The Blog

The Blog

Count Calories… Not Crunches

Have you ever seen those info commercials that guarantee a thinner midsection after doing 3 weeks of AB exercises?  Or maybe thinner arms after shaking a weight for only a few minutes a day?  Maybe you are someone who has actually ordered and used one the many devices that promise the same results.  I’m not discrediting you or any of these products (because I don’t want to get sued), however as much as I want to say they work…they don’t and here’s why.

A big misconception in the fitness world is the idea of spot reducing.  Spot reducing is the thought that a person can loose belly fat by just isolating the Abdominal muscles, or triceps extensions will reduce the amount of fat in your arms.  Unfortunately this is not true in any way.  When exercising your body mobilizes fat cells as fuel and those fat cells are put into the blood stream and then transported to the muscle in need.  So when you are doing crunches, there is no guarantee that the fat you’re using as fuel is from your belly.

Where your body stores its fat is genetically determined, that’s why men typically have larger stomachs and women typically have larger hips.  If you go into a workout determined to loose fat in a certain area, you’ll most likely become overdeveloped in one muscle group, which can lead to an unbalanced muscular system and potentially lead to poor posture or injury. For example, if you do crunches and sit-ups after every workout because you feel your six pack is getting more defined, it’s not going to happen.  I’m not saying don’t do crunches, that’s fine, but if that’s all your doing to flatten your belly, you’re probably going to end up with the same sized midsection and a spine that doesn’t like you anymore. That’s why it’s important to work large muscle groups and attack the whole body instead of one muscle at a time.  For example instead of crunches, try planks, they not only target the abdominal muscles, but they also incorporate almost every muscle from feet to fingertips forcing more fat cells to be mobilized.

Everyone is born with a six-pack, or a well-defined muscular system, however body fat is preventing most of us from seeing them.  Instead of buying a so called “easy way to a firmer body” try elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time, eating the right amount of calories throughout the day and doing multi-jointed exercises.

If you want to find out how many calories a day your body requires or you want to figure out your optimal plan of attack for loosing weight, please check out our services at Fitness Quest 10 (  We offer metabolic testing which will show you your resting metabolic rate and will show you your optimal zones for burning fat.

Remember when your ultimate goal is loosing fat, don’t count crunches…count calories.

By: Tom Cox

Tom Cox is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA.  He is C.S.C.S and is an ACE certified Personal Trainer.  Tom got his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in fitness and wellness from Chico State University and continues to further his education.  He specializes in athletic performance, strength training, weight loss, and total body functional training.  Tom loves motivating and inspiring people to reach their personal and fitness goals.  To Read More visit or

Similar Posts