Technically you can get pretty fit with upper arm strength by doing some alternate body resistance exercises like a variety of pull-ups, push-ups, dips on a chair, use weighted gloved for kickboxing. Doesn't have to be free weights all the time. You can gain strength by doing things like this with your own body weight...and power yoga works for strength too.
If it bores you, try a different way of doing the exercise until it clicks wirh you. Someone mentioned resistance bands...those are great too. But check out bodyrock.tv for ideas on routines designed to be all similar to interval/circuit training using your own bodyweight.
It is also pretty difficult to add a lot of muscle mass while running a calorie deficit to lose weight, as the body tends to burn protein for energy rather than creating new muscle tissue.
If you want to reduce the size of your arms, focus on reducing yuor overall body fat through a combination of cardio, all-body strength training and watching your intake, and some of it will naturally come off the arms. While watching your intake is definitely the biggest contributor to fat loss, there is a fair bit of evidence that strength training is more effective than cardio in terms of fat loss.
And yes, you should be strength training for the rest of your life. Not just because of your arms, but because of all the other benefits of strength training - including keeping the weight off longer term, functional fitness (eg. being able to lift common household objects easily) and reducing your long term risk of osteoporosis.
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 1/2/12 8:13 P
Strength training is just as important to our overall fitness plan as cardio. As you begin to shrink the fat cells by following a healthy diet with a slight caloric deficit and expend some calories via cardio activity, you should begin to see some of that bulkiness disappear, but it is going to take some time, so patience is a must.
I am not sure if I should continue to weight train. I noticed that my shoulders started filling out and getting thicker, and my arms in general just started to thicken up. I really want lean, toned arms, or at least lean arms. Not my bulky ones that I've been getting. I noticed that since I stopped lifting, I'm getting flabbier, but I'm hoping that if I lose a little weight, they will get smaller. Any suggestions?? I just hate that I need to lift weights for the rest of my life to keep my arms toned....
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