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Lose Fat & Love Handles
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How to Lose Your Love Handles – Not!

OK, I really am going to tell you how you can lose that extra fat around his midsection, sometimes called ‘love handles’ or a ‘spare tire’. But I’m going to tell you the truth. My pet peeve is articles that allegedly tell guys how to do the same but the techniques are next to useless.

I’m sure you’ve seen the images of a guy holding a broom handle or light barbell over his shoulders and twisting his torso from left to right as a means to lose his love handles. A waste of time! Or holding a dumbbell in each hand and bending from side to side. Forget it!

It’s just as important to know what doesn’t work as it is to know what does work. If you spend weeks in the gym doing ineffective and inefficient exercises you’ll get discouraged and give up. That’s why most people buy a year long gym membership then stop going after a dozen or so visits. By contrast, there is nothing more motivating and encouraging than steady, measurable progress toward a specific goal!

Goals and Measurements

The first thing you need to know is that ‘love handles’ are created by the deposition of extra fat around the midsection. (This is common in men, whereas women tend to have extra fat deposited in the hips and thighs.) So to target this specific area and create specific goals we need to know the measurement of your midsection. Wrap a tape measure around your abdomen at the widest area of your ‘love handles’ and record the measurement. Also, you really should measure your bodyfat percentage since one of our principal goals will be to reduce fat.

Once we are armed with “before” measurements of your abdomen and your bodyfat percentage we can create a program and monitor progress every step of the way. Remember, measurement prevents wasting time on things that don’t work and it offers very motivating feedback on what is working.

Losing Fat and Toning Muscle

Step 1: Burn More Calories

There is no real secret to losing fat; you need to burn more calories than you consume. A great way to do that is to engage in low intensity aerobics such as walking on a treadmill, using a stationary bike, or whatever. The real key is to make certain that the intensity is low enough so that you can do it every day of the week. That means you should be able to carry on a normal conversation or talk on the telephone while you’re doing this exercise. Higher intensity than that requires time off between workouts and that means less activity and fat burning.

Step 2: Tighten Abdominal Muscles

The most intense exercise you can do to target your abdominal muscles is to perform weighted crunches. Adding weight to crunches increase the overload to the target muscles and allows you to employ progressive overload, which is an indispensable condition to muscular hypertrophy.

Lie on your back with the handle of a low pulley behind your head. Grasp the handle and pull the slack out of the cable. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your shoulders and upper torso off the floor while lifting the weight stack of the low pulley. Make sure the weight is sufficiently heavy that you can oly lift it eight times. If you really want to increase the intensity, increase the weight until you can only hold it in a static contraction for five seconds. Each time you do this exercise try to increase the weight ten percent.

Here is the effective way to do dumbbell side bends. Select one dumbbell (not two!) and hold it at your side while standing. Allow the weight of the dumbbell to slowly descend toward the floor by bending your torso sideways. Using the power of your abdominal muscles straighten your torso against the force of the opposing weight. Again, use a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight reps. Banging out twenty five reps with a lighter weight is much less effective. By the way, if you hold two dumbbells at the same time you hugely reduce the effect of this exercise.

Step 3: Widen Your Upper Body

A wider midsection can be masked by a having a wider upper body. While you are whittling down your midsection, it can only help to add a little more size to your upper body and create more of the vaunted “V shape” that is so desirable. The single best exercise for this is the lat pulldown. You can perform this exercise in the conventional way but if you really want to increase efficiency and intensity try doing it with a weight that is so heavy you can only hold it for five seconds in the first two inches of the downward range. You have to feel it to believe it!

Step 4: Measure, Measure, Measure!

Once per week you should measure the girth of your midsection and your bodyfat percentage. Even the slightest improvement in these measurements in one week is enormously motivating. When you have a goal it is very important to be able to measure progress toward that goal. Don’t forget this important step.

In a Nutshell

Reducing ‘love handles’ is a simple matter of reducing overall bodyfat through daily low intensity aerobics and tightening the underlying muscles to improve shape. Perform the recommended aerobics every day and perform the recommended exercises twice per week in your first month and once per week for as long as your weights increase. If your weights do not increase add two extra days off until they do.

Soon you’ll have a tight, hard midsection, lower overall bodyfat and a great V-shaped taper to your torso.

Have a great workout!

Pete Sisco