Fierce and Fit

It’s Friday, y’all! I’m sure you guys didn’t really need that reminder, but I always feel compelled to say it one or two or fifty times.

First thing's first, I found out this morning that yours truly is featured on Celebrate Arkansas Magazine's website today as one of their "Favorite Arkansas Blogs"!! You can check it out on their homepage or here! Thanks again to the wonderful team at Celebrate for their continued support- frankly, you guys rock : )

This week we’ve talked about everything from J.Crew to designer tools, but today we’re going to take a bit of a departure into some mostly uncharted territory for A Blonde Ambition- health and fitness. To me, fall is an opportune time to get in shape or begin a new fitness routine. The weather is perfect and with all of the eating that surrounds football season and the holidays, it’s a good idea to have something to offset the added calories : )

But I’m not going to be the one doling out work-out tips….no ma’am. Instead, I’ve recruited a bona fide fitness guru to guide us through the riggers of exercise and healthy eating.

I’d like to introduce you ladies to The Muscle Maniac (how awesome is that alias?) He’s a 25 year old national account manager for a major nutrition company in Northwest Arkansas who's currently pursuing his personal training certification. He lives for the gym, loves to be on the lake or outdoors and has been known to occasionally kick my rear at activities like bowling and mini golf : )

Without any further rambling ado, here’s MM.


Hi Blonde Ambitioners! Thanks to Leslie for that great introduction. As she mentioned, I work for a nutrition company and I specifically manage sport nutrition supplements. Physical fitness is a passion of mine (probably more of an obsession) and I LOVE sharing this passion with others. Leslie and I had been talking about a potential blog on Health & Fitness for women, but I was unsure of which topic to conquer first.

It became clear to me when I was at a wedding a couple weeks ago and one of my mom’s friends, “How do I know if I have too much arm fat?” I replied with a customary sarcastic response, “When you did the YMCA on the dance floor and your arm was still dancing after the song was over...that’s a good indicator…”

Before anyone gets upset at that comment, let me go on to explain clarify one thing: I take fitness extremely seriously and I want to help all people achieve their fitness goals. I only joke to illustrate a point and this particular woman has known me for years and took no offense to my comment. So without further ado, let me introduce our topic for today—the dreaded back arm flab. Yes, it is as sexy as it sounds! In all seriousness, it is a problem for many women and will directly impact confidence. And confidence is EVERYTHING!

First a little housekeeping tip: If you want to alleviate a problem area, you MUST begin a strict cardio regimen to reduce overall body fat. You can target a specific area with weights every day of the week and it won’t make a lick of difference if you don’t aren’t doing the cardio work. My recommendation is begin slowly with interval training. There are many articles online that you can research to find the one that fits you best. Find something you like so that you will stick with it!

There are many things that can be done to get rid of the dreaded “bat wing”. To clarify, we are talking about triceps. Many people think that bicep training is the way to great arms but the triceps make up two-thirds of your arm. So it stands to reason that triceps are the way to great arms!

Two things to keep in mind as we go through these exercises:

1. Women are often concerned about weight training because they “do not want to bulk up.” I completely understand (and agree) with that mindset. If that is the case for you, it is key to focus on low weight, high repetitions. If you are looking to bulk up, focus on slowly increasing weight and sacrificing reps and get on a good supplement plan.

2. Form is the MOST important element of all of these exercises.

*Let’s get training:

Hanging Dips

Hanging Dips are a great exercise and a true test of tricep strength. Depending on your strength, you may or may not be able to do a dip without assistance when starting out and that’s completely ok! To perform this exercise with assistance, have a spotter hold your feet during the movement. Start with arms extended on the bars of the dip machine and slowly let your body drop until your upper arms are parallel to the ground and then slowly push back to the top. Aim to do 3 sets of 5, 4, 3 (if you can do more, then please do—these are difficult in the beginning). Add one rep to each set every week until you get to 12 reps in your first set.

Skull Crushers

Don’t let the name scare you, skull crushers are one of the absolute BEST triceps exercises. Lay on a flat bench with normal arch in your back, and lift a barbell straight up in the air (most gyms will have a 3ft. pre-weighted barbell). Slowly bring the weight straight down toward your forehead ensuring that the elbows stay stationary, pause slightly at your forehead, and push back up to starting position exhaling during the exertion. I recommend 4 sets—12, 10, 8, 6. You will want to use light weight in this exercise to ensure that you keep the right form throughout the movement. Be extremely careful to not drop the weight too fast and keep the wrists firm or you will develop pain in your elbow.


Kickbacks are a personal favorite of mine and one of the simpler triceps exercises. Kneel on a bench holding the bench with the same hand as the knee that one the bench. Make sure to keep your back parallel to the ground. Hold the weight in your hand away from the bench keeping the upper part of the arm parallel to the ground and at a 90 degree angle. Push the weight back keeping the elbow stationary. Extend the arm to a straight position and slowly return the weight to the starting position. Once comfortable with this exercise, you can twist the wrist at the top of the lift for a little extra flex in the triceps. I recommend doing 4 sets of 15 reps. Form takes priority over weight. To spice things up, do kickbacks on a cable machine.

Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

Sitting upright, raise a dumbbell directly over your head. Lower the weight directly behind your head as low as you can and extend back to the top. Keep your elbows stationary. If it is more comfortable, it is acceptable to flare your elbows out a little. Overhead extensions can be done as seen above on the ball to increase core strength or they can be done on a bench. Once again, keep your wrists firm to avoid any elbow pain. 4 sets of 20 reps.

Cable Pressdowns

Pressdowns are probably one of the most recognizable triceps exercises. Start with your hands out in front, arms bent at a 90 degree angle, press the rope downward and rotate your wrists at the bottom for a little extra flex in your triceps similar to the kickbacks exercises discussed above. Then slowly bring the rope back to start position. It is important in this exercise to keep your elbows from raising up as your return to start position. Light weight is recommended to focus on the form. 4 sets of 15 reps.

One last thing to keep in mind is that results do NOT happen overnight and there is no such thing as a quick fix. These exercises are tried and true and they do work if they are done properly and regularly. Y'all have all fall and winter to work on these things and get those arms in great shape for whatever spring fashions that A Blonde Ambition might recommend!

Now y'all are ready to go tear up the gyms.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing many success stories.

Got a diet/fitness related question for The Muscle Maniac? (Once again, how about that alias? Haha!) Send it to askblondeambition@gmail.com and include the words “Fierce and Fit” in the subject line. Your question could be featured here in future editions!

Be blessed, lovelies-

Photo Credits: Google images, Dustjacket Attic

*These statements are solely the opinon of the author(s).  It is necessary to consult your medical physican before beginning any work out program or diet to ensure that you are in proper health for such activities.


  1. Am on a bit of a fitness kick myself... thanks for the tips. Have a great weekend!


  2. Since I got the ok to start working out again yesterday morning, I hit the gym yesterday afternoon. Thanks for the tips! We can always use a refresher! :)

    Happy Weekend!

  3. Great feature! Upper arms are hard for women to tone & it is one thing I try to focus on regularly in the gym.

    Happy Friday!

  4. Good luck with the new workouts! I loved the weight lifting tips! I've been doing yoga.

  5. Gracias for the tips! I just broke up with my personal trainer (because hot yoga is more fitting for my crazy lifestyle right now) but i really like all of these exercises that the muscle maniac discussed. ...and let me say, i will ALWAYS take advice from anyone named "the muscle maniac" ... well done. :)

  6. Hmm - I never thought about needed the increased overall cardio when you're targeting a specific area. Great tip!

  7. Great feature! I absolutely love your blog! I have a bit of a fitness obsession myself, and "the muscle maniac" has some great tips! Thanks!

  8. GREAT FEATURE! I cant wait for more tips!! Next tip, please let us know how to get rid of what I call "pockets" under your butt! C'mon..you know what I mean, peeps.. It's like, the upper backs of your thighs that JUST.WONT.FIRM.UP. Lunges have been helping, but there have got to be other things too!

  9. These are ALL great exercises! I incorporate all of them into my weight training routine, and just started w/ the cable pressdowns- those things are vicious!

  10. I am planning on kicking my workouts up a notch - and this was a great help! Thanks

  11. glad to know that my personal trainer is on the right track!!! he is doing all of this with me!!!!! thanks for all the great tips!!!!

  12. Great tips....I will be following your blog and hope to get more tips....


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