One of the biggest training myths that you need to dispel

A question I get asked a lot and that I feel needs addressing is the spot reduction myth. Spot reduction is the thought that by training one particular area you can reduce the fat in that targeted area for example example is that by doing loads of sit ups you will get a six pack.

Now don't get me wrong their are definite aspects of truth to this but more that muscle building side rather than the fat loss element, by this I mean that by training one specific muscle or targeting one specific area and increasing the frequency of training for that particular muscle/ muscle group then yes you will definitely see improvements.

By increasing the amount you train a particular muscle you are increasing the frequency of the stimulus you are putting through that muscle therefore you are going to break it down and increase the amount of hypertrophy which takes place therefore increasing the size of the muscle and as a result making it look fuller and better.

So putting this in a pragmatic sense if you do more Abdominal work you will not burn fat off in that particular area but you will improve the size of the Ab muscles which has 2 benefits; firstly, when you do lose that fat around your belly your abs will look more impressive and secondly, as your abs have increased in size and fullness you actually will have your six pack showing through even with a higher level of body so there are definite benefits to increasing the amount of training on a particular body part.

Fat loss unfortunately isn't as simple as if you want to lose fat in a certain area you can target that area specifically, more factors are involved in fat storage and fat loss such as your genetics so you can blame your parents for where your body stores fat as our we are genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas and not others so for me i tend to store fat on my back and love handles but don't store much around my belly leading me to look leaner even when I've had a bit of time being looser on my diet.

Stress is another factor, cortisol affects your fat storage and even the ability for your body to efficiently break down fat tissue, this is because high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone dis regulate a lot of your bodies hormones and as a result your bodies natural hormonal processes, this is not me saying that if you're stressed out you won't lose fat, not at all it's just me saying you may find it more difficult so don't use that as an excuse. Cortisol effects your Oestrogen and Testosterone levels, causing an increase in oestrogen which can affect muscle building and lead to the body storing fat around the belly so always find ways to de-stress like nice chilled long walks, a bit of yoga, just some time to yourself to relax like my favourite thing is a nice hot bath and a good book.

Sleep, specifically a lack of also hinders fat loss for a couple of reasons, firstly it inhibits your self discipline, we've all been there when you're really tired and just think f it I'll have that packet of chocolate bar or I'll get the burger and chips instead of a salad and this is particularly that coming into play but I also think that when you're tired you lack energy and your body gets energy through food or sleep so if it can't get it through sleep it will go for the other option and make you crave higher calorie sugary, fatty foods which will provide the most energy! A study also found that weight loss between 20 subjects over 2 weeks was identical between those who slept 8.5 hours and those that got 5.5 hours of kip but those that got a mere 5.5 hours lost 55% less fat and so 55% more lean tissue which is an issue as lean tissue such as muscle is what keeps your metabolism higher and burning more calories at rest.

So when it comes to losing fat think of it like a drink with your muscle at the bottom of the glass, the bigger the muscles, the quicker they will show when you drain the liquid but you have to drain the liquid evenly from the whole glass you can just spill out one side of the glass, that is fundamentally the same as your body, you need t decrease the body fat from your entire body you can just get rid of the fat from one specific area. Train the muscles to build them up and they will show through quicker and look a thousand times better when they are popping through.

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