Trainer spills beans about Michelle's arms

At last, the secret to first lady Michelle Obama’s sculpted arms: Tricep pushdowns and hammer curls.

So says Cornell McClellan, Michelle’s longtime personal trainer, who described the workout routine of his famous client in the October issue of Women’s Health magazine. She began working with McClellan in 1997 at his Chicago fitness studio. “She is truly committed herself to the importance of health and fitness,” he says.

McClellan said at the end of an intense routine of cardio workouts and weight training, Michelle finishes with the “arm-shaping superset” of tricep pushdowns and hammer curls to tone one of the most commented-upon pair of arms in the world. Michelle often wears sleeveless outfits.

How to get arms like Michelle? Perform one set of tricep pushdowns using a straight bar attached to the high pulley of a cable station and then, without resting, follow with a set of hammer curls using dumbbells. Immediately, repeat the entire process until two or three sets of both exercises have been completed.

The details of Michelle’s fitness routine came as part of a series of interviews by President Barack Obama and Michelle on health care and their personal fitness and nutrition habits.  Obama was interviewed by Men’s Health; he also was featured in the magazine last November. Michelle gave her first interviews to Women’s Health and Children’s Health, a new magazine by Rodale Inc, publisher of the men’s and women’s health magazines. Obama is again on the cover of Men’s Health, while his wife graces the cover of Children’s Health.

Obama said he works out six days a week: two cardio days and four weightlifting days split between the upper and lower body.

“My blood pressure is pretty low, and I tend to be a healthy eater,” he said in the interview. “So I probably could get away with cutting (my workouts) back a little bit. The main reason I do it is just to clear my head and relieve me of stress.”

Michelle cited small changes to her family’s diet that she says have made a difference. They include eliminating processed foods, cutting back on sugary drinks, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, eating together more as a family and teaching her daughters how to read food labels. She said she tries to be conscientious about health and fitness because her family is like many others too busy to think about it every day.

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