By Brian Calkins, Cincinnati Ohio Personal Fitness Trainer
One 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.
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 muscles sufficiently.
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 refuel
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, process or
packages foods, and get your
meals from a variety of sources all found in the perimeter of
your favorite grocery store.
And make sure
you're striving for a calorie deficit - about 500 - 1000 per
day, or at least most days of the week. Simply put, the body has
no reason to "give up" stored body fat until it's consistently
achieving a small to moderate caloric deficit.
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
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!