The Truth Behind Fat Spot Reduction

Want to find out whether spot reduction in bodybuilding is true or myth? You’re in the right place!

Every athlete has heard about the spot reduction theory at least once. The spot reduction definition tells us that fat in certain areas of the body can be reduced through training muscles in those desired areas. For instance, an individual exercises abdominal muscles for spot reduction body fat around his/her midsection, or does leg lifts to reduce fat around the thighs and hips, and so on. So, is spot reduction a myth or true? Let’s discuss it below!

Spot Reduction In Fitness Is A Myth!

Lots of scientific studies were conducted to find out whether spot reduction of fat is efficient. One of them in 2013 estimated the impact of workouts on the fat mass of certain body parts. Subjects had to perform leg presses using a non-dominant leg over the program of 12 weeks. At the end of the study, participants didn’t see a considerable alteration in fat mass in the exercising leg despite the fact that they did up to 1,200 reps 3 times a week. They saw a reduction in fat mass in the upper body, but not in the leg they were working so intensively!    

So, it’s already become clear to health professionals and coaches that exercising certain muscles in order to burn fat in the targeted body parts is impossible. However, it seems that the idea of spot reduction will never go away! Adds, magazines, social media, and even some trainers support this false concept. You’ve probably heard phrases like “burning fat”, “muffin tops”, “troubled areas”, they are really misleading to those trying to lose weight. 

But where does this myth come from? It evolved from the belief that gaining muscles boosts metabolism, hence, fat reduction. People think that when they build muscles in specific body areas, it causes fat loss there. But, as we touched on above, none of the spot reduction techniques can decrease fat mass in one targeted body area by working out that area alone. Muscle growth doesn’t mean fat reduction! You can reduce fat in the entire body by providing a healthy diet and exercising regularly. 

The 3 Best Ways To Reduce Fat

So, what to do if we want to reduce fat mass on certain body parts? Is it possible? The answer is no, you can’t reduce fat in selected areas and leave the rest of the body in the same condition. Plus, you have to consider billions of other factors if you want to lose fat. Such factors include your gender, genes, body type and composition, hormones, diet, and more. However, we’ve consolidated here some well-tried techniques that will help you to become slimmer and make the process less frustrating.

Consider your body type and genetics – there is a sad truth about weight loss – the 1st area you gain weight will be the last one you lose. For instance, you’ve noticed weight gain around your hips or belly. When you lose weight, obviously, you want belly or hip fat to come off first. However, it may not work like that for you. Fat can get reduced somewhere you don’t even care about – your wrists, ankles, or whatever. Take a look at your family members, it’ll tell you a lot about your own body. Is there a pear shape in the family? Does everyone have a soft, nice, big belly? Your body type and genetics really impact how you lose fat. Knowing and accepting this fact will help you mitigate frustration if you don’t see results so soon.

Consider combination exercises that involve multiple muscles – the whole body compound exercises let you burn more calories and work both upper and lower body, thus, effectively reduce fat. In other words, you should exercise the entire body and try to involve as many muscle groups as you can for each exercise.

Do simple but effective things – to lose fat healthily you should eat low-calorie foods, get enough sleep, do cardio, strength training, manage stress, those are parts of a healthy lifestyle. As soon as you get some consistency, your body will soon respond and fat will definitely come off. 


We all wish the spot reduction of fat was true. Unfortunately, this is just a myth and empty promises. However, a typically healthy lifestyle with all the essential components like a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, and a positive attitude to yourself and life, on the whole, will change your body and mind. 

We do hope that our post was informative and useful for you. If you have anything to add, please, feel free to write in the comment section! We appreciate your knowledge and experience!

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