The 30-Day Plan to Toned Arms

by Tony Bonvechio
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The 30-Day Plan to Toned Arms

Strong, toned arms are just a few weeks away thanks to our 30-day plan designed to gradually build the weight and reps, so by the time you’re done, you’ll be the proud owner of a pair of strong, toned arms.

Many people make the mistake of doing tons of arm exercises with light weights and high reps. This usually leads to arms that look the same year after year despite the effort. Instead, the focus should be on increasing strength in pressing and pulling exercises while still performing a few arm exercises to build muscle.

In this plan, you’ll do two different workouts, each consisting of three exercises. You’ll work out two days in a row, take the third day off and repeat for 30 days total. The sets, reps or weight increase over time. Start on the lighter side so you can make gradual progress over the next 30 days.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.


We’ve hand-picked six exercises that target your biceps and triceps.

Coaching Tips

  • These are best done with a barbell, but dumbbells work, too.
  • Use a grip that’s slightly narrower than shoulder width.
  • Keep your back slightly arched and tuck your elbows tight to your sides.

Coaching Tips

  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Keep a straight line from your head to toes and tuck your elbows to your sides on the way down.
  • If you’re not ready to do pushups from the floor, elevate your hands on a bench or a wall (and check out this article for more pushup tips).

Coaching Tips

  • Use a cable machine or resistance band.
  • Keep your elbows tucked tightly to your sides.
  • Stand tall the whole set; don’t lean forward or arch your lower back.

Coaching Tips

  • Use a barbell or dumbbells with a pronated (palms down) grip.
  • Hinge your hips back into a deadlift or kettlebell swing position.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the bar toward your belly button.


> The 28-Day Lunge Plan
> The 14-Day Plank Plan
> The 31-Day Squat, Lunge and Pushup Plan

Coaching Tips

  • Pick any grip you like: palms forward, palms facing you or palms facing each other.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back as you pull yourself up.
  • If you’re not ready to do bodyweight chinups, use an assisted chinup machine or do band-assisted chinups.

Coaching Tips

  • Use a barbell or dumbbells.
  • Keep your elbows tucked tightly to your sides and your palms up the whole time.
  • Keep strict form and resist the urge to use momentum (that takes tension off your muscles and then they won’t grow!)


> Men’s Workout Clothes
> Men’s Athletic Shoes
> Women’s Workout Clothes
> Women’s Athletic Shoes
> All Workout Clothes


  • Jill

    What is a good alternative if you can’t do a chin-up?

    • Perhaps you can ease into the chin-up with lowering the bar so you’re not moving your body straight up and down. Imagine with a TRX attached to a wall and you pull yourself up from laying down, eventually increasing the difficulty until you pull your entire body straight up.

  • Bennie Lee

    I’m in the same boat. I couldn’t do a pull-up or push-up to save my life. And how is a bench press disimiular to a push-up? I could see using resistance and pullies to simulate both.

    • A bench press focuses more primarily on just the chest/arms and the weight moving up and down. The reason you can’t do a push up is because it’s more difficult and full body 🙂 If you can do pushups from the knees (not toes) start there and progress to a full pushup.

  • Let’s not forget “eat fewer calories + more protein”