Originally posted April 3, 2011.
So you know by now, you probably have heard that you can’t spot reduce fat. Also known as, no, you can’t do crunches till you’re blue in the face and get abs. I am sorry it just doesn’t work that way. In fact, your diet is more important than ab exercises to get abs. We have to be smarter than that, so that got me thinking, we have to attack these areas utilizing the cellular processes of our body….We’re taking on our hormones!
Your hormones play a role in your weight. They affect almost every metabolic process in your body. (That includes whether you gain muscle weight or if you gain fat and especially where you gain it).
That fat that we’re talking about, it’s called regional fat storage – we are all genetically predisposed to store fat in different places, each of these fat storage places has a corresponding hormone that causes more fat to be stored there.
Here’s the rundown:
Belly fat is indiciative of cortisol. What this means is you have to stay frosty, get more sleep, and stop worrying! Get rid of the crabs, hang out with optimistic people, and the stress hormone wont be a factor in your life.
How about love handles? Insulin is to blame for that one. As you may know, insulin is associated with diabetes. The reason behind diabetes is bad insulin management , eating too many high glycemic foods (Gatorade, white bread, lots of cereals, waffles, white rice, jelly beans, potatoes, etc)-, and your body becomes less efficient at processing insulin. To offset this you have to stay away from junk food – no chips, no white bread, and reduce carb intake very drastically, and increase protein intake. This will reset that insulin management hormone
Hip fat – estrogen is to blame. You may have noticed that women will complain more about hip fat. Women tend to store fat in the lower body more than men because of estrogen, so avoid genetically modified soy (it increases estrogen), and exercise more.
And now the specific body fat attack exercise guide:
To decrease cortisol you need to increase growth hormone. Utilize squats for this and here’s how you should do them:
Go down quickly and then elevate over 5 seconds during the upward phase of a squat.
The upward or lifting phase produces more lactic acid in your body which in turn will produce more growth hormone and offset belly fat.
To decrease insulin, do reverse lunges with bicep curls. The reason you should use this exercise is because it involves a lot of muscles and fires igf-1 (insulin like growth factor).
Guide to insulin: The more muscles you can work at once the better you are attacking insulin.
To decrease estrogen you need to focus on training density. That is the amount of work you do in a specific time frame. Your goal is to get more work done in less time so be fast on your exercises! Or you can go to this Langley bootcamp, if you are concerned with increasing your training density as we tend to jam pack a lot of exercises in a 1 hour session. And remember, it is always easier to alternate exercises if we are using different muscle groups. Antagonistic muscle groups such as chest and back and quads and hams are great combinations.
Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BSc, CSCS