I watched a video recently about how doing workouts targeting specific muscle groups doesn’t work. After the six years I’ve been working on improving myself, I’d have to call this a bit of misinformation. In my case, I know for a fact that they do.
My legs are highly defined because I do a lot of standing, walking, and moving around. My shoulders are looking awesome while my biceps and triceps are obvious. Unfortunately, my core isn’t nearly as defined.
Why is that?
Because the vast majority of my workouts all focus on those parts of my body. In other words, I don’t get a lot of core work in my daily routine.
Though, some of my games do really well at adding a bit of work to my abs and obliques, such as Virtual Smash. But my core still doesn’t undergo the same amount of effort as the rest of my frame.
Like I was telling my son yesterday, “I look great from the nipples up and the waist down.” Without the core work, though, it looks like I swallowed a body pillow.
Targetting Specific Muscle Groups Work
To be honest, I’m not sure what point the “fitness influencer” was trying to make with the video. Well, that’s not entirely true. He was selling his fitness plans and supplements. So, it was probably more of click-bait marketing to get people to watch.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that doing dumbbell curls isn’t going to strengthen your legs.
Essentially, the gist of the video was how doing any cardio would burn fat from all over your body. And doing things like crunches, sit-ups, or planks doesn’t increase how much fat your core will lose.
This is kind of a half-truth.
Yes, cardio activities will burn fat from the body in general, especially if you trained your body through ketosis to burn fat instead of glucose. But, the muscles that are being activated the most will pull those energy stores from the closest supply.
This is why my legs, shoulders, and arms look amazing while my gut looks like I spend too much time binge drinking beer. Those muscle groups of my body are getting the vast majority of the specific workout.
Why Are Some People So Afraid to Sweat?
Perhaps it’s the day and age we live in, but it seems that people have always been looking for the “fastest” way to get fit. Especially today, as we live in a society that has increasingly sought out instant gratification.
Want to show off your abs? Try “X” belt that works your core while you sleep. Use “Y” pills to burn fat and speed up your metabolism.
How about you put in a bit of effort to reduce body fat and train your muscles?
In reality, everyone has that six-pack ab within them. And no, this isn’t a metaphor about “unleashing your beast.” In truth, that’s how the human body is designed. Those are muscles everyone has regardless of size.
The reason why you probably can’t show off your abs is because of the layers of body fat covering them up. And no, I’m not trying to be rude. It’s just fact.
It’s more difficult to see the sewing patterns on the top of your bed when it’s covered with a comforter, right?
Now, it’s true that some people have far more pronounced abs than others. It’s also true that some people have bigger biceps. That’s because in both cases, those people worked on building and defining those muscle groups through a specific workout.
Essentially, curls for the arms and contracting exercises for the core.
It Takes Time and Effort
How long it takes to build muscle mass and show off that sculpted physique comes down to time and effort. How long are you going to work those muscles and how much effort are you going to put into maintaining a routine?
You’re not going to do 5 sit-ups today and have a rock-hard six-pack tomorrow morning.
Depending on the intensity of your workout, various muscle groups will start to develop through specific workouts. But, you probably won’t see changes for weeks or months down the road.
Then again, it really depends on your personal goals. Not to mention that it takes longer for you to see changes while others will point them out. You get so used to seeing yourself in the mirror every day that these changes are less obvious from your point of view.
There are a lot of variables that come into play when trying to bulk up or even lose weight. Genetics, diet, physical activity, gender, starting weight, water intake, and even sleep patterns will all affect these kinds of changes.
What’s the Quickest Way to Show Off These Muscles?
If you really want to define and sculpt specific muscle groups, one of the best ways is to reduce your body fat percentage. It won’t matter if you chisel your abs to the point of granite if there is a dense layer of fat covering them.
I guess, technically, it’s a combination of two things: specific exercises and dieting. And when I say “dieting,” I mean making sure your body is in a caloric deficit while eating healthier alternatives.
I’m not a fan of fad diet plans. But, as I said before, it’s all about finding what works best for you. If you like the keto diet and want to show off abs of steel, make sure you’re doing core workouts that will define that muscle group.
Now, there are exercises that intensify the workout and will boost those muscles even more. You can’t expect to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by lifting one-pound dumbbells.
You need to find the specific workouts you love that will promote development and definition for those muscle groups. Because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re less likely to continue the activity.
Everyone is Unique
The thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a unique physiology. While it may appear simple for a fitness influencer to do one thing, it could be ultimately impossible for someone else to manage.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, but don’t feel like a loser if something for you doesn’t work. Simply try something else until you come across exercises or diet plans that help guide you to your goals.
But for me, yes, targetted workouts do affect specific muscle groups. Otherwise, I’d look like Ryan Reynolds today…and I don’t.