Toned Arms

How do you get toned arms? That's what every woman wants, right? Well, you forget about "toning", that's how.

You train for strength, you lift heavy, you TRY to build muscle. Toning=building muscle, losing fat. That's it. You don't worry about getting "big" arms-FAT makes your arms "big", not muscle!

Building muscle is actually a lot harder than most women think; it doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort, and doing 5lb dumbbell curls is NOT gonna get you toned, that's for sure.

It took me years of heavy pushing and pulling to get the muscle that I have in my arms today. It took a lot of hard work and and a lot of eating(healthy, of course)! It took constantly pushing myself to go harder and heavier-to squeeze out an extra rep or two than the last time, and to change up my workouts, exercises and rep ranges to keep my muscles challenged.

Another thing-DON'T just do exercises that only work your biceps and triceps, like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. Focus more on exercises that work your bigger muscle groups AND the smaller bicep and tricep muscles at the same time, such as back rows, pullups, chest presses, and pushups. You can go heavier on these exercises, which means more muscle growth. And remember, that's what you want!

My goal was to always build. I have never trained with "toning" as my goal. BUT-the result of training to build muscle? TONED arms!

So I'd suggest if you want arms like this:

Then DON'T train like this:


  1. Thanks for this! I do realize toned= build muscle + lose fat. Do you think pull-ups and push-ups (which I do a lot of now, well more assisted chin-ups, flexed arm hangs and negatives) and 15-20 lb KB arm exercises will help me build? I don't go to a gym right now, but I think I could do some key exercises, like rows, with a KB.

  2. Yeah, I definitely think the pullups will help. Do different grips(palms out, palms in, narrow, wide). Try doing pushups with feet elevated to make them harder, keep elbows in to focus on triceps. Dips on a chair would be good, put your feet up on an elevated surface to make them even harder. You could do one arm rows with the KB, as well as shoulder presses. You could also do some 1 arm bicep curls and maybe overhead extensions with the kettlebell. I think you have a lot of options with what you have!

  3. Obviously how you work out is a big part of it but the food side is more important to looking toned than people realize. I have freakishly toned shoulders (years of swimming) but have got nothing on your arms (jealous!) :)

  4. That's very true, Karen. I always say,"lift weights for your muscles to grow, eat right to get them to show!" Being toned means reducing bodyfat, which is MOSTLY nutrition.


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