A few months ago I watched a video clip of Michelle Obama giving a speech to a group of young people.

The speech was delivered with such eloquence and grace, and yet, it wasn’t the speech that captured my attention. It was Michelle’s awesome looking arms that really gripped me.

After watching the clip I immediately sent trainer Renee Byrd a text informing her that I wanted Michelle Obama arms. Her response to me was, “you can have them.”

Hearing those words from Byrd really inspired and encouraged me. And as I look back on the beginning of my training with her, that was one of the first areas she targeted on my body. I’m not sure if it was because I couldn’t fit my arms into any of my polo shirts anymore, or the fact that I looked like a linebacker that encouraged her to take action.

All I know is Byrd was determined to help my arms become toner, leaner and more defined like Michelle Obama rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And I’m so glad she did.

Before I tell you how she did it, I must share this story with you.

One Wednesday night Byrd and I were sitting in her driveway chatting. Actually the conversation was pretty deep as I was pouring my heart out to Byrd. I noticed during our conversation that Byrd kept staring at my arms. I finally asked her what was wrong. Her reply was, “I’m sorry Mel, but your arms look amazing.” Well if that doesn’t serve as a confidence boost I don’t know what will. And this coming from someone who has the most phenomenal looking arms I’ve ever seen, even Michelle Obama’s.

So just how did Byrd, Michelle and I get our sensational looking arms. By doing several exercises that target the triceps, shoulders and biceps. One of those exercises that Byrd and I discussed and demonstrated for the video component with this article were bicep curls. Byrd said the most important aspect of this exercise is posture and abs.

“Make sure that you’re standing nice and tall,” Byrd said. “Abs need to be nice and tight and shoulders need to be back, not leaning forward.”

Also as you bring the dumbbells up, Byrd said it’s important not to lock out the elbow and make sure that the elbow, shoulders and hips are aligned.

Another exercise that can be utilized to define your arms are triceps kickbacks. These can be performed in a small squat position.

“Again, make sure that your abs are tight and in,” she said. “As you take the weights back you want to make sure that you get a nice big squeeze at the end.”

Byrd said again to not lock out the elbows when performing any exercise because it causes injuries.

And the last exercise we demonstrated was the side lat raise.

“Side lat raises really define the shoulders and gives you that cut look,” Byrd said. “As you’re performing this particular exercise, make sure to have a small bend in the elbow. Raise the weights to the T-line never going any higher than your shoulders and bring them back down.”

She said to work through the entire motion and never let the muscles rest until the set is completely done.

In addition, Byrd said people who want cut and defined arms can do them by implementing metabolic conditioning. That is doing a lot of fat-burning workouts verses long-distance running and cardio she said.

“Those will burn your muscle instead of your fat,” she said. “Short distances of high burst of intensity exercises are actually going to burn fat and not muscle. And of course you need to make sure you eat clean.”

Those are just a few examples of some exercises you can do.

To reach Renee Byrd or if you have fitness questions, contact her at 972-741-1271 or renee@campgladiator.com. Her responses will be posted in next week’s Fit for Thought column, which appears in the Wednesday edition of the Daily Light.

Melissa Cade is a journalist for Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Follow her on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.