Why Don’t Crunches Help You Reduce Belly Fat?


Usually people work out for the body zones they don’t like, as the main goal is to burn the fat. This is not true, as I’ve said a bunch of times, and today I came up with an allegory that will better explain how the energy in the human body functions.

Imagine the electric devices at your home. When you turn on a lamp, you start to spend electricity and it accumulates on the total electric bill.

When you turn the TV on, you use electricity again and that accumulates to your electric bill.

I.e. you don’t have a light bulb bill, a TV bill, a fridge bill, etc.

In the same way body has a general energy supply and when you do crunches, you don’t use the energy of the belly supply, but of the general energy supply. The general energy supply is subcutaneous fat throughout your body, the glycogen in the muscles and the food we eat.

If your thighs are fatty and do exercises for the thighs, you use energy of the general supply again. It depends on your genes and hormones will you start burning fat of the thighs, butt, abdomen or other zone first. It may happen that you follow a meal plan, you only do crunches and lose fat of your thighs, but your abdomen is the same, it even gets bigger (this is more common for men).

This happens because when you’re on a meal plan, you have energy deficit, your body starts burning fat and depending on your genes it decides it will be better to save the fat on the belly, but lose of the booty. In the same time, you’ve worked out just for your abdomen and you build some muscles. The fat on the stomach stays almost the same and the result is a bigger measurement. This is just a hypothesis, but it is possible to happen.

My experience shows me that if you follow an energy deficit meal plan long enough and do total body workouts, sooner or later, you will start burning fat all over your body. Keep in mind that your genes will decide which zone you’ll burn more and which – less of. Usually, women burn fat more easily of the belly and the harder zones are thighs and booty. Men have nice, toned thighs and booty, but the belly and love handles are challenging.

So then, if you’d like to increase your electric bill and want to make it quick, you need to turn on the appliances that use up much energy – ovens and heaters, and not light bulbs.

It’s the same with the human body. If you want to use up much energy it’s good to ‘turn on’ the muscles that use much energy. Those are the big muscle groups as thighs, booty, chest, back and belly. I.e. to burn fat of the belly, it’s good to spend as much energy as you can of the general energy supply. This happens when you do exercises for the big muscles and this helps to use up more energy for the same reps compared to isolated exercises for arms or abdomen for example.

Exercises such as squats work at the same time muscles on the thighs, booty, abdomen and back stabilizers. Push ups work the chest, abdomen, the back of the arms (triceps) and the lower back.

If you want to burn fat of the belly, do crunches (and other abs exercises), but it’s a must to train muscles that will burn more energy of your general supply. On one hand, if you do crunches, the other muscles will be fresh and when the abdomen gets tired, you can start training the thighs. On the other hand, you would have trained longer and you would have used up more energy than by just doing crunches.

And don’t overestimate the calories you burn while working out. It’s not easy to burn the extra 300 calories by a workout. To burn 300 calories you need to do an 1 hour moderate intensity workout or 30-40 minutes super intensive workout.

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