Can You Spot Train?

“I want to tone just my arms” “I want to just lose weight in my mid section” “I want my waist to be smaller” “I want to lose fat and still put on muscle” IS THIS REALISTIC? We all want to know.

Everyone wants to spot train when it comes to fat loss. Everyone wants abs, sometimes while keeping or gaining size elsewhere - or just lose fat in their legs etc. I am going to go right ahead and tell you now that you CANNOT spot train - you must workout your entire body to get the best results. However, to get the best results and set realistic goals for yourself, you must understand the relationship between fat and muscle and how they work to grasp the sad and inevitable fact that spot training is impossible.

Fat is the material that forms the layer between your muscle and skin. When you workout, your body uses carbs, fat and sometimes protein as fuel and energy. However, when your body uses fat for fuel, it does not care which part of the body it takes fat from; and your muscles use more than just the fat around them. Aside from that, fat loss and muscle growth depends on your metabolism and your diet. Unfortunately, although there are ways to improve the way your body uses different foods and how fast they burn, that generally depends on your genetics.

Now, I am not saying you will not hit your fitness goals if your genetics are different from someone else’s. This just means you have to do things differently. Maybe you have to switch up your diet to reveal your six pack abs or switch up your workout routine  to favor your upper or lower body.

Let me KEEP IT REAL with you - muscle splits to work on growing different muscle groups WILL work when it comes to growth and burning fat. That’s why we LOVE the Core Zone for toning your core. Every piece works your abdominals in a different way and integrates muscle endurance with muscle strength. However, you will see fat loss in other parts of your body due to the fact that when one muscle is contracting, other muscles are also working (i.e. when you do a bicep curl, your bicep contracts while your tricep is relaxed. When the bicep lengthens, your tricep contracts; all while your rotator cuff is stabilizing the movement!) When you build muscle, your body will automatically increase your metabolism in order to not only fuel your body to complete the workout, but to also help you recover.

Although there are no reliable studies to back up the spot training myth, there was a study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980s. The study consisted of 13 males who did 5000 sit-ups over the course of 27 days. When comparing before and after fat biopsies, taken at the subjects’ abs, buttocks and upper backs, the results showed that the subjects lost fat from all 3 areas. This shows that although their ab muscles may have grown, their bodies burned fat from areas other than just their midsection.

There are a lot of ways you can achieve your fat loss and overall fitness goals. Make sure you talk to your doctor or dietician before trying a workout plan or diet. Your body can do incredible things, but only if you are treating it right inside and out. Check out our social platforms and keep up with our “25 Days of Abs”! We will help get you out of your ab workout slump. Enjoy!