Exercise Selection to Target and Reduce Body Fat: “Crunching away the fat”
We’ve all seen the ads on the TV. “For five easy payments of $29.99, you’ll receive this cool, high-tech, easy-to-use Ab-Cruncher 6000! All you have to do is crunch away your fat in the privacy of your living room for as little as five minutes per day.”
Gosh, if it was only that easy right! One of most popular reoccurring questions I receive in the gym is, “can I spot reduce body fat”? Spoiler alert, unfortunately no. However, you can make that part of your body stronger.
Abdominal obesity tends to increase as we age and with poor diet and exercise. It can also lead to type 2 diabetes, higher cholesterol, coronary heart disease and a new wardrobe. It’s an all to common reality that turning 21 doesn’t help out our waistlines either… alcohol consumption in heavy bouts delays our bodies from metabolizing food to rid itself of the alcohol we’re drinking at the time. Yes, our metabolism slowly goes down each year as we age but you can reverse that or at least combat it with:
- Resistance training
- Aerobic conditioning
- Sports / Being active
- Proper nutrition
The NSCA conducted an experiment to see if participants could “ab crunch” away their visceral body fat. There were 24 test subjects and all were assigned to do 2 sets of 10 reps on 7 different exercises for 6 weeks. The participants all gained good core strength, however none of them saw or measured any decrease in subcutaneous abdominal fat. This is a small sample size and unfortunately, there were no activity records or daily dietary notes recorded.
While the “Ab-Cruncher 6000” might not give you those chiseled abs, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train them accordingly. Planks, leg lifts, oblique crunch, stability ball crunch, bent knee raises, etc., are all good accessory exercises to add to your fitness routine. If you need help losing weight just ask any of the Courts Plus trainers for help/tips. Patience and consistency will reward you in the long run. And, if it makes you feel any better we do live in the place that harbors 6 to 8 months of winter!