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Spot Reduction Myth

July 17, 2017


spot reduction myth

Myth: "Spot reduction,” or attempting to isolate fat loss of a specific area.

The idea here is that you can remove or reduce subcutaneous body fat by performing exercises that focus on that specific area of the body.

Example: Doing crunches to eliminate stomach fat.

Facts: There was an interesting article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that tested this theory. The study focused on working out the non-dominant leg over a 12-week period. They measured body mass, bone mass, bone mineral density, lean mass, fat mass and body fat percentage.

The results were interesting; they showed negligible changes to the non-dominant leg that was exercised, though significant weight loss was seen in the upper body and torso.

So what does this mean? Unfortunately, there is no way to "spot reduce" fat or weight loss. Everyone stores excess weight or fat in different areas. For some people it might be the stomach, back, love handles, butt, thighs or underarms, just to name a few.

Because everyone is different that means everyone's fat and weight distribution will be different. And when losing weight your experience might be different than someone else’s. But general fat loss is more or less universal throughout the body.

Suggestion: So if you can't spot reduce, what can you do? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can still lose fat! By incorporating things like resistance training, free weights, body weight, weight machines and/or cardio a few times a week, you can lose fat and gain muscle. This, in turn, will increase your metabolic rate, burning more calories. These strategies, coupled with reducing your overall caloric intake, can lead to significant weight loss.

Bibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23222084

Written By Andrew Milne

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