All too often we hear advice from “fitness pro’s” saying to do this or that ab exercise and we’ll lose that stubborn belly fat. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality. While we’d all love something like this to be true, research has confirmed that it is a myth, however, there is hope (1,2)! The hope is that with proper training, nutrition, and lifestyle, we can manipulate the total amount of body fat that we have, which includes abdominal fat (2). Exercises that are multi-joint, like squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and so forth, have been found to be effective in achieving efficient fat loss (3). With that being said, there hasn’t been one type of exercise that has been found to be more effective than the other, as in, cardio is not more effective at fat loss than, say, resistance training (4). Although that may be the case, it has recently been found by O’Donoghue et al., 2021, that over 45 studies have shown both high-intensity aerobic work and high-load resistance training, combined in some way, is far superior to other methods in the reduction of fat mass (4).
So, what does that mean for us?
That means that we need to controllably challenge ourselves with weights, in addition to training to points where we are breathing heavily from working hard. Now, the same could be said when people want to be “toned”. The same type of work will accomplish that particular goal, where relatively heavy weight training, along with challenging aerobic type of work will be along the lines of what will be most effective for that (4).
One quick fun fact to throw into the mix, is what being toned actually means.
In the simplest terms, it is how much muscle mass we have, how little body fat we have, and how much muscle tone/tension we have at rest. Interestingly, actual muscle tone is how much tension our muscle has at rest, meaning that we have a partial passive contraction of the muscle at rest!
So, in the end, focusing on proper nutrition, training, and lifestyle will help us all decrease body fat, and push for that toned look that is so sought after!
Reach out to us to find out more and how we can help you towards those goals!