I also did 5 of my 15 pushups in the easier knee position, as I found that my arm muscles aren’t yet developed enough to allow me to do a proper, deep pushup.
I wouldn’t rate this workout too highly. It was way too short, and I’m not sure it’ll do much for my arm muscles.
Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.
My arm workout for today was devised by Mallory Creveling for Prevention.com. All it required was a set of dumbells, which was perfect as, other than a yoga mat, that’s basically all the gym equipment I own at my house!
Thankfully, my arms have had time to recover, and while they were still a little achy, I was ready for today’s workout. Going in, it also seemed a little more gentle than my last arm workout, with fewer exercises, and an option of fewer sets (although I opted to still do three!)
Today my workout consisted of three sets of the following exercises:
Dumbell Bench Press – 12 reps
Bent Over Row – 12 reps
Dumbell Side Raise – 12 reps
Tricep Kickback – 12 reps
Bicep Hammer Curl – 12 reps
For each exercise, I opted to do all three sets at once, so I could reduce the amount of time I spent messing about changing the weights on my barbells. For the Tricep Kickbacks and Bent Over Rows, I also moved to the hallway so I could look into the bathroom mirror to check my form and make sure my back stayed straight.
There were two things that were (minorly) frustrating with this workout. Firstly, the pictures for the workout didn’t always match the actual exercise. For example, they had a picture of a woman doing dumbell bench presses on a bench, when they told you to do it on the floor, and they had a picture of a woman doing a tricep kickback on a bench, one arm at a time, when you were meant to do it standing up and with both arms at once. For a relative newbie like me, this led to me having to do Google image searches to make sure I had the correct form.
Secondly, each exercise had a little description underneath it, explaining why it was a good exercise. While some of these had good explanations (e.g. for Dumbell Side Raises the article states “This exercise enhances shoulder stability, which can help you sidestep injury”, other exercises had descriptions that felt pretty condescending. For Dumbell Bench Presses the article states “You’ll strengthen the same muscles that help you with push movements, like opening doors or pushing your cart around the grocery store”, and for Tricep Kickbacks, the articles states ” Your triceps are tiny but mighty muscles that help you pull doors open”.
As this article is targetted at women, it did feel a bit like it was saying women, with their tiny, tiny arm muscles usually struggle with basic tasks such as pushing a trolley or opening a door. It just seemed so out of place for an article explaining to women how they can strengthen their bodies…
On a different note, I’m genuinely excited for tomorrow. It’s going to be another leg workout, although a pretty intense one. I’ve also managed to rope in my husband, so we’ll be doing it side by side.
According to a study from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, women naturally have 80-90% of the lower body strength that men do, but just 50-60% of the upper body strength.
So what does that translate to? More pain for me during arm workouts! More seriously though, I don’t tend to look forward to arm workouts. However, this one, for whatever reason, felt different. I enjoyed today’s workout, although that may be down to something as simple as enjoying being in a new routine.
Today, I used 8fit’s workout for stronger, toned arms, and I did both their bodyweight and free weight exercises. They say to do the program 3-4 times so, as a minimalist, I did 3. However, the sets for each exercise varied, like so:
Inchworms – 5 reps
Plank to push-ups – 10 total reps, 5 each side
Tricep dips – 10 reps
Incline push-ups – 8 reps
Bicep curls – 12 reps
Overhead tricep extensions – 12 reps
Lateral raises – 8 reps
Bent over rows – 10 reps
Standing tricep kickbacks – 10 reps
The image for the standing tricep kickbacks was wrong, so I referred to the instructions, and did a quick Google image search before starting the kickbacks, to make sure I was doing the exercise correctly.
Today, I decided to do each three sets in a row for each exercise, so I wouldn’t have to go back to exercises I enjoy least (i.e. inchworms and plank to push-ups). The only exception was for the bicep curls and overhead tricep extensions, where I did a set of bicep curls, followed by a set of overhead tricep extensions and repeated the process three times.
I was really careful to take my time with the exercises, taking a break if my form started to suffer. I’ve learnt from experience that exercising with bad form isn’t worth the injuries it can cause.
If you care about the weights I used, feel free to read this part, otherwise feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. For the bicep curls, I used both of my dumbells, which each had 2.5 kg worth of weights, along with the metal bars from the dumbells (which weigh about 2.3 kg), and I used just one of the dumbells for the overhead tricep extensions. For the lateral raises, I used just the metal bars, and for the bent over rows and standing tricep kickbacks I used the metal bars with just one 1.25 kg weight on each.
Despite my arms still being tense (and a little shaky) post-workout, today was really good, and I think this was my best workout so far. I noticed myself taking much shorter breaks between exercises, which I think was more due to having built some mental resilience than anything else.
So, how are my muscles feeling after my first three days of working out? Sore mainly. I must have been fairly out of shape, as my leg muscles still haven’t recovered from their workout two days ago, and my ab muscles tense every time I move position! I can only imagine my arm muscles are going to follow suit tomorrow. Good thing it’s my legs being worked tomorrow!
Weight today: 68.7 kg – 13.7 kilos left to goal weight!