Hope you’re feeling, looking, and acting like a million bucks!!!
With so much information out on the internet (and coming from friends and family), it’s pretty difficult to tell fact from fiction. It is incredibly important to learn the truth and be able to distinguish between the two.
One of the biggest exercise “myths” out there is that you can lose fat in an area of the body by strength training or exercising that specific body part. Oh how much easier life would be if this was true! The truth is, that we cannot dictate from where our bodies will decide to oxidize fat, nor can we change fat into muscle. Bummer, I know! Doing triceps press-downs will not decrease the amount of fat on your arms any more than doing crunches will decrease the amount of fat we may have in our mid-section.
How can that be? Your body is one, complex, interconnected machine that is comprised of many moving parts. While fat can manifest itself in certain areas over others on your body, you have to exercise all of it as a whole to see results anywhere. You can do crunches every day for a month, even twice per day but it will not be able to remove the body fat in your midsection any faster or easier than you following a customized meal plan for your body type which consists of staying within a caloric deficit and burning more than your consuming daily…Period, don’t believe anyone else telling you otherwise!
Muscle is muscle, and body-fat is body-fat, two distinct and different tissues that are responsible for different tasks. Many are confused and sometimes fooled that body-fat tissue can sometimes be turned into muscle with lots of new exercise and dieting but that’s the furthest from the truth and the biggest lie forget myth!
There are some areas of our bodies that genetically hold more body-fat (adipose tissue) than others, for example, love handles vs. hamstring body fat (at the back of the legs) or some men who are overweight and have high levels of estrogen have gynecomastia (enlarged nipple glands due to high body-fat percentage) in the upper chest areas but can lose body-fat faster in the midsection when they train. That doesn’t mean they are doing more abs, or planks it just means they are losing body-fat faster in the areas it is stored higher or in larger amounts.
Don’t be fooled! Here is the silver lining: any exercise that decreases your overall body fat percentage will help you lose fat and tone your body as a whole. These are some exercises that are can produce a greater thermogenic effect or caloric expenditure for you:
- Compound Multi-Joint exercises that involve more than 1 muscle & joint at the same time (Squat, Bent Over Row, Dumbbell Thrusters)
- HIIT Training provides higher intensities at shorter rest and interval durations with coupled exercises back to back
- Active Rest or recovery exercises are great for increasing resting heart rate (skipping, jogging, boxing in between sets)
- Plyometrics or Explosive exercises that require you to move our body over distance or objects (box jumps, hurdle jumps, jump knee tucks, donkey kicks)
If you are Mesomorphic or Endomorphic in body type doing HIIT exercises is my favourite because they increase your metabolic burn to a point where you can continue to burn fat for up to 72 hours AFTER you leave the gym. If that’s not a plus, I don’t know what is!
But remember, you CANNOT spot reduce body-fat. The human body will shed fat all over and if you have less in your arms than your tummy, then you will notice less changes in your arms and more in your tummy due to the disposition of it. And, after a few weeks or months of training if you notice your tummy is taking forever to go away its also because it takes longer to lose body-fat in areas that have the fattest tissue stored so keep up the hard work and know that body-fat can be burned off but needs time and consistent caloric deficit. Fat loss is not magic, it’s just dedicated hard work with consistency over time!
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