Spot Training

spot trainingDo you have a “trouble area”?  A particular part of your body that seems like it just won’t or can’t burn fat?  Most people that I talk to have an area like this.  For some people it’s their lower belly, their hips, their legs.  For me it’s definitely my lower belly and love handles.  That’s where fat likes to hang out it seems.  Regardless of where it is, most people have an area like this.  So does spot training actually work?  Can you burn fat off of just one area if you focus on it?

Spot Training – Does It Work?

It would be nice, right?  To be able to do some extra crunches or pull out the ab wheel and burn fat off your stomach.  Unfortunately, that’s not how fat loss works in your body.  So no, spot training doesn’t work.  It would be great if it did.  If you could just focus on one area and burn all the fat off.  Then maybe those ab belts would work 🙂

Studies have shown that spot training really isn’t effective.  In one study, participants only performed crunches, and in the other, they only trained one leg.  In both studies, the fat lost, was distributed evenly around the body and not more in the specific area trained.  When your body burns fat, it doesn’t pick a particular spot to lose fat in, it’s burning it from all over your body.  So if you want to shed some fat off your stomach, you’re going to need to lower your overall body fat percentage.  As you lose more and more body fat, you’ll see progress in your “trouble area”, although ti can seem like it’s the last place you see results.

When I started out with Beachbody I really wanted to lose weight and shed fat.  One goal was to be able to even see my abs.  I think a lot of people have that goal.  For me, it took about 120 days of consistent workouts and sticking to my nutrition plan for that to happen.  It wasn’t a one or two week deal.  It wasn’t even 2 months.  It took a good 4 months to get there.  Your problem areas can really take time, but will eventually change if you’re consistent.

How to Attack the Trouble Spots

Even though spot training really doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean you can’t see progress in your trouble spots.  It just means that it’s going to take consistent, hard work.  The key there is being consistent.  If you work hard for a couple weeks and then lose motivation and quit, you’re not going to make the progress you want.  My biggest pieces of advice to help you work on those trouble spots is:

-Push play, every day
-Track your nutrition
-Give it time!

I think most people can attack their trouble spots and see results, but they run into two main issues.  They don’t follow their nutrition plan and end up eating too much and they don’t stick with it.  Realize this is a marathon not a sprint.  It didn’t take a month to put on your unwanted weight, so it’s not going to come off in a month.  You’ll see progress in a month if you stick with it, but it’s not going to be miraculous and it’s not going to be easy.  But I can promise you that if you stick with your plan for even 3 months, you will be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished!

It still is important to work that specific area, whether it be your abs, your arms, your butt, etc. because once you do lower your body fat, you will want there to be some muscle definition.  So all of those crunches or squats or lifting will be worth it, you just have to lose the fat first to reveal what’s beneath.

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