“But I Wanna Get Rid Of These Lovehandles!!!”

Let us consider this term: spot specific reduction.  Spot specific reduction means burning fat on a specific site of the body.  Here’s the thing; it doesn’t exist.  Wah wah.

When you are burning more calories than you are taking in, your body will pull the fat stores from where ever it likes in order to access the energy it needs.  In fact, of particular bummerness, you know those “stubborn” areas?  Usually back fat and low abs for men and hips and thighs for women?  They tend to be the last place the body wants to burn fat for a bunch of science-y reasons beyond the scope of this article.

Consequently doing exercises that work the muscle underlying the unwanted body fat but burn minimal calories is NOT a great way to get rid of the fat (ie weighted side bends for love handles, crunches for lower abdominal fat, etc.).  You’re way better off doing multi-joint, big bang movements like squats, pullups, deadlifts, and the like because they are going to burn more total calories.  

 

BIG BANG MOVEMENTS = HOT

To add insult to injury, if you’re reeeeally getting crazy and doing high volume (lots of sets) and frequency because you are DEADSET on burning the fat overlying the muscle group you’re targeting, you may actually thicken the area.  Just what you wanted!  A THICKER WAIST, HOORAY!!!  Now I tend to think this is going to be unlikely for most people (again, its hard to “accidentally” grow bigger muscles), but even so since the benefit is pretty much nil for fat loss it’s not gonna be a great use of your time.

Now there can be a place for those isolation movements if you’re looking to add some muscle to specific areas in order to make desirable aesthetic changes (or strengthen a weak link that’s holding back your performance on the big bang movements), they’re just not your friends when it comes to burning calories in a time efficient manner.

So the takeaway here is this; if you want to burn fat, you have take in less calories than you’re burning and consequently exercises that burn few calories are not of much value.  

It’s also worth noting that when trying to burn fat a combination of training and nutritional strategies will serve you best.  If you’re just cleaning up your diet with no training, you may not hold onto your muscle (and shapely sexiness).  And you really can’t out train your diet, so if you’re rocking the old “I deserve this 7 pound hamburger!  I DID SPIN CLASS TODAY!!!” philosophy, you are blunting and probably totally thwarting your fat loss goals altogether.

“I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER?”

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