Many gym goers will spend entire sessions working their ‘abs’ with the intention of burning that elusive abdominal fat and acquiring that coveted, model-like six-pack. This is a sure-fire way to waste time in the gym.
Performing exercises that supposedly target a certain area of the body does not lead to fat loss in that region.
Performing hundreds of sit ups and crunches won’t lead to fat loss around the stomach.
Performing hundreds of lunges won’t lead to fat loss around the legs.
Performing hundreds of tricep extensions won’t lead to fat loss around the back of the arms.
Grabbing a 20 kilogram plate and doing those weird side bends won’t get rid of those love handles.
You get the picture.
Site-specific fat loss through exercise is a myth. You cannot exercise a particular area and burn significant amounts of fat from that area alone. Remember, the body burns fat from all over your body.
Performing the aforementioned types of exercises may strengthen the musculature responsible for those movements, but they will have a trivial impact on reducing the amount of body fat specifically stored there.
Unfortunately there are many factors that influence where our body fat will increase over time; genetics, gender and hormones all play a role. Just as we can’t stop body fat from materialising in specific parts of our body, we can’t suddenly reduce them with specific exercises.
Stop reading those articles titled ‘five exercises for a flatter stomach’ or ‘the best five ways to reduce belly fat’ and any other similar nonsense the media loves to present.
The Best Way to Actually Reduce Body Fat in Those Frustrating Areas?
- Focus on the main principles of fat loss. Read more in my free fat loss eBook which can be obtained here
- Place yourself in a calorie deficit
- Get strong through lifting heavy weights with exercises that require a high calorie demand. Sticking to big compound movements that will engage numerous muscles groups at one time is the best way to build muscle, which will subsequently initiate fat loss throughout the entire body, not just the areas you want
- Understand that when performing abdominal exercises, for example, you are training musculature, not body fat
- Focus on the big rocks of fat loss, rather than obsessing over intricacies