Spot Toning – Fact or Myth?

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What is spot toning?

To cover the topic of what spot toning is, it is important to understand the concept of toning. Fun fact, the concept of ‘toning’ was started in the fitness industry to describe the goal of losing body fat and gaining muscle to look more athletic. Many people use the phrase in different ways, for some it is simply building muscle, for others it is losing weight or body fat, for others again it is simply gaining a leaner, more athletic look. While it can be used to describe all of these, in general, it is simply building up the muscles and reducing the layer of fat around them so the muscles can be seen better.

Spot toning is the idea that an individual can build muscle and reduce fat on one area of the body without touching another. An example of this is someone doing a large amount of sit -ups and ab work hoping to build a great 6 pack.

Can spot toning be done?

The short answer is no, spot toning is a myth. The reason for this comes down to simple facts. To be able to really see your muscles pop you need to reduce body fat, to reduce body fat you need to burn, or use, more energy then what you are bringing into your body. When you are burning more energy then you are bringing in, your body will resort to burning stored fat instead, however, we don’t get to choose where that stored fat comes from.

Spot toning suggests that someone can go into a workout thinking ‘today I am going to burn the extra fat from my stomach, but not my bum’, and unfortunately this is just not possible.

Having said that, what can be done is simply building the muscles in a particular area to help make them ‘pop’ more. This will also make you looked more ‘toned’ when the body fat starts to reduce, and will build strength at the same time. To return to the example of building a great 6 pack, if someone was to do 100 sit-ups a day for a month, while they will definitely build their abs and undoubtedly have an amazing 6 pack, there will still be a layer of fat covering them if nothing else is done.

The moral is to always train for your goal, and if your ever not sure what to do to reach your goal, just ask 🙂

See you next time!

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