Do you have any “problem areas” on your body that strip away at your self-confidence? You know, areas where toning up and reducing fat are a little more challenging? For men and women alike, these areas commonly include the upper arms, lower abdomen, thighs, buttocks and waist.
What is Spot Training?
Quite mistakenly, many dieters believe they can target these “problem areas” through specific exercises to lose weight, trim up and then tone up. This starry-eyed process is commonly referred to as spot training or spot reduction. Have you ever had a family member tell you to do a bunch of sit-ups and crunches if you want a smaller stomach area? That’s pretty much the gist.
The problem is, many of us fall victim to the spot training phenomenon simply because we want it to be true. All of us have areas of our body we’re a little self-conscious about.
Why Doesn’t it Work?
Spot training is a fitness myth similar to “no pain, no gain.” In reality, we can’t tell our bodies where to lose weight. In this game, our biology has the final say.
We’re actually predisposed to store fat in certain areas — aka, our “problem areas.” However, millions of us invest time and energy into targeting these areas directly, thinking that resistance and weight training will help us one day love them and finally feel confident.
What spot training does do, however, is help us build muscle in those areas — but burning fat is something else completely, and it’s usually what most of us are after first.
What You Can Do Instead
Though spot training in and of itself is a myth, there are ways you can feel better about your problem areas — but it’s through a balanced weight management plan:
- A Healthy Diet – Lean, wholesome, balanced foods with fewer calories.
- A Workout Routine – Complete with cardio, weight and resistance exercises.
- Variation – Switch things up; never do the same thing over and over.
- Drink Lots of Water – Improve your skin’s elasticity, gain energy and boost your metabolism.
Remember that while it’s normal to want more confidence, weight-loss should mostly be about your health. Set your priorities, continue to challenge yourself and happiness will follow!