1

votes

Upper arms...help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 23, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Hey! So, I am wondering how to improve my arm (mostly upper arms) definition. I follow a paleo diet, exercise, stay hydrated, sleep well, etc.

But, my tricep area seems to be holding on to some fat. Do you have any suggestions as how to fix this? I have about 17% body fat (I'm female). I'd love to have the circumference decrease, with the benefit of some muscular definition.

Exercises, tips, nutritional approaches? Let me know! Thanks :)

Da12b342d4959f5bd776c0f00b072a6c

(311)

on May 24, 2012
at 10:41 AM

Speaking from MY experience. I am not into the minutiae of exact measurements -aprox 30% protein 30 % fat and 30% carbs. and 10 % of whatever takes your fancy.(exception sugar) I have restricted fats in the past believing them to be unhealthy. I then over indulged a little in good fats with my new-found paleo knowledge and saw some body composition changes. (reduction in tummy fat- good - a little extra fat elsewhere not so good) I believe that a large range of low-carb vegetables (especially greens) is important. Genetic propensity to store fat in particular areas cannot be ignored.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on May 24, 2012
at 09:57 AM

Ahhh... the bingo wings. Bane of the female existence. Welcome to the club, Dancer.

954837b1c93a2792e95008d94f262c53

(187)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:54 AM

So what would be your recommendation for macro ratios? What do you follow? Thanks for the advice.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Yes, I see that we are actually disagreeing less than it might appear. I should, however, in my answer been clearer about "fat loss" rather than "weight loss" because they are, of course, two different things.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I just read your response and I am in agreement with you 100%. I am just telling her how to get there, or at least what I would use to achieve that goal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:39 PM

Gain/preserve muscle and lose body fat- shift her entire body composition. That is not spot reducing.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I actually think that batwings are loose skin as much as anything else. Lose the fat, the skin is still hanging there.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Hers is. Reread my answer. I am not advocating spot reeducing. I am saying the only way to reduce fat on her arms is to recomposition her whole body and alter her hormonal profile through proper diet, HIIT, and resistance training.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:33 PM

But her bodyfat % is already only 17%! I thought that 14% is the floor below which you have to start worrying about the female athlete triad.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:22 PM

ONly if she is in a calorie surplus (bulking) will she get bigger. If she keeps her calories where they are or at maintenance, she'll just engage in body recomp and fat loss.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Oh yeah, that's true, but only in a calorie surplus. I don't think she's doing a weight gaining type strategy. IF she keeps her cals the same or at maintenance, she'll just shift engage in some nice body recomposition.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:20 PM

But foreveryoung, the OP is clearly talking about spot reduction. She has 17% bodyfat but her "triceps area seems to be holding on to some fat," and she wants to "have the circumference decrease." If that isn't a quest for spot reduction, what is?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:40 PM

tdgor- my post says absolutely nothing about spot reducing. IF anything, everyone else's does- pushups, pull-ups, isolation workouts. My answer is about not spot reducing and changing overall body composition and hormonal profile to rid of the giggly problem.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:03 PM

But how is she going to "replace" the fat in one specific location with muscle? It just doesn't work like that. Without fat reduction she is going to add muscle underneath a layer of fat.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:55 PM

yeah, definitely.. but my point was that if you didn't actually replace the fat with muscle, and just add muscle.. size would increase. right?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:06 PM

Actually, shirfting her body compostion by replacing fat muscle with an equivalent amount of muscle mass will make her smaller- msucle is more dense than fat.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:31 PM

But not if you want to decrease circumference!

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9 Answers

6
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:00 PM

You can't get smaller circumference and more definition in one part of your body only. You would have to lose fat overall to make your arms look both more buff and smaller.

Is it more important for you to have smaller arms, or more well-defined arms?

2
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Am I incorrect in saying that estrogen seems to play a role in fat deposition pattern? (Isn't there something called the "female fat deposition pattern," and it's basically that women tend to hold fat in their hips, thighs, and upper arms, specifically the triceps area?)

At 17% bodyfat, it doesn't sound like the OP has any hormonal issues. I'm asking for myself, actually. (And anyone else who might be interested.)

I can vouch for the notion that doing a ton of triceps exercises won't make that jiggle go away. They'll make you stronger for sure, but that nice little piece that keeps waving after you stop waving won't disappear from pushups and dips. If only it were that simple...

Foreveryoung is probably right - it's an overall body thing. Not sure there's a way to spot reduce that lovely batwing area we all love to hate.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I actually think that batwings are loose skin as much as anything else. Lose the fat, the skin is still hanging there.

1
8fddf09738448bbe25843911d3704dd8

on May 23, 2012
at 11:00 PM

Actually the triceps area is where a lot of women hold onto fat. I compete in olympic weightlifting and train 5x days/week, am fairly lean BUT have tricep fat. You might have to lose such a large amount of overall body fat to see a difference in your triceps. You just gotta ask yourself if it's worth it.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 23, 2012
at 08:17 PM

I have to comment here because I disagree with a lot of the responses. Muscle is mroe dense than fat. If you replace an equivalent weight of fat with muscle, you will appear smaller. You are like a lot of the female dancers I know, I going to assume you're not fat, and are probably pretty "thin" but could stand to improve your body compostion. Correct me if I'm wrong. Your best route is to seek to improve your overall body compostion. To do so I would do HIIT training and resistance training with compound movements (you can add isolation is as well, of course). This will alter your overall hormonal profile and shift your body composition away from fat and towards lean muscle. of course, you will have to pair this with a clean diet. Personally, I do lots of fresh produce with lean proteins (mostly seafood, lately). Over time your arms will lose the flab and become smaller than they are right now with that extra giggly there. they will only get larger in circumference if you're in a calorie surpluss and are doing very high volume isolation work. In the case of the latter, the size will actually be jsut mostly stored glyogen and water in the muscles, which you could lose within a day or two of going low carb.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I just read your response and I am in agreement with you 100%. I am just telling her how to get there, or at least what I would use to achieve that goal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:39 PM

Gain/preserve muscle and lose body fat- shift her entire body composition. That is not spot reducing.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Hers is. Reread my answer. I am not advocating spot reeducing. I am saying the only way to reduce fat on her arms is to recomposition her whole body and alter her hormonal profile through proper diet, HIIT, and resistance training.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Yes, I see that we are actually disagreeing less than it might appear. I should, however, in my answer been clearer about "fat loss" rather than "weight loss" because they are, of course, two different things.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:40 PM

tdgor- my post says absolutely nothing about spot reducing. IF anything, everyone else's does- pushups, pull-ups, isolation workouts. My answer is about not spot reducing and changing overall body composition and hormonal profile to rid of the giggly problem.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:03 PM

But how is she going to "replace" the fat in one specific location with muscle? It just doesn't work like that. Without fat reduction she is going to add muscle underneath a layer of fat.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:20 PM

But foreveryoung, the OP is clearly talking about spot reduction. She has 17% bodyfat but her "triceps area seems to be holding on to some fat," and she wants to "have the circumference decrease." If that isn't a quest for spot reduction, what is?

1
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Pushups are great for arm definition.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:31 PM

But not if you want to decrease circumference!

0
De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Pushups and pullups. (Thrusters and push presses wouldn't hurt either.)

Edit: Didn't see the size part. I feel like any weighted exercise will just make them bigger. I could be way off here, but if I were you I would go low carb or fast intermittantly, best thing for fat loss IMO.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:22 PM

ONly if she is in a calorie surplus (bulking) will she get bigger. If she keeps her calories where they are or at maintenance, she'll just engage in body recomp and fat loss.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:06 PM

Actually, shirfting her body compostion by replacing fat muscle with an equivalent amount of muscle mass will make her smaller- msucle is more dense than fat.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Oh yeah, that's true, but only in a calorie surplus. I don't think she's doing a weight gaining type strategy. IF she keeps her cals the same or at maintenance, she'll just shift engage in some nice body recomposition.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:33 PM

But her bodyfat % is already only 17%! I thought that 14% is the floor below which you have to start worrying about the female athlete triad.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:55 PM

yeah, definitely.. but my point was that if you didn't actually replace the fat with muscle, and just add muscle.. size would increase. right?

0
Da12b342d4959f5bd776c0f00b072a6c

on May 24, 2012
at 05:37 AM

You are between a rock and a hard place. I believe that fat deposition is influenced by the proportion of fats and carbs in the diet (N=1, me, a female) A higher fat ratio produces more general sub-cutaneous body fat and less belly fat. The right balance for your metabolism is important.

954837b1c93a2792e95008d94f262c53

(187)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:54 AM

So what would be your recommendation for macro ratios? What do you follow? Thanks for the advice.

Da12b342d4959f5bd776c0f00b072a6c

(311)

on May 24, 2012
at 10:41 AM

Speaking from MY experience. I am not into the minutiae of exact measurements -aprox 30% protein 30 % fat and 30% carbs. and 10 % of whatever takes your fancy.(exception sugar) I have restricted fats in the past believing them to be unhealthy. I then over indulged a little in good fats with my new-found paleo knowledge and saw some body composition changes. (reduction in tummy fat- good - a little extra fat elsewhere not so good) I believe that a large range of low-carb vegetables (especially greens) is important. Genetic propensity to store fat in particular areas cannot be ignored.

0
2c7026111493687e2d619c9e20e47915

(693)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Try this http://hundredpushups.com/index.html. I'm doing it now and it's an easy structured program that takes very little time. And it's fun!

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Search youtube for tricep workouts. Some of them are sane.

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