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This Is the Worst Thing You Can Do If You're Trying to Lose Body Fat and Build Muscle

PopSugar logo PopSugar 4 days ago Tamara Pridgett

© Provided by Shutterstock Regardless of your fitness goals - weight loss, building muscle, becoming faster, growing a bigger booty - there's no magic pill or express lane for achieving results quick. As a personal trainer, my main goals are to educate people on how the human body works, help them become more functional, and help them achieve their fitness goals.

My experiences as a Division 1 All-American sprinter, group instructor, and personal trainer have revealed this: a common misconception people have about losing fat and building muscle is that they should focus on spot reduction.

Related: How to Eat Healthy Without Counting Calories (Provided by Buzz60)

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What Is Spot Reduction?

Spot reduction is the false belief that you can do isolated exercises to target a specific muscle (i.e., triceps, inner thighs, lower belly) and, as a result, lose fat in that area. Small muscle fatigue may leave your muscles feeling shaky, but ultimately it isn't improving your overall fitness, which is needed to lose fat.

Does Spot Reduction Work?

© Provided by Shutterstock The short answer is no, spot reduction doesn't work. If your primary goal is to lose body fat, spot reduction won't work because you're targeting small muscles. There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose fat in your arms and build muscle, but doing countless triceps dips won't work.

If you're already relatively fit and don't have much fat to lose, spot-toning - developing a particular muscle or muscle group - can help you see more muscle definition.

What Should I Do Instead?

Instead of obsessing over a "problem area," focus on training your entire body. This will help improve your overall strength and health, and you'll achieve the results you're looking for a lot faster.

To improve and enhance your physique, don't focus on tiny muscles like your triceps - think bigger. Doing big, compound exercises recruiting multiple muscle groups at once will allow you to elevate your heart rate, burn more calories, and improve your coordination. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses, bent-over rows, and pull-ups are all great exercises to do if you want to burn fat and build muscle.

Related: The 21 Laziest Ways to Lose Weight (provided by Wellness)

Multitask in Front of the TV: Save time (and money) by skipping the gym and working out at home instead, suggests Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Keep some free weights by the TV or simply do crunches or lunges during your favorite show," she says."I have both my treadmill and my elliptical parked in front of a TV. I can watch my favorite shows only if I'm on them," says Becky Clark, author of How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Even If You're Lazy, who incorporates calorie-torching speed intervals into her living room cardio workouts so she can keep them shorter. More: The At-Home Arm Workout That Will Tighten & Tone The 21 Laziest Ways to Lose Weight
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