You might have seen this statement from me before, or heard it on my radio show, “YOU CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET.” Meaning if you eat bad, have bad nutrition habits and expect that hour on the treadmill that burns 500 calories to make a dent in the 3,000 calorie soda and candy bar diet you mow down during the day, it may be pretty tough.
If you are looking to lose weight and belly fat, grabbing your running shoes and hitting the long lonely trail for miles and miles and hours and hours might not be the answer either.
OK, you need to put down the can of your favorite beverage and that bacon donut. Just because you might not need to run a marathon doesn’t mean that you can be a couch potato and watch “Leave It To Beaver” reruns (if you’re under 25 — speak to an “old person” to explain that one!) all day.
Here is the key. There isn’t a set prescription to reduce the fat stored around your stomach, but there are a few expert-approved things you can do.
• Key #1. STOP TRYING TO SPOT REDUCE — ADD RESISTANCE TRAINING.
Spot Reduction is working to just reduce the amount of fat you have on a specific area of your body. We know it sounds simple, but it’s not possible because you can’t pick and choose what area you lose fat from. It’s not like picking a TV Station. You don’t have a fat control button— that’s up to your genes and a person’s individual body. To start down the road for fat loss, you should begin to strength train. Resistant training takes a large energy expenditure, which leads to burning more calories and, as a result, fat.
• Key #2. TAKE A FULL-BODY APPROACH TO TONING, TIGHTENING AND LOSING THOSE POUNDS.
If you take more of a total body approach — as far as total body fat — then you will see a change in your overall body composition (how much lean body mass you have compared to body fat), in addition to your stored fat in areas.
• Wondering what we mean by a “Full Body Approach” to losing fat? Essentially, it’s doing things like a total body workout to gain the most benefits.
For example, I have folks all the time tell me they’re going to do crunches to “get rid of this gut” and start to get a “6 pack.” The only exercise I know that can give you a “6 pack” are “Push Aways.” You know what “Push Aways” are, right? Push your butt away from the dinner table and don’t eat so much! (Relax, that’s a joke!) People think crunches will help reduce belly fat, but it doesn’t work that way. While you’re working the muscles under the fat, you won’t lose belly fat — even though it might be part of the process to lose that Party Ball!
By doing full body movements, challenging big muscle groups with compound exercises — like squats, you’ll exert more energy, burn more calories, and jack up your metabolism. Which means you’ll burn calorie even when you go home a catch late night re-runs.
• Key #3. MAYBE CARDIO (LONG SLOW DISTANCE) ISN’T KING.
Another style of training that has become synonymous with burning fat is cardio, specifically running. Now if running six miles is your cup of tea, add a dash of sugar and go for it. But if you’re not the “pound the pavement” kind of person, here’s what you should know. Running does help with weight reduction, but there’s another side to the coin: it really depends on the person. Running can help lose belly fat in one group, where another group finds it hard to lose belly fat.
Because you’re expending energy and rocking those calories, any type of movement that you do uses up energy, and as a result, it can turn into weight loss. The key is, this could be belly fat, fat in your legs, your arms — like we stated earlier, it’s out of your control.
If you aren’t sure if you should do steady state/long slow distance cardio or interval training like sprints, just know that both methods have their place in an exercise program. Not to sound like a broken record, but it depends on how your body responds to running. If you’re de-conditioned, you may have to start with easy, steady-state cardio to build up an aerobic base, For someone who already has an aerobic base, you could be able to progress to high-intensity interval (HIIT) training (which research has shown is a better way to drop those pounds).
• Key #4. WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
We’re back to the beginning. You can’t out train a bad diet. So you’ll have to make sure you’re eating the right fuel in order to start seeing changes. A combination of training and diet will get you to where you want to be in your fat lose process, the way your body looks and how great you feel.
Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen, M.Ed, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, FNSCA is the Founder/Director of Coach Rozy Performance - Powered by AVERA Sports. He can be reached at 817-219-2811, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.coachrozy.com for more information on this article or programs that he offers.