Slimming down a muscular upper body doesn’t have to be a nightmare! All you need to do this successfully is a few useful tips that will tell you what to do and help in speeding up the process. And we provide you with those tips!
You can forget about wasting time and looking for info on your own for days. We summarized everything you need to know about how to slim down a muscular upper body into a neat 6-step guide. That way, you can find all you need to know in only a few minutes and start exercising right away!
An Effective 6-Step Guide on How To Slim Down a Muscular Upper Body
1. Lift Light Weights
When it comes to exercising, just use small weights to train your upper body instead of the heavy ones you might be used to. Heavy lifting encourages muscular development or hypertrophy. During the first few hours after exercise, it also makes your arms appear larger.
Even with very small weights, there is a “muscle pump” that results in increased endurance rather than muscular growth.
Both forms of exercise promote the development of new muscles and boost overall power. On the other hand, lifting lesser weights strains the central nervous system more.
This makes it challenging to gain muscle over time. Additionally, your body stops gaining weight as a result of exercise adaptation. You’ll keep muscle tone and lose fat, which is the key advantage.
2. Have a Calorie Deficit Diet
Eating at a modest calorie deficit—and we do mean modest—can hasten the process. Going too far will injure you in the long term, therefore you don’t want to damage your metabolism by attempting to do so.
It is advised to eat 250–300 calories less each day for several weeks while keeping an eye on your development. You will be able to drop weight thanks to this, some of it being muscle. Going too far can lead you to lose too much general muscle and weight, so you should avoid it.
Less muscle lowers your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight in the future because muscle burns more calories than fat. Low-calorie diets typically prevent muscle development by lowering protein synthesis. You can keep lean muscle if you consume fewer calories while maintaining a high protein intake.
3. Cut Down on Protein
The key components of building muscle and other tissues are proteins. Because of this, the majority of athletes and gym visitors consume protein smoothies and high-protein meals at every meal. Reduce your intake of meat, dairy, fish, and eggs if you want to shed upper body bulk.
Just be careful not to overdo it. In addition to being high in protein, these foods are also incredibly nutrient-dense. You can get vitamin deficits if you cut them out of your diet.
Get 0.54 grams of protein per pound of body weight, at the very least. For sedentary people, this is the standard minimum consumption per day. Consume 0.64 to 1 gram of protein each day if you have an active lifestyle.
Keep in mind that protein has many more benefits than just helping you gain muscle. This vitamin is essential for healthy cellular and tissue function throughout your body.
4. Focus on Cardio
Another strategy to help you slim down your upper body is to engage in some form of cardio activity several times per week. It is advised to perform 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week for two and a half hours to burn calories and aid in losing extra fat.
Exercises like running, cycling, or fast walking can all help you lose weight overall, but if you want to focus on your upper body in specifically, pick an activity that targets specific muscle areas. For a good arm and shoulder workout, try swimming, tennis, water aerobics, boxing, or rowing.
You may also give exercises like rope jumping or give an elliptical trainer with arm levers a try. If done correctly, cardio won’t result in muscle loss, but it may help you lose body fat rapidly, especially when combined with a calorie deficit, and it can also help you lose weight overall.
Combining cardio with resistance training is advised since doing cardio alone might make you seem skinny-fat. However, make sure to concentrate on exercises that will keep you toned rather than bulky.
5. Implement Upper-Body Workouts
There are many different types of cardio equipment accessible nowadays. Select exercises that target your upper body if you want to drop muscle from your back or arms. Rowing, arm ergometer training, and interval training with fighting ropes are all fantastic choices.
You may also attempt full-body exercises like rope jumping, burpees, mountain climbers, and high knees. These aerobic routines increase your metabolism and help you lose weight overall.
Be aware that extra body fat, not muscle, is typically the source of big arms. You cannot appear bulky if you have lean muscle.
The more lean mass you have, the thinner you’ll appear because muscle takes up less room than fat. First, think about lowering weight. Take a look at the list below to see what upper-body workouts you can try:
- Barbell Press—A terrific upper body workout for developing the chest, triceps, and anterior shoulder. Barbell bench presses are excellent because they let you lift bigger weights, and you can also do them having a variety of different grips (narrow, medium, wide)
- Dumbbell Bent Over Row—Targets the back muscles, biceps, and forearms. When you do this exercise with dumbbells, you can broaden the range of motion, change up your grip, and add a little twist
- Lat Pulldown—A back exercise you can perform at any level and train with both heavy and small weights to increase the muscle and definition in your back. Unlike the row, the pulldown strengthens the back muscles that might contribute to the development of a broader, as well as a more V-shaped physique
- Arnold Dumbbell Press—A shoulder-building workout that is excellent for giving all of the shoulder’s heads more muscle and definition. The Arnold dumbbell press is a terrific exercise to improve the effects of your shoulder workout since it simultaneously works all three heads of the deltoid, in contrast to other shoulder exercises
- Push Press—A powerful upper body workout that also works the lower body and triceps. Because you may move large loads and use a lot of muscle mass in the process, this complex workout is excellent for building muscle and burning calories
6. Avoid Carbs
When carbs are digested, they get transformed into glucose. While some are converted into energy, others are kept as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Glycogen may contain around three grams of water per gram. Because of this, you could appear bulkier the day after consuming a high-carb meal like pasta or rice.
Additionally, carbs are important for muscle development and repair. This is why gaining bulk while following a low-carb diet is challenging. Cut back on the carbs if you want to gain muscle. Limit your intake of bread, potatoes, beans, grains, and sweets.
What Not To Do When Slimming Down a Muscular Upper Body
Now that you are acquainted with what you should do when slimming down a muscular upper body, it’s time to learn what you should avoid doing as well. Take a look at the list below for all the details:
1. Don’t Do Isolation Workouts
Stop performing any upper-body muscle isolation exercises. Muscular growth may improve by focusing on certain muscle groups, including your triceps, lats, and biceps.
Avoid biceps curls, triceps presses, hammer curls, and tricep kickbacks if you want to lose your muscular arms. The same holds true for pull-ups, lat pulldowns, bench presses, and rowing. They target your arms, back, and shoulders.
2. Don’t Lift Heavy Weights
Do not engage in any hard lifting or programs that emphasize high reps and low weights. What we mean by this is lifting anything between 3 and 8 times.
While it is possible to lift weights without becoming overly bulky, if you want to see results sooner, avoid lifting heavy weights for your upper body.
3. Don’t Overwork Yourself
Although hard work is necessary to meet your goal, overworking yourself won’t prove helpful. On the contrary, if you fail to make a proper schedule and include rest days, it’s highly likely that you will end up injuring yourself or having sore muscles that will prevent you from further workouts.
That is why you should make sure that you take breaks and do what’s right for yourself and your body instead of cramming a ton of exercises into your daily routine.
Losing weight and slimming down a muscular body usually takes some time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t start seeing the results right away. The important thing is that you are healthy and happy with the routine you planned for yourself.
Once you’re comfortable in your daily routine, you’ll have a much easier time following it and won’t struggle to accomplish any of the goals you set. Just remember that these things take time and that hard work always pays off!
Lazar Sretenović, an IFBB and REPs Level 3 certified trainer, specializes in personalized fitness programs encompassing weight lifting, EMS, and endurance training. With a focus on tailored nutrition and holistic well-being, Lazar Sretenović guides clients through transformative health journeys, emphasizing safety and individual goals.