Some of the most common statements I hear from new people joining our classes is that they want to get rid of fat that is covering a specific area of their body, they usually say “I want to get rid of this…” and they point or grab their belly, hips, thighs, butt or some other area of their body, or they ask “how do I get a flat stomach?” or “how do I get a six pack?” or “what exercises can I do to make my (body part) look better?”
I usually smile and tell them “run”. “That’s it?! Run?” they say and I say “yup”.
I usually then go on to explain this a lot more, as I’m going to do right now.
You see, the questions and the exact theory of how to get rid of fat over a certain body part is a myth and is not possible; this myth is called spot training. Spot training is not possible. People like to focus on one specific area of their body and they think that by doing one specific exercise that they can get that part of their body to look better and this is just not possible. Now, there are ways to build more muscle in a certain area by doing specific exercises for that muscle, but if there is a one inch thick layer of fat over that muscle then it won’t matter how many curls or lunges or dips or sit ups you do, you will never see that muscle. You need to look at the bigger picture; this is why we take body fat readings, to determine your overall body composition and then through proper nutrition, exercise and rest, we alter that composition. People also need to understand that every body is built differently and will respond to diet and exercise in different ways and the biggest difference in which different bodies respond to our program and nutrition plan is usually time, some people just achieve results quicker than others.
Getting back to our explanation of spot training, the reason I tell people to run is that it is one of the simplest and most effective cardio exercise you can do and almost anybody can do it almost anytime and almost anywhere. We have developed a formula for guaranteed weight loss and it involves proper nutrition, exercise and rest. To further explain why I tell people to run after I tell them that spot training is not possible, you need to understand that there are two ways that the body burns off fat during and that is through resistance training and through cardio training. The biggest difference between the two is that while you are doing cardio or conditioning exercise your body will stop burning fat pretty much right after you finish working out and if you are doing resistance training your body will continue to burn fat for several hours after you finish working out. This is part of our formula for weight loss; resistance training and cardio training, you need to do both, you need to build muscle to burn fat all day and night and you need to increase your cardiovascular and your metabolic conditioning to burn enormous amounts of fat while doing our intense cardio workouts. The easiest thing we can recommend you do at home is to run, but any work that increase your heart rate over 180 bpm will work.
You also need to know that exercise through resistance training and cardio and metabolic conditioning workouts will decrease the amount of fat in your entire body and not just in one area, your body simply does not work like that. So, look at the big picture, certain areas of your body may shrink slower than others and some parts of your body will shrink last (to the dismay of most people), but, if any part of your body is shrinking, you are on the right track and over time you will see other parts of your body shrinking, so long as you maintain your prescribed proper nutrition, exercise and rest. The simplest way to tell is just by the way your clothes fit, forget the scale.
I hope this cleared up any confusion and properly informed you on why spot training is a myth and does not work. Think total body!