Most fitness/health/lifestyle bloggers have a “story.” Their “A-ha” moment when they realized they needed to make a healthy change. The stories vary from being overweight or underweight. Regardless, they’re inspiring and motivating.
Last week, Kasey at Powercakes told her story and it inspired me to tell mine…well a portion of mine. You see, my “story” has many chapters and to air it all out in one post would be overwhelming (and a pain in my ass to type.) So instead, I’ll give you my “story” in installments. My chapters will not be in chronological order, but they’ll appear when I’m ready. Let’s face it, I’m not one to play by the rules.
The first installment is all about my fascination with Arm Day. I decided to start with this because Kasey posted two pictures of herself side by side with her biceps then and her biceps today. Immediately, I was inspired.
Here we go…
Through my childhood and high school career, I did not participate in any sports. NONE. I didn’t feel that I was capable of anything requiring athletic ability and truth is, I didn’t even try. When I started attending college at the UCONN Stamford branch, I decided it was time to take the plunge and join the gym. I was mainly concerned about gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15.” Mind you, I was just at a commuter school but I wanted to look great when everyone else came back from school, 15 pounds heavier. I know what you’re thinking, “what a bitch.” Yes, you’re absolutely correct.
Here I am before any type of weight training. Now if you can focus on something other than those awful dresses or the corn rows in my hair, you’ll notice my string bean frame.
I started slowly with cardio and that was even difficult for me. Like I said, I had NO athletic ability. I don’t even think I ever successfully accomplished the mile in our annual physical fitness tests at school. Once I became more comfortable, I was ready to move on. I approached the gym director, Kathleen and asked for her help. I immediately asked about arm exercises. I thought of Madonna and her awesome arms and wanted them! Everyone sees your arms. They don’t see your abs, unless you show them and your legs are usually in your pants. Arms are always on display.
Kathleen showed me some basic machines, the preacher curl and the press down machine. Those two machines saved me. I honestly stuck with those for the 2 years I was there. Never, ever picking up free weights. It was all I needed. I saw definition and when people started commenting on my arm tone, I was psyched! No one had EVER complimented me on anything like that before. I’ve been complimented on my eyes, hair, you know the usual but never on something I actually worked towards. And so began my fascination with arms. All it took were a few compliments and I was on my way!
Once college was over, I started my full time job and decided it was time to join a real gym. I was nervous. I was scared. So many people that may look at me and snicker if I did something incorrectly. I was terrified. Upon joining The Edge, I was given a free training session as part of my membership. They paired me with a female trainer (per my request) named Missy. My first workout with Missy was amazing! She got me and I felt comfortable picking up the free weights because I had her by my side. I trained with Missy for years and she became one of my very best friends. She taught me everything I know today and for that, I’m forever grateful to her. She gave me the confidence I needed to walk into ANY gym, pick up dumbbells and curl until my biceps screamed for mercy.
While my arms are stronger than ever today, there were definitely some bumps along the way.
This is when I was over training and not eating enough to nourish my body after my workouts, or in general for that matter. I was doing more harm than good. I won’t get into it too much because, well, that’s another chapter. It took a long while to get back on track. But when that time came, I became that person at the gym. The one who takes selfies in the mirror. At least I do it in the locker room and not the gym floor. Take a look at my progress in just over a year.
Today, I dedicate 1 day a week to my favorite body part. I combine bicep and triceps into one routine. Some people split their days between biceps/back and triceps/chest. I’ve tried it and I just love doing arms on the same day. The pump I get is my absolute favorite. To add to this, I chose Wednesday as Arm Day, simply because it’s the middle of the week. It gives me something to look forward to on a dull Monday and makes the weekend seem really close. Yes, I’m that neurotic.
I’ve done this workout a few times in the past month and I have been sore every single time. The bicep routine is part of Bella Falconi’s schedule but I added the triceps portion.
As always, I don’t list weights. Do what you can for 12 reps. It should be hard! If it’s too easy, pick up heavier weights and if you prefer to go extra heavy, lower your reps to whatever you can complete while still keeping your form.
Arm Day helped me gain confidence. Confidence that I had never had before. And that my friends, is the Evolution of Arm Day.
What body part gives you the most confidence? Keep it clean people.
What is your weakest body part? For me, it’s lower body in general. I have to apply the same mindset I have for arms to my legs…