In today’s article, we are going to look into three different factors to consider when you are training to improve your body composition and just to look better in general. We will be exploring the theme of ‘spot reducing’, outlining the basic genetic structure of your body and give you some tips when building that six pack that you have been chasing!
Firstly; Spot reducing. Spot reducing is a term given to those who want to focus on losing weight in particular areas such as wanting to ‘tone’ their arms or lose a bit of weight off of their thighs. In the simplest of terms, doing hundreds of sit ups will not specifically burn belly fat and performing hundreds of push ups will not directly drop fat off of ‘tuckshop’ arms. When we exercise and burn fat, your body will decide where it feels the fat should be burnt from; it will not necessarily come from the area you are working on at that particular time. There is some evidence that spot reducing can occur with a combination of training whilst manipulating body temperature.. But that is a conversation for another day. For now, just know that the best way to burn body fat (from wherever you want it) is by following a healthy diet and performing workouts that focus on the big muscle groups (i.e. don’t try to isolate).
Genetic structure; One word you’ll often here aspiring bodybuilders shudder at, is the word, genetics. And unfortunately for most (fortunately for some) they play a large role in your overall look. For the sake of this article, we will just use your abs as an example. If you follow insta-famous models online or subscribe to fitness magazines, you will notice that they are all very muscular, they often have a very different mid-section.. For example, some are totally shredded but only display a 4-pack, some have eight abdominals on show but they are staggered and don’t line up evenly. Yes these people may train differently, but the way your abs look, ultimately come down to genetics! You can certainly build them and make them stand out but the overall shape has been pre-determined. Contrary to popular belief, we all have abs, many of us just don’t know what they look like.
The big question, how do we make our abs stand out? The resounding answer is…… Diet. The best way to unveil those abs, is to shed the fat covering them and the best way to burn fat is by sticking to a healthy eating plan. As far as training goes, a good mix of multi-joint free weight exercises (squats, deadlifts etc.) paired with abdominal activation exercises (leg raises, rollouts etc.) is the greatest way to develop a strong core as well as getting those abs to ‘pop’.