How To Lose Fat Through Spot Reduction


man doing crunches

So you’ve been on a fitness journey as of late with a goal of improving your overall body composition but you just can’t burn the extra fat off your belly and love handles?

You visit fitness forums and if there’s one piece of advice that everyone seems in agreement on, it’s that “there’s no such thing as spot reduction”. It’s an unarguable part of the equation in trying to achieve your new body.

All those fitness forum folks will advise that you simply have to eat less if you want to see your abs. “They’re under there”, they’ll say. “You just have to quit eating so much to be lean enough to see them”.

Well what if we told you that was all complete B.S. (Bro-Science, right?)?

Dr. Lonnie Lowery in a body building competition
Dr. Lonnie Lowery competing in 2003

Dr. Lonnie Lowery, PhD is a former body building competitor, Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition professor.

His take on spot reduction? Not only is it possible, but it’s a well-utilized tool in the arsenal of every great body builder in the past.

Guys like Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger have always advocated spot reduction but for some strange reason, the fitness world writes off the immense knowledge of such individuals as having a limited view of exercise physiology, due to the historical time in which they trained and competed.

Pssshhh….

Dr. Lowery explains that every area on your body most likely to accumulate fat is an area lacking in blood flow, in comparison to the rest of your body. That’s why it settles there in the first place. If you’re needing proof, touch those love handles – and then touch your calves or whatever muscle group is the leanest for you (guys typically have the least amount of fat on their calves).

Feel a difference in temperature? If you’re still not sold, try this experiment after 20 minutes on the treadmill. It’s quite noticeable!

Understanding this difference in temperature, he explains, is the key to burning that fat away. It’s a fact that body fat is better mobilized when it’s warmed up.

It’s about now that you might be wanting to see a bit more proof and Dr. Lowery cites an official study found here. The gist of the study is to examine if fat loss is affected by muscle contractions? You might find it interesting that the study concludes in determining, “an acute bout of exercise can induce spot lipolysis and increased blood flow in adipose tissue adjacent to contracting skeletal muscle.”

How To Spot Reduce Body Fat

Dr. Lowery insists that he has always used spot reduction in his training and if done properly, you’ll be maximizing lipolysis and finally ridding yourself of those “hard to lose” spots.

The first step involves warming the area that you are wanting to rid of body fat. Dr. Lowery suggests that an old fashioned “tummy belt” can actually work quite well for this but cautions to not tighten it down too much. You want warmth created but you always want to ensure that circulation is not impeded.

With your tummy wrap applied, engage in some form of cardio that is sure to heat the body. A treadmill works great and you only need to perform a fast walk or slow jog to get the beads of sweat started.

Now, simply perform your crunches or desired ab exercise. A great ab exercise is lifting your upper body and legs in the air, forming a ‘V’ with your body and twisting your abdominals back and forth while holding a medicine ball. Feel the burn!

Dr. Lowery further advises that performing your spot-reduction exercises in a fasted state (don’t eat anything that day until after you’re done) is the optimum method for achieving results.

This method is best suited for guys whose body fat is in the lower teens and you’ll certainly still need to achieve a calorie deficit to make it work.

The downside is no more excuses for not doing abs but isn’t it exciting to know that just maybe.. you really can burn fat with spot reduction?

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