The jiggle under the arms is one of the biggest complaints women have about their bodies. If you can learn to love training your triceps, you can get rid of this problem. If you grudgingly huff through the motions with triceps exercises, well, I’m sorry… You may not get the results you want.
Think of attacking the jiggle under your arms as just that – getting tough and ruthless. You have a seriously intimidating weapon, which I will tell you about here. If you use this weapon you will conquer the jiggle. I’m going to give you the low down (it’s quite simple), and then it’s your job to bring it.
Let’s Just Get Past This – Fat
Well, you knew I was going to mention it, didn’t you? Some of that jiggle is fat and it won’t go away with weight lifting. So clean up your diet. It’s that simple. You’re the one in charge here, remember?
If you’re not trying to lose weight, keep cardio to twice a week maximum. Why, you say? Because you are trying to build muscle, and when you’re running every day or constantly on the elliptisuck (as my friend Michelle likes to call the elliptical), your body is busy burning all kinds of fuel to keep up, including fuel that needs to feed your muscles. So just cool it on the cardio while you’re on this mission. If you are trying to lose weight, keep up the cardio and follow this plan but have a razor-like focus on your diet.
Put Your Game Face On
Admit it: You not only want to lose the jiggle, you want your triceps to be firm and even muscular. Hell, why not strive for a horse shoe? If you want killer arms, triceps are part of that equation. But you need to get something very clear in your head first:
“For sizeaholics, the key to triceps development is lifting really, really heavy loads.”
-Men’s Health, “9 Secrets for Bigger, Stronger Muscles”
Now even if you’re not a “sizeaholic” (which I am, by the way), you do want more size. You can’t “shape” muscles but you can grow them. Larger muscles are what will give them shape and firmness, not “toning.” So for the sake of this particular goal, let’s just say that you are a sizeaholic. And don’t worry – you won’t get as big as a man. I am including a picture of me showing my arms in a natural position so you can see… I lift heavy and am not bulky at all. But I do love my arms.
So if you want to grow your triceps – that is, kill the jiggle – you need to lift heavy weights. Baby weights, Barbie weights, a zillion repetitions – these will not kill the jiggle. You need to lift as heavy a weight as you can safely lift.
What will this accomplish? It will encourage hypertrophy (enlargement of muscle fibers), which is the golden goal that will give you shapely arms.
To be specific, here is your plan:
- When doing the specified number of reps, you will need to lift enough weight so that you can only lift about one more rep that specified reps (but stop at the specified number). You could eek out one or two more reps, but you won’t. You’ll stop before failure. You do not want to overtrain the muscles/joints.
- Within a few weeks (or sooner), you should be able to increase the weights for these exercises. Increase it even if it’s only 3 pounds. And keep increasing it every time your muscles are not fatigued by the last rep.
Following are the workouts you’ll use. Mix these in with your usual routine if you like, or do triceps on a separate day so that they’re fresh. Be sure to track what you do in a training log or notebook so you know how much you lifted last time. For videos of these exercises, see Bodybuilding.com.
Do this workout 2x/week for weeks 1-4. Weeks 1 and 2 do 10-12 reps/3 sets. Weeks 3 and 4 do 6-8 reps/4 sets.
- Cable Triceps Pushdown with V-bar
- High Pulley Overhead Triceps Extension
- Lying Barbell Triceps Extension (use dumbbells every other week)
Do this workout 2x/week for weeks 5-8. Weeks 5 and 6 do 10-12 reps/3 sets. Weeks 7 and 8 do 6-8 reps/4 sets.
- Bench dips (To increase difficulty, put feet on bench. You can also do machine dips.)
- Dumbbell Kickbacks
- One-arm Overhead Triceps Extension (dumbbell)
Do this workout 2x/week for weeks 9-12. Weeks 9 and 10 do 10-12 reps/3 sets. Weeks 11 and 12 do 6-8 reps/4 sets.
- Reverse Grip Triceps Extension (barbell or EZ bar)
- Standing Barbell Behind-the-Head Extension
- Cable Triceps Pushdown with Rope
When you’ve cycled through nine weeks, go back to Workout 1 and keep going. It’ll take about 6 weeks to see changes and several months to see muscle growth.
There you have it – your path to beautiful triceps. Lift heavy and lift big and you’ll see results as your reward.