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Spot Training for Muppets

With the barrage of Bulls**t on social media advocating 100 crunches morning noon and night will get you those “washboard abs” - Well it won’t….. 

The concept of spot reduction follows the false belief that training a specific muscle will result in fat loss in that area of the body. Not only does the fat not go away, this method never seems to go away either. For years the word has been out that spot reduction doesn’t work, yet popular workouts and recommendations continue to suggest that it does. Targeting “trouble areas” through isolated exercises in lieu of a comprehensive training approach is just as popular and ineffective as ever. Worse still, these workouts are sometimes administered by the very sources that tell us spot reduction doesn’t exist. Consumers are guided by magazines, the Internet and even trainers with programs that target “muffin tops” with side bends, “spare tires” with lower abdominal crunches, “granny arms” with triceps kickbacks and “saddlebags” with outer thigh exercises. If you are already lean, these exercises may be fine for defining muscles in the respective areas. But if the purpose is to get lean—meaning build or tone muscle and burn fat—this approach will likely leave you feeling frustrated and, ultimately, unsuccessful.

Spot reduction doesn’t work because it usually targets muscles that are relatively small through exercises that are relatively insignificant in terms of enhancing overall fitness, strength and energy expenditure—regardless of how much you “feel the burn” when training them. Overall fitness, not small muscle fatigue, is a stronger determining factor of your body’s fat-burning effectiveness. People who are very fit burn fat more efficiently during workouts and while at rest than people who are less fit. People store fat in different areas and come in different body shapes and sizes. 

You can try to cook a turkey with a candle, or you could use the oven. Prioritizing the smaller muscles without addressing the bigger ones is a penny-wise and pound-foolish way to train. But if it makes you feel better to train the smaller muscles, save it for the end of your workout if you have time and energy. If you run out of time, you haven’t neglected anything, and if you run out of energy it’s because the other exercises worked!

Close Enough
Close enough :)

“I like every part of my body except my stomach, so I want to make my stomach is flatter but leave everything the same”. This is like taking an ice cream cone that is mixed with chocolate and vanilla, putting it in the microwave because you want to melt the chocolate off, so you are left with just vanilla. It is an impossibility. While the chocolate is liquified, I am sorry to say, but so is the vanilla. The body works the same way, don’t be a muppet.