Month 6: Arm workouts! “I’ll never make you bulky. It just ain’t that easy.”

Granada, Nicaragua, strength training,

Chris knows women. We want great looking arms, but well not that great looking. We want them to look cut, but not too cut.  We want them to have form, but not too much form, etc, etc. In short, we are terrified that we will start to look like men.

Today he tells me bluntly, “I’ll never make you look bulky. In the decades that I have trained women, no one has ever turned out bulky. It just ain’t that easy.” Meaning if it were easy to obtain, all the men would have those huge bicep muscles in the bag, and really, how many do?

If you look at Chris, it is obvious that you are observing a very fit man. His body is firm and chiseled with no excess weight; he has excellent posture and physical confidence. His body type might be described as lean. But if you checked in on Chris during the early morning hours at the gym here in Granada, you can find him picking up 500 pounds + of weight. Every day. This blows other body builders away. How does that guy do it?, they think.

Strength in Curves, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Chris weight shrugs
Just a perfect day…(Photo credit: Chris)

Chris points out the entirety of the upper arm diameter indicating the full picture of what constitutes an arm. He has explained to me that there are a multitude of muscles contained within to which he gives constant attention. When the biceps are called to duty, the little guys also pitch in. If you have paid attention to them in your workouts, you don’t need huge biceps to lift large amounts of weight. Chris builds muscle groups that work together as team. For women, this ideal.

A perfect example is Bertina. She has been trained by Chris for years and her back and arms are firm and strong but also definitively feminine. When she lifts weight, (or even just lifts her arm over her head!) you can see all the beautiful tiny muscles interacting. She is not bulky, but my girl can lift.

While I struggle today with several weight exercises that encourage the small muscles to come into service, Bertina does the same lifts with three times the load. Like Chris, her arm muscles don’t scream body builder but yet, as a package they accomplish huge work.

At the end of the morning, we’ve had a killer upper body workout that include some bar squats and half pull-ups jumping up to the lift bar and then slowly inching down to the ground. I am definitely feeling the work and when Bertina sends me photos later with a message that says, Look at your arms, looking good. I am shocked. You really can see muscles in the shots that I had no idea that I could access.

Of course I had to write back: Do you think I look too bulky?