Fitness Myth #2
Fat Can Be Spot Reduced

Welcome to Week 2 in “Debunking Fitness Myths.”  Last week we covered “Cardio is King” where we debunked the idea that cardio is the only way to lose weight and we also discussed the importance of weight training.  This week we will debunk the belief that fat can be spot reduced!

The concept of spot targeting refers to the idea that you can train one specific area of the body which will result in a loss of body fat in that specific area.  The issue with concentrating all of your efforts on one area of your body in an attempt to blast the fat (think upper arms, mid-sections, inner thighs) is that your body just doesn’t work this way.  It’s not possible to burn fat from only one area; you can only burn overall fat.  Simply put, you cannot pick and choose where you burn fat.

fitness myth fat can be spot reduced
Trying to target your abdominals?

Another reason why spot targeting simply doesn’t work is because it usually targets small muscles that produce a relatively small calorie expenditure.  You are better off focusing on large full body movements (think squats, thrusters, deadlifts, etc.) that will produce a larger energy expenditure and will burn more overall fat.

Now here is where the one exception to the rule comes into play.  Regardless of the fact that fat cannot be spot reduced, you can still work to strengthen a specific area.  Doing core work all day won’t give you a ripped stomach if you have a lot of body fat to lose.  However, it will help to build and strengthen your muscles so that when you do lose body fat, your stomach will be more defined.  So, even though spot targeting does not work with burning fat, it can help to build muscle.

You can do all the core work in the world but if you aren’t being proactive about losing body fat, you won’t see that six-pack you are longing to build.  The best way to lose fat is to increase your cardio and weight training (focus on large full body movements) AND eat healthily with potion control.  Couple these efforts with some core work (no need to go overboard) and you will be on your way to seeing noticeable results.

Catch last week’s myth, “Cardio is King” and stay tuned for next week where we’ll be debunking, Women Who Lift Weights Will Bulk!

Written by Sophie DeHenzel
Fitness Myth #2 – Fat Can be Spot Reduced

Photo courtesy of: axl_images/

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

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