Monday, April 29, 2013

Running Down A Dream: Cope's Journey to the NBA

Chris in Aalst, Belgium.

  Every August, hundreds of American basketball players, both men and women alike, head overseas to start their seasons anew.

  The game may be the same, but I have found that the motivations are different.

NBA vs. WNBA Dream
  From my perspective, women seek out the experience: of living abroad for a couple of years, while continuing to play the game they've grown to love. Salaries are less, and because the WNBA season does not coincide with the traditional basketball season, it is more of a choice for women to make the jump overseas to continue their playing career.

  Playing in the US hasn't always been an option for women, yet they've been heading overseas to play basketball for decades -- long before the WNBA was ever around. The WNBA was not the ultimate dream.

In Trier, Germany.
  Maybe the motivation is changing, however. And the dream of young girls today is to play in the WNBA, and never experience Europe.

  For boys, who play basketball and grow up watching the NBA, donning an NBA uniform is their dream. It's the ultimate goal. And it always has been.

  If they are not one of a handful of athletes selected every June in the NBA draft, they head overseas as well.

  They bid their closest friends and family members farewell for eight months, and chase that dream. Searching for just one opportunity that might lead to their big break back home.

  While a good living can be made abroad, the dream remains inside: to return to the US, and play in the NBA.

  There are varying levels of leagues in Europe, and throughout the rest of the world. Some you might call semi-pro, while others are on par with the talent seen in the NBA. Along with every other level in between.

  Chris Copeland has seen them all. Literally. But he never lost sight of his dream of putting on an NBA jersey.

Colorado days.
Cope's Story
  Chris was a freshman at Colorado when I was a senior. I can't really say how much I saw Chris play during that 2002-2003 season. Busy, diverging schedules as student-athletes didn't allow for too many games.

  But I saw enough, through practices and a handful of games, to know Chris was a basketball player. A gym rat. A hooper.

  He was skilled. Had great fundamentals. Was big and had a great shot. And had a feel for the game you couldn't teach. He also had a lot of work to do, but the most important thing, the foundation, was there.

  Fast forward seven years later to the 2009-2010 season. While we both played in Germany, I saw Chris play twice. I couldn't believe the strides he had made in his game since I'd last seen him play at CU.

  In basketball, being a 'tweener' isn't a good thing. You essentially have no position. While at Colorado, Chris was a tweener. He was a big three, and a small four. He had a great face-up game, but lacked the speed and quickness needed to excel as a small forward. And his post game was non-existent. So he was a face-up four.

  In the seven years that had passed since I'd last seen him play, while finishing his eligibility at CU, and though stints in the D-League, and stops in low-level Spanish and Dutch leagues, Chris developed and worked on his weaknesses. He went from being a tweener, to being versatile. And versatility is a huge asset in a basketball player.

  The player I saw in Germany resembled the kid I remembered at CU in looks, and looks alone. But his game suggested he had changed a great deal. Immediately I could tell he had diligently worked on his post game.

A threat from the wing, or in the post.
  His German team, Trier, ran their entire offense through him on the block. He demanded a double-team every time he touched the ball.

  Chris was essentially his team's play maker from the power forward position. Guard him one-on-one, he'd attack (and usually score). Double him, and he'd make the pass to an open teammate. Guard him with a big man to take away his post game, and he'd simply step outside and exploit his advantage there.

  Cope made it look easy. He was racking up the points and accolades, and turning heads in Europe.

  Chris and I, again, found ourselves in the same corner of the world in the 2011-2012 season. While I played in Dunkerque, I saw him play last season, in Belgium for Aalst (which I blogged about last year). And again, I saw huge growth in his game, and more-strikingly, his confidence and approach off the court.

  On the court, Chris continued to dominate and score points in bunches. Off the court, Chris threw himself into the NBA world. Constantly studying games and players. He had a one-track mind: the NBA or bust.

  His dream was alive and well. And seemingly closer and closer to becoming reality.

  After seeing him in Belgium, I knew if he got an opportunity, he'd make it happen. Which is exactly what happened.

Summer league in Vegas.
The Opportunity
  The summer of 2012, Chris finally got the chance every professional player waits for: he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the New York Knicks.

  He headed to summer league in Las Vegas, where he quickly began making his mark. And then to training camp in October, where he'd compete to make the Knicks final 15-man roster.

  At any point, Chris could have been cut.

  But just as he'd worked his way up from lower level pro leagues, to more prominent leagues each and every season in Europe, he stayed the course. On November 2, 2102 against the Miami Heat, five full seasons after finishing his eligibility at Colorado, Chris was a rookie in the NBA.
Our Convo -- Catching Up With Chris
  In a 25-minute phone conversation in early-April, I caught up with my fellow University of Colorado Buffalo. To hear his thoughts about his journey to the NBA. To see what the trip has been like, in his own words.

Chris and I a couple years back in Germany.
  I frantically typed as I tried my best to play the part of reporter while interviewing a friend. An odd, but fun conversation.

  There have been a few stories recently on Chris, so I wanted to focus on something I'm familiar with: comparisons between Europe and the game in the States -- the NBA. 

What did you focus on improving the most, from the time you finished at CU, until last summer?
Most recently, my focus has been on the defensive end. But since graduating, I've been try to improve all areas of my game. Ball handling, become a better athlete, my quickness. Before I thought I knew it all, but really became a student of the game. 

Was there a time where you lost sight of the NBA, and thought you couldn't make it?
Every day. When you're overseas you have your up days and your down days. You have games where you go 0-fer and you question yourself. You say to yourself: so-and-so was overseas, and he would never have gone 0-fer. A little doubt creeps in along the way.

But I always was confident, and knew I could make it. I am blessed to have a great circle of people around me.

When did it really hit your radar -- that the NBA was possible, it was right there in front of you, and you just had to grab it?
Summer league. I finally got the opportunity then, it was like, 'It's up to you. and you just gotta get the job done...'

Biggest difference between the European leagues you've played in, and the NBA...styles, level of play?
Had to double in the post.
Athleticism. Everyone is bigger, faster, stronger, quicker.

How has your approach to practice changed? To games? 
I'm working as hard as I have ever worked. I'm in the weight room, I'm shooting a ton of extra shots, getting extra workouts in.

In Europe, if you wanted to get extra work in, it was just you on your own, or maybe one of your teammates wanted in too. Now, if I want to shoot, I can grab two coaches and shoot as much as I want. So I've probably put in as much work on my own now more than ever.

What has changed for you from your most recent season in Europe, to this season? Role on team? Mentality? Individual goals? How have you adjusted from going from THE man on a team, to one of the last guys to make the roster?
It was a big time adjustment. But I knew what was expected. I was expected to be the 15th man. I just wanted to be in the NBA though, and put on a jersey. I was willing to sacrifice everything just to get there.
Knick huddle.
How has that changed over the course of the season as you've proven yourself?
You reach one goal, and then you set new ones. I've always had extremely lofty goals. I have new goals now...not going into too much detail, but it'll revolve around me doing a lot more work on the court. 

How stressful was training camp? Does it compare to anything you had experienced before?
The most stressful training camp I ever went through. You always feared you could be cut any day.  I had no contract. I understood that if you're not on your game, you could get sent home. 

What about your experience overseas helped you this season?
You develop that sink or swim mentality. You find out quickly in Europe, if you don't play well, they'll get rid of you. I'd been through that before, so that carried me through the whole training camp process.

Being in Europe also helped me realize the attention to detail that's needed. I had coaches who had us going through two-a-days all year round out there. But then my most recent coach was more relaxed. I found I needed something in the middle. So I learned how to train. Every player is different, and needs something different. But I learned what I need to be successful, training wise. 

Again, in Germany.
What kind of adjustments have you had to make going from being in small European towns to playing in New York?
It's dope, it's nerve wracking, it's fun. But America's my home, and this was my dream ever since I picked up a basketball as a little boy.

At the same time, it's difficult because you know everyone is watching. But my faith in God has helped me get through. 

Compared to your days in Europe, day to day, what is different for you?
The stores are open later. Restaurants are open all the time. That was the always the weirdest thing for me to adjust to in Europe. Siestas, banks closing midday, etc. Everything is more accessible, more available in the US. 

Is there anything that has surprised you along the way?
How cool my teammates are. Coming in, you heard stories. So you may have thought they would be the most difficult to deal with. But they're looking out for me. Some guys with bad reps have been the coolest to me. 

First, and most-recent, 'wow' moment?
The stars (celebrities) who have come up to me and have said 'I'm a fan yours'. And then I just say to them nooooo, I'm a fan of yours. That's been pretty wild.

Post-game duties in Aalst.
Do you and your teammates talk about Europe?
Not really. With guys who have been overseas before, like Melo and Amare, we talk about places to visit. We don't talk about the basketball really. 

But with guys who've also played in Europe, Pablo (Prigioni) and James (White), we exchange some battle stories every once in a while.

Knowing you, I already know the answer to this, but would you change anything about the path you've taken thus far?
No, it was tough. But I've made so many great relationships in my time overseas, it makes it that much sweeter. 

What's the one word of advice for someone who's trying to do what you've done?
It's difficult. Be focused. Be prepared for some dark days, you'll go through a lot of trials. But it can happen if you stay focused, and keep your eye on the goal.

  This is a guy who is the epitome of a gym rat, a basketball junkie. But not every gym rat makes it. There are dozens of guys who, just like Chris, if they get the opportunity, will turn heads. But they might not ever get that chance.

  For Chris is was, and continues to be, work ethic and focus plus the opportunity, and finally, making the most of that opportunity.

Putting in the extra effort on the court.
  Chris refused to quit. He had all the reasons and all the opportunities to throw in the towel on the NBA, and be satisfied with stardom in Europe. But he wanted more.

  So this lifelong Trail Blazer fan no longer checks the Portland box score first thing in the morning. That honor is now reserved for Cope and the Knicks. It's been fun watching his journey from afar -- his is a very special, and inspiring story.

  If I've learned one thing about Chris, it's not to doubt him. He continues to grow and improve as a player, and the basketball world continues to take note. Just this past month he was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April for his torrid end to the regular season.

  Just a taste of things to come? If you listen to Chris, he'll be on the court, putting in the work. I, for one, am excited to see what he's got in store for us next.


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Joys of Travel

They were nice enough to organize a surprise!

  Jumping on a plane to travel is always exciting. Hopping on a plane to head home after months away is an even better feeling. There was one big catch, however: I had to travel 27 hours (door to door), and through four different countries to reach my destination. They didn't  say it would be easy. 

  After a surprise goodbye dinner at V & Bruno's Tuesday night (they pulled a fast one on me!), I didn't get to bed til close to 2am. With my alarm set for 5, it was going to be a quick night's sleep. 

The First Leg: Brussels
  The drive to the Brussels airport from Dunkerque is always an unknown. Without traffic you can make the drive in an hour and a half. But weekday mornings are a crap shoot. Sometimes the traffic is smooth and easy. But more often than not, it's a nightmare getting through the Belgian capital. It's famous for its 'accordian-like' qualities. Stop and go once you hit the outer limits of the city, and continuing onto the Ring that circles that city you must take to reach the airport.

V & Lily.
   Wednesday morning, it took us two and a half hours. So I was behind schedule from the get-go.

  It was a sign of things to come. 

  As I checked in for my flight, I plopped my gigantic bags onto the conveyor belt to be weighed; both were over. Oops. But I guess that's what happens when you've accumulated two year's worth of stuff. 

  I was flying Aer Lingus, a first for me. But I have to give them the thumbs up -- waived one baggage fee (out of two), gave me a free coffee on board when I had no cash left (free coffee should be a no-brainer, but not for the Irish airline), and they let me move to exit row, without paying! The flight wasn't full, and they were empty, so why not?

Camped out here for hours in Dublin.
The Second Leg: Dublin 
  I had a four-hour layover in Dublin. Since I had never been to Dublin, or Ireland before, I had been contemplating using that time to get out of the airport and see something in the city.

  With a long day ahead of me, I didn't want the hassle. I didn't feel like dragging myself into the city on a cold, dreary day, so I decided to wait it out in the airport. Luckily there was free WiFi and a nice restaurant area. So I grabbed a little lunch, and the time passed fairly quickly.

  One thing that made me smile was the flight attendant saying 'cheerio!' to me as I left the plane. I didn't know they actually said that! So I have that story to relay about Dublin. 

  I always take my chances with airplane seating at the gate. I've found that the folks at the gate are more willing to work with you and the seats with extra legroom there. At the initial check in desk they always seem to be motivated by getting you to pay for any, and everything possible. Whereas at the gate, they take your situation into consideration, and if there's an available exit row or bulk head, they'll give it to you more often than not. Maybe I shouldn't be giving away all my secrets!

The spread at my au revoir dinner. Thanks V!
  I lucked out  and got an exit row, and we were off!

  For maybe the first time ever, I was asleep before my plane even took off. I remember thinking to myself, 'just make it to the meal service, then sleep.' But before I knew it, my head was bobbing around like only it can do on a plane.  

  A family with three (loud) young children seated across the aisle made sleep longer than short spurts impossible. So I was groggy and in and out for several hours. After awaking from a slumber, I'm always afraid to look at my watch because I don't want to be bummed out when a measly two hours (out of the eight) have passed. 

  The groggy feeling I always have on trans-Atlantic flights is one of being absolutely unproductive. Once the drowsiness sets in, it doesn't matter what movies I have to watch, books to read, blogs to write, I never feel like doing anything outside of resting my tired eyes.

  Of course, the flight to Chicago was long. But it was relatively uneventful. Then the real fun began.

The Sprint Leg: Chicago
  I was one of the first people off the plane. So I made a mad dash through the long corridors to get to customs as fast as I could. I rounded the corner to get in line, only to see hundreds of people already waiting in line. It was going to be a long wait.

The rest of the crew.
  The connection to my last flight home to Portland was in two hours. 45 minutes later, I was still standing in the customs line.

  I those 45 minutes, I still needed to get through customs, grab my two enormous bags, turn in my immigration card, re-check my bags, get a boarding pass for my flight to Portland (they couldn't give me one for my last connection in either Brussels or Dublin), go through security (for the third time that day), and finally get to the gate and board.

  I've never missed a connecting flight. Ever. (Knocking on wood for future travels) But it was going to be a close one!

  Usually, my layovers in Chicago, or wherever in the US, are fairly easy-going. I have time to grab some food, fill up my water bottle, get cleaned up a little bit, and maybe wander the concourse to loosen up my travel-weary legs. Not this time around. 

  By the time I made it through customs and dropped my bags, I had 30 minutes to get my boarding pass, get through security, and get to the gate and on the plane. I was cutting it a little too close for my liking. 

My fancy wine & cheese spread.
  After encountering blase United employee after blase United employee, I was starting to get a little annoyed. They were clearly undermanned (but still in no rush it seemed) because there were many people in the same boat as I was. And lines to get boarding passes and other information weren't moving very quickly. 

  Of course no one moves with the sense of urgency you're expecting them to when you're afraid of missing your flight.

  I got my boarding pass, got through security as quickly as I could, and headed out to find my gate. I know the Chicago airport fairly well, and as I glanced at my watch, I realized I was going to start running. The long underpass from Concourse B to C was my sprint zone. 20 pounds of backpack strapped to my back, made it a little awkward, so hopefully no one was judging my form.

  By the time I got to the end of the corridor and the base of the stairs/escalators, I was breathing hard. One last run up the stairs and I'd almost be there. The sprint up the stairs put me into a full on sweat. Exactly how I wanted to be for my four-hour flight to home. Didn't know I'd also be getting a workout in that day!

Always nice to come home to this. And yes, the sun's been out!
  On top of already needing to wash my face and brush my teeth, now I desperately needed a shower. I arrived at the last gate in the concourse, my gate, with 10 minutes to spare. 

  I gave my exit row strategy another go, to no avail this time around. Minus points for you, United!

The Final Leg: Portland
  I found my seat (in the last row of the plane), and settled in. My ankles were swollen, my contacts were suction-cupped to my eyeballs, I was sweaty, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted. I couldn't help but smile anyway. And I still had five more hours to go to Portland! 

  But I was on my way home.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My Last Week Checklist

The beginning of my second season on the beach.

  After two seasons in Dunkerque, my final week on the Northern French coast is upon me. What has been an easy-going, quiet, enjoyable, yet sometimes difficult, two seasons, is coming to a close.

  No matter how the prior eight months has gone, the last week always ends the same way: jam-packed, and far too quickly.

  There's always one more thing you wish you could do, one person you weren't able to say goodbye to, or a few things you couldn't manage to jam into your luggage.

With Lily last season.
  Two consecutive seasons always makes it a little more difficult. Especially here. I had previous relationships with people in Dunkerque, so saying goodbyes will be a little tougher. You just never know when you'll cross paths again.

  And, has been the case with every other club I've played with over the course of my career in Europe, the people you encounter, and the relationships you gain are invaluable. So it's necessary to say proper goodbyes, and express thanks for the opportunity you were afforded.

  Outside of goodbyes and thank yous, here's my checklist for the week:
Thanksgiving with V & Bruno last season.
  • My plane ticket home has been booked, so that hasn't been a worry for quite some time. 
  • Clean my apartment. I try to leave my apartment the way I found it. So I generally like to leave a clean apartment behind, as a sign of courtesy and respect for the club.
  • Clear out fridge and pantry. This is always somewhat of a fine science. You never want to leave too much food behind. It's a waste! But on the other hand, you don't want to have too little to eat in your last few days either! You have to carefully calculate how much food (and coffee) you'll need for your remaining meals. All remaining food that will not spoil, along with spices and such, will go to friends. This also includes rationing out the final few drops of my contact solution! I don't want to have to buy anew bottle -- that will cost me dearly in the weight department! -- every ounce adds up!)
With the Coulont twins.
  • Pack. All of my things have to fit into two bags. And preferably at 50 pounds or less each. Baggage fees are a pet peeve of mine, and I avoid them at all costs. So after two seasons this might be especially tough, since I've accumulated more things over the course of my stay in Dunkerque. Whatever doesn't fit, or is too heavy and I don't want, I will leave to friends here.
  • Wire money home, and close out bank account. You obviously want all money issues resolved before you leave. Whether it'd be with your team regarding your contract, or with the bank.  Once you leave, it's difficult to conduct
    Thanksgiving at my place this year.
    business with a foreign bank abroad. And upon departure, you're basically forfeiting any money you're owed, if any, by leaving. Again, you have to do a little estimating. How much cash will you need in your remaining days? Once your bank account is closed, you no longer have access to the ATMs, and you don't want bring home too many euros in cash.
  • Goodbye dinners, lunches, and BBQs. This week I've already had two five-hour lunches. The first with friends, and the second with my team. It's always nice to have one final gathering together to say goodbye, and wish each other well. I have one more the night before I leave with V, Bruno and Lily.
  • Take in one last beachfront view. I don't know when, if ever, I'll be fortunate enough to live in a beach front apartment. It's been a special place to live for two seasons, and I hope I haven't taken one sunset or look out the window for granted.
  • Reactivate my American cell phone.
  • Get to the airport on time.
  • Sit and wait. You've done all there is to do, you'll be home soon enough.
Three Buffs. With Caroline and V.
  It's just been in the last few years that I've begun to realize how ridiculous this whole 'process' is: packing your life into two bags, and moving back and forth across the world. It's the part I dislike the most; the transition. But it's also a necessary evil.

  This experience with professional basketball continues to be a unique one for me. I'm glad to be able to have both 'lives'; my life at home in the US, and my life overseas as a pro. So, with yet another season in the books, it's about time to head home!

Too many beautiful sunsets to count.
  Of course I'm anxious to get home and see family and friends, but you also know you'll be leaving valuable relationships behind. So while I'm looking ahead, I can't help but think about what's being left. You just hope you'll meet again!

  À bientôt --

A few more memorable moments from the last two seasons, but not all...

V & Lily -- last season -- Springtime Brunch.
Dunkerque Beer & Wine Festival with Bruno.
Two seasons with Aurelie.
Team visiting a local school.
Sunrise from my window.
The 2012-2013 squad.
Road trip to Nice!
Team awaiting the bus to head to the game.
Teammates Aurelie & Judit.
My French 'family' -- Bruno, Lily, & V.
Life wasn't always a beach. Sometimes there was snow.
Practice with some youngsters.
Late evening on the beach.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cinnamon and A Few Health Benefits

Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar.

  Anyone a fan of cinnamon? I like it, but can't say I use it all that much. Obviously, it might come to mind while baking (and cinnamon toast), but outside of that, it usually stays in the spice rack.

  Surprisingly enough, cinnamon (cassia cinnamon, specifically) has been found to have some powerful health benefits. Thanks to a tip from a recent followee on Twitter, @toddforcier, who suggested cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar, I thought it'd be a worthwhile idea to investigate.

  It was also suggested to toss some cinnamon into your coffee. I was a bit skeptical, but tried it out one morning. And to my surprise, it was pretty good! Until recently, I'd been a milk and sugar girl. At some point, I outgrew the milk, and then finally the sugar. So putting a little cinnamon into my morning cup of Joe has been a nice change up on occasion.

  And if it has some added benefits? All the better!

(For all of Todd's health suggestions, search the hashtag MarchByExample (#MarchByExample) on Twitter. He had some great things to offer the entire month of March!)

  Here are some benefits of adding cinnamon to your diet:
Cinnamon in coffee -- surprisingly good!
  Regulating blood sugar is not just for diabetics. It's important for all of us, to keep from spiking and dropping throughout the day. Blood sugar irregularity can result in low energy, irritability, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness, in extreme cases. If you struggle with these things controlling and regulating blood sugar levels might give you the ability to better meet the energy demand of your day to day life.

  For example, half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels.
  • Supporting digestive function (Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin).
  • Relieving congestion.
  • Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints.
  • Reducing inflammation and symptoms of arthritis (Honey and Cinnamon combined have been found to relieve arthritis pain).
  • Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease (Cinnamon has anti-fungal properties).
  • Relieving menstrual discomfort.
  • Stimulating circulation with blood-thinning compounds (Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood).
  Give cinnamon a try, and let me know what you think! Like any 'supplement', it's not a cure all (it will not substitute for proper diet and lifestyle choices). But if just a small amount each day can give us any benefit at all, why not give it a shot? It's worth noting that cinnamon can be toxic in very large doses, so no need to overdo it.

  Toss some in your coffee, instead of cream and sugar. Sprinkle some on top of plain yogurt. I bet you'll be surprised!



Monday, April 15, 2013

Spot Reducing: A Fitness Fib

Dynamic/metabolic training will help you shed body fat.
  Tone your arms in 10 minutes! Shrink your belly in 14 days! Pshhhhhhhhhh

  We've all heard it, and we've all tried it. But now is prime time to stop wasting our energy, and realize one thing: We can't spot reduce fat.

  Spot reducing, no matter how hard we try, is impossible.

  Don't think of this as me being negative, or a killjoy, because it's true. 

What is Spot Reducing?
  Spot reducing fat is saying, 'I want to lose weight in my stomach.' Or, 'I don't want to lose fat in my upper body, but I want to slim my legs.' Then we head to the gym and proceed to isolate our 'problem area', and do 1000 sit ups, 200 squats, or 800 bicep curls. We do this over and over, never see the results we are looking for, and get frustrated and discouraged.

Isolation training at its finest: the ab roller.
  Training by isolating only trains, or conditions, the single muscle we are working. It tones that muscle -- whether it'd be our abs, our triceps, or our legs. And that gets us nowhere in regard to burning the layer of fat we're trying to get rid of.

  Furthermore, fat does not convert to muscle. Ever. You have to burn through the fat, while toning the muscle. If there's five inches of fat covering your abs, your stomach won't look any more toned than it did prior to doing 1000 sit ups a day! 
Then, How Do We Tone?
Dips alone won't give you toned arms.
  Say, for example, we want to drop a little extra body fat on the backs of our arms, and tone up our triceps. I bet every single one of us just flashed to someone doing tricep extensions or dips.

  We can do all the tricep extensions, dips, push ups, you name it, our upper arms can handle, but it won't get us any closer to our goal.

  First and foremost, we must reduce our overall body fat.

  Slimming our physique is not easy. But the idea is relatively simple. In order to reduce body fat, we must be willing to work our entire body.

  Our workouts should be dynamic and metabolic. Metabolic workouts burn the most calories, and burned calories equal burning fat.

High Intensity Interval Training is the answer.
  Workouts that are 'metabolic' are workouts where we're simultaneously training multiple muscle groups. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), plyometrics (jump training), and circuit training are metabolic workouts.

  These training techniques are most effective because you burn the most calories during your workout, and continue to burn calories after your workout is over -- know as after-burn, or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

  Cardio workouts (running, walking, biking, swimming) are other effective training methods that burn fat, but don't provide the after-burn that HIIT does.

  On the contrary, isolating one muscle group burns the fewest amount of calories -- another reason doing hundreds and hundreds of sit ups is the least effective way to trim your stomach.

  Secondly, we need to clean up our eating habits (not necessarily going on a 'diet'). Changing our eating habits means changing our lifestyle. It's a permanent change, not a change that last a week, a month, or a even a year.

  It's focusing on the quantity and quality of the foods we are eating. Most obviously, dump processed foods, as they wreak havoc on our metabolism.

The Science Behind It
  Finally, our bodies will lose/store fat where it is hormonally predisposed to. Generally speaking, women (or estrogen dominant people) store fat in their lower bodies, while men (or testosterone dominant people) store fat in their bellies.

  Yet another reason we can't spot reduce fat. It's based on our biochemistry and hormones.

Ignore the Gimmicks
  Those 'lose back fat' or 'torch belly fat' teasers we see in so many ads are dishonest! Forget the gimmicks and the quick fixes. More often than not, they're ineffective and a waste of energy and money.

  While it may be obvious, or something you've heard dozens of times, it bears repeating: adopt a sound fitness and nutritional plan! It will take time and dedication, but it'll be more fulfilling, and more permanent.

  You want more ideas? Just let me know!

Jillian Michaels Podcast 4/29/2011
Debunking the Myth of Spot Reduction