Can you spot-reduce with kettlebells? It’s an issue of semantics…

Posted: June 15, 2011 in exercise, Kettlebell, kettlebell situps, kettlebellhell, spot reduce, spot train, Uncategorized

For years my husband has been telling me that it’s impossible to spot-reduce.  He tells me this as I’m trying to knock out bunches of sit-ups before bikini season.  But we’ve had this same debate since 1995.  True that.  1995 this debate started… and here we are 16 years later: Me, still doing sit-ups.  Him, still going on about the so-called myth of “spot-reducing”.

For me, there’s always been a shred of doubt as to whether this was, in fact, “a myth”.  So I keep on keeping on.  Recently, there have been some studies that have shown that one can, in fact, spot-reduce despite years of research to the contrary.  So I open this debate on my kettlebell blog because we are all fitness fanatics here and great minds have valuable input.  So I’d like to start this debate with one simple question:

“What is your goal?”

If you tell me your goal is to reduce some belly fat by summer, then I would suggest doing some abdominal work.  “WAIT!”, you say…”I’ve heard you can’t spot-reduce!”

My response: “It’s a question of semantics.”  My suggestion was to “spot-train” a particular area of your body vs. attempting to “spot-reduce” your belly fat.

The good news is, you absolutely can spot-train a particular area of your body to build muscle.  No controversy over this statement.  You want big biceps, do bicep curls everyday.  6 months later take a tape measure to your bicep.

But here’s the thing:  The more muscle you gain, the faster your body burns fat.  Building muscle in a particular “trouble-area” will burn overall fat, but it will also improve the look of that particular area.  When the fat burns off from increased exercise and increased muscle gain, then we will be able to see your 6-pack abs.

So call it what you will, but if you have a desire to spot-reduce, then spot-train.  Now go do some kettlebell sit-ups… Summer is just days away!


  1. Reblogged this on Cast Iron Strength and commented:

    I’m rebloging an old post on the issue of spot reducing… setting myself up for a new challenge.

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