The Spot Reduction Myth

If you’re not familiar with the term, spot reduction is the ability to burn fat from specific areas of your body by performing exercises for that area.  For example, doing abdominal exercises to burn unwanted belly fat.

The unfortunate thing about spot reduction is that it’s a myth.  You could do crunchers or sit-ups all day and not burn an ounce of fat from your mid-section.

Each of us burns fat from different places first.  Some people lose weight first in their lower body while others might lose weight first in their upper body.  I lose weight first in my face and neck, then my chest and arms.  My stubborn area is my lower back, that’s the last place I burn fat and no amount of back extensions is going to change that.

So if you can’t get ripped abs by doing ab routine after ab routine, what can you do to shed unwanted body fat?

Instead of worrying about where the fat is coming off, just focus on burning calories, building lean muscle and eating a clean balanced diet.  If you do that long enough, your overall body fat percentage will decrease and you will eventually get where you want to be.

Here are a couple of quick tips to accelerate real fat loss and over come the spot reduction myth:

Crank Up the Intensity

If you insist on doing cardio try increasing the intensity.  “But I thought I needed to do low intensity cardio to burn fat?”  What you want to do is burn as many calories as you can in the shortest amount of time without going catabolic (breaking down muscle).

To accomplish this is suggest using the HIIT method. High Intensity Interval Training is when you alternate between short periods of high intensity and longer periods of low intensity. This method will allow you to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.

Lift Weights

If you spend any time at all on my blog you will quickly learn that I am a strong advocate for lifting weights to lose weight.  I’ve seen many people drop pounds, decrease their body fat and improve their strength as a result of weight training.

When lifting weights for weight loss, focus on multi-joint, compound exercises like the squat, lunge and push up.  These exercises require the most energy and will work more than one muscle at a time, making your workouts more efficient.

Optimize Your Diet

Make sure you’re eating the right amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. If you don’t know how much of those nutrients you’re eating each day then that is where you need to start. Count your macros and count your calories.

If fat loss is your goal then you’ll want to set up your macro-nutrient and caloric intake in such a way that it creates a deficit. That is, you’re eating less calories than your body uses for energy on a daily basis. This can be a confusing task for a lot of people.

That’s why I’ve put together a complete, ALL-In-One program that will guide you through the process step by step! Click here if you’d like to learn more about my Bulk & Shred System!

I hope I’ve cleared up the misconception surrounding the concept of spot reduction. Apply suggestions that I’ve given you to reduce your body fat and it will happen if you stick to it long enough. Now tonight when that infomercial comes on pitching the latest and greatest abdominal shredding gimmick, do yourself (and me) a favor and change the channel.

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2 thoughts on “The Spot Reduction Myth

  1. Good article… Unfortunately it’s the opposite of what “most” people want to hear. Hard work – Watching your diet… C’mon Jesse, can’t you just give these people a magic pill to do all the work?

    1. I’m working on the pill, few years out still. In the meantime if most people want to get shredded or decrease their fatness, then they need to wrap their heads around this concept. Or they can just keep spending their hard earned money on the latest shake weight. You strike me as a shake weight kinda guy, how’s that working out for you? 😉

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