The Big Myth about Spot Reduction
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“I really need to do more abs so I can have a flat stomach for the summer.” “I just need to work on my thighs; they are just way too big.” “I do abs all the time, but yet I haven’t lost anything around my waist.” These are a lot of the common statements made by clients and the everyday person on the street when it comes to what they want done to their bodies when they get into an exercise routine. Everyone has at least one certain spot on their body that they are not happy with, and they believe that if they work that one area more than the rest, then that one area will see more results in a faster amount of time. Sadly, this is a myth that is commonly known as “spot reduction.” Now in hindsight this would be a great theory; work one area twice as much as everything else, in this case your abs, then you will have that flat stomach in no time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly work that way.
Let’s take your abs and/or waist into consideration with this idea, just because this is the biggest focal point in a majority of these discussions. You can do crunches all day and yes your abs can become stronger, but just your abs are strong does not necessarily mean that you will lose inches around your waist. In order to lose inches and tone up abs, there are a couple of things that need to be done.
“One of the best ways to lose weight quickly is by doing cardiovascular workouts. Cardio is very helpful in helping you get rid of your fat belly. You don’t even need to do cardio for hours to notice any tangible results. If you only run on a treadmill for at least half-an-hour daily, that would be enough for you” (Fitness Tips For Life).
When they talk about doing cardio for half-an-hour, this can be done in a variety of ways: intervals on the treadmill, super setting sprints with crunches on a Swiss ball, or just running for 30 minutes. All this really depends on what kind of runner you really are. Doing cardio 5-6 times a week will greatly increase the chances of decreasing your body fat, losing those inches around your waist, and toning up those abs.
“If you want to tone up your body overall, acknowledge that you need to pay attention to your serving sizes. The average American eats way more than they actually need” (Diet Nation). This brings up a great point, because your nutrition is just as important a part to get toned up and lose body fat as strength training and cardio. I call this the “tone-up tripod” mainly because think those three things as legs of a tripod. If you only do very well on two out of the three, it’s like kicking out the leg of a tripod and everything can come crashing down. Well maybe not crashing down, but not completely seeing the results that you want. You know what I’m getting at.
So spot reduction is a complete myth but if you want to really tone up in certain areas, get some strength training in, hit that cardio hard, and eat extremely well and you will get the results that you want. Now this will not happen overnight, it takes time but it is all worth it in the end.