Your Questions Answered

Model Trainer Marr weighs in on spot reducing and how to exercise on a budget

By Heather Marr

For this week’s column, Heather picked two more reader questions about trying to spot reduce and working out on a budget. Keep your questions coming on Tone and Style’s Facebook page and Instagram feed. Also keep us posted on your progress on the model trainer method. We love to hear how you all are doing.

Q: I workout regularly but I am not seeing results around my legs. What is the best method to decrease fat accumulation on the butt and thighs?


A: You cannot spot reduce unfortunately. You will not be able to target the fat cells in the area you choose. What you can do however is reduce overall body fat and change the appearance and proportions of the body with resistance training. In order to drop body fat there has to be a deficit in the amount of calories you are consuming and using. Following a healthy diet and being aware of food portion sizes in combination with regular cardio and resistance training can change the size and shape of the body. 


Q: I don’t have much money in my budget for gym membership or training. Do you have any suggestions?

A: This is definitely one of the most common questions we’ve been receiving. If you have a tight budget—and plenty of us do—there are fitness facilities like the YMCA that offer financial assistance programs. There are also many programs in the USA offering free fitness classes. I highly recommend researching online for these as many people are not aware that these programs even exist in their area. If you live in or near NYC you check out programs like shape up. Also many fitness apparel stores such as Athleta offer free classes as part of their community outreach programs.
 Get creative. For example, when I was struggling with money, I made my own medicine balls. You can purchase a regular ball from a dollar store and fill it with sand. You can even add weight to exercises like lunges by filling a backpack up with weighted items. I used to put phone books and text books in a backpack and do some leg work that way.
 If weather is warm in your area then you can of course do cardio like jogging or running stairs outside. Make use of whatever you have available in your area. Park benches and chairs can be used for step ups, tricep dips, Bulgarian split squats, decline push-ups and the list goes on. Don’t let lack of financial funds get in the way of achieving your goals.

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