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marta wohrle

Great-Looking Arms in Only Five Minutes a Day

Is a Solution for:
Fitness & Weight Loss
Reviewed by Marta October 3, 2011 23 Comments

Many members of the Truth In Aging community have been asking me about what I’m doing to get toned (but not bulky arms). First of all, thank you for noticing. So here’s the secret – and a wonderful one it is, too. Really! My workout routine is incredibly efficient - you can have arms like mine with a five minute a day workout – and it can completely change your entire body at any age.

In this past year, at the age of 51, I have very significantly changed the shape of my body. It isn’t just leaner and more toned, it is a different shape. My first insight, the A-Ha Moment, was  the discovery of a theory that different body shapes should choose the right exercises for them. And I was exercising all wrong.

I have always had, relatively speaking, a small waist, curvy hips and heavy-ish thighs. I would describe myself as pear-shaped. Anyway, I was to learn that I was really an hour-glass and that I had spent most of my adult life exercising myself into a a pear shape by focusing on exercises that I thought would slim my thighs, but were really doing the opposite (rowing, squats, running).

Don’t worry, I won’t be subjecting the world to my thighs on video. But trust me, they are now leaner and more in proportion with the rest of my body than ever before. I just wanted to make the point that it isn’t just my arms that are lean and toned. This is the result of two exercise routines that require about 17 minutes of my time about five days a week. The routines are Jackie Warner’s circuits and The Bar Method.

Jackie Warner’s circuits (you can find them in her book This Is Why You Are Fat) are designed in a particular way to give you calorie burning cardio as well as toning exercises. Each routine has six exercises – two each for upper, lower and core – and you repeat each circuit three times. This takes about 17 minutes, but if you could just do the arm exercises in about five minutes. So no excuses.

The other thing that’s good about Jackie Warner’s circuits is that there are many of them, so I can do a different one each day. This not only prevents boredom, but repetitive exercise is less effective. By changing every day, you increase the efficiency of the exercises and that’s another reason why 15-17 minutes a day is enough to see great results.

I started out with 2lb hand weights and now use 5lb weights. You will get results without weights at all, but less so. The exercises also include press ups and turbo-charged versions called wingmans. Although I don’t find these easy, I make myself do them because they help strengthen the arms and – very importantly – the wrists. I refuse to get old with fragile, spindly wrists that can't uncork a bottle of wine.

The Bar Method exercises (I work from the DVD Change Your Body) also have brilliant arm exercises. Bar (or barre) exercises are aimed at creating long, lean muscle. My new thighs owe everything to them. There are a number of variations, Core Fusion, Barre3, the Daily Method, that are pretty similar. I happen to marginally prefer The Bar Method, but I do rotate between them so that I don’t get bored or plateau.

One good thing about bar exercises (at home, you can use a chair) is that you have something hold on to for balance and there are many exercises that are kind to knees and don’t strain the hips or back. The movements tend to be very small and, although you’ll know about it from your muscles the next day, they are very doable, even for people who are exercise novices. So, again, no excuses.

With a little time investment and the will to keep it up, you can completely change your body in a few months (you’ll see results in a few days!). To paraphrase the founder of  The Bar Method, Burr Leonard, have a picture in your mind of the body you want to be because everyone has it in them to change.

  • November 1, 2011

    by Marta

    I just tried out Burr Leonard's new Super Sculpting and the ab exercises are really tough. Not to mention the amount of press-ups - but if she can 20 press-ups at 63, then I'm going to crack this!!

  • November 1, 2011

    by Junko

    Tried to do Jackie Warner's Time Saving's Program (30 min. DVD) last night. OMG! It's tough, but I can see and feel this morning where 30 minutes with Jackie will do more overall muscle toning compared to 30 minutes on my treadmill. Plan on buying the Burr Leonard DVD next. Thanks so much Marta I love it ~ now, if i can just stay with it....

  • October 18, 2011

    by Marta

    Way to go Penny! I'm proud of you. If you did ballet then you are going to really like Bar Method - let us know how you get on

  • October 18, 2011

    by Penny

    Marta, your new photos on TIA are fantastic and your arms . . . just incredibly beautiful shape. You are such an inspiration. I now have the the DVD "Dancer's Body - the bar method" and Jackie Warner's book: "This is Why You're Fat". I'm committed!

    Was in ballet for 30 years - not over weight but looking flabby at age 70.
    Thank you for getting me going again!

  • October 5, 2011

    by Rhonda

    Wow! I think I will dust off my fluidity bar and get to work then! I'm not sure why I became disillusioned with it (years ago), but I'm willing to give it another try to get results like yours. In fact, I noticed your arms in your last email!

  • October 5, 2011

    by Marta

    I have the Jackie Warner DVDs, but prefer the book for day to day use. I don't know the Burr Leonard, but I really want to try some more of the Bar Method videos, so I'll give it a try. Thanks Jaysie.

  • October 5, 2011

    by Jaysie

    I have bone spurs in my feet, so running is not good. But I love the idea of 17 min a day 5x a week along with The Bar. I just found out my local library has the Warner "why you're fat" book plus her Power Circuit training and Xtreme Timesave DVDs; also has the Designer Sculpting video from Burr Leonard. Are you familiar with any of those videos?

  • October 5, 2011

    by Marta

    Jaysie, more like five times a week, one run, run day off (but that's the goal - I manage most weeks, but sometimes its less)

  • October 4, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Marta - Do you do these exercises 7 days a week?

  • October 4, 2011

    by Amanda Walles

    There is NEW hope for saggy arms! And any 'muffin tops' and other flabby areas that no matter how much you work out, you just can't tone...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh_OX0N5vdk&sns=em

  • October 4, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Gloria, Jackie Warner claims that her circuits provide cardio training as well. However, I still try to run once a week and I do begin my sessions with a warmup of either rowing or skipping to get my heart rate up. You just need to experiment to find what works for you. But, for example, you could keep a couple of elliptical or treadmill days in your weekly regimen and try my suggestions on the other days. Its all about finding the right balance for you.

    And Chris, I promise, promise, promise that there is hope - if there is a will.

  • October 4, 2011

    by Chris

    Can there still be hope for flabby, saggy arms? Gah! I'm an apple.

  • October 4, 2011

    by Gloria

    Marta thanks so much for sharing this. As I can see many of us have the same trouble and are doing the same thing. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week and do 20 minutes of strength training and have been doing 45-60 minutes of cardio, (mostly elliptical or treadmill. I suppose those are the worst for pear shape. I will definitely look into these books and dvd's. My doctor suggests that I do at least 45 minutes to get my heart rate up. Heart disease runs on both sides of my family so will this regimen do the same? I have been intrigued by the bar method since Kelly Osbourne lost so much weight by following it. Thanks again!

  • October 3, 2011

    by Oksana

    JustD,
    it's $17 on the barmethod.com.

  • October 3, 2011

    by Justd

    WTH! You are looking mahvelous! I have been spending an hour a day working out and not getting half the results you're speaking of. This is just what the doctor ordered, thank you Marta! I've always seen myself as pear shaped as well, but my friends say my physical appearance is more like a coke bottle, I'm still not sure if that's good, but I've been doing the exact exercises you described, squats and lunges, and focusing on my triceps and biceps, but the toning is not as lusciously defined as yours, WOW! UGOGURL! I'm jealous! I've already got the book on my Kindle, I'm still searching for a sale on the Bar Method LOL! 17 minutes? Really? Ditto what Junko said, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR SECRETS!

  • October 3, 2011

    by Marta

    You are welcome Junko. To think that I used to spend 35 minutes on a rowing machine.... now I just do about five minutes fast as a warm before the circuits or Bar.

  • October 3, 2011

    by Junko

    17 minutes a day compared to double that on a tread-mill AND change my pear shape??!! I'm definitely looking into these Marta ! Thanks so much for sharing your 'secrets' !

  • October 3, 2011

    by ha

    Your arms are seriously amazing!

  • October 3, 2011

    by Jan

    Very helpful...I have the same shape....and need to tone up. Thanks!

  • October 3, 2011

    by Marta

    I hope you get inspired to give them a try Deb. If you do, let us know how they work out for you.

  • October 3, 2011

    by deb

    thank you Marta. you are so helpful. a real gift.

  • October 3, 2011

    by Marta

    Gloria, the key is the Bar Method exercises. In the Change Your Body DVD there is a section on thigh work. Burr Leonard (instructor) comments as you are doing them that you will go down two blue jean sizes - and I did!! I'll do some follow up posts on some of the actual exercises.

  • October 3, 2011

    by Gloria

    Marta I have the exact same body type. I would love to know how you slimmed your thighs and if I am doing all the wrong exercises. Your arms are fabulous!

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