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Spot training |What is it and does it work?

Spot training is yet another idea that has been the center of some pretty heated debates in the fitness industry for many years. The idea behind spot training is that you can train one area of your body at a time and get amazing results in the targeted area. Imagine only having to do 30 mins of ab training to get rock hard abs, sounds too good to be true, right? Unfortunately, you are right. In most cases, spot training is not very effective, here’s why.

When you lose weight through calorie burning exercises, the fat loss will occur throughout the body. This means that you are unable to target where you’d like to lose fat. For example, doing sit-ups will strengthen your abs but it will not melt the fat on top of the muscle. Similarly, an activity like running will burn fat all over your body, not just your legs. During strength training, our muscles fuel up with carbs, proteins, and triglycerides (fat)—and these sources can come from anywhere in the body, not just the “problem” area. If  you’re hoping for chiseled arms, curls alone won’t get you there.

So now that you know you can’t select where you’d like your body to lose fat from, here’s the good news. You CAN spot tone. Spot toning, unlike spot training, can be defined as strengthening a certain muscle or muscle group. Think leg day. However, while you may be strengthening these muscles to improve your explosive power or speed, there will be no impact on the reduction of fat stored in these areas.

“Spot toning can be effective when you want to target a specific muscle group. For example, you may want to strengthen the muscles in your back but it isn’t the most effective use of your time. Training specific muscle groups takes a lot longer than hitting your whole body in nearly every exercise,” says Paul Lagerwey, owner at FITstrong gym.

Ultimately, what works is hard work. Scientists and fitness experts agree that targeted spot training is like calorie-free chocolate cake: impossible. And while spot toning can be effective, you’ll see the best results from a more well-rounded approach. The type you’ll get from every session at FITstrong.

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