Bodybuilder: Brock Ogle Photographer: J.W. CUDD

Bodybuilder: Brock Ogle
Photographer: J.W. CUDD

Target Where You Burn Fat
By: Brock Ogle
August 6, 2016

     The location you store the most fat on your body depends on many aspects including hormones, gender, genetics, and health issues. Spot-Reduction refers to exercising a specific area on your body to accelerate fat-loss in the location of choice. This technique is referred by many to be a myth: “You can’t speed up fat-loss on your stomach by working your abs more.” Or we’ve all heard, “You can’t tell your body where to burn fat. That’s genetics.”

     Your friends are wrong, and let me tell you why:

     When dieting, fat burning begins with a process called Lipolysis. During this process, triglycerides (fat) are broken down into free fatty acids & glycerol. They then travel through the bloodstream to be oxidized in the mitochondria and used for energy. Aka “burning fat.”

     Now, Lipolysis requires hormones, oxygen, mobilization of fatty acids, wastes being filtered through organs, etc. The main goal here is transportation. The movement of all these key factors are necessary for this process to function at high capacity; therefore, the effectiveness of fat extraction is dependent on good blood circulation in the target area.

     Let’s look at how to increase blood flow for spot-reduction.

     When it comes to targeting fat loss, you need to use a solid “mind-muscle connection.” Although easier said than done, this specifically pertains to contracting muscles under the target fatty area repeatedly until you feel a burning sensation. This will cause your body to pump blood into said area of focus.

     Thus, if you want to lose fat on your lower abs, yet are feeling the burn in your upper abs, you need to change your technique—or the exercise—to better target your problem area. Technically, you don't even need to exercise to accomplish this. You can achieve this by simply flexing the targeted area hard repeatedly.

Model: Jac Sherrard Photographer: J.W. CUDD

     Subcutaneous Fat (fat under the skin) and Visceral Fat (fat in the stomach) will not burn as fast if you have Intramuscular Fat (fat in the muscles). Your body likes to be efficient so it will tap into intramuscular fat for energy when present. However, if you really want to impress your significant other, look good at the beach, or just down-right want to be a fitness guru by burning the visible fat off your target area, your muscles must be made as lean as possible. Your body’s only choice will be to burn the subcutaneous/visceral fat. You can burn away intramuscular fat the same way you induced blood flow - by using mind-muscle connection to make that muscle burn. Again, it is not necessary to lift heavy weights to achieve this.

     Cardio assists with fat loss because it improves your heart and lung function, which makes the Lipolysis & Fat Oxidation process more efficient due to improved blood flow and oxygen content. As a recap, in order to successfully achieve spot-reduction of a targeted fatty area - you need to do exercises that are going to contract the muscle under the fat to increase blood flow and burn intramuscular fat, do cardio to improve heart/lung function, and [of course] be on a diet that puts your body in a fat burning mode in the first place. Spot-reduction is NOT a myth. Don’t let genetics & gender roadblocks prevent you from reaching your desired look. Target those problem areas and get results faster!

Here's The Break Down:
1. Specify your target area for fat removal.
2. Create good blood circulation by specifically contracting the muscles under the fat location of choice.
          Note: You do not have to lift weights—flexing hard will do the trick!
3. Contract/flex until you feel a burning sensation.
4. Throw in a little cardio.