Getting that insanely defined and shredded look to your muscles is arguably more difficult than putting on the mass. Not only do you have to keep up your intense workout program to save as much mass as possible, but you have to go on a caloric-deficit diet. Not exactly the most fun thing in the world after indulging in a caloric surplus. Achieving that shredded look is all diet, right? Wrong.
Studies are supporting the old practice (turned myth) of spot reduction for pushing those lean cuts to the next level. Let’s take a look at what experts are saying about spot reduction as it relates to targeting fat, and what you can do to mobilize the last of the fat around your muscle.
IS SPOT REDUCTION POSSIBLE?
In short, absolutely.
How is spot reduction possible after being told it wasn’t for decades? Studies are revealing the influence of blood flow as it relates to mobilizing stored fat.
Think about this: When your body stores fat or when it utilizes it for energy, what is the vehicle it uses to do this? Blood flow. Makes sense that the more efficient your blood flow, the easier it would be to move something across the body and into the site of energy production such as the mitochondria of a cell.
The problem is that adipose fatty tissue – where fat is stored – has been shown have terrible blood flow when compared to muscle tissue. Think of muscle tissue as the 12-lane superhighway and adipose fatty tissue as the old country backroad when it comes to blood flow.
One study argued that there is sufficient evidence to show that the restriction of blood flow in fatty tissue does not allow for the same effective transference of stored fat cells to be used as energy as you find in muscle tissue. In other words, fat makes it harder to lose…fat. Thankfully, this is where spot reduction comes in. (1)
HOW TO SPOT REDUCE AND MOBILIZE TARGETED FAT
Just because subcutaneous adipose tissue or fatty tissue doesn’t have good blood flow doesn’t mean you can’t do something to improve it.
The best way to boost blood flow to an area is to increase the heat. And if you want to crank up the heat and blood flow to a part of the body, you’ll want to use exercise and an external tool like a waist trimming belt. By combining direct exercises and an external heat source, you can help to accelerate fat loss in those trouble areas keeping you from looking shredded.
SPOT REDUCTION WORKOUT
Ready to turn up the heat and get rid of the last of that stored fat once and for all? Let’s breakdown how you can spot reduce. We’ll even throw in a spot reduction workout.
First, you’ll want to get yourself an external heat source; something tough and durable that will safely increase the amount of heat where you want to ditch that excess fat. We highly recommend a slimming belt because they have been proven to work.
Next, you’ll want to structure your workout to alternate between an exercise in the problem area and a high-intensity, short duration exercise. Studies show that activating the muscles surrounding the problem area will also accelerate blood flow and your results. (2)
What’s the best type of workout to use? We recommend performing a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout with a heavy focus on your trouble area. Below, you’ll find a workout you can use to accelerate fat burning.
In the workout, we’ll use the most common example of where people want to look insanely shredded: the abs. If your abs aren’t the problem, switch those exercises out to reflect the area you want to blast away fat such as the thighs or arms.
- Warm-up while wearing the shred belt: 10 minutes
- Jump Squats: 15
- Crunches: 30
- Jumping Lunges: 15
- Russian Twists: 30
- Box Jumps: 15
- Oblique Crunches: 25
- Explosive Push-Ups: 10
- Lower Back Extensions: 20
- Burpees: 10
Don’t rest until you complete each exercise on the list one time. Your rest breaks should be no longer than three minutes. Perform three sets of this work. Try not to take any longer than 25 to 30 minutes to complete this. If you find that it only took you 15 to 20 minutes to complete, add another set.
READY TO MOBILIZE TARGETED FAT AND GET LEAN?
Did you just finish a bulking season and now you want to get shredded? Tired of trying everything and you’re ready to blast away those last 10 pounds? Have you tried the spot reduction workout? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
- Frayn, K. Regulation of fatty acid delivery in vivo. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 1998;441:171-9.
- Stallknecht B, Dela F, Helge JW. Are blood flow and lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue influenced by contractions in adjacent muscles in humans? Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;292(2):E394-9. Epub 2006 Sep 19.