We all have “trouble areas” that we want to change in some way.
Arms, Hips, Thighs, Chest…everyone has an area they want to see an improvement in.
For some they’re minor areas that have lagged behind the progress of other areas, like building slightly bigger biceps to match already well developed triceps.
For others, they’re major areas where they want to start seeing fat loss progress, like “muffin tops” or excessive fat storage around the waist or back of arms.
In this post you will learn how to lose fat from your trouble areas AND any other areas you have stored fat too. Im going to break down how to do it in simple steps so you can start making progress today. Finally, I’m going to offer you a free spot on a program that will change your life.
Are You Training Like a Bodybuilder To Lose Fat?
If you have done some resistance training before, you’ll know theres plenty of ways to program training sessions and the best option will depend on your goals, experience and abilities.
You may have followed a program with training days dedicated to body parts.
Arm day, leg day, back day etc.
This type of training was designed by bodybuilders and is mostly about isolating the muscles your training on the day to stimulate growth in them. Of course, the growth wont happen unless your nutrition supports that growth, which wouldn’t be the case with fat loss nutrition.
Fat loss nutrition requires you to be in a calorie deficit but to build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus so typical body building style training is fine to use when fat loss is your goal, provided you have a few other important elements to that program.
The problem is, theres a common perception that doing an arm day will be a great way to burn fat from your arms. I can understand why someone would think that but im here to show you why thats not the case and what to do instead that will actually work.
The progress you can expect when targeting specific body parts is completely different for fat loss than it is for hypertrophy (building muscle).
It is possible to isolate your arms and build muscle on just your arms, but you cant lose fat from JUST your arms.
In this post, were going to focus on fat loss, so if you want to lose fat and have trouble areas in mind then this post is definitely for you.
Ok, so we’ve got a good news / bad news situation here.
I’ll give you the bad news first but please hang around for the good news. It will help you lose fat everywhere, including your trouble areas.
The bad news is you can’t lose the fat in your trouble areas alone. It’s called spot reduction and its a myth. Its a stubborn myth kept alive by misleading marketing and blind faith but there’s plenty of research that shows its impossible.
I’m not here to debunk a myth though, i dont want you wasting your time doing the wrong training or nutrition to achieve your goals. I am here to give you a real solution to lose fat in your trouble areas as well as anywhere else you have stored fat too.
The “Bad” News
The bad news that isnt bad news at all is, you cant lose fat from one body part and not anywhere else.
If someone is trying to tell you otherwise, they’re probably trying to sell you something.
Some ridiculous supplement or exercise equipment.
100 sit-ups a day won’t help you lose fat from your stomach, even if they’re sore the next day.
If you have tried to isolate these areas with specific exercises to try and drop fat from them, you have probably been disappointed with the results.
The GOOD News
The good news is – you can lose fat from your trouble areas easier than ever before; you just don’t need to use exercises to isolate them to lose fat from those areas.
Its actually very simple to lose fat from any area on your body and im going to show you exactly how to do it in this post and why you may have failed in the past so you can avoid the same mistakes this time around.
Rather than focusing on specific areas that you want to see a change in, focus on losing fat everywhere using the steps in this post and i promise you will see better results than you could imagine.
The first thing we need to do is set a FAT LOSS goal (not a weight loss goal). Were then going to walk through every step you need to achieve it.
The System That Worked For 859 Transformation Clients So Far
Speaking from my experience of taking on new clients in our 28 day transformation challenge
Most people don’t have a suitable goal and it sets them up for failure before they even start.
When our new 28 day clients arrive for their induction, 90% of them only have a vague idea of wanting to lose weight or maybe seeing a change in how their clothes fit, like dropping a dress size for example.
We guarantee the 28 day challengers will lose 10 pounds of fat in 28 days (or they’re money back), so although they have that goal in mind, its still not enough. Ill show you how we set goals during our 28 day challenge induction and how we setup new clients to achieve dramatic fat loss results in a short period, like 28 days.
Our challengers leave the gym after their induction knowing exactly what their goal is, how to measure it accurately, how many weeks it will take to achieve, what result to expect on a weekly basis and how to tie it all together with a simple and customised nutritional plan.
You can expect the same result from reading this post and following the steps below.
Measure Fat (Not Weight) Every 3-4 Weeks
You cant lose the same amount of weight each week..
You CAN lose the same amount of FAT each week.
Your body and your fat loss is more complex than weight or even BMI can measure. Its made up of components like bone, muscle, fat, water and minerals (aka your body composition). All of these components contribute to your “weight”. Thats why, if you want to change your physique by losing fat or building muscle, its crucial you start learning about your body composition and stop basing your success or failure on the number on the scales.
Weight loss and fat loss are totally different and your goal should be to focus on fat loss, rather than weight loss.
Your weight can fluctuate massively throughout the day, so if you’re weighing yourself as a way to measure your progress you’re going to be very disappointing and lose motivation very quickly.
How to Stop Weekends From Ruining Your Progress
Have you ever struggled to stay motivated with your training or nutrition?
Most of the new clients we take on in our challenge either have serious motivation issues or at least have struggled to stay motivated for more than 12 weeks.
Im sure if you’re reading this, you can relate.
Has anyone consistently measured your body fat before? I mean every 2-4 weeks?
Did you know thats the biggest factor in motivation?
If you answered no, you havent had a reliable way to know if you’re making progress. With a weighing scales, you only get a partial and very limited insight to your progress.
Motivation is normally high Monday to Friday. You may be making an effort with nutrition and exercising in some way. Depending on what those efforts look like, you would expect to see some kind of progress every 2 weeks right?
But you’re weighing yourself and looking for progress there. Not going to happen. You dont see the progress you expected (maybe 1-4 pounds or so of weight loss), so you think…
“What the hell am i doing this for if im not losing any weight!?”
But what if your efforts WERE actually working and you’re scales just couldnt show you that. Thats why we measure body fat. We like to encourage clients to get scanned on a Friday before the weekend hits. That way you get a real and accurate report on your progress before Friday night rolls in.
Guess what happens when you get the confirmation that you’re losing fat and its all worth it before the weekend?
You dont scrap the diet and binge on sweets, takeaways, alcohol or whatever over the weekend.
You feel a sense of achievement while heading into the weekend, knowing you’ve taken one step closer to your goal this week and you wont want to ruin that over the weekend.
How We Measure Fat Loss Progress With Clients
Before we do anything in our 28 day challenge inductions, we measure everyones body fat using a high tech body composition scanner called an InBody 570. Its one of the first of its kind in Ireland and gives you a very clear and comprehensive insight to your current body fat levels but most importantly, your progress.
We recommend clients get their body fat measured every 3-4 weeks. In the 28 day challenge, we measure during the induction and in week 2 and week 4. It only takes 30 seconds to get scanned and involves just standing on a platform. Clients use the InBody without staff assistance whenever they want and they get a full print out of their results to take home with them.
Your scan print-out shows you exactly what sort of progress youve made with your fat loss. You can see how much fat you’re losing and even WHERE on your body you’re losing it. It doesnt rely solely on weight, like so many systems out there and it even measures your water retention levels on the day.
Why is that important to measure water retention?
Because if you’re retaining more water from one day to the next, your weight will fluctuate massively and you may think you’re not losing fat or even gaining weight when you’re actually not. You may have just had more sodium in your diet over the last few days and have more retained water as a result or if you’re female, you will retain much more water around the time of month.
Example of a Clients Scan Results
Heres an example of a scan print out – you can see the level of detail it produces straight away.
This is Jim’s scan results and you can see the history of his scans and his fat loss progress under “Body Composition History” in the red box at the bottom. See how his body fat percentage drops from 28.2% on the 6th January to 21.9% on the 21st March, while his weight actually increases from week 6 to 12.
Jim lost 6.3% body fat in 12 weeks, while his weight increased from 175.5 pounds to 180.2 pounds.
Jim started in our 28 day transformation challenge and has since finished the challenge and joined our Inner Circle program. The IC is a results focused program too for 28 day challenge graduates who want to develop a healthy lifestyle change around training and nutrition, while getting stronger and leaner.
How to Set a Goal Body Fat Percentage
Most of you reading this are unlikely to have had your body fat measured before. You’re even more unlikely to have had access to such a comprehensive and accurate tool like the InBody 570.
Lets assume you know your current body fat percentage. If you dont, you can get a rough idea from the images below.
When you know your current body fat percentage, the question becomes – how do i set a goal body fat percentage?
Its very simple, we look a what different male and female body fat percentages look like and set our goal based on that. We do this during our 28 day challenge induction so clients know their current and goal body fat percentage.
Calculate Your Gap
The gap is the difference between your current and goal body fat percentage, which is the fat you want to lose in the most measurable way possible.
If your current body fat percentage is 30% and your goal is 18%, then your gap is 12% body fat (30% – 18% = 12%)
Calculate How Many Weeks It Will Take To Achieve Your Goal
The goal we set with all our clients seeking fat loss is 0.4% every week. Thats a very realistic and sustainable goal and something you can definitely achieve with the steps outlined below. Calculating the weeks to achieve your goal is very simple once you know your current and goal body fat percentage and have a weekly fat loss goal.
If your goal is to lose 12% body fat and your weekly goal is 0.4%, then it will take 30 weeks to achieve your goal (12% / 0.4% = 30 weeks).
There are some weeks where you will achieve more and less than 0.4%, but 0.4% is a good average to work from. Our 28 day transformation challenge clients would achieve 2.4% – 4.3% over the 28 days. We design customised nutritional plans for them and give them access to the proven tools and techniques we have used over the years to achieve dramatic fat loss results.
For the average person who is new to resistance training and fat loss nutrition and may have commitments like a full-time job, kids etc, 0.4% is a very realistic weekly goal.
Heres how all that looks.
4 Steps To Close The Gap and Achieve Any Fat Loss Goal
You now know how to set a fat loss goal, what result to expect each week, how many weeks it will take to achieve and how to measure your progress in a way that will motivate you to stick to your nutrition and training.
All you need to know now is how to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, in terms of body fat.
Thats where these four steps come in.
Consider these four steps as essential ingredients to fat loss. Without one or more, you’re much more likely to fail. Setting yourself up with all four ingredients to fat loss from day one is the key to your success.
Step One: Training
You need to train to achieve your goal. Im biased and favour resistance training for a few reasons, but you can make your own decision based on what works for you and what results you wish to achieve.
Ill start by saying training and exercise are not the same thing. Training is a structured form of activity, done with a purpose and end goal. Similar to how we break down body fat goals and have weekly milestones, we do that with training too.
Every training session brings you one step closer to your goal and you actually know what your goal is.
To lose fat beyond a few weeks and have the potential to achieve your end goal, you need to be on a program. A program in a nutshell is a training regime tailored to your level to start with and has a planned progression every week, so you get stronger and lose the most fat you can. You need to be challenging yourself in your training to achieve the best fat loss results you can.
That doesnt happen with cardio or in commercial gym classes etc, so youre not doing yourself justice and in most cases, wasting your time. If you need a program to start now and want to learn more about the benefits of resistance training click here to checkout my beginners guide to weight training, which has a program you can start included.
Step Two: Nutrition
This is the one that messes people up.
Ill let you in on a little secret, you dont need to make huge changes to your diet to lose fat. Very simple changes that you can stick to will ALWAYS help you lose more fat.
Please dont do a crash diet. I understand the temptation and desperation at times but although you may lose some weight and maybe even feel good, you will ultimately not be able to stick to something restrictive like a typical crash diet.
I know this is a real problem for people so ive written a complete guide to losing fat, while eating carbs.
Im calling it “Carb Cycling – Fat Loss For Carb Lovers”
Ive recorded a video which shows you exactly how to build your own fat loss nutrition plan in four simple steps. I explain everything in detail and its very easy to follow. I publish a new blog post every Friday so ill have it up next Friday. If you want exclusive access to it in the meantime, just click here and ill email it to you now.
Step Three: Accountability
Did you know 94% of people fail to achieve the fat loss goals without support or accountability.
Thats insane! If you’re doing this on your own, you’re immediately extremely unlikely to succeed.
Commercial gyms are terrible for support and accountability, i worked in them for years before opening FP. The last one i worked for in town, had 5400 members on direct debit but only 7% were active.
Active means they visited once in the last 3 months by the way lol
What a joke.
If 94% of people fail with support or accountability, then only 23 of that gyms active members would succeed.
23 people out of 5400. Crazy stuff.
Accountability in a nutshell is about having someone who gives a shit about you and your goals. They know the steps it takes for you achieve them (as outlined in the post) and they help keep you on track.
We have six transformation coaches here in FP and they all assigned clients that they keep accountable and offer support every week. They check-in with them every week to make sure they’re attending their 3 sessions a week and help them with any issues around nutrition.
In other words – our accountability system ensures you follow the exact steps in this post to close the gap we calculated
We all have bad and busy periods in life; work, kids or whatever but we need to work through them and stay on track to some degree no matter what.
The age old excuse of “I just dont have the time to cook or exercise” doesnt pan out anymore. I call bullshit on that excuse if you’re currently telling yourself that story. Everyone has time to prioritise their health, exercise and make better food choices. The problem is were prioritising social occasions, extra time in bed in the morning or time watching tv in the evenings.
It only takes three 45 minute sessions a week and a sensible approach to your nutrition to lose 0.4% of body fat a week and when you have an accountability coach there to support you, hold you hand when you need it and give you a bit of a kick up the arse when you need it too, then its suddenly very achievable,
We dont kick clients up the arse by the way, we just remind them of their goals, encourage them to get back on track and help with whatever got them off track.
Step Four: Mindset
Weve talked a lot about goals in the post.
Goals with fat loss and training goals, but the idea of losing body fat isnt enough on its own to keep you motivated and on track with your training and nutrition.
You need to know the deeper meaning to why you want to lose the weight in the first place. You know the answer but you need to identify it and keep it fresh in your mind.
Its called Your Why and you may have heard that before but it applies to fitness and fat loss too.
Heres Sean explaining all about what your why is and how to identify yours.
If you’ve read this far, I know your serious about losing weight and feeling better.
Rather than giving you some generic eat more protein and vegetables speal, I’m going to offer you something huge.
I’m going to offer you a free spot on our Bikini Body Blueprint program.
Were limited to 10 spots so make sure you reserve your spot right now.
Enter your details in the form below to reserve your spot.
Phil “Cant live life without ice cream” Giffney
Personal Trainer Dublin and Body Transformation Gym in Blackrock, Dublin