How to tone muscles

Hi I started my journey at the gym last June,I'm loving it,working out 5x a week and attending strength training classes,I have been complimented on my Physique, I have lost weight, and have toned up,but my problem are my arms,to me it looks like I have man arms,, they look bulky, I lift around 5kgs - 10kgs depending on the exercise I'm doing,my diet is a bit of a yo-yo,I have protein shakes,pre work out powders,I eat mainly home cooked meals,I drink an adequate amount of water,an I have given alcohol up ( drinking every weekend for the last 18 yrs), is there anyone who could suggest what kind of diet I should do,or should I left lighter weights and do more reps? Any help will be welcomed.Thank you in advance😊


  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,501 Member
    edited February 28
    Congrats on your life changes.

    Can you give more info? Were you formerly obese, and are you older? If so, that could be loose skin on the arms, and I know there are ladies here who will likely comment on that topic. If this isn't the case, maybe you're holding enough body fat in total and it's only your arms that bother you, while the issue is really total body fat? Since you can't spot reduce.

    More muscle will help, and losing some more fat.

    5kg-10kg for which exercises? There's a world of difference between rows and chest press, and arms work. For the former, maybe you can do more weight than that? Are you currently progressing in reps/sets/volume?

    What are you currently doing for arms, what weekly volume, how many sets etc.?

    As a general guide, look here.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,030 Member
    When you say it looks like you have "man arms" and you don't like that, I'm assuming you mean your arms are more muscular-looking than you'd like.

    If your arms are more muscular than you'd like, reduce your strength training load for arms. (Lower weight, lower reps, fewer sets, less often, or some combination.) Maybe one of the experts here can suggest how to find a maintenance load, or a "lose a little muscle" load. I can't.

    I wouldn't do it, personally. But I'm not you, and you can decide what your preferences and priorities are.

    If, instead, you still have some arm fat, then calorie reduction to lose weight, and continuing a muscle-building strength training load, could be the general course (with the caveat that not much muscle mass is likely to be added in a calorie deficit). But women wouldn't normally call that look "man arms", nor use that term to refer to loose skin post weight loss.

    I'm not sure how to interpret your post. Generally "toning" is a vague - sort of made-up - word that usually means building some amount of muscularity, and losing (or gaining) enough fat that the muscle shows in the way you'd like. We women, even at a healthy weight, usually have a small whole-body layer of subcutaneous fat that visually smooths out the muscularity to some extent. Female bodybuilders lose down to a very low (usually unsustainable) level of body fat for competitions so that their muscles show more. Usually they look less muscular (what some would call "bulky") when they're not heading into a competition.

    Women with more average workout routines usually don't build huge muscles that would be called "man arms", but genetics vary between women, and - more importantly - so do appearance preferences. You get to have and express your own preferences. I'd help you if I had more understanding of exactly what you mean . . . and more technical knowledge of strength training beyond the basics.

    Best wishes!
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,603 Member
    edited March 3
    I’m guessing you’re carrying fat on your arms? If that’s the case then you just need to lose fat overall as you can’t select where the fat comes off with specific exercises.

    If your arms are too muscular (usually not the case) then just train them less frequently.

    Any time someone speaks of “toning”, that is generally done by eliminating fat covering the muscles, however you need to actually HAVE some muscle structure to begin with.