The Myth of Spot Reduction
The Misconception of Spot Reducing
The fallacy of spot reducing in the gym refers to following an exercise plan that targets the desired areas that clients want to lose fat around or “tone up”. These exercise regimens follow the myth that if you exercise the muscles in the area intended for weight loss, you will tone and shrink in size. False, when it comes to resistance training and weight loss, the only compound aka multi-jointed exercises performed at appropriate levels of intensities will elicit the response for weight loss. Furthermore, exercise mixed with nutritional discipline is the only way to reach the desired goal of weight loss.
According to ACE (American Council on Exercise), Spot reduction doesn’t work because it usually targets muscles that are relatively small through exercises that are relatively insignificant in terms of enhancing overall fitness, strength, and energy expenditure—regardless of how much you “feel the burn” when training them.
The bottom line: You can try to cook a turkey with a candle, or you could use the oven. Prioritizing the smaller muscles without addressing the bigger ones is a pennywise and pound-foolish way to train. But if it makes you feel better to train the smaller muscles, save it for the end of your workout if you have time and energy. If you run out of time, you haven’t neglected anything, and if you run out of energy it’s because the other exercises worked!