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Spot Training Debunked

We’re here to debunk the age old myth that one can spot treating for weight loss. “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”, says Chris McGrath. If your goal is to burn more fat and sculpt your muscles, you'll benefit more from a well rounded training program that includes a mixture of cardio and strength workouts that target muscle groups, work the whole body, and increase your fitness level. You’ll actually wind up achieving the “fat burn” you’re looking for even faster than if you tried to spot training a part of your body.  

The difference between spot training and focusing a workout on targeting a specific muscle group is just that. Spot training is doing an exercise movement in the hope to “burn the fat” while targeting a workout towards a muscle group is done to build up the strength and stamina of those muscles. There is not a case where “burning fat” is a real concept from doing things such as crunches. Chris again gives a great example of what that means here, “For example, local fatigue can be felt in your deltoid (shoulder muscle) when you hold your arms straight out in front for one or two minutes. The “burn” may give the “illusion” of a highly effective exercise. The problem is your arm weight is not enough resistance to generate a sufficient amount of muscular development in the shoulders. Plus, the movement targets just the shoulders. Push-ups, on the other hand, are not necessarily known for its intense “burn” as we fatigue, yet push-ups can influence muscular development in the shoulders quite sufficiently, not to mention the pectorals (chest), triceps (back of the arms) and core (abs), as well.” 

All in all, if your goal is to generally lose fat (yes that means even the belly/thighs/arms), the way to do that is to participate in a well rounded training plan in combination with a healthy diet that allows for you to achieve a caloric deficit . A calorie deficit occurs when you consistently provide your body with fewer calories than it needs to support calorie expenditure {healthline}. No, this does not mean not eating. What this is doing is providing your body with all the nutrients and calories needed for you to stay alive and replenish what's lost in your workout without leaving you hungry or malnourished, just giving you what you need and nothing else. This will change over time as weight loss and training desires evolve. 

It's all about balance. If spot training were true, wouldn’t we have skinny fingers from all the typing and texting we do day in and day out? 

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