Fitness Myths | Spot Reduction
Want to tone up those problem areas? Personal trainer EMMA DONLON (www.theextramile.ie) looks at a common fitness myth…
We all have certain parts of our body that are flabby and that we’d like to tone up. For women it’s usually the arms or ‘bingo wings’ as they are better known and waists/hips, fondly referred to as ‘muffin tops’; for men its usually that roll of fat on the stomach or ‘spare tyre’. As a result most of us, when looking to lose weight, would like to see it come off first in these unattractive areas. What is the point in dieting and exercising if we don’t see the fat melting from the parts of our bodies we find least desirable?
Being able to target certain parts of our bodies to lose weight from is commonly referred to as ‘spot reduction’ and here is the part that many of us don’t want to hear or believe — it is a myth! We can try and strengthen and build certain muscle groups in the body through resistance/weight training and exercises that work those muscles. This is beneficial for weight loss as resistance training allows you to replace some of your body fat with lean muscle tissue. Muscle has many advantages – it burns more calories than fat, i.e. it can help increase your metabolism; in addition to this muscle is denser than fat, taking up less room in your body and therefore allowing you to lose inches and slim down.
However, when trying to shift the fat that sits on top of our muscles, we cannot control what parts of our body the fat comes off first. For example most of us now know that doing a thousand sit-ups a day won’t give us a six pack until we burn off the fat sitting on our stomachs. Even though we are specifically targeting the muscles in our stomachs, nobody will be any the wiser of the fabulous abs you’ve sculpted underneath until you shift the fat on top.
So what is the best way to burn fat and get toned up? As mentioned above, resistance training is great for weight loss and mixed with cardio can produce the best results. However, as not everyone can now afford to be a member of the gym or have the time to attend one, below is an effective fat-burning workout you can do outside. It is the summer after all; time to take advantage of those long stretches in the evening!
Interval training has been recognised in recent years as one of the most effective ways of burning fat. Simply put, interval training involves training at high levels of intensity, mixed with lower levels of intensity.
Increasing the intensity over a 20 minute interval session will give you more results than a 40 minute steady state session where you are going at the same pace for the duration! Enough said, next time you are going for your walk or jog in the park, try the following workout below to shake up your routine and start burning that excess fat:
Do a 10 minute warm-up by walking at a leisurely pace or a slow jog, depending on your fitness level. During a warm-up, you want to get your muscles warm and your body prepared for the workout ahead. You should be slightly out of breath but not breathing heavily or sweating excessively. Once you have completed your warm-up, do the following workout: 2 mins at a comfortable pace (this can be either walking or jogging), 1 minute at a reasonably fast pace (either a jog if you usually walk or a fast jog if you usually run). Repeat this 7 times. Follow this by a 5 minute cool-down similar to your warm-up.
Total work-out time: approx. 35 minutes.
The Extra Mile
The Extra Mile provides a quality one to one personal training service in a friendly and supportive environment. Whether you want to use a personal trainer to lose weight, tone up, build muscle, get fit or improve your overall health – The Extra Mile can help. Their goal is to ensure you reach yours. Call (086) 3798310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions you might have or to book in for a session.