Targeted Fat Loss- The Great Fitness Lie Ever Told

Targeted Fat Loss- The Great Fitness Lie Ever Told










Sit-ups, Crunches, Oblique Twists, Electronic Stimulators, or As Seen on TV Gadgets Do Not Create Abs…

Here, I said it. I know what you are thinking, every late night infomercial for the last 30 years has promised rock hard abs, free of fat, by using their awesome new product. They show fitness models with a chiseled midsection, so it must work right? WRONG!



This doesn’t burn fat… sorry


Unfortunately science has proven over and over that spot reduction fat loss doesn’t happen. Our bodies do not burn fat the way we think it does. If you want bigger arms, you train them. If you want bigger legs, you train them. However we see results because we are growing the muscle. These areas also don’t typically hold a lot of fat. Our midsections, on the other hand, hold a lot of fat. By working out these muscles, you are going to make your abs bigger, but the fat on them won’t go away. Targeted fat loss cannot happen.

Yale Scientific summed it up best: 
It turns out that there are a few basic physiological reasons why targeted fat loss does not work. The fat contained in fat cells exists in a form known as triglycerides. Muscle cells, however, cannot directly use triglycerides as fuel; it would be analogous to trying to run a car on crude oil. Instead, the fat must be broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids, which then enter the bloodstream. As a result, the fat broken down to be used as fuel during prolonged exercise can come from anywhere in your body, not just the part that is being worked the most.

Targeted fat loss doesn’t work. It sucks. I know.

How Do You Get Abs?

It takes a lot of work to get abs, definitely when many of us are genetically predisposed to hold fat around our midsection. The best fat fighter is proper nutrition with exercise. Cardio is great, however working out with weights is better. Why? Muscle burns fat at rest. We need lean muscle to maximize fat burning. Lifting weights will help promote more lean muscle and at the same time burns fat.

Hierarchy of Getting ABS

  1. Nutrition
  2. Workout with Weights
  3. Cardio

That’s the order of importance.


Should I Train Abs?

Absolutely! A strong core is important, however don’t train abs just because you think it will give you a flat tummy. Also if you have lost a lot of weight and have loose skin, training your abdominal muscles will help them grow to tighten the skin!


Questions? Comments? Post below!


Dustin Holston

Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist


Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality?


Beach Body in 45 days

Beach Body ready in 45 days!!!

Can you get the body you want in 45 days? The answer is maybe, but we can surely try!!!! After a long winter, many of us are holding excess weight around our stomach and thighs. The idea behind this diet is to combine nutrition, exercise, and supplements to maximize weight loss to become beach body ready in 45 days.


BMR Calculation:

We need to calculate the total amount of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. I like using this BMR Calculator to do so.

Nutrition Plan:

Once we calculate our BMR, I would suggest setting a meal plan with 300-500 less calories than your BMR. If you can cut your calories by 3500 in a week, you should lose one pound of fat!

I would go with a diet that is 25% Carbs, 25% Fats, and 50% Protein. This should allow you to maintain as much lean muscle as possible while burning fat. Your fats should come from healthy sources such as nuts, fish, etc.

Exercise Plan:

Once we have a meal plan to follow, the next step is to follow a specific exercise plan. The plan should hit a few muscle groups each day with cardio. We want to use moderate weight to build lean muscle while burning fat.

Suggested Split:

Day 1: Legs

Day 2: Arms and Shoulders + 30 minutes of cardio

Day 3: Chest and Abs + 30 minutes of cardio

Day 4: Back + 30 minutes of cardio

Day 5: Traps and Calves + 30 minutes of Cardio

On cardio days, I would suggest doing some high intensity training with some sprints a 1-2 times per week. I like sprinting for 60 seconds and jogging for 5 minutes, then repeating.

Supplement Plan:

Commander and Thyro-Drive(men) or Bliss and Thyro-Drive(Women) and at least 2 containers of Phormula-1 or Level-1 should be enough supplements for the plan.

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Morning: 1 Commander/Bliss and 1 serving of Phormula-1 or Level-1 (as a meal replacement for breakfast)

Lunch: 1 Commander/Bliss and a healthy lunch

Dinner: Healthy Dinner

Post workout: 1 serving of Phormula-1 or Level-1

Before bed: Take 2 Thyro-Drives

Total Weight Loss:

Depending on how much weight you need to lose, I think it would be possible to lose 15-20 pounds over the course of 45 days with this plan. I would shoot for 2-3 pounds of weight loss per week. With a similar plan, my trainee Brittney lost 7 pounds in a week!

Lift Heavy My Friends,
Dustin Holston
1st Phorm Ambassador
Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist

The Secret Formula Trainers Don’t Want You to Know! The Weight Loss Formula

Do you know there is a formula to help you estimate how much weight you can lose in a specific time frame? It is a complex formula but I will break it down for you… for free!


(Theory of Weightloss-it-ivity)

Weight Loss Formula:

(BMR*Activity Level) > (Calories Consumed)-(Calories Burned)

If (Calories Consumed)-(Calories Burned) is less than (BMR*Activity Level) then take:

3500 (amount of calories needed to burn 1 pound of fat)/(Amount of calories less than (BMR*Activity Level))

=Number of days to burn 1 pound of fat

Number of days to burn 1 pound of fat * pounds you want to lose= how long it will take to lose x pounds of fat

Step 1: How many calories do I need to stay at my current rate? BMR Formula

BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, or how many calories you burn a day at complete rest.

Here is the formula:

Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds ) + (4.7 x height in inches ) – (4.7 x age)

Men:   66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in year)

Example:  Male that weights 180, who is 5’8 (68 inches) and is 30 years old 

66 + (6.23*180)+(12.7*68)-(6.8*30)

= 1847 Calories


1st Phorm Ambassador Christina with her WMD

Step 2: How active are you?

We then look at how “active” the person is:

Sedentary: BMR x 1.2 (doesn’t do a whole lot)

Lightly active (light exercise one to three days a week): BMR x 1.375.

Moderately active (moderate exercise three to five days per week): BMR x 1.55.

Very active (vigorous exercise six to seven days a week): BMR x 1.725.

Step 3: How many calories do I need to consume to maintain my current weight?

So the 30 year old in the above example is moderately active.

BMR * 1.55

1847 * 1.55= 2863 calories needed per day to stay at current weight

Step 4: How much weight do I want to lose?

You will need to determine how many pounds of fat do you want to lose. Each pound of fat is a reduction in calories of 3500.


Step 5: How am I going to burn/not consume these calories?

Figure out how many calories you think you can reduce/burn a day and divide it into 3500.

In above example if the 30 year old could burn/consume 500 less calories a day:

3500/500= 7 days for 1 pound of fat burned

Step 6: How long will it take me to lose my goal weight?

Take the amount of weight you want to lose and multiple it by the amount of days it takes to lose 1 pound of fat.

In above example of 30 year old:

10 pounds * 7 days= 70 days to lose 10 pounds of fat @ 500 calories less a day.

Shortcomings of the Formula:

Although the formula is nice to know, there are some issues with it:

1. BMR formula doesn’t take in account for body fat%/lean muscle mass.

– Lean muscle burns more calories than fat.

2. How do you estimate your activity?

– Am I very active or moderate active?

3. As you lose weight, your BMR changes.

– Will be harder to burn more calories or consume less calories as your body weight reduces.


See how your body does by trying to eat the amount of calories of your BMR prior to using the activity multiplier. Eating healthier, nutrient dense foods will keep you fuller longer, and may be an easy way to jump start your fat loss. Try to shoot for 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week. A human can lose weight faster than that, but it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. Supplements like Bliss and Commander can help speed up the metabolism and help you burn fat faster. These also help with energy and hormonal support. Thyro-Drive can help optimize your thyroid function for greater weight loss.


Dustin with his niece... and Elsa
Thank you for reading and lift heavy my friends!
Dustin Holston
Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist
1st Phorm Brand Ambassador 

What Supplements Should I Take?

One of the most asked questions I get as a personal trainer and a sports nutritionist is “Should I take supplements?” or “What supplements should I take?”

Unfortunately this isn’t a quick answer question. A good trainer/nutritionist should take in account like your health condition and your goals.


Essential Supplements Everyone Should Take:

1. Protein: Whether it is whey, beef, casein, or other variant (I don’t like soy, but this is a different discussion), protein is great for people wanting to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain. It is convenient and cheap comparative to other sources. Protein that is high quality, low fat, low carb, and high protein levels are essential. That is why I suggest great tasting Level-1 Protein by 1st Phorm. Level-1 Protein is a meal replacement shake (replaces expensive non-nutritious meals with healthy cost effective alternatives). Order @ with free shipping.

2.  Fish Oil: Fish oil is great for your body, whether you are dieting, bulking, or maintaining. Fish oil is an anti-inflammatory which has characteristics that help prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and arthritis.¹ Fish oil are healthy fats that will actually help you with weight loss. You want to take a fish oil supplement with the highest levels of EPA and DHA. I prefer Full Mega from 1st Phorm. Order @ with free shipping.

3. Multi-Vitamin: As you train harder, you need a multi-vitamin that will work harder for you. Multi-vitamins help replace lost nutrients and supplement nutrients that your body isn’t getting. I like M-Factor Hero and M-Factor Goddess.  M-Factor has a formula for men, and a formula for women. Each come with essential vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and amino acids that can help your body perform at its best! Order @ with free shipping.

4. Amino Acids: Although Phormula-1 and Level-1 provides 5 grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids per serving, many supplements do not include a good 2:1:1 ratio of  L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine. Amino acids help with recovery, strength, and size. BCAA from 1st Phorm tastes amazing and has a great supplement ratio. Order @ with free shipping.

Supplements for Size and Strength:

1. Creatine: Creatine is one of the most studied supplements in sports nutrition. Creatine is a natural supplement that is found in meat. Supplementing creatine will increase muscle volume, lessen recovery time, and increase strength. Creatine has been proven safe time and time again. Creatine is also very affordable. You can get 100 servings of 1st Phorm Creatine for less than $20. Mix it with your protein shake or drink. It doesn’t matter when or what time you take creatine. Just make sure you take it every day. Order @ with free shipping.

2. Pre-Workout: A good pre-workout will help motivate you in the gym. Some people will look for supplements with a ton of caffeine, while others want a supplement with a mixture of amino acids, creatine, beta-alanine, and nitric oxide boosters. I prefer MegaWatt V2 or it’s non stimulant brother ALPHACre HD. Order @ with free shipping.

Supplements for Fat Loss:

1. Fat Burner: Let me be the first one to tell you that although many fat burners work, they are not necessary for fat loss. Many people have lost a lot of weight without the use of fat burners. What a fat burner can do is help you through hormone regulation, energy, thermogenics, and water management. I am a huge fan of the Royal XXI Systems. The Royal XXI Queen and Royal XXI King Systems help men and women lose weight fast! I have clients on both right now and they are losing fat extremely fast. Order @ with free shipping.

Supplements for Older Men:

1. Testosterone Boosters: Unfortunately testosterone levels for men 30 and over decrease by about 10% every 10 years.² Testosterone helps with strength, sex drive, and overall well-being for men and women. There are many supplements that our over the counter that can help increase testosterone in middle-aged men. Supplements such as D Aspartic Acid, Tribulus Terrestris, and Fenugreek have been shown to increase testosterone. I really like 1st Phorm’s Testosterone boosting series. Order @ with free shipping.


Supplements are what their name suggests: supplements to your diet and your health. Protein, fish oils, multi-vitamins, and amino acids are essential (in my humble opinion) to men and women who are spending time in the gym. Other supplements can help give you an edge, but may or may not be needed. Check with your personal trainer/nutritionist/doctor before starting any supplements to see if they are right for you.

Lift Heavy My Friends,
Dustin Holston
Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist


How to make your health/fitness New Year’s resolution come true…

According to the University of Scranton, only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution achieve their goals…

I will be honest, I am probably the worst person for writing this article. I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution since I had a goal of dunking a basketball in 9th grade. Keep in mind that I was 5’4 then, and only 5’8 now. Before making my first resolution in the last 16 years, I wanted to outline how to make such a goal.cropped-1966889_249445825242454_2432957892344272348_n.jpg

How to set the ultimate New Year’s Resolution:

#1. The goal must be measurable:

“I want to be skinny.” – Not measurable

“I want to have a six pack in 12 months.” -Measurable 

“I want to stop drinking coke.”- Measurable 

“I want to be rich.” – Not measurable

“I want to bench press 300 pounds.” -Measurable

Your goal must be measurable. In fitness, most of these goals are quantitative in nature, meaning they are measurable. I want to lose 10 pounds, I want to lose 3 inches off my waist, and I want to bench 250 pounds are all quantitative. Qualitative goals tend to be harder to measure. I want to be skinny, is not a measurable goal. Skinny is an adjective that means different things to different people. Turn your qualitative goal into a quantitative goal by having specific goals. If you want to be skinny, and you think you will be skinny if you lose 20 pounds, then make your goal to lose 20 pounds. If you hit your goal and you find it isn’t where you want to be, then readjust.

#2. The goal must be realistic:

“I weigh 300 pounds, and by the end of 2015 I want to weigh 100 pounds.”- Not realistic

“I bench press 150 pounds and by the end of 2015 I want to bench 250 pounds.”- Realistic

“I want to gain 100 pounds of muscle by eating healthy in 2015.”- Not realistic

“I want to lose 50 pounds in 2015.”- Realistic

If your goal isn’t realistic, then you risk the chance to succeed. If you make the goal too unobtainable, then you will more than likely give up early. If you don’t know if your goal is realistic, ask a doctor, personal trainer, or friend for advice.

3. The goal must be hard… but obtainable:

“I want to lose 5 pounds this year.”- Not hard

“I want to gain 15 pounds of muscle in 2015.” – Hard but obtainable

“I want to lose 100 pounds of fat.”- Hard, but maybe too hard

If you set a goal that is too hard then you will be disappointed when it is impossible to succeed. If you make a goal that is too easy, you will be complacent and not try hard enough. I feel the best goals are ones in which I feel there is only a 50/50 chance of succeeding. This will encourage me to try harder, but realize that although it is going to be tough, I can do it!

4. Include how you are specifically going to achieve this goal in your New Year’s Resolution:

“I am going to lose 15 pounds by changing my diet by adding more fiber and fruits, while lowering total caloric intake.”- Great

“I am going to lose 15 pounds by eating healthier.” – Not specific enough 

By including how you are going to achieve your goal means that you have taken some time and thought about the process of your goal. This normally involves research or working with someone. Having the knowledge necessary to achieve your goal is vital prior to starting your goal.

5. Set mini-goals by date to help achieve your resolution:

“I am going to lose 15 pounds in 12 months. By April I will be down 5 pounds. By August I will be down 10 pounds.”- Great

“I am going to gain 20 pounds of muscle this year. It doesn’t matter how it happens.” -No mini-goals to help achieve the resolution

Having mini-goals set periodically help you gauge how well you are doing. If you do not hit your mini-goal, it allows for extra motivation over the next time period. This is probably the most overlooked aspect of achieving your New Year’s resolution.


By setting a measurable, realistic, challenging yet obtainable goals with the specifics of how you will achieve the goal, and mini-goals to help gauge process, anyone can be one of the 8% of people who actually achieve their New Year’s Resolution.


My New Year’s Resolution?

I will begin to diet the first week of January to prepare for the Spartan Race in May. My goal is to complete all the obstacles and run without skipping any event. By March I hope to be down 12 pounds of fat, and by May be down 20 pounds. I also want to be able to run a 5k in 22 minutes before running the Spartan Race. By December 31st, 2015 I would like to be able to bench press 315, deadlift 450, and squat 400 at a weight under 180 pounds.

Lift Heavy My Friends,
Dustin Holston
Certified Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist
Twitter: @NutritionTrain
IG: @NutritionTrain247 <- Free Shipping on all supplements and workout apparel!

Five Vitamins and Supplements That Are Actually Worth Taking From Smithsonian Magazine

Here is a great article backed by actual science (not pseudoscience) by Smithsonian Magazine. Here are my opinion of their top 5, and two more special supplements I would add to the list…

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1. Vitamin D: I have a mixed opinion on most vitamins because of the numerous studies that show that taking vitamins can actually lower your lifespan (ref: Vitamin D on the other hand does have a better record promoting lifespans in humans. I would look for a true Vitamin D supplement, or add Vitamin D milk to your diet. Dustin’s Rating: B

2. Probiotics: The article is very topsy-turvy on the subject of probiotics. The only benefit the article states is that it lowers the chance of diarrhea after antibiotics, then goes into a paragraph of how it does not help IBS (in which I have). Unless a doctor instructs you to take probiotics, I would rather people increase their fiber intake. Dustin’s rating: C-

3. Zinc: Zinc has been proven to shorten the duration of the rhinovirus (common cold), which is what the article focuses on, but Zinc also is a key mineral that has many positive benefits. One of the key benefits is raising testosterone in males. Although this isn’t significant for most males of the age of 20-40, Zinc can have a positive benefit on those males in the age range that sees diminishing testosterone. Dustin’s Rating: A-

4. Niacin: I am a huge believer of niacin. The article totes the benefits of Niacin in relation to heart disease. In August 2013 my triglycerides were above 200, and my total cholesterol was above 230. I supplemented with 500 mgs of Niacin daily for a few months while changing my diet and exercise patterns. My cholesterol saw a huge drop in triglycerides (almost 100 points) and total cholesterol (down 50 points). Dustin’s Rating: A (for those who need it).

5. Garlic: Garlic has been used for a variety of ailments over the years, but it seems as if its biggest benefit is to lowering blood pressure. Dustin’s Rating: B

The following are special inclusions I would recommend based on science and history:

1. Fish Oil: Fish oil is a wonderful supplement with a variety of great benefits. Fish oil has been proven to: reduce swelling, lower cholesterol, help prevent cognitive/mental ailments (Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Bipolar Disorder), help lose weight, among countless others. I suggest supplementing with 2000 mgs of high quality fish oil. I like to use Musclepharm’s Fish Oil Dustin’s Rating: A+

2. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): CLA is found in meat and milk and is a great supplement to help with weight loss, CLA is readily available and is relatively cheap and proven weight loss aid. I prefer Primaforce CLA Dustin’s Rating: B+

The article can be reviewed below:

For more information on dieting, nutrition, or personal training: Contact or @nutritiontrain on twitter