Targeted Fat Loss

Is Targeted Fat Loss possible? We answer the question below.

Many people come into our gym in Bend, Oregon and want to lose fat “right here”.  When they ask they always point to a specific part of their body.  It might be belly fat, on the back of the arms or their legs or even their necks. These people are looking for Targeted Fat Loss.

Everyone wants to know, can you lose fat and choose where you lose it from?

The answer is no.  Fat loss doesn’t work like that.  Don’t believe the television or the social media influencers.  You don’t get to choose where you lose body fat or where you lose body fat from first. 

Doing thousands of crunches, sit ups, side bends, etc won’t help you lose belly fat.  Those 1,000 sit up workouts or the 20 minute ab videos won’t get you rippling abs.  

The body doesn’t work like that.  Your body won’t “take fat” from beside a working muscle.  Your body will provide fuel to the muscle by using all the sources and systems available to it(there are many).  

Further, genetic factors influence exactly where people carry body fat.  Some areas will lose fat faster than other areas.  Everyone is different.  

But, here is the good news: 

A trained coach can help you change your overall body composition.  Which in time will lead to a reduction of body fat EVERYWHERE in your body. 

Training The Whole Body

Although you can’t drop from specific locations at will, you can eat and train to alter body composition.  To do so, you will want to work with a coach to create a nutrition program and exercise program that helps you reduce overall body fat. 

In some cases, a person’s sole goal is to just lose body fat.  Other cases, which are significantly more beneficial to the person, they will want to gain muscle and lose fat.  They want to improve their appearance.  This second path of losing fat and gaining muscle will take time & hard work!

Exercise and Nutrition are linked.  You can’t “out-train a bad diet”.  In the kitchen you will need to make decisions that help fuel your exercise but not store excess body fat.  A lot of times these changes can be made by adding healthier foods and drinking more water.  This is where a coach can help you a ton.  

In the gym, your plan should include both upper body and lower body days.  The training days should alternate between higher intensity workouts, strength based workouts, and lower impact aerobic training.  Again, utilizing a fitness professional, your coach, will help you build a plan. 


Your coach is going to help select the intensity, duration, and exercise selection so that you can see results continually.  This approach allows you to set small goals and achieve them both with exercise and nutrition.  

Exercise selection matters

In the gym, your plan will include “big” lifts or fundamental movements.  Squatting, pressing, picking things up from the ground, carrying and dragging weights.  These movements use large muscle groups and require more energy.  The increased energy expenditure will help you lose fat faster.  These big lifts also require a lot more midline stabilization or otherwise known as core.  

After the big lifts, your coach will select smaller exercises that will target your “weak links”.  A lot of these movements are directed to your posterior chain(your backside – what you can’t see when looking in the mirror).  These smaller exercises will help you stay healthy and build muscle where you need it.  

When you train the entire body with appropriate intensity and eat to support that activity, the result is increased general physical fitness and a “fit” appearance characterized by reduced body fat. You will look more athletic!

Body Fat Percentages

It’s not uncommon for people who train like this to have body-fat percentages of 14-24 (women) and 6-17 (men). That puts them in the realm of “athlete” and “fitness.” “Acceptable” levels, according to, are 25-31 (women) and 18-25 (men). 

It’s also important to remember that some people perform better in the gym with a little more body fat, and very low levels of body fat don’t always support athletic goals.

How do you know what level of body fat is right for you?

Book a free consultation here to talk to us about your goals—whether you’re focused on performance, appearance or some combination. We’ll tell you exactly how to accomplish your goals, and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.

In the meantime, if you see a product or service that claims to reduce fat “right here,” you should be very skeptical. Fat loss is a result of exercise and nutrition, and your body will determine exactly where the changes are made. Finally, targeted fat loss isn’t a reality! So don’t fall for the gimmicks!

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