Spot training, or spot reduction, is the simple idea that you can exercise to lose weight in certain areas of your body and/or increase muscle definition. Many of us have become accustomed to the idea of spot training because we want it to be true; we all have certain areas of our bodies that leave us feeling more self-conscious than others.
An Age-old Fitness Myth: Spot Training
However, spot training is one of those fitness myths that fall into the realm of “No pain, no gain” or “Go hard or go home.” In reality, it does little to help us improve our bodies on the journey with weight and health.
The science behind this is simple: we can’t tell our bodies where to lose weight. Our biology is the ruler in this game, and for the most part, we are genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas. Investing time and energy to targeting certain areas of your body, such as doing sit-ups and crunches to lose fat in your abdomen, is not always beneficial to your weight management goals. You may certainly gain muscle in those areas, but you can’t guarantee you are burning fat.
Implementing a Balanced Exercise Program
On the other hand, just because there is no merit behind spot training, this doesn’t mean you can’t work hard to improve overall those areas of your body you wish to target. A balanced exercise program complete with aerobic, anaerobic and strength training workouts will help you to lose weight and burn fat on your body as a whole.
Here are a few key tips to make this happen:
- Develop a Specific Workout Plan – Decide what days to designate for cardio exercise, what days to designate to resistance training, and what days to rest. A well thought-out schedule will help you stay consistent and determined.
- Ensure a Balanced, Healthy Diet – A powerful workout doesn’t override a poor diet. You need lean, wholesome and balanced foods to help you manage your weight and body.
- Vary Your Routine – Be sure that your workout routine consists of a variety of exercises to ensure you’re working out all areas of your body. For example, your cardio workouts may include biking, running, swimming and even small-scale sports.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Water helps improve your skin’s elasticity, aids in your metabolism, deliver nutrients to your body and so much more. It’s crucial that you drink enough of it!
Although it’s normal to want to target certain areas of your body on your journey with weight and health, the truth is that our bodies simply don’t work this way. The best way to ensure that you’re working out certain muscle groups to their full potential is to balance your workout routine and vary your exercise activities.
Furthermore, you should remember that this journey (however frustrating it may seem at times) is really about improving your health and happiness! Losing weight, gaining muscle and burning fat should primarily help you to feel better overall and live a long and healthy life.