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The Spot Reduction Myth

If you want to "tone" or expose muscle of an specific area of your body you can't do it. Period. End of story.

This is widely known in the fitness industry by most anyone that knows anything about kinesthetics.

But, shockingly, I see people on a daily basis that think that you can lower body fat in a specific place on the body by doing a specific exercise.

There is no way to spot reduce body fat. This may well be the most believed and prevalent myth in all of health and fitness.

Please allow me to take a few minutes to explain why.

First let's look at the reverse process.

Ladies. You are 18 and in good shape. You got to college and gain your freshman 15. At any point during the binge drinking and late night pizza eating are you able to direct that weight to your boobs?

Seriously. It goes to your butt and your hips and the back of your arms and maybe some boobs but mostly it goes right where you really don't want it. Right?

Do you have a choice where that 15 pounds goes? Of course not.

Why do you think you can direct your body to take it off from where you want to take it off?

Guys. You are 27 and land that big job. Long hours and fast food keeps you from the gym. As you gain 50 pounds do you direct the fat to go to your chest, shoulders and quads?

Nope. Your belly gets huge.

Hopefully you get the point.

Now you have decided to lose the body fat. The process goes the other way. As your body decides to shed the fat it decided where it is going to come from.

You don't get to decide that.

Here is something that you may not want to hear. For the most part we all look the same under our body fat. Men vary a bit more than woman based on the fact that we tend to be able to carry more muscle but truly we are all very similar under our fat.

The difference is how much fat we have. Some of this is genetics, and some of this is lifestyle, but it's all about who each of us are. The rate fat deposits and is withdrawn will be different in each of us.

We all have six packs. It's just some of us have to work harder than others to see them.

One thing is true for all of us. Crunches will NEVER help you show your six pack.

So why is the myth out there? Why do we think crunches give us abs, the inner thigh machine will give us great legs, and the triceps kickback will get rid of batwings?

It's the same flawed thinking from the 80s that said that "fat" made you fat. In looks good on paper but what you did a little deeper you can see the reason why.

When you use a muscle to move a joint does that muscle get its fuel from the layer of fat that is directly above that muscle?

The basic answer is no it does not. It's a complex process that involves anaerobic and aerobic fuels and other complicated sciency type of stuff that is beyond the scope of the article.

Just understand the basics here. When you do a crunch you are working the muscle under the fat but that fat is NOT affected.

Or look at is this way. Does fat move joints? No. Fat does nothing. It sits there.

A caveat. Exercise will shed body fat long term. This is true. Just don't expect the fat to leave an area just because you are working the muscle under it.

Exercising a muscle may make it bigger (more likely if you are male) but it won't make you more tone in that area. Only lowering of body fat will do that. It will help the process but it won't do the whole do the whole job.

Have you ever seen a fat person with toned abs?

You never will either.

If you have goals to shed fat and be super tone then you can, over time, accomplish this goal. It takes more than simple exercising one muscle. It takes a lot more.

If you truly are ready to put in the work then start from the inside out. It's like building a house. If you want a pretty pick house you don't go out back and paint a rickety shed bright pink.

Nope. You build a solid foundation first. Build it right and it will last forever. If you don't then that shit will blow down in the first windstorm.

Got it?

Two quick questions. Do you think you would benefit from a custom meal plan? If so would you be open to talking a look at the custom meal planning service that we provide?

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