People vary in the way their body stores fat: men tend to store it around the abdominal area whereas in women it’s often around the midsection, hips and thighs. We’re constantly asked to focus training on certain parts of the body to reduce body fat from that area. This approach can be seen in gyms throughout the country with people doing numerous crunches hoping to lose fat from their abdominal area.
Spot reducing isn’t possible so the mindset needs to change if body fat is to be reduced safely and effectively. The body will lose fat in the same way it gains it – you have no choice where it increases or decreases. The solution is very simple: to reduce body fat you need to burn as many calories as possible when training and raise resting metabolic rate. This is achieved by training the entire body and fatiguing as many muscle fibres as possible. Use a combination of the following types of exercise:
- Cardiovascular exercise: Any continuous form of exercise (e.g. running, cycling, rowing etc)
- Interval (HIIT) training: Short periods of intensive cardiovascular effort followed by recovery
- Resistance work: Body weight circuits and the use of free weights
Training needs to be frequent, consistent and progressive for it to be effective. By working the body as an integrated unit you’ll burn more calories during training and at rest. The more calories you burn the more body fat you’ll lose.