A popular fallacy has taken over the market of health and fitness: Spot Reduction
100 crunches for flat belly
Massage for toned arms
Heat pads for toned thighs
And more crappy stuffs keep coming each day in market.
It has become so popular amongst the people that they are ready to disburse abundant money to these misleading industries.
Cellulite gels, UV radiations, non surgical liposuction, tummy tucks, etc have set in a new trend in this generation. These deceptive marketing gimmicks attract you so much that you can shell out almost half or more from your income without getting any effective results.
What is Spot Reduction?
Spot reduction is the MISCONCEPTION that the area where maximum deposition of fat is accumulated, will REDUCE or will come in the SHAPE as you want, by performing a particular exercise (problem area), repeatedly.
e.g. 100 crunches gives you flat belly. The biggest misconception!
Fat cells are distributed all over the body differently depending upon which body type one belongs to.
Eg: Females are more prone to see fat in Hips and thighs.
Males are more prone to see fat in abdomen.
MUSCLES ARE DIFFERENT FROM FAT CELLS
Muscles are responsible for contraction and relaxation, which gives movement to our body. Whereas as Fat cell are only excess stored energy which has no role to play in exercise.
When you CRUNCH, it’s only your ABDOMINAL MUSCLE which is making the movement by contraction and relaxation. FAT HAS NO ROLE TO PLAY IN THIS. IT IS JUST SWINGING WITH YOUR MOVEMENT.
How to reduce belly fat?
First and foremost we must know a fact that we cannot decide from which part of the area we can lose fat from. It’s decided by the body completely as per the body type.
The thinnest area will lose faster than the area which is fat. The only thing we can do is doing exercises which burns more body fat. The larger the muscle size and the number of muscles involved in one exercise, the more fat will be burned as an after effect.
Eg: Squats: This exercise includes quadriceps, hamstring, abdominal muscles, glutes, back muscles, calves.
Therefore, in this exercise larger muscles and more than 2 muscles are involved, which will lead to fat loss for 48hours post workout (EPOC- Excess Post exercise Oxygen Consumption).
CRUNCHES INVOLVE ONLY 1-2 MUSCLES IN THE EXERCISE WHICH ARE SMALLER IN SIZE. Therefore, only small amount of fat loss happening as compared to crunches.
Let’s simplify this:
LARGE MUSCLES → BURNS MORE BODY FAT
SMALL MUSCLES → BURNS LESS BODY FAT
Which are the large muscles of the body?
LARGEST MUSCLES – LEGS (QUADS, HAMSTRING, GLUTES, CALVES)
2ND LARGEST MUSCLE- BACK (LATSSIMUS DORSI)
3RD LARGEST- CHEST (PECTOLARIS MAJOR)
Focus on large muscle workout, to give maximum fat loss.
Here’s how your fat loss will progress:
THINNEST AREA → WILL LOSE FASTER
FATTEST AREA → WILL LOSE SLOWLY AND TAKE IT’S OWN GOOD TIME
‘Should I not do crunches?’
You should train all your body muscles which include Abdominal Muscles too. Sticking to only 1 exercise which is small in size is not going to help you lose fat.
Include structural movements like squats, lunges, step ups, bend over row, dead lift, and good morning to burn more body fat. Inch loss will be seen drastically.
Crunches should be done before the cardio, only on alternate days to improve the stamina of the core muscles. It’ll help you pick up more weights the next day (squats, lunges and other compound structural exercises).
NOTE: Slowly and gradually you’ll start dropping your body fat and lastly you’ll see a difference in your problem area. You have to be very patient to see results in your problem area. It can take months or years but consistency and increasing intensity is the key to reduce belly fat.
- Stick to structural movements like squats, lunges, bend over row, dead lift, good morning, lat pull down and step ups.
- Train all the muscles to reduce fat.
- Spot reduction/ doing only 1 exercise focused on the problem area will never burn fat. So stop stressing yourself.
- Crunches should be done only before cardio. Not after cardio. Do it only on the alternate days to improve the core muscle strength.
- The better will be your core muscles, the more weights you can pick up the next day for squatting. Therefore, more fat burning (EPOC).
- Improve the intensity of weight in every session to see the change.
- Strictly no massaging, or tummy tuck or any crappy gimmick for toning. IT DOESN’T WORK. STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY.
- Work on maximum muscle fibres to raise your BMR. Improved BMR, slowly and steadily makes you burn fat. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY.
- Support it with well planned diet plan with adequate protein, low GI, vitamins and minerals, essential fat and water.
- If you find difficulty in scheduling exercise and diet, you can take my guidance by enrolling with my personal pinch to inch loss program.
- Do give rest to your body.
Sample 5 Day Workout Routine to reduce belly fat:
Day 1: Leg workout (squats, lunges, step ups, leg press, standing calf and leg curls)
Day 2- Crunches + cardio
Day 3- Back workout (bent over rows, lat pull down, supported rows, reverse fly, shrugs, bicep curls)
Day 4- Crunches + cardio
Day 5- Chest (decline chest press, incline chest press, flat chest press, overhead shoulder press, lateral raises)
Hope you found my article useful. Do share it with your friends and relative. Also I would love to hear from you your struggles, your problems in terms of health. Do write in the comment section as the best discussions happen there.
PS: Personal Counselling is always the best way to understand your problems, your goals. Join in and be a part of my personal counselling.