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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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!! :thumbsup: 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
 

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What should the weight for the dumbbells be when you start with curls for the upper arms?

Thank you

Gerti
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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)?
 

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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.
 

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Gymrat, no ... no sundamage or age spots ... not even wrinkles ... just skin that looks flabby and like it has cellulite on it. I have not done ANYTHING with the skin on my chest, arms, stomach or legs, so I thought, maybe if I tried Vit. C, Ret. A, TCA peels there it would help. For the most part, my skin (face, neck, chest, even lower arms) is in much better condition than that of other people my age (51), so I think it took me by surprise. I have cellulite on the backs of my thighs and butt, and I've done about all I can think of (exercise and dry brushing) to help that. I do exercise, but apparently not enough. I plan to try to resistance training you suggested and stepping up the Pilates in that area, as well.

Thanks!
 

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Gymrat, no ... no sundamage or age spots ... not even wrinkles ... just skin that looks flabby and like it has cellulite on it.  I have not done ANYTHING with the skin on my chest, arms, stomach or legs, so I thought, maybe if I tried Vit. C, Ret. A, TCA peels there it would help.  For the most part, my skin (face, neck, chest, even lower arms) is in much better condition than that of other people my age (51), so I think it took me by surprise.  I have cellulite on the backs of my thighs and butt, and I've done about all I can think of (exercise and dry brushing) to help that.  I do exercise, but apparently not enough.  I plan to try to resistance training you suggested and stepping up the Pilates in that area, as well. Thanks!
No sun damage, no age spots, no wrinkles= peels not necessary-;) Here is what you can do........... http://www.livestrong.com/article/49363-rid-upper-arm-cellulite/
 

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Hi hopeful! If you don't already do so, you may also want to add dry skin brushing to your routine. Check out the results on cellulite control on the ttapp.com forum. Some people on there also swear by taking alfalfa supplements to reduce cellulite. Also something to consider doing is the No Lipo Lipo from Carol Maggio. Some people on these boards and other skin care boards are getting good results on their arms, bellys, hips and thighs with cellulite reduction and inch loss using this method. Plus, it's a workout for your arms in itself.
 

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Quote:
Unfortunately, running won't do much for your arms or your back, in terms of toning.



I somewhat disagree with this statement. I WILL say, however that stationary running (elliptical, treadmill, etc.) won't help you much for muscle tone. However, if you hit the street for about 2k every day, you WILL see improvement in tone over your whole body. You use your whole body to run, and the difference between running on the street and running in the gym is that on the street, you use more stabilizer muscles. Find a youtube video on proper running form. MOST people do not do it correctly, which means they do it ineffectively.

It is necessary to do any aerobic exercise for more than 20 minutes to get fat burning and muscle toning results. This is because you have an energy reserve that you have to burn through first, in order to break down stored energy. It is the breaking down of stored energy that contributes to fat loss and muscle toning. Also, you'll get better results from your resistance training if you do it AFTER your cardio, for the same reasons.

And here's some harsh truth:

Quote: Women tend to get cellulite around knees, saddlebags and buttocks, because they have three layers of fat in these areas [instead of just one]. Women also have three levels of fat in the stomach and in the triceps areas. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-cellulite-forever



This is an in depth, very easy to understand article on what cellulite is and what causes it. I think it's a worthwhile read. So basically, if you have ANY extra fat on you, it's probably going to be in your arms, and staying toned is going to be an uphill battle. Sometimes life isn't fair


P.S. I second body brushing
 

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I somewhat disagree with this statement. I WILL say, however that stationary running (elliptical, treadmill, etc.) won't help you much for muscle tone. However, if you hit the street for about 2k every day, you WILL see improvement in tone over your whole body. You use your whole body to run, and the difference between running on the street and running in the gym is that on the street, you use more stabilizer muscles. Find a youtube video on proper running form. MOST people do not do it correctly, which means they do it ineffectively.
You don't have to tell me^^;)..............I run daily...........on average 6-8 miles.........long runs (weekly) anywhere from 12-20 miles. I have ran for years and NEVER on a treadmill. It is always outside running for this gymrat!! You couldn't pay me enough to run indoors :shakehead:. And again...........running won't do much for arms in terms of toning. It is going to take more than that!! All the hours I spend running I still have to take a weight class and I do that 3xs a week. Light weights, lots of reps. THAT is what will tone you-:thumbsup: But again, to each their own. If running tones your arms..........more power to ya...........your one of the lucky ones!! :cheers:
 

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lol I only meant not to discount running altogether because it takes cardio + weight training to really see nice results
Most people build up really nice triceps but they can't see their progress because they have to burn off that EXTRA bit of padding, even if they're not overweight. Yes, I have to lift weights too.
 

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I like tricep dips, work the front-side-back deltoids(puts a nice cap on the shoulders) and doing different angled pushups all works for me. Plus a good diet. I did alot of sun damage in my Youngster years so I do realize the skin on my arms will never look 35 again. BUT I'm still plugging away
.
 

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I know what you mean. I fear my 'cellulite' on my legs and butt is actually the skin being loose and it kind of puckers a little and in the 'right' light (read BAD harsh down lighting in change rooms) it looks a little like cellulite but isn't. I'm a gym junkie and lift weights etc and am toned and slim but there seems to be nothing to slove the loose skin problem.

You could research coffee grounds if it is cellulite. It is temporary but does work. I suggest weights training.Where our body fat deposits changes over time (the dreaded M) and backs of arms is one of those places. You look slim in your picture though, so maybe this isn't your issue.
I too am getting what I call "old lady arms". I have good muscle from weight lifting but the skin is loose in the arm pit, behind elbows and inner elbows. I fear bat wings could happen one day! I'd try skin tightening if I had the money. And probably surgery eventually... but I really need to prioritize the mortgage! I've started micro needling the arms hoping to stimulate the collagen. I live in hope. I'll keep you posted on results. Good luck. . Seeing these changes is so hard. I find I just get to accept one thing and another appears!
 

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really should pay attention to how old these threads are lol!
I'm so rubbish at these young people activities like the Internet and stuff lol I'm SUCH a Nanna...
 
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