Get Your Head Right: Major Misconceptions in the Fitness Game- Part I

By Spencer Garrett

Don’t let your misguided views, that have been fed to you by ‘conventional wisdom,’ get in the way of a better you.  So many people want to feel better, get healthier, fitter, look better naked, and have a greater quality of life.  Many are willing to work for it and I applaud your efforts and encourage you to continue on your quest, but PLEASE let me help you focus your energy, blood, sweat and tears (I assume most of you have experienced all of these) in the right direction.

Topic: Spot Reduction. 

If you are not familiar with what I’m referring to here, see if you have used these words when describing your goals to improve a specific area of your body:

  • Tone
  • Definition
  • Firm

For example, “What can I do to tone my (insert body part here)?”  Well, let me share a secret with you- IT CAN’T BE DONE!  At least not in the way you believe.  Let me give you your options here.  One of two things needs to happen in order for you to get your desired results, or more than likely both need to happen.  You need to either decrease total body fat percentage and/or gain muscle mass.

It kills me to see people focusing on exercises that isolate certain problem areas because I know they are doing it for all the wrong reasons.  That burning feeling you get in your muscle after doing 200 crunches is not the fat burning away.  You laugh and say, “I know that.”  But, DO YOU?  It is crucial to keep in mind that when we lose body fat, we don’t have control over where.  Actually we do but it’s a surgical procedure called liposuction-the only proven way to actually reduce the amount of fat cells a person has. You can thank (or curse) your genetics for your specific body type you have been blessed with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lose fat in your arms, stomach, etc.  It just means you will have to decrease TOTAL body fat percentage to do so.  How do you do that?  The short answer is proper nutrition, which has been and will continue to be addressed in blogs from my valued colleagues and I, right here on thefitcoach blog.

And yes.  I said muscle mass.  Quit fighting it people.  If you see someone with desirable shape in there arms, it is because they have less fat and MORE MUSCLE in their arms.  As much as you would like for it to happen, exercise will not cause your muscle to take on a different shape, while also staying the same size.  You must eat healthy and exercise smart to gain muscle in order to influence the shape of your figure.  What’s that you say?  You don’t want to get bigger?  You’re scared you will get too bulky?  Well.  Stay tuned.  I feel another blog post coming soon that will address this little predicament.

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About thefitcoach

An aspiring physician, I've been involved in the strength and conditioning world for over 5 years now in a professional sense. I started this blog with some like-minded individuals to share our thoughts on training, nutrition, lifestyle, medicine, health, and everything in between.

2 thoughts on “Get Your Head Right: Major Misconceptions in the Fitness Game- Part I

  1. Pingback: Get Your Head Right: Major Misconceptions in the Fitness Game Part 2 | thefitcoach

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