As some of you may remember, this particular post is aimed at putting the truth behind some of the more common myths in the fitness world. I believe this will be a beneficial post for the blog as many people fall victim to misconceptions in this industry, even myself. Today, I am going to start off with the most commonly seen myth in the industry: Spot Training
Spot Training: The idea that working on a specific body part will result in fat loss in that given area of the body. The area of the body in which people use this method of training is, you guessed it, the abdominal muscles.
“So, you’re telling me that even if I work my abs out every day, I’m still not going to lose any fat?!?!?” No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m simply saying that it isn’t that simple. The human body is never that simple. The fact of the matter is that whenever you are doing a “fat-burning” workout, your body has basically predisposed what fat sources it will use. In other words, no matter what type of exercise you do, your body has already determined where it will be burning fat. Doesn’t sound too promising?? Well, let me explain how you can get rid of that fat where YOU want to.
The (not so) secret lies in LEAN MUSCLE TISSUE (LMT). Ask anybody that is serious about their health or has been working in this field long enough, and they will say one of the most important aspects of fat loss is GAINING lean muscle tissue. There are a multitude of benefits from having lean muscle tissue; enough that I could write a completely new blog about them. One obvious benefit is the increased strength and ability to exercise more, thus gaining more strength and burning more calories. Specific to fat loss, however, the benefit of having increased LMT deals with your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories you burn at rest. The relationship between LMT and RMR is simple. The more LMT you have, the higher your RMR will be. So, the more muscle you have throughout your body, the more calories you will burn at rest.
So, you see somebody doing 1,000 situps in the gym every single day. Are they burning fat in their abdomen during that particular workout?? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on what fuel source the body dips in to. BUT, this person is undoubtedly strengthening the core muscles.
MY SUGGESTION: Implement a full body strength training program, focusing on core exercises (It’s called the core for a reason). Full body, large muscle exercises not only involve more muscle activation, resulting in more strength gains, but also require a larger caloric expenditure, which result in more calories out of the body. You cannot control where your burned fat will come from, but you can control your LMT, and the more you have, the more fat you burn!!