(Closed) Is it possible to have toned arms/etc. when you're overweight?

posted 6 years ago in Full Figured
Post # 16
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Definitely possible, I am the embodiment of toned arms while being overweight! Haha. My job keeps me active all day though, so it would be weird for me to not have muscular arms considering what I do. I am 5’2″ and a size 12. You can do it!

An OK shot of my arm action!

Post # 17
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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talia.teresa:  Yeah, I mean, BMI is a “cheap and dirty” measurement. It only works if you know that you carry either an average, or lower than average, muscle mass. Lots of people do have an average muscle mass… that’s why it’s called “average”, LOL! I would say that unless you feel you are quite musular already, BMI is a good measurement for you to work with.

The problem with body fat percentages is that they aren’t always accurate either, especially because they tend to be estimated from visceral abdominal fat. If you have fat around your organs, which is much more toxic, this will not show up in a measurement of body fat %. Also, if you carry either more or less visceral fat than average around your abdomen, your percentages will be off as well.

Basically, unless you know that you are either very unfit, or very fit, it’s all a guessing game. The way that I used to tell I was getting results, back in the day when I was actually quite fit (sadly those days are long gone), was that I would have agonisingly slow weight loss (loss of fat), followed by a long plateau (fat loss, muscle gain), followed by a sudden rapid weight gain (muscle mass). As soon as I experienced the rapid weight gain, I would know that a sudden drop in my dress size and all of my measurements would follow, as the muscle gain would cause my metabolism to shoot off like a rocket. I would usually end up about the same weight I started, but much slimmer!

Post # 18
537 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you don’t lose enough fat to compensate for the increased muscle mass, yes, you will look bigger at first. There’s no short cut: if you want arms/shoulders/ a back that are noticeably toned, you’ve got to strength train while continuing to lose fat. Again, there’s no such thing as “spot reduction”, but as you build specific muscles, the way the fat layer lays on those muscles will change. I used to have a ton of noticeable cellulite on my thighs and but. You can’t get rid of cellulite, but now that my legs and butt are toned though a ton of squats and training, the appearance of the cellulite has diminished drastically. Keep up the hard work, OP!

Post # 19
13900 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Ok, first point that drives me insane.  MUSCLE DOES NOT WEIGH MORE THAN FAT.  A pound is a standard unit of measurement.  Muscle is denser than fat.  Think of it this way: a pound of feathers takes up a whole lot more space than a pound of lead.   The claim that muscle weighs more than fat is ludicrous and quite simply, wrong.  It gets perpetuated a lot, and it makes me sad for the fact that people don’t get that a pound is a universal, standard measurement.  It’s like saying an inch isn’t actually an inch if you measure in England versus the U.S. – 100% false. 

Second, you’re going to need to lose weight to see muscle definition.  The more muslce you build, the more effective your body will be at burning fat. 

Third, work your tricep.  This muscle makes up two-thirds of the mass of your upper arm, and the bicep is actually a pretty small muscle in comparison.  It’s important to work everying, but doing intensive tricep work is really going to help in burning fat and getting the definition that you want. 

Finally, if you want to reduce backfat, you’re going to need to cut calories, lose weight, and also work on back muscles.  I’ve noticed a lot of people forget about doing back workouts because the muscle’s aren’t as noticeable as a bicep, but it’s definitely important to do that.  Also, don’t forget to do chest as well, which will work that area where your torso connects into your armpits and a lot of people have flab there, too.

Good luck!

Post # 20
1282 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017 - Baton Rouge, LA


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talia.teresa:  i tell you what, I’ve been slacking at losing fat, but I’ve been working with a trainer for 4 months. I am definitely gaining muscle, I can feel it for sure! But one thing that has stood out to me is the lack of cellulite i have in my thighs. almost completely gone!! I definitely believe if you start building muscle, it’ll help smooth your arms, get rid of any cellulite, or general lumpiness. You can do it! Get started now!! Good luck!!

Post # 21
255 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I used “It Works” wraps twice on my arms. I’m not sure if the fat actually went away anywhere, but my skin definitely feels and looks tighter which helps a lot with the lumpy/flabby problem. 

It couldn’t hurt to start a daily upper body workout using some light weights and push-ups. Even 10 minutes a day can make a difference! I like the Tone-It Up series on youtube personally

Good luck!

Post # 22
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

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talia.teresa:  Let me tell you my experience. I was pretty physically active but carried some extra weight on me starting from when I was like 16- age 24. I finally decided to make a change and do something about my appearance so I started on MyfitnessPal and lost 25 lbs. (It took veryyy long and I did it slowwwwwwly.) I run a more now for sure but I strength-train (“work my muscles with weights”) less than before when I was heavier. I can tell you with 100% certainty it was not strength training that gave me defined arms but rather eating less. I am a firm believer that “muscle tone is made in the kitchen”. Your muscles are there, just hidden by extra weight so losing weight by eating less is the key. I promise!

For what it’s worth!

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