As a personal trainer, I get asked CONSTANTLY:
“How do I get rid of my flabby arms?”
People suffering from arm flab are also usually devoting an entire day of training to strictly arms. If you don’t like how any area looks, focusing on training that area lots should help, right?
Well, not really in this case. The reason your arms are flabby ISN’T because they’re not muscular enough.
Your arms are flabby because you’re carrying too much body fat.
We can’t “spot reduce” body fat. You can train areas where you want to lose body fat (common mistakes: flabby arms obviously, training abs lots to try to get a leaner midsection), but you can’t control where you lose body fat from.
Endless arm exercises won’t do anything to get rid of the layer of flab on your arms. It’ll just build bigger muscles underneath the fat.
So, we need to focus on getting rid of body fat.
How Do We Lose Body Fat?
Losing body fat requires one thing: calorie deficit. More calories burned than consumed.
Don’t know how to set up a calorie deficit? Check out this blog: How do I get rock hard abs?
Calorie deficit is the biggest key. Training CORRECTLY also makes a huge difference.
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories your body will burn through in a day.
So, a faster metabolism makes it MUCH easier to create a calorie deficit, and in turn LOSE THE ARM FLAB.
Training For A Faster Metabolism
Muscle tissue takes calories to maintain/build. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories it takes to maintain. This is how resistance training increases metabolic rate.
So, since larger muscles groups (i.e. legs, back) have much more muscle tissue than smaller muscles groups (i.e. the muscles of the arm: biceps, triceps); training/growing the larger muscle groups will have a much greater effect on increasing metabolism than training the smaller muscle groups.
Training the larger muscle groups will also take more energy expenditure, which leads to a greater caloric deficit.
So, to get rid of flabby arms: the focus of your training should be working as many muscle groups as possible during your training sessions.
Use one of the following training splits:
*(Exercise listed are examples of effective movements to incorporate. Feel free to substitute what works for you.)
Full Body (3 days/week)
Monday: Barbell squats, barbell hip thrusts, dumbbell rows, bench press.
Wednesday: Deadlift, walking lunge, barbell overhead press, chin-ups.
Friday: Bulgarian split squats, Romanian deadlifts, incline press, t-bar rows.
Other days: Rest.
Upper/Lower (4 days/week)
Monday: Lower body. Front squat, hip thrust, leg press.
Tuesday: Upper body. Barbell row, incline press, Chin-up, Arnold press.
Thursday: Lower body. Deadlift, Bulgarian split squat, reverse lunge.
Friday: Upper body. Dumbbell row, dips, lat-pulldown, barbell overhead press.
Both of the above training splits allow you to train the ENTIRE BODY at least twice per week, while also allowing adequate time for recovery, AND for you to have a life outside the gym.
Since you’re going to be training lots of different muscle groups during each training session, make your workouts as quick and efficient as possible by focusing on multi-joint movements. Multi-joint movements are movements that get multiple joint and muscle groups involved at once.
What makes multi-joint movements more effective?
Compare: chin up vs. bicep curl.
When we perform a bicep curl, the relatively small muscle of the bicep is doing the majority of the work. Not a lot of “bang for your buck” with this movement.
When we do a chin-up, not only are the muscles of the back and core working, but the biceps are working extremely hard as well. We’re working the biceps just like with the curls, but training lots of other muscles as well.
Cut the arm flab out of your life for good. Focus on a calorie deficit and training the entire body, not just the arms.