It’s a rainy day here on Long Island, and tonight’s a different kind of one for me. After a couple of evening client appointments, I’ll be doing a bit on a friend’s summit on baseball training. Among my seven different fitness and nutrition certifications, one is as a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), which enables me to design and oversee sport-specific training of athletes across the board. As baseball is my favorite sport, and as an avid softball player who uses the winter months to train in preparation for the upcoming season, you can bet I know quite a bit on the subject 😉
Anyway, today I want to talk about a common mistake I see a lot of people make on the fitness side… When we have ‘problem’ areas, whether that be saggy lower arms, love handles or saddlebags, we think we need to work that area out HARD! By doing so, logic would presume that the fat would disappear, muscle and tone would build, and we’d be much better off in those areas, right?
Personally, unless you’re already lean and are trying to build muscle, I’m completely AGAINST spot training – Particularly when your primary goals are to lose weight and to tone up. Here’s why:
For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘spot training,’ this is a method of training in which you’re isolating and targeting a specific body part during a workout. This could be your arms, for example, or your abs. The common misconception a lot of folks have is that by targeting the areas that don’t look great on you, they’ll become stronger, more toned and thus, better-looking.
The problem is, this can often have the OPPOSITE effect, particularly if you’re inadvertently performing a hypertrophic workout. What this method entails is performing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of 75-80% of your 1 RM (1 Rep Max) when working out. And while this is the optimal training mechanism for building lean muscle mass, there has to be an abundance of lean tissue there first.
If, let’s say, you have a lot of lower belly flub, and you kill your abs for 30-60 minutes, you run the risk of building muscle, and thus, making your stomach protrude EVEN MORE! This is because the fat beneath the skin hasn’t been burnt, you’ve built muscle beneath the fat, and thus, it just extends. In a sick way, that’s kind of what’s happened with the mass monster bodybuilders of today, who look like they have Ninja Turtle shells on their midsections. Ripped to shit, sure, but they’ve got guts just like the average guy or gal!
In all honesty, I completely AVOID this method of training with my clients until they’ve reached their weight loss goals. Once they’re down to an ideal size and body fat percentage, THEN we add in this type of stuff to make their ‘problem’ areas really pop…
So, how do we burn the excess fat so we can begin to train in this more traditional way? Simple: Eat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no (added) sugar. Eat ONLY when hungry, and just to satisfy – NOT to stuff your face.
Memorize those two bolded sentences above, and get consistent exercise. What you do isn’t as important as you doing it! If there are certain fitness methodologies you enjoy, then pursue them!! It can be as simple as biking, hiking, running, swimming or walking – Whatever floats your boat!!!
Personally, I play softball two days a week, do yoga another two days a week, and do a resistance-based interval training circuit the other two days… This is what works for me, and this is how I get my exercise in. You don’t have to copy me or some ‘secret’ plan – Do what works for you, couple that with good nutrition, and you’ll be well on your way to burning fat, losing weight and toning up!
Until tomorrow 🙂
P.S. If you feel you need more help on the nutritional side, then you’re definitely going to want to invest in my Food Guide and Healthy Recipe Book!
The Food Guide lays out the three phases of nutrition I use with my Permanent Weight Loss clients. Phase 1 gets you in the habit of making healthier choices, while Phase 2 really cleans up the frequency with which you eat healthier. Phase 3 is a strict macronutrient breakdown that will help expedite the process of weight loss, all while improving your health and making your body a well-oiled machine!
My Healthy Recipe Book includes 72 recipes spanning breakfast,lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers and desserts. I’m constantly adding to it, but these recipes are easy to make, simple and enable you to have your cake and eat it, too!
Normally, I sell each of these books for $10 a piece, but because I’m feeling generous today, you can get BOTH for just $13.99! 🙂
To get your copies, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/foodguiderecipes.