“What Does 100 Calories Look Like?” and “Tank Top-Ready Arms”

Men’s Health 100 Calorie Quiz

I ran across this little quiz the other day and I thought it would be a fun thing to share with all of you.  The quiz presents 24 pairs of food; your job is to pick the one that is 100 calories.  I think a lot of people have no idea what 100 calories looks like unless you give them one of those utterly crappy “100 calorie snack packs.”  And while I think calories are important, what those calories actually are is equally important.  In other words, having 100 calories worth of  almonds, fruit or vegetables is far superior to one of those empty snack packs.  Give the quiz a try and tell me how you do.  I actually only got 18 out of 24 right!

Six Moves for Tank Top-Ready Arms

I found this piece on yahoo, from Self Magazine called “Six Moves for Tank Top-Ready Arms.”  This is pretty much like every fitness article found in women’s magazines.   Stuff like this is a) useless and b) will never help you achieve “tank top-ready” arms.  Why?  First off, the time span in which you are promised such amazing arms is unrealistic.  I love this quote from the article:

Do her moves below two or three times (check out the how-to video at Self.com) a week, and you’ll start to see results that will send you sundress shopping this weekend.

This implies that you are going to be noticing results within a week.  In fact, you will be feeling so good about your arms, you will be shopping for that tank top (or sundress) almost immediately.  Miraculous…or BS?  Secondly, the article states that you will need a set of 3-5 lb dumbbells and a set of 5-10 lb dumbbells.  Honestly, most of us lift more than that on a regular basis, whether it is groceries, kids, pets, furniture or our damn handbags (go throw it on your scale and tell me what it says)!  Do your arms look like finely sculpted specimens?  In order to actually build muscle, you need to lift something heavier than 3 lbs for sure.  And the “bow and arrow” move in the article, which uses your back, is going to need more than 10 lbs.  Do not be afraid to pick up 15 or 20 lb dumbbells.  You will not get “toned” arms using 3 and 5 lb dumbbells, I guarantee you. 

Finally, what the article fails to mention is the “fat factor.”  I don’t care how big of a dumbbell you use or how often you lift weights, if you don’t have your diet in check you are never (ever) going to have “Cameron Diaz” arms (which the article uses as the gold standard).  You can have the muscles of a goddess, but if you have fat covering those muscles you will not see them.  To look “toned,” “defined” or like you actually have some muscles, you need to be lean, which means you need to lift and you need to get your diet in check.  Common, common mistake.  People think they do bicep curls and suddenly all the fat covering their biceps will disappear and they will have amazing arms.  Not true. 

The exercises given in the article are mostly useless.  You would be way better off doing some push ups (elevate your upper body if you cannot do a good full-body push up on the ground), maybe some overhead presses and some rows with enough weight that 8-10 reps is challenging.  I will leave you with some inspiration (by the way, 20 kg is 44 lbs). 

About Lisa Van Dore

I have lived in Sherborn, Dover and most recently North Walpole, for a total of 15 years (and counting). Having recently been through the process of selling a home and buying (and renovating) a new one, I understand the conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety inherent in the process, whether you are a seller or buyer, whether this is your first home purchase or your tenth. I have a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Indiana University. My early career found me working as a CPA, and later as the controller of Crate & Barrel. More recently I spent seven years running my own personal training business. I understand the hard work and dedication necessary to build a business and a reputation...most of my personal training clients came to me by referral and my first client was still with me when I decided to leave personal training. This speaks to the level of effort I put forth for my clients, week after week. On a more personal note, I raced triathlon for seven years and more recently completed my first half marathon. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, Maine, hiking and, in the fall, following college football...my teams are the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
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