NEW Arm Burner

Welp, we ended up at Urgent Care with the Pilot and his twisted ankle. 

Urgent care

The good news is that it wasn’t busy at all, the Pilot has a pair of crutches, and Liv was a champ, even though it was past her bedtime. She had her first real dose of a movie- they were playing “Happy Feet” on the TVs and she thought it was hilarious. Kyle saved the day by going to pick up Tom, so I could take Liv home and put her to sleep.


how ’bout an arm burner?

I was going to make a video for you, but post-baby baldness is very real and my headband wasn’t doing me any favors. 😉

Hope you like the printable and form cues, though! I call it the “need a band-aid? arm burner.” People will be constantly offering them to you because you’ll be so CUT UP.

You can forget that I made that joke, unless you thought it was funny. 

Arm burner

 As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes, honor your body and your injuries. 

Arm burner2

Form cues:

Make sure to keep your elbows glued to your body for the bicep curls. You’ll be doing 3 sets- 1 of regular bicep curls, one of static bicep combos (hold one arm at 90* and curl the other 10-12 times and switch), then 10-12 pulsing curls. It’s always a good idea to switch up your biceps exercises, and tiny changes like tempo or pulses can make a huge difference.

For the triceps pushup combo, you’ll start in a plank, lower down to a triceps pushup (elbows stay close to your body), hover, push back up into plank, then into down dog to “rest.” Do this 10-12 times, rest for a second, then 1-2 more sets. If this is too much, try the modification in the bottom row, performed on your knees with child’s pose in lieu of down dog.

You can do this workout circuit-style, or go through doing 2-3 sets of each exercise before moving onto the next. If you choose to do it circuit-style, I’d recommend each type of bicep curl for each round (instead of doing all three each time).


I think as women, it’s easy to emphasize cardio instead of strength training. Strength training can be intimidating if it’s something you’re just getting into, but here’s the thing: the physical results occur so quickly. I always like to say that cardio will not change the shape of your body, strength training does that. In addition, pumping some iron has SO many benefits for bone health, general wellbeing and maintaining a healthy body composition (remember, lean muscle burns more calories at rest). Strength training is empowering, too- it makes ya feel strong 🙂

This week, try to pump some iron- even if it’s just a set of bicep curls for the first time in a looooong time, booking an intro personal training appointment or venturing into a strength group fitness class for the first time. 

Who’s lifting weights this week? What’s your standard arm move? Leave one in the comments, and I’ll reply with a variation and way to switch it up 🙂 If you try the arm burner, please let me know how it goes, or tweet me a pic of your guns @fitnessista



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  1. @pluvk on September 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for the arm burner! I laughed at the bandaid joke. 😉 I’m corny like that. Hope Tom is doing better! Hospitals are the worst.

  2. Jess on September 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Love strength training! I hope the Pilot is OK! Liv is a trooper!

  3. Lena on September 19, 2012 at 10:48 am

    So glad I read through all of the comments! I’ve gotten a ton of ideas to change up arm day, along with an arm burner. My go-to arm exercise is the assisted pull-up- I’ve read that it’s a good exercise to use when getting ready for a mud run… which I have in less than two weeks. Eek! Will be printing the arm burner for my evening workout tomorrow! Hope the pilot feels better soon!

    • Fitnessista on September 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      good luck on your mud run!
      love the assisted pull-up! try doing mini ones at the top of the move- killer 🙂

  4. Rachel on September 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

    aww Happy Feet! Liv is so cute 🙂 Hope the Pilot is feeling better 🙂

    I was just looking for a new arm workout.. will be trying this 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      let eme know how it goes!

  5. Megan on September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Gina! I have a quick question that may seem kinda dumb… should I be doing all 3 sets of one exercise before I move to the next one or should I do one set of each exercise 3 times? I love all you workouts!!!

    • Fitnessista on September 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      you can do it either way 🙂

  6. Grace on September 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    tricep bench dips are my loves. and of course old school pushups. nothing makes you feel strong like a pushup

  7. Lauren @JustBeYourBestSelf on September 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Great post! Strength training is so important. Some of my favorite upper body moves are push ups and tricep dips.

  8. kelly on September 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I’m very out of shape and need to lose about 100 lbs. What strength training excercises should I start with? Arms are the least intimidating, but I feel like my core is really weak. I carry most of my weight in my middle and crunches and the like aren’t that easy to execute. Do you have any suggestions on a starting point? P.S. My doc advised me to start strength training- just didn’t point me in the right direction and I already have started cardio. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on September 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      congratulations on starting a healthier path! you know i’m cheering for you 🙂
      i think a great idea for a starting point would be to continue cardio, healthy eating, and a low-key strength training routine. i’d recommend meeting with a trainer in your area who will be able to help you with appropriate exercises for your goal

  9. Kandi on September 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I did some arms at the gym yesterday with some dumbbells and legs today with the machines at the gym..with legs it’s such a different burn than the one you get just doing the treadmill/elliptical!

  10. Charuta on September 21, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Hi Gina,
    This is going to be a long comment but hope you wont mind as wanted to post on your blog for a while..
    I found your blog some 10 months ago when I was searching for some daily Mom blogs with young babies to follow and you sure rock yours 🙂

    I was a regular gym person earlier losing around 25 pounds which I had gained after college. But marriage & a baby soon after derailed all that and it was some time before I made it back to the gym.
    I couldn’t help noticing the difference in these two times –

    Earlier gymming used to be my hangout where I could hang out at the eliptical, push myself to limits with weights, go for a coffee/mall later with gym friends.

    Now after my son is born (he turned one last week), gym time is in my lunch break, I power-walk from office to gym & back, adding 10 min of cradio to my routine. The focus of exercises is now maximum workout within minimum time. But I have to be sure that I am not too sore to lift & play with my son later 😛

    I have been watching your videos since some time and always thought they were for those “real” people with fitness, not somebody like me, who has lost her pregnancy 23 pounds but still has another 15 pounds (before baby) & some serious toning to do before I reach my ideal body weight. However I tried out your 5 minute ab-burner last week. I could complete it and those sweaty 5 minutes were the the most empowering minutes of my life in a long long time. I knew I had my old body back somewhere inside this new mom, sleep deprived body & I now am all the more motivated to get it back. Thanks Gina!! and btw, the workout was totally safe for a C-scetion mom like me too (tried after almost an year of c-section), no cramps, pain later though I was pleasantly sore.

    Flabby arms has been my bane since time immemorial. I do bicep curls, tricep dips the most. Let me know If I can amp them up. Will try the band-aid workout too. 🙂

    Keep up the good work! My love to Liv & get well soon Pilot! 🙂 Cheers!

  11. Alexis Barry on September 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I usually shy away from working out my arms. I think im scared of getting man arms. But I tried this and I really liked it! Even though my arms felt like jello after! It was a nice break from cardio and abs which I usually do. I think slipping things like this into my workout routine will help me tremendously as far as reaching my fitness goals. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Sharon on October 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm


    I’m so glad I finally checked out your blog! A friend of mine told me about it several months ago saying she was always reminded of me when she read it — Our husbands are both A-10 pilots, our daughters, who are 2 months apart, are both named Olivia, and we have a Maltese 🙂

    Anyway, I’ve been reading up for a couple days and just finished this arm workout — I love it! I used to be extremely fit and for whatever reason — health issues and having a baby — I’ve fallen off the wagon. I’m just now getting back on track and really appreciate all of your tips. Looking forward to trying more and getting back to my true self!!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      wow, twinsies!! so nice to meet you and thank you for reading! happy to hear you liked the arm burner!
      thank you for saying hi 🙂

  13. Pamela on October 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Gina!

    The band aid joke was saaweet! My husband goes to the gym 6 days a week and has pretty cut up arms..I cannot wait to use that joke for him! I also wanted to say I LOVE your blog. A friend of mine shared your $20 for a month of baby food on pinterest so I checked it out. My little lady Lucia is 7 months and I am going to attempt your menu and see how she likes it. I also am very excited to try some of these strength training workouts. My husband is always trying to get me to lift because it will burn fat faster and change my body faster than just cardio. Thanks to you I now believe him! Looking forward to checking back with you and following this fantastic blog!


  14. Ashley on November 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I did this exercise yesterday and all I can say is ‘oweeeee’. Going to keep at it and see what the improvements are like!

  15. Emily on April 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Hi Gina!

    I know this is a really old post, but I was browsing through your site this morning and looking for some strength training tips. I saw your end note about how important strength training is for women, and how it changes the shape of your body. I have been exercising for a long time now, but have never really gotten the gist of how much weight I should be lifting when doing arm exercises! What weight would you recommend for someone who has a broad upper body and wants to lose some weight in the upper body? I’m afraid that if I lift too heavy (7-10 lbs.) then I will just get bigger when I only want to lose some weight and tone up, but if I lift too light (5 lbs.) I’m afraid it’s not enough. I’d love to get your opinion on this if you wouldn’t mind! Thanks so much 🙂

    • Fitnessista on April 11, 2014 at 1:28 am

      hey emily! i would either focus on lighter weight but high rep (endurance strength) to fatigue the muscles, or heavier weights (depending on the exercise it will vary, but challenge yourself so that the last couple of reps for each set are really challenging) for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
      cardio will help *shrink* you, but strength will help with the muscle definition. you want to burn fat and build lean muscle at the same time 🙂
      hope this helps a little!

      • Emily on April 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm

        Thank you Gina!

        I know with the move you’re probably really busy, so I appreciate you getting back to me 🙂 And yes your response did help! I think I’m going to focus on using a lighter weight, and maybe focusing on using a heavier weight every so often. Thanks again!

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