By Brian Calkins, Cincinnati Ohio Personal Fitness Trainer
of the most frequent questions I’m asked by clients, friends
and people looking to improve their bodies is… "How do I get
rid of this?" And “this” might be the excess
body fat around the middle, the back of the arms, the glutes,
inner or outer thighs, etc.
I'll let you in on a secret:
The answer is the same for any body part, but no one seems to
know that you simply cannot reduce an area by doing more and
more exercise for that area.
In an attempt
to clear up the myth of spot reduction, here are the keys to
strengthening and shaping your muscles, enhancing your heart
and lung function and burning off excess stubborn body fat,
including your trouble spots.
You need a
regular routine of resistance training and aerobic exercise.
Your program should be progressively challenging,
and change on a frequent basis, like every 3 – 4 weeks. The
challenging part simply means that you must exercise at an
intensity that takes you just beyond what your muscles (and
heart and lungs) are capable of doing today. When you ask your
muscles to do more than they are capable, they in turn respond
by becoming stronger and more efficient, leading to a leaner,
What does a
challenging workout feel like? It can be as simple as
performing one more repetition on a resistance training
exercise. You never want to stop your strength training
movement until the target muscles reach momentary failure
while maintaining proper form (no cheating to allow for
additional reps!). I watch so many well-intentioned exercise
enthusiasts, working out 3-5 times every week, who just go
through the motions. Remember, our body as a whole and our
muscles specifically, only respond to the effort and stimulus
that we provide. Little stimulus equals little results. Always
workout in a safe manner, but make sure you challenge your
Another vital factor to
stimulate changes in your body, and thus the reduction in your
trouble spots, is to change your routine frequently. Ideally
you’ll dedicate 3-4 weeks cycling the focus of your exercise
between adding lean muscle tissue (lower reps), shaping those
muscles (higher reps) and then burning the fat stores around
the muscles (emphases on supersets, functional training and
fast pace circuit training exercise). The key is this: Before
the body adapts to any given routine you’ll introduce a new
stimulus to bring about additional positive change while
preventing you from reaching the plateau.
From a cardiovascular
exercise standpoint, we’ll make it simple. You need to elevate
your heart rate into YOUR appropriate target heart zone.
Everybody’s exercise heart rate is different and based on your
age and existing fitness level. If you’re performing at too
low or high an intensity level, you end up frustrated with
your results. To have your target heart rate zones determined
for you, visit the target heart rate formula on my site here:
And the final
piece of the puzzle to target and rid yourself, once and for
all, of your stubborn areas, is to eat right!
course, we’ve heard the words “eat right” or some version
thereof about one hundred times this week alone! Eat right
simply means to put the right fuel and building material into
the body at regular intervals allowing your body to optimally
use the macronutrient substrates . . . and then . . . to
into English - eat frequently, and in every meal get a mix of
natural complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and essential
fats. These are meals that raise your metabolic thermostat to
allow for optimal body fat reduction.
simply, strive to eat a lean protein (chicken breast), a
starchy complex natural carbohydrate (whole grains), and a
fibrous carbohydrate (whole fruits and vegetables) every 3 - 4
hours, or as close to that as is comfortably possible. Avoid
or minimize simple sugars, saturated and hydrogenated fats,
and get your meals from a variety of sources all found in the
perimeter of your favorite grocery store.
remember, there isn't anything in a bottle that will make up
for the absence of supportive meals. If you can't get to a
meal, you can use a meal replacement powder that contains
those components mentioned above.
So, in summary,
when you apply appropriate resistance and cardiovascular
training, your body will make changes. It will reduce body fat
stores, increase muscle tone, and get better at delivering
oxygen to your tissues – all in an effort to make you look,
perform and feel better than you probably have in years!
If your workouts have gotten
a little boring, mix them up. Add some resistance; increase
your speed of cardio. Do SOMETHING different. Join a fitness
boot camp program, learn new exercises, try something fitness
related that looks like fun. Most importantly, give your body
a reason to change and it will. The rules are the same for any
trouble spot you want to work off.
Fitness Boot Camp Training
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