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Training for Baby: I don't want to look like Popeye

Posted January 11, 2011 7:55 p.m. EST

My biggest fear of adding weights into my workout routine was that I’d bulk up my arms in the wrong locations, making myself look like Popeye. I’d much rather look like Olive Oil (minus that awful hairdo). I mean, she is super skinny.

But lifting five or ten-pound weights can be a great way to tone up your arms and burn calories. At least that’s what my trainer says.

Trainer Anthony is happy with all the cardio I am doing, but really wants me to add extra strength training each week. That means more weights!

Here are some of the exercises I am already doing with weights:

Hold a five-pound weight sideways above my head with both arms. Then, lean side to side. When doing this, I make sure not to lean back because it makes my back sore. (20 reps twice. Remember, one rep consists of both sides) This works your abs and arms.

Hold one ten-pound weight or two five-pound weights down in front of me. Lift the weights to chest level and then above my head. Then, I bend my elbows to dip the weights behind my head and then back up and down. It is important to make sure that I don’t bend my elbows outward. I need to keep them close to my head so I can work those upper arm muscles. (20 reps twice.)

Hold two ten-pound weights at about shoulder height. Squat down and as I come back up, push the weights above my head. Lower weights and do another squat. (30 reps twice)

As always, I do as much weight as I feel comfortable with.

I recently started taking a weight-lifting class to kick up my weight knowledge and strength. Everyone lifts different amounts, but we work on our reps as a group. There were people more than twice my age lifting half their body weight in that class. It is a real inspiration.

So far, I don’t look like Popeye. But I am getting closer to my goal of having arms like Michelle Obama.

Kathy is a web producer, entertainment expert and concert photographer for WRAL.com. She has written a manuscript about her life as an entertainment reporter and pop culture. Learn more about Kathy on her website. On Wednesdays here on Go Ask Mom, she's chronicling her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband start a family.