Aging upper arms
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  1. #1

    Aging upper arms

    So ... went shopping recently and ended up in a fitting room with mirrors positioned so I could see my backside, which, these days, is a torturous experience. Most dismaying was to see the backs of my arms and my back, which, in spite of my Pilates, look flabby and like they have cellulite on them. My first thought is to tone more aggressively, but cellulite isn't solved by exercise. Would a TCA peel help on these areas? Any advice or am I doomed to accept that I've entered the "old lady" arms stage, and will just have to cover up all the time?

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  3. #2
    SCT Elite Firefox7275's Avatar
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    Cellulite can be improved by diet and exercise, but it works better for some than others and it is far from an easy road. Higher intensity interval training is likely to be the most effective: gets the lymphatic system moving and burns off any excess fat. Combine that with high intensity strength training to build lean muscle, increase growth hormone production (burns fat) and boost the metabolism. Pilates is wonderful for posture and 'tone' but it doesn't build muscle and most people don't progress much after the first few months just maintain .If you enjoy group exercise you might consider circuit training, Boxercise or Spinning but, assuming you are healthy, you want to be working so hard you are gasping for breath repeatedly, your legs are burning on and off throughout and like jelly by the end. If you don't actually need to lose weight you will need to increase the amount of healthy calories you take in.

    "In the year of our Lord 1903, in the meat packing plants off the shores of the sea, Stood a young man at his slaughter post a newby by his side, He said grind it up and ship it out doesn't matter what's inside, With poison bread to kill the rats, an effective tool of trade ..." Flatfoot 56

  4. #3
    Thanks, Firefox! So how do you do interval training in a way that impacts upper arms/back? When I think interval training, I think running (which I no longer do -- maybe I should pick it back up again).

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    SCT Elite Firefox7275's Avatar
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    Anything that is hard-easy-hard-easy is intervals, just be sure to warm up safely first. You may know from running that with a group activity you need a great instructor/ leader, one that plans a good session AND motivates you to work to your maximum. So try a few classes and try a few instructors within each style of class if possible. Tell them what you want to achieve and where you think your fitness is at.

    Boxercise classes are the classic for the whole upper (and lower) body, I was jelly all over after my first class and I was reasonably fit! Circuit training usually works around the full body and you can go as hard and fast as you choose in any given exercise, even in Spinning many instructors add in 'press ups' on the bike handles and the more you bend forward when 'standing' the more work your upper body does (isometric, muscles working constantly). If you use the gym machines you can do a pre-programmed interval workout such as 'hills' or 'random' on the cross trainer, or make up your own routine: set a fixed level then alternate between putting all the effort into your upper or your lower body. Just switch from one to another when you get to exhaustion or specifically aim to spend twice as long making your arms do all the work compared with your legs. Rower also, you can set it at the top level then go full pelt for as long as you can, slow down only until you have recovered a little then full pelt go again. Just get your technique right, sit upright and keep your elbows tucked in.

    Do bear in mind that the more muscle mass you work at any one moment the more calories you are burning, also it stresses the body (in a good way) causing it to produce more growth hormone - that causes you to burn fat as well as lay down lean muscle. The largest muscles in the body are the quads, hamstrings and glutes (bum and thigh) so if you beast those that is still going to tell your body to hit you up with growth hormone. Most of us ladies could spend years working our puny arm muscles on their own and never make that happen.

    "In the year of our Lord 1903, in the meat packing plants off the shores of the sea, Stood a young man at his slaughter post a newby by his side, He said grind it up and ship it out doesn't matter what's inside, With poison bread to kill the rats, an effective tool of trade ..." Flatfoot 56

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    Administrator gymrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    Thanks, Firefox!* So how do you do interval training in a way that impacts upper arms/back?* When I think interval training, I think running (which I no longer do -- maybe I should pick it back up again).
    Hi hopeful!! Of course you aren't doomed............don't ever feel this way. There is always something we can do, to better ourselves. Unfortunately, running won't do much for your arms or your back, in terms of toning. Running is great for the cardio part of your workout, you will burn fat/calories, but it won't tone you. Resistance training is what you need for toning. It will do more for you than I can even explain. I take an hour class 3 times a week. Do not confuse this with "weight lifting". With resistance training you use light weights and increase the repetition tremendously. You don't have to belong to a gym to do this, you can do this in your own home using hand weights, exercise bands, etc. The results will keep you going, I promise!! http://www.livestrong.com/article/105079-resistance-training-exercises-home/ http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/weight-training-tips http://www.emedicinehealth.com/strength_training/page2_em.htm http://www.emedicinehealth.com/strength_training/page4_em.htm#exercise http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/HQ01710
    -Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us-

  8. #6
    What should the weight for the dumbbells be when you start with curls for the upper arms?

    Thank you

    Gerti

  9. #7
    As gymrat says above, use light weights with more reps. I use just 5 lbs weights and do a ton of reps.
    My arms put on muscle very easily, so I make sure any weights I use are light.

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by erg View Post
    As gymrat says above, *use light weights with more reps. *I use just 5 lbs weights and do a ton of reps. * My arms put on muscle very easily, so I make sure any weights I use are light. *
    Thank you. Gerti

  11. #9
    Thanks, Firefox and Gymrat ... I appreciate the help, and I'm going to take a look at the links you put up, Gymmie.

    One other question ... do you think a TCA peel on the upper arms would at all be helpful in improving the condition of the skin (I've never done a peel on any other area than face/neck and backs of hands)?

  12. #10
    Administrator gymrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    Thanks, Firefox and Gymrat ... I appreciate the help, and I'm going to take a look at the links you put up, Gymmie.* One other question ... do you think a TCA peel on the upper arms would at all be helpful in improving the condition of the skin (I've never done a peel on any other area than face/neck and backs of hands)?
    Hopeful, I love TCA for my face/hands. I would not be so eager to try it on my arms without trying a few other things first. When you say condition of the skin, are you referring to sun damage? Age spots, etc? If so, maybe try a Fade Peel and see what type of results you have. If you don't see an improvement, then move up from there. Last resort would be a TCA peel. Especially in the summer months. Do try some light hand weights for toning. 3-5 lbs is all you need.
    -Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us-

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