Do you have an apple-shaped body?
Apple-shaped bodies tend to store fat in the midsection or abdominal area (belly fat). If you in fact have an apple shape, gaining any little amount of weight can cause your waistline to expand out of control, which can be extremely frustrating.
So what causes it?
Having an apple shape is closely linked to genetics but several other factors play key roles including your gender, age, and lifestyle behaviors. Now, while your genes, gender, and age aren’t controllable, your lifestyle is completely under your control.
In fact, sensible eating coupled with the right combination of exercises can stop fat buildup in the midsection in ways that lessen the unsightly appearance of belly fat.
Exercising and Apple Shape Control
Let me start by saying that you can’t necessarily “change” an apple shape. Your bone structure inhibits this. You can, however, perform targeted exercises that sculpt your body in such a way that makes it look the way you want it to look.
If you’re an apple shape you likely want to slim down your upper body, define your arms and shoulders while building up your butt. To do this, the best combination of exercise involves performing both cardiovascular (cardio) exercise and resistance (weight) training.
There is one catch.
You can’t just scout out random cardio exercise and resistance training routines to incorporate and expect to see results. If you want to tame your apple shape, you’ve got do both the correct way otherwise you’ll be wasting your valuable workout time.
The Right Way to Perform Cardio Exercise
You can reduce body fat accumulation with any type of cardio exercise, whether it’s overground walking, elliptical training or swimming. However, I must emphasize that high-intensity exercises become increasingly important when you have an apple shape. In other words, you need to put in some real work for some real results.
By high-intensity I mean hill or stair climbing, running or very intense walk/run intervals, cycling at very high speeds, timed-lap swimming, spinning, cardio kickboxing or other intense group-exercise formats. When performed intensely and for short periods of time, cardio induces a muscle toning effect around the midsection and other parts of the body while also reducing stubborn fat.
While less intense forms of cardio may require an hour or so of continuous training, you can perform higher intensities of cardio for as little as 20-30 minutes a day. This is also a much better use of your valuable workout time.
Targeted Resistance Training Exercises That Work
When it comes to resistance training (lifting weights) you will not burn a significant amount of calories during a typical session. But, this type of training will greatly increase your muscle mass and tone you up while boosting your metabolic rate, thereby fueling the fat burning process that’s necessary for ridding your body of that stubborn fat in your midsection.
Resistance training is also the best way to sculpt your body in a way that lessens the appearance of the apple shape. You can do this best by performing specific exercises that target both the upper- and lower-body on several days throughout the week.
The goal is to lose the ‘muffin top’ while sculpting a fabulous butt with lean arms and legs.
For the upper body, stick with exercises that target your chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Some of the best include the push up, row, shoulder press, dip, and curl. You should also include selected core exercises like crunches, bicycles, and planks. Doing so will give your upper body a slimmer, sleeker appearance, which is ideal for refining your apple shape.
When it comes to the lower body, it’s important to incorporate specific exercises to target your butt muscles (gluteals), thighs, and legs.
Well, if you have an apple shape, you likely have a small butt with slim or “skinny” legs so your goal when training with resistance is to make it appear as though these areas of your lower body are proportional with your upper body. Essentially, this will give your figure more of an hourglass look.
For maximal results, you should perform multiple sets of resistance exercises using enough load (weight) to fatigue your muscles within a suitable repetition range. This is crucial as you WILL NOT see results if you’re lifting weights that are lighter than the purse you carry.
While some exercises should be performed for 12-15 repetitions with moderate loads, others may require 8-10 repetitions using heavier loads. It all depends on the exercises and the muscle groups worked.
Now, if you’re not at all familiar with resistance training, or exercise in general, my book outlines specific information about exercises, sets, repetitions, and other important exercise fundamentals that are critical for the apple-shaped body. I also include an actual exercise training program that you can implement today.
You’ll find my book beneficial even if you exercise regularly. If you’re constantly battling an apple shape, in spite of your workout efforts, chances are you’re doing the wrong things.
You Can Do It
I’ve been training and advising folks for over 15 years and I’ve tamed over 200 apples during this time. Trust me, if you implement the strategies listed both here and in my book you can tame yours too.