Training Myths Part 4

If you have been following my series on training myths you would have read  in part one the lies that women who lift weight get bulky muscles. In training myths part two I covered the lies that says your lean toned muscles will turn to fat if you stop lifting weights and in part three I exposed the myth that says specific exercises are great for toning muscles.

If you have not read these articles yest then you can by clicking on the links below.

Today I’m going to address Training Myth 4: Specific Exercises Are Great For Spot Reduction

Spot reduction  exercises comes from the idea that if you work a particular part of the body then you can burn fat from it. In reality the theory goes against scientific principles of exercise physiology.

We cannot chose where we burn fat from our bodies, it is genetically determained. If spot reduction was possible then the amount of people walking around with six pack abs would be significantly more!

In order to get that elusive six pack you need to eat a healthy balanced diet consisting of lots of fuit and veg and plenty of protein. You also need to lift weights to build the muscles to give your body shape and to increase your metabolism while at the same time intergrating metabolic conditioning exercises such as kettlebell swings, sprints and burpees. Simply doing thousands of sit ups and crunches wont burn enough calories to achieve this and will set you up for low back problems down the line.

If fat did come off the areas that we worked the most then we wouldn’t have fat on our faces as we use our face muscles all the time from laughing to smiling, to talking to frowning! We would never have fat on our legs, thighs or butt as we use these muscles everyday for locomotion and standing.

The biggest concern with exercising muscles individully is the potential to cause injuries in the future. The body works as a whole unit, meaning lots of muscles have to contract or relax and work together to allow movement to occur. So all you ladies sat on those adductor and abductor machines in the hope of building firm thighs and butt muscles are setting yourself up for hip, knee and ankle problems. You would be far better doing squats, deadlifts and various types of lunges as these work far more muscle and in doing so burn more calories allowing you to reduce body fat faster.

So in closing this article I’m going to provide you with a simple blueprint for fat loss:

  • Embark on a healhy nutrition plan for life. Diets don’t work long term and set you up for frustration and failure.
  • Eat little and often. Aim for 5-6 six small meals and healthy snacks per day.
  • Create a calorie defisit through nutrition and exercise. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories. By reducing calories by 250-500 and burning the same amount of calories through intense exercise can see you dropping 1-2lb of fat per week.
  • Training intensly with weights to build some lean muscle which will in turn will boost your metabolic rate to increase  your calorie burn even more. Ladies don’t worry about bulking up, you can’t if you have followed the above steps. For more informaton on this click here
  • Add in metabolic conditioning exercises such as kettlebell swings, squat thrusts and sprints to boost metabolism further still and increase your calorie burn.
  • Hip a personal best in every single workout. Either do more reps with the weight, the same reps with more weight, sprint faster or further. To keep progressing you have to keep moving forwards, simply doing the same thing everytime will lead to plateaus and eventually regression.
  • Always, always stetch. Stretching after exercise helps return the muscles to their resting length, can help speed the removal of toxins and help prevent injury. I also reccommend a sports massage 1-2 times per month.
  • Drink lots of water, a dehydrated body can’t burn fat optimally

I’ll be back with training myth 5: Lifting light weights for high reps is great for ‘toning’

So Train Hard, Eat Smart!

Marc