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How to get 'Michelle Obama arms'

June 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
First Lady Michelle Obama has given new meaning to the term, "the right to bear arms." Her sculpted limbs have many women wishing they too might be able to feel comfortable while going sleeveless."She has really nice arms," said Bria Dotson, who wants sculpted arms. "She looks great."

Dotson is talking about our very fit-looking First Lady, Michelle Obama.

"I heard on Oprah that she gets up at 4 to work out, so if she's getting up at 4, she deserves it," said Dotson.

It's true Mrs. Obama works out, yet trainer Brian Shiers of Toluca Lake Tennis Club says genetics help.

"Well, you know, we don't choose our parents, but she inherited it from her parents. There's a big component with this," said Shiers. "But most people will get a big benefit from training and eating right."

What's needed? Determination and a varied, efficient program working five main muscles: three in the shoulder and two in the upper arm, known as biceps and triceps.

Some key moves? Lateral raises, overhead raises, bicep curls and scoops, along with tricep exercises.

Typically, three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions are the rule of thumb, done at least twice weekly. But more important is using resistance that requires a struggle, rather than weight easily lifted.

"Oh I've lost a good couple of inches in each arm," said Nancy Shelley.

Confident enough to wear sleeveless shirts, Nancy Shelley has been working on her "guns" for four years and counting.

A fast-paced program with little downtime is best. The concept of continual change to create change means mixing up the workout by keeping muscles guessing -- like adding boxing to the mix.

Age is another factor. After 30, lifting is crucial keep the muscle for strong bones and core stability. But visually, it is even more challenging to make a difference.

So there's age, activity level, and genetic makeup. The last piece of this puzzle? Diet.

This is the most important component. Shiers uses the acronym FAIR to see results.

"Forget about obvious fats, alcohol and sugar while you're trying to lose weight," said Shiers. "You're going to add protein to each meal. You will include fruits and vegetables in every meal. You're going to reduce your portion sizes to half of what you normally have."

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