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Old 07-20-2010, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Regarding "spot reducing"

To all those saying that you cannot spot reduce......this is not true. Spot reducing IS completely possible. I see many posts saying it is not. It is just much more difficult to target a specific area for fat loss.
The body tends to work in muscle groups, not single muscles acting on their own. This is why it is harder, however; you can do exercises that will cause a specific muscle to work harder than those around it. This can cause fat to be lost from that area a little more readily. For example, when you tone your biceps and triceps with weight lifting exercises you are burning off fat around that muscle grouping, therefore performing target specific weight loss.
It is inefficient for the body to burn fat from, for example, your legs to fuel muscles in your arms. The body will burn fat closer to the area being used so that the energy released from the fat molecules is readily available to those muscles. Also, if the energy had to travel long distances, relatively, then other muscle groups and organs and such would use the energy, thereby leaving less for the muscle that needs it most.
The body usually operates in the most efficient way possible. In this case to provide maximum amount of energy in the least amount of time to body parts that need it most, thereby causing target specific fat loss.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Muscle doesn't burn fat as fuel. The first 15-20 seconds of an isometric contraction or a series of isotonic contractions is fueled by the very powerful creatine phosphate system, which is why the first few reps feel the easiest. After this system depletes the muscle switches to glycolysis, which burns glycogen stored within the muscle cell itself.

The "pump," or localized inflammation in the muscle tissue, leading to increased blood circulation in the area, as well as increased cell membrane permeability causing expanded muscle volume, lasts for up to six hours after training and can create the false perception of enhanced muscle tone, and thus, less fat, in the area, but muscle metabolism simply cannot use fat as fuel and thus targeting specific muscle groups does not result in actual localized fat loss.

So, unfortunately, spot-reducing is biochemically not feasible, but working out in the afternoon before a hot dinner date can make you appear a little beefier, in a good way.
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Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).

Last edited by tandoorichicken; 07-20-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fortunately that is untrue. Muscle can use fat as energy. Nothing in your body can use "fat" in its true form for energy though. First the fat must be broken down. In its most basic form it becomes ATP, which is universal energy for the body, anything requiring energy in your body uses ATP, henceforth muscles.
And, no, I am not talking about your muscles becoming engorged after a workout. After time you can trim fat from your muscles to make them more defined. I have done it before, and have a friend constantly doing it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The fat loss you're experiencing does happen over time — but not because of muscle metabolism. Your genetics dictate that you lose fat from your arms first. If you worked out your legs, you would likely continue to lose fat from your arms. Also, this fat burned isn't going towards fueling your muscular contractions. It is shuttled to the liver post-workout to undergo gluconeogenesis to feed the inflamed muscle tissue fresh glucose for its glycogen stores. So in reality, what you're seeing is a conversion of your arm fat to glucose to refuel, post-training, any muscle group that you happened to train on that day, say, arms. It's not a direct usage of fat around the muscle to fuel your sets and reps in real time.

ATP is only generated within cells through cellular respiration. It cannot "float" between cells. Furthermore, muscle tissue does not internalize fat. It does have insulin receptors on its cellular surfaces which allow it to replenish glycogen reserves, the main source of muscular fuel. However, during a weight training set, the only fuel a muscle has is whatever creatine and glycogen exists within the cell. After the set, insulin sensitivity is transiently heightened so that the muscle can immediately begin replenishing its burned-off glycogen reserves in preparation for the next period of activity.

Finally, enhancing the resting tone of a muscle, or building new muscle tissue, can give the appearance of better definition and less fat in any bodily area. I'm not referring to the "pump" here. Increase the proportion of muscle in your arm and you automatically decrease the proportion of fat — making you appear leaner even if no fat loss actually occurred.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
The fat loss you're experiencing does happen over time — but not because of muscle metabolism. Your genetics dictate that you lose fat from your arms first. If you worked out your legs, you would likely continue to lose fat from your arms.
You are contradicting yourself here. Before you have said that YOUR, meaning specific, genetics dictate where fat loss occurs. Now you generalize and say that genetics always dictate arms first. Which is it? If you are referring to me specifically then no, you are wrong. Ive targeted my legs and had the same toning effect done to my legs without arm fat affected. And its not proportions. When I had a 1\2 inch of fat around my legs, just getting my muscle bigger wont disguise the fat.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, josh, if you are so correct why does virtually every study and every expert on the subject say you are wrong?

Several studies have been done that show this does not work. Do you really think that when you do a curl you body says "Ok, now lets burn arm fat" and then when you do leg extentions two minutes later "Ok, switch it up boys, now leg fat".

You are so completely wrong and don't know it that I chuckled to myself a bit.

Also, here's a clue that you don't know what you are talking about: "Toning". Sorry, there really is no such thing as toning. You either reduce bodyfat or you don't.

What you are experiencing with you legs is totally normal. Generally speaking, exercise burns calories which helps create a deficit, that in turn causes fat to be burned. The fat is most likely to be spread throughout the body (including your legs). Most people are genetically predetermined to lose weight a little more in the upper body or lower body. You clearly are the lower body type. Add to that, that when you build muscle underneath fat it increases the surface area that the fat is spread across making you appear to be more lean eventhough they are not.

Use google my friend, read up on the studies and what the real fitness and nutritional experts say.

Sorry, if I come off a little rude here but you seem very bullheaded on this without providing any proof that what you say is true or why 1000's of experts are wrong.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by joshuam168 View Post
You are contradicting yourself here. Before you have said that YOUR, meaning specific, genetics dictate where fat loss occurs. Now you generalize and say that genetics always dictate arms first. Which is it? If you are referring to me specifically then no, you are wrong. Ive targeted my legs and had the same toning effect done to my legs without arm fat affected. And its not proportions. When I had a 1\2 inch of fat around my legs, just getting my muscle bigger wont disguise the fat.
You're picking apart tandoorichicken's reply to you and you haven't even provided any proof to your original statement. If you are in fact correct and everything else that I have read is wrong please enlighten me in this aspect of spot reducing, however I do need more proof than I did it and so has my friend. Some academic studies would be nice.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you could spot reduce (what a wonderful world that would be) then all you would have to do to lose your belly is situps, your hips jogging, etc... While I think my legs look better because of my running (I have been neglecting the weights recently) the fat loss is not (noticeably) proportionally more in my legs. Actually I believe most of my loss has been from my belly and I don't do situps/crunches. I guess I am just lucky that way.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukja View Post
You're picking apart tandoorichicken's reply to you and you haven't even provided any proof to your original statement. If you are in fact correct and everything else that I have read is wrong please enlighten me in this aspect of spot reducing, however I do need more proof than I did it and so has my friend. Some academic studies would be nice.
Not picking apart, pointing out contradictions. If an argument is correct it should have no contradictions unto itself. While I dredge up studies I ask conversely the same.....since the common notion is that it is impossible why have I not seen one link to a study proving it is not possible to target burn?
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stocky1 View Post
Ok, josh, if you are so correct why does virtually every study and every expert on the subject say you are wrong?

Several studies have been done that show this does not work. Do you really think that when you do a curl you body says "Ok, now lets burn arm fat" and then when you do leg extentions two minutes later "Ok, switch it up boys, now leg fat".

You are so completely wrong and don't know it that I chuckled to myself a bit.

Also, here's a clue that you don't know what you are talking about: "Toning". Sorry, there really is no such thing as toning. You either reduce bodyfat or you don't.

What you are experiencing with you legs is totally normal. Generally speaking, exercise burns calories which helps create a deficit, that in turn causes fat to be burned. The fat is most likely to be spread throughout the body (including your legs). Most people are genetically predetermined to lose weight a little more in the upper body or lower body. You clearly are the lower body type. Add to that, that when you build muscle underneath fat it increases the surface area that the fat is spread across making you appear to be more lean eventhough they are not.

Use google my friend, read up on the studies and what the real fitness and nutritional experts say.

Sorry, if I come off a little rude here but you seem very bullheaded on this without providing any proof that what you say is true or why 1000's of experts are wrong.
If you read my earlier posts you would see that I also said that I have done it with my arms also. Please stop using genetics as a deus ex machina.

I did not say that you do curls and burn arm fat and then do leg extensions and you start burning leg fat. I said you target the legs and burn leg fat.

I don't think you understand the meaning of toning. It refers to removing fat, say around your biceps, to make your biceps more defined.

Again I ask, who are these 1000's of experts? I have yet to see one. And to use google......hardly experts, peer reviewed journals, not google.

Last edited by joshuam168; 07-21-2010 at 05:09 PM.
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