by GameChanger Strength & Nutrition Coach Rob Riccobono
Even with good diet and exercise, everyone will have at least a body part or two that he or she isn’t happy with. You might refer to this as your “trouble area”. This could be your arms, your legs, your butt, and most certainly your stomach.
You might think the solution is to work out that body part more. So if want to reduce the fat on your inner thigh you squat more. You want a tighter stomach so you workout your abs every day.
What’s the reason for these trouble areas? Put simply: you probably have some body fat there. And unfortunately you cannot choose what part of your body to specifically lose fat from.
The process of targeting a specific part of your body to lose fat from is known as “spot reducing.” There is no way to do this. You simply need to lose fat all over and hope that some of that fat comes from your trouble zone. A lot of this is dependent on genetics: some people will lose the fat last from their stomachs, some from their arms, and so forth. This is all individual and (aside from taking drugs) it isn’t something you can control.
Working out a specific area WILL give you muscle growth in that area. If you want to add size and shape to a specific muscle, then yes, you need to train that area specifically, and training that body part more frequently might help. But if you want to REDUCE an area on your body, training that muscle group with an inordinate frequency is not the answer. You’ll need to lose more body fat all over, and this is done with proper diet and training, ultimately taking in fewer calories than you burn each day.
You absolutely can lose body fat from your trouble area, you can improve every body part. It just might take longer for some areas of your physique to transform than others. You might get lean all over your entire body before losing significant body fat from your stomach, it may require a lot of time and effort. That’s just the luck of the draw for many of us.
And you know what? If you’re able to get lean all over and still have body fat in your stomach or inner thigh, or other trouble area, so what? Nobody is going to be perfect. You do your best and get into the best shape possible, but you will not be perfect. You should not compare yourself to models in magazines and on the internet. Not everyone can attain that specific body, nor should you have to want that specific body. Do not discount the food restriction, photoshopping, and drugs that often go into fashioning those bodies.
Workout your entire physique, try to add lean muscle mass all over, lose body fat with a sound nutrition plan, and you will see positive changes. If you want certain parts to firm up, to remove the jiggly and the jelly from them, you simply need to lose body fat through proper diet and hope that it comes off from those specific places sooner rather than later. And if it doesn’t? Don’t sweat it. You’re not going to be perfect everywhere. Don’t compare yourself to others or a perfect ideal. The only person you should compare yourself to is…..you. Make progress over time, recognize it, and be proud of yourself.