“I want to be armed and dangerous,” I told Coach Stacy when I arrived for my workout last Monday.
“Excuse me?” she replied.
“I need killer arms for my vacation next month,” I explained.
“One month?” she intoned. “You’re giving me one month to get your arms in shape?” I could see Coach’s sadistic juices already beginning to flow. She loves a fitness challenge.
But a tall order it was indeed. “Killer arms” don’t develop overnight. The plan Coach Stacy devised for me called for increased daily cardio, more protein in my food diet and some strength training exercises specifically geared for toning my arms.
She also loaned me one of her exercise DVDs to take home. “Work out to this three days per week. It’s only twenty minutes but it’ll really help define the muscles in your arms. People will start mistaking you for Jennifer Aniston.”
Coach cracks me up sometimes. Jennifer Aniston. What a hoot…….
The next time I saw Coach she inquired how my arm makeover was progressing. I flexed my newly rediscovered right bicep by way of encouragement.
“How did you like the DVD?”
“It was great, Coach. I did it for thirty minutes three times last week.”
Thinking she’d caught me in a little fib, she replied, “Well, that’s interesting, seeing as how it’s a twenty minute DVD.”
“Well, yea,” I quipped, “The DVD lasted twenty minutes, but my arms kept jiggling for ten more minutes. That had to count for some calorie burn!”
Coach Stacy says that many of her clients cringe at the thought of wearing tank tops. But with the help of a 20 pound medicine ball and a couple of sets of dumbbells, Coach’s “Armed and Dangerous” workout will have you going sleeveless all summer long:
Medicine Ball: Use a 10 to 20 pound Medicine Ball. Coach likes the very popular balls with handles. You’ll perform a routine of three separate exercises, with 10-15 reps of each, and try not to rest in between. Repeat the routine one to three times, resting at least one minute between each set.
- Bicep Curl: While standing, hold the Medicine Ball with both hands, arms extended. Bend your arms at the elbows up toward your shoulders, keeping elbows at your side, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Shoulder Press: While standing, hold the Medicine Ball with both hands, elbows bent, and the Ball close to your chest and chin. Lift the Ball up, and extend your arms as though placing an item on a high shelf, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Overhead Tricep Extension: While standing, hold the Medicine Ball with both hands above your head, arms extended. Bend your elbows back and then bring the Ball back behind your head, and slowly return to the starting position.
Dumbbells: Select a weight of Dumbbells that you can lift 10-15 times. You’ll perform a routine of three separate exercises, with 10-15 reps of each, and try not to rest in between. Repeat the routine one to three times, resting at least one minute between each set.
- Bicep Curls: You can do these sitting or standing, single or double. With dumbbells in each hand, bend at your elbows and raise the weights toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows at your side, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Tricep Extension (choose one): You can either use a dumbbell or – if you’re working out at the gym – you can use a Cable Tricep Pushdown.
- Kickback Extensions: Bend forward at the waist while holding a dumbbell. Keeping your elbow at your side, extend forearm up and slowly return it back.
- Overhead Tricep Extension: Hold a single dumbbell with both hands above your head, arms extended. Bend your elbows back and bring the dumbbell behind your head, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Push Ups: For a change of pace, or if you’re lacking equipment, all you need for this one is you and the floor. For beginners, Coach recommends bent knee Push Ups – just remember to keep your rear down.
- Shoulder Punches: Select a weight of dumbbell you can use to “punch” 10-15 times. With a dumbbell in each hand, assume a boxing stance and extend one arm at a time in a punch toward the sky.
Coach Stacy also recommends “Super Sets,” in which you work opposing muscle groups with no rest in between.