If you’ve ever flipped through a women’s magazine, or spent any time on Pinterest fitness boards, then you’ve probably come across articles like these: Six Exercises for Six-Pack Abs! or, Three Ways To Trim Your Inner Thighs. And while it’s tempting to believe that toning your body can really be achieved through just a handful of exercises, the reality is that “spot training” is a myth. What Is “Spot Training”? Spot training is the idea that you can tone a specific part of the body through a particular exercise alone. Maybe you commit to doing 100 bicycle crunches each day to get rid of love handles, or you believe that toned abs come from doing tons of sit-ups. If you’ve tried these methods and failed, you’re not alone. Spot training is one of the biggest misconceptions in fitness. It doesn’t help that those in the fitness industry know exactly how to market their gadgets and equipment, and part of that often involves making hollow promises about spot training. The Fallacy It’s easy to see how someone would think that spot training is possible. But the fallacy lies in the two different components of creating muscle definition. The first component is, of course, building the muscle itself. For example, if you want to tone your arms, you might do bicep curls, tricep dips, and lateral pull-downs. All of these exercises work to build muscles in the arms, and this is an important step in creating definition. But this is also how people get tricked into thinking that spot training works. Performing these exercises does strengthen the muscles, but it’s only half the equation. In order to be toned, you also need to get rid of fat. This can be achieved in a number of ways, but cardiovascular exercise is a good start. Running, cycling, and swimming are the types of cardio-heavy activities that torch calories and aid in fat loss. Basic strength training alone cannot accomplish this. Important Of Diet If you’re training hard and still not getting anywhere, another thing you need to consider is your diet. When it comes to fat and weight loss, diet actually plays a much bigger role than does exercise. Some experts even go so far as to say that weight loss is 80% what you eat, and 20% the amount you exercise get. Not only does this lend more evidence against the myth of spot training, but it’s also a good reminder to eat well. The Value Of Strength Training Spot training might not work, but don’t ditch the dumbbells just yet! Strength training is an incredibly valuable aspect of any fitness routine, and has numerous health benefits. The good news is that combining it with cardio and a clean diet is a recipe for creating a lean, toned body.