Should you run for site specific fat loss?
I was driving down the road in Didsbury the other day, when out of the distance appeared a vision: it was a runner.
Now to be clear, I have nothing against runners, although I do have a thing or two to say about running, depending on how and why you’re doing it, but we’ll get to that later..
This runner, and I guarantee you’ve seen the same thing yourself, was a female, late 20’s, covered in lycra, had a great pair of trainers on, and an ass the size of a small country. Followed by legs from the knees up that I suspect caused significant chafing to the insides of her thighs (I’m trying to be diplomatic). Her top half, however, was a completely different story – smaller and a whole lot leaner – we’re talking typical ‘pear’ shape here.
I’m not being mean…
But I felt an almost overwhelming urge to stop the car and sit her down for 5 minutes to explain a couple of things.
This isn’t in any way to ridicule the efforts of this girl or those in a similar position. I have total respect for anyone who decides to get up off their ass, take control and do something about their body, how they feel, how they perform. Even if that thing is to dress yourself up in some pretty inappropriately tight fitting stuff, and pound the pavements (or sidewalks if you’re reading this from across the pond) into submission.
The reason I wanted to stop the car was because for anyone who has that body shape, who is putting in that much effort, and who quite frankly has a face that red from the exertion of hauling their ass down the road, there are better ways to spend your effort that will get far better results.
Here’s what I would have told her:
1. Your problem is most likely to be mainly hormonal and nutritional. However well placed your intentions in hitting the streets, you need to find someone who can properly assess and address your problem.
Moving your body is a good thing to do, and you’ll gain some benefit, but it will not address your body shape and get you a posterior that you can be proud of.
2. Specifically: your ass and legs are way big, probably because you have way too much oestrogen in your body. Your menstrual cycle might be really messed up too. Make sure you’re ‘passing stools’ 2-3 times per day, drink 2-3 litres of water per day, squeeze some lemon into it, and find a personal trainer or Nutritional Therapist who can design a specific oestrogen detoxification protocol for you.
A DIM supplement or eating broccoli sprouts a few times a week can help. Indole-3-carbinol can also be a great oestrogen detoxifier. Avoid soy in all its forms.
3. You need to eat a high protein, high (good) fat diet, with lots of veggies that grow above ground (grains do not count), to balance your blood sugar levels, and so you have some raw materials to make hormones from.
4. Running. I like running as much as the next person, but there can be a few problems with it. Especially for your specific body shape. Firstly, long duration, moderate intensity cardio work isn’t the most effective for fat burning. Plus it’s difficult to find adequate variables with running, and therefore to challenge and progress your body in the way you need to.
Yes, your muscles will hurt the first few times you go. But the variables in running are: a) distance b) speed and c) intensity (if you can find a hill and are motivated enough to run it). If you stop and watch some runners pounding the streets like you, most are plodders or steady pace runners.
5. Strong and lean is beautiful and sexy. But running won’t get you there. Humans were made to do some running, especially away from stuff with teeth bigger than ours, but not in trainers and on pavements. And I like to take my legs for an off road spin from time to time.
But we were also made to lift stuff, heavy stuff, and to throw, climb, jump, drag and carry. In modern speak: resistance exercise. Get yourself some weights to use at home and learn to use them, go to a gym and don’t be afraid of the guys in the weights section, or be smart: find a Manchester personal trainer with the right ideas and knowledge to assist you. Exercise isn’t just about burning calories, it’s also about hormonal response.
To your lean, healthy, optimised future,