As I listened to my friend talk from across the table, I couldn’t help but notice her toned arms. I caught myself thinking, “What the heck?! How does she have such nice arms?! I know she doesn’t lift weights! It’s so unfair!”
The next day, as I busted my butt in the gym in yet another arm workout, I thought back to her effortless toned arms. Although I hate the “genetics” excuse (the most common genetic reason for being overweight is simply inheriting bad habits, not bad genes), I will admit that when it comes to muscle definition, genetics play a big part. And yet, that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. Just because my default design was to have flabby arms, doesn’t mean I have to accept it! Instead, I work my arms harder than any girl in the gym and three times as often!
Even as a size 4 and doing an arm workout 1-2 times a week, my upper arms have never cooperated. They lacked any definition and despite being thin everywhere else, I always had the dreaded “arm jiggle”.
I finally tossed the one-dimensional arm workouts and opted for a combination of bodyweight exercises (namely, chin-ups and push-ups), kettlebell, and at least two make-you-wanna-throw-up arm workouts each week. Whereas most women do one type of bicep exercise and one type of tricep move, I hit my bi’s and tri’s from every angle and did an entire day devoted to biceps and an entire day devoted to triceps. Yes, it was incredibly hard but now I can finally say I’m proud of my arms! Of course I’ll never have Jennifer Aniston’s skinny little toned arms but that’s fine by me. She probably can’t do chin-ups so whatever.
Am I making this sound too difficult? Well, you don’t get the luxury of namsy-pamsy workouts when you’re talking about genetic weaknesses so I can’t give you some easy-to-swallow solution for your genetic problem! The good news is, you don’t have to just accept your fate and “deal with it”. The bad news is, you’re going to have to work a lot harder than the next girl if you want to see a change.
Your lower legs are more like tree stumps? Focus on building more muscular calves and you’ll start to change the appearance of your cankles.
No bum? Hit the lower body exercises three times a week and lift heavy so you can build those glute muscles! You’ll have some junk in the trunk before you know it.
If you start to feel sorry for yourself when you think about your weaker area, just remember that as with all things, there is a balance. Be thankful for all the genetic blessings you have rather than getting caught up in the areas that you wish you could change. I may have to work extra hard to sculpt my arms, but I have beautiful calves that have never been worked a day in their life. Thank you genetics.
And besides, not doing all those calf raises frees up more time for bicep curls.