Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Myth of Spot Training

One of the most common requests I get from clients is: "I want to lose fat here (points to abs, triceps, butt, hips, left earlobe, or some other problem area). So can we work that area a lot?"
Pinching it off doesn't work, either.

My answer is this: Yeah, sure. Sure we can work your abs/triceps/butt/hips/left earlobe. And if we do it right, what you'll get is strong abs/butt/hips/left earlobe. What you won't do is lose the fat that lies over them.

The fact of the matter is, if you want to lose fat, it's going to take a lot more than working the area the fat has settled in. Fat loss is a whole body event. You're going to have to fix your diet first and foremost (and if you have any questions on that, feel free to peruse some of the other discussions I've written-- if I haven't answered them here, just ask). How you fuel your body is 70% of the equation.

The other 30% comes from proper strength training. By "proper," what I mean is: train for your specific goals. If your goals are simply muscle hypertrophy without much regard to building strength or functionality, you will train much differently from, say, a powerlifter, who will train much differently from someone who wants the best of all worlds (strength, mobility, functionality, and the aesthetics to go with it). I personally am a mix of powerlifter and the latter.

No matter what your goals, if you want to lose body fat, the main principles are: lift heavy, lift explosively, lift PROPERLY, eat healthfully, and rest substantially/manage stress. If you're doing all this, you're well on your way to reaching your goals. Of course, there's more to it (program design is its own very lengthy subject), but if you're covering at minimum those five bases, you're leagues ahead of the pack, and you'll see results.

Questions? Comments? Post 'em here!
 (Incidentally, I have yet to find a good left earlobe exercise.)

1 comment:

  1. My left earlobe is good, but my right could use some work.