Spot reduction or, in other words, trying to eliminate fat in a particular area of the body is probably the biggest exercise myth of them all. Spot reduction is impossible, so doing sit-ups, crunches, leg raises or any other abdominal exercise with the intention of losing weight in that spot of your body is a waste of time. Let’s talk about the spot reduction myth in this article.
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE SPOT REDUCTION MYTH
By training a certain area of the body with resistance, all you’re doing is sculpting or promoting growth in that part of the body. You can’t train your abdominals, legs, arms or any other area of the body and expect to lose weight in that spot, it just doesn’t work that way.
Weight training is the only way you can shape your body whether you’re using free weights, exercise machines or your own bodyweight. The greatest benefit of weight training allows you to alter your own physical appearance.
If you want more muscular arms, you can achieve this by doing a number of different exercises for the biceps, triceps and forearms. Perhaps you have narrow shoulders, by exercising your deltoids you can modify your upper body shape and appear to look broader through the shoulders.
Excess fat tends to destroy the pleasing and aesthetic lines of the human body, but a lean muscular frame kept in tone with regular weight training workouts accentuates a healthy physical image.
FAT IS NOT YOUR ENEMY
You must not think of fat as a villain, it’s an important and necessary part of your body. In fact, fat keeps you warm. You also need it as a secondary energy source to the food you eat. Of course, some people carry too much fat on their bodies that can become a problem for them physically and emotionally. However, to get rid of the unwanted body fat, it’s necessary to take in fewer calories than you burn.
Where your body first starts to lose weight are in the places where your body last accumulated the fat. This is why when people first detect they’re losing weight they may notice their face and neck look leaner or their hands don’t feel as puffy as before.
If you’re overweight and look back to when you were not and can remember the first place you started to gain weight, perhaps on the hips for a woman or on the lower back and gut on a man, these are the last places you’ll lose fat. There’s nothing you can do about this because this is genetic. We all have different genetic makeup and this is why we all lose weight from different places on our body at different stages.
So if you’ve been rigorously training particular areas of your body in an attempt to reduce the fat in those spots, just remember that spot reduction is one of bodybuilding’s oldest myths.
With the correct weight training program and consistency, you can sculpt your muscles by training certain areas of the body. However, it’s only through exercise and your diet that you’ll be able to lose body fat and that body fat will first disappear from a predetermined genetic location and unfortunately, none of us can do anything about that.