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  1. #1
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    Cardio for 20 minutes rule - when fat burns

    Hello, I am just trying to remember the explanation behind the idea where fat is burned after 20 minutes of cardio.

    As far as I can remember it takes about 20 mins to use up glycogen stores, then your body starts getting calories from fat.

    However I am unsure as to why you are recommended to run 20-40 minutes in a session and not more.

    If it was 20 then you would only be getting into the fat burning zone.

    I have an idea that your body stays in the zone when you stop.
    Is it bad to do cardio for more than 40 mins because of muscle breakdown?

    can someone fill me in.

    thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User JOHN GARGANI's Avatar
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    forget the "rules"!!!

    I have harped on this continually on here:


    WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTIVE???

    are you a bodybuilder?

    if you are a bodybuilder, then you only have two objectives in regards to "cardio"

    1. as a stimulant to your circulatory system

    2. as a CALORIE burning expediency


    that is it!!!

    Now: if you are NOT a Bodybuilder: skip all of the above and go directly to long boring discourses on fitness particulars like target heart rate and all that jazz......


    and what is a bodybuilder? someone who is trying to build his muscles both:

    1. larger

    2. more aesthetic ( in bodybuilding terms, meaning balance, lines etc)


    it is the primary concern of the bodybuilder and everything else is secondary to that concern. Everything is a means to an end concerning that concern.
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  3. #3
    deracate chinese frower Mindi912's Avatar
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    as many times as I've posted this, it's stll useful

    We've all heard about the 'fat-burning zone' - a specific time during exercise when we are supposed to suddenly start burning fat like a Formula One driver burns rubber. Sounds great, doesn't it? It would be, if it existed.

    A lot of myths surround the exercise world but nothing has caused as much confusion as the so-called fat-burning zone. You're supposed to reach it by working out at 55-60% of your maximum aerobic capacity (220 minus your age).

    The truth is that, to date, no one can pinpoint the exact moment during exercise when we switch from burning calories from carbohydrates to burning fat reserves. Even if scientists were able to give a rough estimate of when this occurs, it's likely that this magic moment would differ for everyone. However, the good news is that you can continually maximise your calorie- and fat-burning potential through progressive training and great nutrition.

    As far as fitness is concerned, remember that any exercise - be it walking around the block or taking the stairs instead of the lift - is better than none. However, you will burn more calories and thus, start burning fat more quickly if you exercise at a high intensity over a shorter period of time rather than working out at a lower intensity for longer. The idea that you burn more fat if you exercise for a long time at a low intensity is simply not true.

    Now, this doesn't mean you should go out and attempt a three-and-a-half-
    minute sprint on the treadmill. Exercise is relative to the person doing it, so working at a high intensity does not mean pushing yourself to the point of collapse or pain, it simply means exerting yourself past your normal comfort level. For example, it is better to do 30 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill than 45 minutes at a more relaxed pace if weight loss (i.e. burning fat) is your goal.

    Also, if you do 30 minutes of interval training in the morning on an empty stomach - the only time I recommend exercising if you haven't eaten first - you'll have a better chance of burning fat than if you do a long one-hour low-intensity walk. The idea here is that in the morning you have very few stored carbs in your system so you burn fat almost immediately.

    In order to really maximise how much fat you burn you need to include resistance training in your fitness programme. Weight training three times a week for 40 minutes to one hour - including your warm up and cool down - is the best way to tone muscles and raise your metabolic rate.

    Raising your metabolism increases overall calorie burn and, combined with proper nutrition and rest, will help you burn more fat even at rest. For the best results, work your whole body each time you train and do two 30-minute morning sessions each week on an empty stomach.

    Don't forget that strength training is not just beneficial for toning muscles and strengthening the skeletal system. Resistance work also raises the heart rate and increases the working capacity of your heart and lungs. In other words, weight training is also cardio training when done properly.

    One last point - don't forget to take rest days. Your body gets stronger during the recovery period than during a workout. Adding extra classes, gym sessions and miles to your fitness routine will not produce a lean, efficient, fat-burning body. You can only achieve this with regular exercise, rest and a healthy diet.

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  4. #4
    deracate chinese frower Mindi912's Avatar
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    Sorry the I messed up the first time I posted this

    Aerobic Exercise and the
    Fat Burning Myth

    Before I get started, let me ask everyone reading this one question. "Have you ever seen a fat sprinter?" Think about this question while you read this post and I will explain why I asked it at the end.

    Myth #1: After 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, your body is predominantly using fat as the fuel for exercise.
    The belief that after 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, your body is predominantly using fat as the fuel for exercise, has pervaded the exercise world for a very long time. Unfortunately, it is incorrect. First, the body always uses some combination of fat and carbohydrate during exercise. Second, it takes much longer than 20 minutes before fat becomes the primary source of energy during exercise.

    The results of a study of trained cyclists will help to explain why this myth is incorrect. Basically, a group of cyclists rode at a moderate intensity while the amount of each substrate (energy source) being used was measured. At the one hour period, they were still deriving over 60% of the calories burned from carbohydrate. Of the approx. 40% fat being burned, only 27% came from fat cells while the other 13% came from intramuscular fat. This merely serves to point out that it can take upwards of an hour for fat to be a major energy source during exercise. We'll see later on that it may not matter with respect to fat loss. To read about a sports drink that will help you burn fat right from the start of exercise click here

    Myth #2: Well trained people will shift over to fat burning faster than untrained people. Also, low intensity exercise will burn more fat than high intensity exercise.
    A study was done at Georgia State U. on very well trained aerobics teachers. They stepped for approx 40 minutes (about the length of a typical step class) while the source of energy was measured as above. Mind you, these were extremely well trained teachers and the intensity of their exercise was approx 60% of their max, which is fairly low. Of the total energy expended, over 90% came directly from carbohydrate with only a small amount coming from fat. This draws some serious doubt on both the above myths. We'll also see later that this doesn't matter for fat loss.

    The myth of low intensity exercise being better for fat loss is erroneous for this reason. Yes, it is true that you burn a greater percentage of fat during low intensity exercise (actually you burn the greatest percentage of fat during sleep which is the ultimate in low intensity activity). However, the total number of calories burned is less so the absolute number of fat calories burned is less. During high intensity exercise, you burn a lower percentage of fat calories but a higher absolute number of fat calories due to the higher number of total calories burned. You also get done faster.

    At this point, I'm guessing that you're saying "Well, if I can only burn fat if I exercise an hour or more, why should I bother?" This brings us to the final myth.

    Myth #3: You must burn fat during exercise to lose fat.
    Burn Body Fat for Energy Two very similar studies have found evidence that this is simply not the case. One was done at UCLA while the other was performed at Georgia State U. Both had two groups exercising at either a very high intensity or a very low intensity. The exercise was standardized so that both groups burned the same number of calories.

    One group exercised approx. 50 minutes at a very low intensity (~50% VO2max) while the other exercised approx. 25 minutes at a very high intensity (~90% VO2 max). Well, based on the pervading myths, only the low intensity group should have lost fat. But, at the end of 18 week, bodyfat loss was identical. Now you're saying "But if the high intensity group burned only carbs, how did they lose fat?" They don't really know. However, what seems to be important is the caloric deficit rather than the manner of burning the calories.

    Burn fat to boost your energy and endurance when you exercise with this scientific sports drink. More

    Even if you do tons, of low intensity exercise, if you still eat too much, you will not lose fat. High intensity, which burns more calories will produce a greater caloric deficit making overall fat loss greater than low intensity.

    So, how about our sprinter. Well, sprinters, who tend to be phenomenally lean break all of the supposed rules for fat loss. They do lots of short duration, high intensity work, burning only carbs during exercise. However, their bodyfat levels are extremely low.

    Now, am I recommending that everyone go out and start running sprints to lose fat? Well, no. First and foremost, high intensity exercise greatly increases the chance for injury, especially if you are just starting out. Second, high intensity exercise is very uncomfortable. If you are just starting, you will not continue exercising if you put yourself through lots of unenjoyable and painful exercise. However, assuming you have been working out a sufficient amount of time to be physically able to do high intensity work, you will definitely see greater fat loss by exercising at a higher intensity because you will be burning more calories for a given time period. This is especially important for those people who have a given amount of time that they can exercise. In order to burn more calories they should increase the intensity since they cannot increase the time.

    Fat Burning Truth
    If you have ever worked out at a gym you may have noticed treadmill ergometer notations of "fat burning zone" in the area of 65% of maximum heart rate. And if your workout is generally at a higher intensity, you may have wondered whether you may be running too fast to burn fat. Nothing could be more ridiculous.

    The idea that low intensity aerobic activities are better for fat burning than high intensity exercise was given credence when several research studies indicated that low intensity activities burned a greater percentage of fat calories than high intensity activities.

    These studies validated that the body prefers to use fat as its fuel source during low-intensity exercise. This equates roughly to 60% of the total calories burned, as opposed to about 40% from high intensity exercise.

    While this fuel preference is true, it is misguided to believe that the selective use of fat for fuel will translate into burning more total fat calories. High-intensity exercise burns more fat calories, as well as carbohydrate calories, on an absolute basis than lower intensity activities. Because an important aspect of training intensity is the total amount of fat calories burned--not the percentage from fat--higher intensity exercise has the decided edge. Further, reduced body fat results from total calorie deficits--that is, burning more calories than you take in from your foods.

    When you consider the time-related efficiency of training, low-intensity exercise provides a very poor cost/benefit dividend. You burn about the same number of calories walking a mile as running a mile--it just takes a bit longer walking them off. If fat burning is one of your aims, performing cardiovascular exercise at a higher intensity gives you more bang for your workout buck.

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  5. #5
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, its not for a particular goal I have. I am writing an article and I just wanted to get the facts right.

    I know a lot of you don't believe in it, but there was particular research at my university that over 50% comes from fat after 20-30 minutes.
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  6. #6
    Registered User JOHN GARGANI's Avatar
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    it is not a matter of what we believe or not in...you have now stated YOUR goals, and we are clear in what you are seeking......
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  7. #7
    Viking BigNorwegian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    Hi everyone, its not for a particular goal I have. I am writing an article and I just wanted to get the facts right.

    I know a lot of you don't believe in it, but there was particular research at my university that over 50% comes from fat after 20-30 minutes.
    You must be confused. Your body uses what food is in your stomach first as its ultimate fuel, if there is nothing in your stomach than your body turns to glycogen stores. Glycogen stores vary from person to person but are usually 300gs or 1200 cal. Essentially you need to be doing cardio, or activity with a 70% HR when your glycogen stores are nearly nothing and at that point your body will be catabolic.
    /end lehman's terms

    edit: to further expand why this is a myth; the mere fact that glycogen levels vary from person to person suggests that there can not be a constant time frame as to when someone becomes catabolic. For instance someone who has full glycogen stores as opposed to someone who has none is going to have to work a lot longer in order to enter catabolism .
    Last edited by BigNorwegian; 05-11-2008 at 06:58 AM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JOHN GARGANI View Post
    it is not a matter of what we believe or not in...you have now stated YOUR goals, and we are clear in what you are seeking......



    yeh, I just don't want a lot of replies telling me to believe in something else, when I am trying to write an article on a particular thing.

    thanks
    Last edited by X222Z4; 05-11-2008 at 07:02 AM.
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  9. #9
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    Hi everyone, its not for a particular goal I have. I am writing an article and I just wanted to get the facts right.

    I know a lot of you don't believe in it, but there was particular research at my university that over 50% comes from fat after 20-30 minutes.
    Also keep in mind that liberation doesn't necessarily mean utilization - hence the duration component. If you begin the liberation but the duration isn't sufficient to utilize, you potentially get redeposition.

    And any percentage of substrate utilization is highly dependant upon the intensity of the exercise (% VO2max) and existing & available susbtrate.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
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  10. #10
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BigNorwegian View Post
    You must be confused. Your body uses what food is in your stomach first as its ultimate fuel.
    I think you are wrong there. Your body can't use what is in your stomach because that is not in a form it can use. i.e not digested.

    once it is digested, carbs are released as glucose which causes an insulin spike. it will be stored as glycogen until you do exercise.

    when you do exercise, glycogen in your muscles is used before fat.
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  11. #11
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    I think you are wrong there. Your body can't use what is in your stomach because that is not in a form it can use. i.e not digested.

    once it is digested, carbs are released as glucose which causes an insulin spike. it will be stored as glycogen until you do exercise.

    when you do exercise, glycogen in your muscles is used before fat.
    Ingested carbs may not all become involved in glycogenesis. Lipogenesis could occur depending on existing muscle, blood, and liver stores among many other factors.

    You don't have to have completely depleted glycogen (muscle or blood) to mobilize fat.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
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  12. #12
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by in10city View Post
    You don't have to have completely depleted glycogen (muscle or blood) to mobilize fat.
    Exactly, I was just pointing out to the other user that food in your stomach is not used until digested.
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  13. #13
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    Is it bad to do cardio for more than 40 mins because of muscle breakdown?
    In short, no. The catabolic nature of exercise in general is closely tied to many things, including the intensity & duration of the exercise, current hormonal state (cortisol for example), substrate availability, and nutritional intervention before and after the session.

    Aerobic activity relies more on fatty acid oxidation.

    Anaerobic activity relies heavily upon the glycolysis pathway - meaning the activity is fueled by blood glucose, muscle glyocgen, and liver glycogen.
    And when these become low, there is a tendenacy to mobilize glucose from muscle via gluconeogenesis.

    Elevated cortisol levels can also lead to muscle breakdown. Cortisol levels fluctuate naturally throughout the day and night. Stress, including that of high intensity or long duration exercise, also elevate it.

    So properly fueled exercise that is not overly protracted can be done without scavenging your muscle.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
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  14. #14
    Viking BigNorwegian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    Exactly, I was just pointing out to the other user that food in your stomach is not used until digested.
    Well obviously, the majority of absorption, 85%, is in the small intestine. The stomach only allows for the denaturing of protein via gastric acids. I was only putting this in laymans terms, i.e. food that has been ingested. Sorry for the confusion.
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  15. #15
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    Fat burning heart rate means ****. If u want to lose weight or fat just make sure u got a clean diet and that your calroies expended is greater than calories consumed. Obviously cardio can assist in reaching this calory deficit but it isnt essential! Regular resistance training and a high protein diet should ensure than the weight which is lost is mostly fat rather than muscle mass!
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  16. #16
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    You guys are making it way too complicated.

    There's no "switch" that occurs between the energy systems, it a continuum.

    Using low intensity cardio as an example, that means that the longer you go, the greater PERCENTAGE of calories burnt comes from fat. The "20 minute rule" or whatever you were talking about is a very general guideline that is around the time point that the shift in percentages from carbs to fat occurs.

    I wish I had a graph to post but it would look something like this (NO these are not actual numbers - it's just an example to demonstrate the principle)

    TIME CARBS(%) FAT(%)
    5 min 98 2
    10 min 90 10
    15 min 70 30
    20 min 40 55
    30 min 30 70
    60 min 5 95

    Also don't forget that we're talking about low intensity cardio here. The more intense an activity, the more it uses carbs for energy.
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  17. #17
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    One last thing to remember - those are PERCENTAGES not total calories. In truth, you'll burn a lot more TOTAL fat by moderate duration high intensity cardio.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by X222Z4 View Post
    Hello, I am just trying to remember the explanation behind the idea where fat is burned after 20 minutes of cardio.

    As far as I can remember it takes about 20 mins to use up glycogen stores, then your body starts getting calories from fat.

    However I am unsure as to why you are recommended to run 20-40 minutes in a session and not more.

    If it was 20 then you would only be getting into the fat burning zone.

    I have an idea that your body stays in the zone when you stop.
    Is it bad to do cardio for more than 40 mins because of muscle breakdown?

    can someone fill me in.

    thanks
    fat burning zone=myth.
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  19. #19
    Registered User X222Z4's Avatar
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    I asked for people saying that not to reply here please because it doesn't help me. I know some people believe that, but its not the sort of comment i need.

    thanks
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  20. #20
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    well i have read before on a lot of running websites to best use fat stores or get or get ur body used to using fat 60-90 minutes of running is recomended.
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  21. #21
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    its doesnt matter whats burning while you workout. all that matters is you burn more calories than you eat, nothing else.
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  22. #22
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    Arnold's cardio

    Check out this old vid of an Arnold Schwarzenegger cardio routine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9uqYbcMHVk
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