The most common reason people are first attracted to the gym is the prospect of shifting that stubborn body fat and getting that beach body. The problem with this concept are the countless layers of nonsense and myths surrounding fat burning and what methods are most effective. In this post we will discuss the daddy of them all, spot reduction. Spot reduction is the act of targeting fat in a specific area of the body by training the muscles in that area. This myth should be dead and buried but continues to live on through clever marketing and general ignorance.
Easily the biggest myth when it comes to fat burning and one I can pretty much guarantee everyone has seen before or been guilty of trying. Ever seen the late night or early morning TV shopping adverts trying to sell you an ab machine that will make you look like a model in a matter of weeks. The unfortunate thing is the models in these adverts have probably never used the machine they advertise. While the “successful customer” before and after pictures have most likely been taken a couple of hours apart, all they needed was a spray tan, a haircut and a smile and they’re transformed!
What these commercials fail to mention is, when burning fat you cannot lose it from one area at a time i.e. doing sit ups will do nothing in terms of burning fat around your gut. Yes they will build core muscle but with a layer of fat around them it is a pointless endeavour. Everyone will store fat in different places on their body but the consistent fact is that your body can only burn fat across your body as a whole and is impossible to burn fat on one place. So you can throw away your ab roller for the time being until you have shifted the excess fat.
Instead of falling for the easy way out, fad exercises, follow the proven steps. The number one best way to burn fat is to work in a caloric deficit. Working out how many calories you burn on a daily basis then eating in a slight deficit is a sure fire way to burn fat. This requires discipline and leading a healthy lifestyle but unlike the commercials this will guarantee success.
In terms of training, including big compound movements such as the squat, bench press and deadlift will engage muscles around your entire body, meaning increased muscle development resulting in an increased metabolism. This teamed with your well designed nutrition will cause the pounds to fall off.
When you say lose weight most people think “cardio” but which type of cardio will be most effective? Often you see people in the gym wearing layers upon layers of clothing trying to sweat as much as possible however all this achieves is becoming dehydrated, and doesn’t have much say on fat burning. As it turns out, the optimal fat burning zone is around 60 – 70% of your maximum heart rate for around 20 to 30 minutes. This type of continues cardio will force your body to start using it’s fat stores as it’s primary energy source. We would also recommend throwing in some HIIT (high intensity interval training) as this will improve fitness levels and increase the efficiency with which your body burns fat.
There you have it, hopefully this post will help answer some of the many questions around fat burning and open your eyes to the marketing schemes around you.
As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us!
Written by Ryan Wilson