Strength Training

Target Toning and Spot Reduction

It comes as no surprise that infomercials are not the best source of fitness knowledge. Strewn with outrageous claims…$19.95/month and free shipping if you order now will not guarantee a slimmer waist in just three minutes a day, even if they say so on t.v. I was sorting through a box from the 90s, and I discovered the notorious Thigh Master! I somehow acquired this in a dorm move and always thought it was hysterical. It is a relic of those years when thinner thighs were just three minutes a day away. Hmmm…

The myth that target toning and spot reduction are interchangeable is still used as a marketing strategy today. I am sure there are products out there that promise big results for those “trouble areas.” To put a rest to infomercial misconceptions, know that the gimmicks for spot reduction don’t work. Just because you are working a certain muscle group does not mean you’re losing the fat that covers that muscle. During a workout our muscles are fueled by carbohydrates, fat, and protein pulled from anywhere in the body, not just your targeted spot. Subcutaneous fat loss is more systemic and general than that. The good news is with our workouts we will see overall fat loss, and with target toning we can tone certain muscle groups. So arm curls will not necessarily help shed the extra weight we sometimes carry in our arms, but they will help tone and strengthen those muscles. While sit ups won’t give us a slimmer waistline, they do help strengthen our core.

Our best exercise offense to our fat loss goals is building muscle so that our metabolism increases and we burn more calories. A whole body workout (with proper nutrition) is more efficient for this goal. Couple this with target toning exercises and you can definitely feel results and eventually see them as well. As for the Thigh Master, I’m going to box it up for another ten years and get another laugh from it when I sell it on eBay as a collectable.

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