Workouts: Arm training

November 16, 2012

How do I get toned arms? That’s a BIG question (after getting abs) I get from many women. The answer always is: strength train, perform cardio and have a clean diet. Often times, if you strength train and fail on the other two, you are just building muscle underneath the fat and it looks like you are ‘bulking’. In many situations, women perform high level of repetitions without truly challenging their muscle fibers.

Here is my general rule with training arms:

–          I perform 3 exercises each for biceps and triceps

–          I often keep my rep range anywhere between 8-14 (which means I try to lift heavy)

–          I superset (I do this for all body groups)

–          I train them at least once a week

It’s also important to remember that you are using your arms whenever you do any upper body exercise! When you work on pulling exercises for your back, you are also working your biceps. When you work on pushing exercises for your chest and shoulders, you are also working your triceps. Often times, my arms are my last priority of the week and sometimes I don’t get to them. I make them last priority because I also used them throughout the week during my other upper body exercises…

Here is a standard arm workout I’ve recently completed. I usually perform 3 sets with a rep range starting from 12, then down to 10, then 8.  (Increasing weight as I go down in reps)

Exercise 1
Standing bicep barbell curl (I curl 30lbs)
Standing overhead dumbbell press (I usually use 30lbs also)

Exercise 2
Incline dumbbell curl (I use 15lbs)
Lying barbell triceps extension aka skull crushers

Exercise 3
Standing Bicep Cable Curl
Standing Tricep Cable extension (using rope)

Don’t forget to stretch and focus on intensity. I usually rest 45-60 seconds between sets. This workout usually takes me about 20-25 minutes.

Taken today at the gym! I actually didn’t train arms today, only performed cardio. I think the shadowing makes them look more defined… 🙂


  • Reply George November 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Class act Maria, you have manage to make time for faith family and fitness you have become a fitness role model to many. And what makes your story so appealing is that your so very kind. Because if you really think about it how can our dreams be fulfill in a unhealthy body?
    The what’s your excuse catch phrase has taken on a whole different meaning since it went viral with your picture of you and the boys
    Overall there will be detours we will come up against but it is up to us how we respond. Last year when we met I tipped the scales @ 322lbs now I weigh 220lb and will be running my first marathon this sunday did my first 10k this past august.

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

    • Reply Maria Kang November 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

      wow! How exciting!!! Good luck on your marathon. SO proud of your success. I can’t wait to see pictures. You inspire me!

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