The fat, spot-reduction article you’ve been waiting for! (Or not)
Like everyone in this industry, we ALL want to be able to spot-reduce fat, but I’m here to tell you that your personal trainer has been lying to you.
Unfortunately spot-reduction is a myth, as much as we’d like to believe the opposite. I remember back when I was studying at University this topic came up and the lecturer replied with;
“It takes approximately 20,000 crunches to burn 1lb of fat”
Now, I don’t know about you, but firstly, who has the time for that?! And secondly, I’m not sure I’d want to experience the ab cramps during, after and for the next 5 days following that, JUST FOR 1LB of fat. (And that’s MAYBE)
So, lets re-evaluate this topic and establish some “key” exercises that will get you the results you’re looking for!
First and foremost, I’m sure many of you have heard the term “Compound lifts.” What are these? Well, simply put, compound lifts are exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group at the same time. The great thing about using multiple muscles in one movement is that we can lift more weight when comparing with single joint exercises.
So, what are they?
For the most part, we all know what a squat is. Why does it work? It’s a full body movement, albeit a complex one. Squats work your quads (front of the thigh), your glutes (booty), hamstrings (back of your thigh), hip flexors and core.
Typically, the more weight we lift the more the muscle needs to work to move that weight and therefore more energy required to move said weight. What does this result in? More calories burned! That doesn’t mean run to the gym and load up the bar for barbell squats. As I mentioned, these are a complex movement and should be done with caution, especially when using a lot of weight.
An incredibly beneficial and massively under utilized exercise, the deadlift targets the posterior chain (muscles on the backside from your head down to your heels). Commonly seen performed poorly in most of your local fitness centers and mentioning no names, in some not at all (Planet Fitness).
The deadlift is a key exercise everyone should be able to perform, we use it without realizing on a daily basis when we go to pick up, well, literally anything. Dead in the sense that you should come to a dead stop each time the weight touches the ground. This allows you to reset your position at the start point of the exercise, reducing the risk of injury and displaying true strength where you’re not “bouncing” the weight off of the ground.
I absolutely recommend the deadlift and I absolutely recommend you have a certified trainer who understands the mechanics of the deadlift to help you! You can’t lose weight if you’re injured and can’t train! Form comes before load ladies and gents!
Barbell Bench Press
The gym bro’s hot topic! How much can you bench? How many of you get asked this question? What is the relevance and is it relevant? Not really. The barbell bench press is largely not applicable in daily life, but is great at your friends bbq. (Guys, most women are not impressed by how much weight you can lift, in fact, the number is likely meaningless to them - moving on)