In a recent conversation with a female that was once grossly overweight, I was told about her discovery of some interesting information she found on the internet. While she’s lost a lot of weight, her dissatisfaction with her appearance is uncanny. I think she looks great, actually.
She explained to me that despite dropping the weight over several months, she feels she needs to do more. When I asked her what else she thought she could do besides watch her diet, work out and be patient, she responded with “can you tell me more about spot reduction?”
And here we go, folks.
Spot Reduction: How Does It Work?
Spot reduction is the ultimate tool in your fat loss arsenal. Without it, you are nothing.
Spot reduction is the process of picking an area on your chubby body and focusing all of your attention on obliterating the adipose tissue of said physical location.
Think of it like this. If you want to lose all of that fat on your abs, you better blast away at 100 rep sets of floor crunches, weighted crunches, dragon flags, side planks, bridges, oblique bends and leg raises… all at the same time, during the same workout while smoking a cigar and saying your ABC’s backwards in sign language.
No, seriously, this is the key to losing fat in the places you want to.
It also goes for your glutes; got a lot of fat on your hind parts? If so, you better get to performing hours of lunges and body weight squats until you pass out. Want to get rid of thigh fat? You better make the adduction and abduction machines your best friends. Oh and make sure you call in early to reserve them, because 5 sets of 100 reps is what it’s going to take.
I Want The Truth!
You might not be able to handle it, really. The truth is spot reduction does not exist. The same goes for fat loss exercises; it’s okay to fantasize, suppose.
Spot reduction is a fat loss concept made up by some doodad in the fitness world many years ago. He/she probably didn’t mean any harm, but like many others, they were either misinformed or just a blatant BSer/liar. As a result, we’ve a myriad of misguided folks in a never ending journey for a magic bullet.
Fat Loss Patterns
First, you must create the deficit. Once the deficit and all other variables (training, diet, protein, sanity, etc.) are taken care of, fat melts off the body, ahem, in a particular pattern. The pattern in which your fat leaves your wondrous bodily temple is all up to Mother Nature. Yes, you can thank your wonderful genes for how you store and lose body fat.
Now let us take a look at normal fat gain/loss patterns for the general population.
Females: When you gain fat, it seems to go straight to your ass and thighs, right? Then, if you gain more weight, you fill out a bit in the other areas such as your stomach, breasts, and then limbs. Now when you begin losing fat, you find the areas carrying the least amount of fat are the ones to lose fat first while your ass and hips seems to lose fat last. This is all due to genetics and there is nothing you can do about it!
Men: We tend to gain fat first on our lower abs, then ass, lower back and eventually, a ton of visceral fat. This explains why you see a bunch of older guys walking around with beer bellies and skinny limbs. After the initial fat gain, the fat distribution just keeps adding to the problem areas and eventually adds to the limbs. The same circumstances apply for men as for women. The fat gained last will come off first and the fatty tissue that accumulates first will be the last to go. It’s just the way it is, folks.
So, when you are very anxious to get rid of your flabby ass, thighs and lower abs, remember that the rest of your body will become leaner first and your problem areas will lean out very last.
In fact, many female contest bodybuilders will require special training to eliminate the last bit of lower body fat while prepping for a show. It’s not uncommon for competitors to have a really lean upper body but a soft, squishy lower body during their show. This can be resolved by using a special protocol to burn stubborn body fat. Lyle has a great resource called The Stubborn Fat Solution which further explains exactly how to go about obliterating stubborn body fat on the abs and lower body(for women).
The Real Spot Reduction
Unfortunately, the only way you can experience spot reduction is by liposuction and in my opinion, the risk outweighs the reward by a long shot. The problem with liposuction is much like any other surgery; the chances of infection and complications are always present. Plus, there are no lifestyle changes associated with the surgery. A person doesn’t learn how to change their eating and exercise habits; they just pay a lot of money to have their fat removed and possibly sold to them at a later date in the form of designer soap.
I hope I didn’t burst your bubble today, but in case you were still wondering about the possibility of spot reduction, you can now put that myth to rest!