Ok, here we go again on the road to blowing another complete myth about weight training out of the water. This time we are looking at something called “spot reduction.” This process is all about targeting a particular muscle group with intensive resistance or weight training exercises to burn off fat from that same area of your body.
You need to understand this right now if you are going to get the most out of your exercise program. There is no such thing as spot reduction. The technique does not and cannot work. Ever!
You must understand this point because a lot of people waste their time at the gym. They are targetting their abs or thighs or biceps or whatever with intensive weight training exercises only to be disappointed with the result. The reason they are disappointed is that they don’t know what you and I know. It is not possible to target the loss of fat from one particular part of your body.
What does happen when you target specific parts of your body with high-intensity resistance workouts is that you stimulate the muscles used in a particular exercise. That does not affect the fat stored in the cells in or around that part of your body. You cannot burn fat from your biceps by training your biceps, you cannot burn fat from your stomach by training your abs, and you cannot get rid of the fat from your legs by training them with weights.
Hopefully, after those four paragraphs, I have got the message across. I’m sorry to go on so much, but this message is essential.
So, one more time. Fat is simply a way for the body to store the fuel for whenever it feels it needs it. The body will decide to use up fat from different parts of your body in any order it likes, whenever it wants to. You cannot influence where the fat is used up.
The reason I advocate the use of intensive resistance or weight training exercise is for the overall fat loss effect. As we have discussed before in our previous myths, lean muscle mass is metabolically expensive to the body. The more you have, the more fuel your body needs to use up to maintain it. Your goal, therefore, is two-fold when training with heavy weights. You want to build up muscle to burn off fat, and you want to develop lean muscle mass in specific parts of your body to look good. It’s that simple.
So remember, use a properly structured free weight training program, which is explicitly designed to stimulate muscle growth. The exercises should use low to moderate repetitions but should be performed at a high-intensity level.
As we said in myth number 7, don’t be afraid to train like a bodybuilder, it is by far the quickest way to lose the fat and get the body shape you desire.
This is “Myth #8″ of our “8 Myths of weight loss” series. To read the previous Myths, click on the following links –
Fat Loss Myth #7 – Train too Heavy – Get too Big
Fat Loss Myth #6 – Exercise Slowly and Burn Fat Faster
Fat Loss Myth #5 – A Fat Burning Diet Requires No Exercise
Fat Loss Myth #4 – Lose the Carbs, Lose the Fat?
Fat Loss Myth #3 – Lose Fat by Eating Less Fat?
Fat Loss Myth #2 – Lose Fat by Eating Less?
Fat Loss Myth #1 – Drop the Calories, Drop the Fat?