Spot Reduction

Spot Reduction

Most of the top bodybuilders today, regardless of stature, are massively developed for their body size, the most important goal of abdominal training has become definition.  This involves two things - training and developing the abdominals and reducing body fat sufficiently to reveal the muscularity underneath.

Most bodybuilders believe in something called spot reduction, there are a lot of people who still think this is possible and effective. Spot reduction refers to training a specific muscle group in order to burn off fat in that particular area. According to this idea, to develop abdominal definition, you need to do a lot of abs training, lots of high reps, and burn away the fat that is obscuring the development of the abdominal muscles.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work. When the body is in caloric deficit and begins metabolizing fat for energy, it doesn't go to an area where the muscles are doing a lot of work in order to get additional energy resources. The body has a genetically programmed pattern by which it determines from what adipose cells to access stored fat energy. Exercise does burn calories, of course, but the abdominals muscle are such relatively small muscles that no matter how much abs training you do you won't metabolize nearly the energy you would by simply going for a walk for the same amount of time.

But this is not to say that training a given area like the abs muscle doesn't increase definition. The abdominals muscle get a hard workout when you do heavy exercises, but what they don't get is quality training - that is, isolation, full range of movement exercises. Movements that do this bring out the full shape and separation of the abdominals instead of just making them bigger. So although training the abs muscle like this does not do a lot to reduce the fat around the waistline, it does create very well defined abdominal muscles that are revealed once you are able to reduce your body fat sufficiently by means of diet and aerobic exercise.

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