When I do cardio I have a tendency to push myself pretty hard. Wether it's on the elyptical or running or bike. I find that my heart rate is always higher than my target heart rate for fat loss, but I find if I try and keep my heart rate in the fat burning zone it feels too easy. I also don't burn nearly as many calories.
I'm not sure what to do really because I want to lose fat but I also want to increase strength and build muscle. Any suggestions?
Thread: Target heart rate for fat loss
02-12-2008, 02:22 PM #1
Target heart rate for fat loss
02-12-2008, 02:24 PM #2
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The fat-burning zone
by Josh Salzmann
Find out if this fitness buzzword is myth or magic formula
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.
http://www.ivillage.co.uk/dietandfit...168551,00.htmlPerfection in mind, perfect body!
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02-12-2008, 02:27 PM #3
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You will always burn more calories when you perform shorter periods of higher intensity cardio than you would doing longer periods of low intensity.
In order to lose fat you need to burn calories, it's as simple as that. Fat loss will happen when you are burning more calories than you are taking in.
Think about it: You could probably burn 200 calories in 1 hour on the bike using the "fat loss" program. Compare this to the 400 calories you could burn on either the treadmill or the elliptical at a moderate-high intensity level in 30 minutes! It's more effective and definitely more efficient!
Last edited by nicoledominique; 02-12-2008 at 02:32 PM.
02-12-2008, 07:49 PM #4
03-18-2008, 07:32 PM #5
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I have read most recently in Susan Kleiner's book Power Eating that the 50-60% target heart rate does indeed burn more fat calories, although a higher intensity burns more overall calories. Also, she says that at a higher intensity after a longer period of time you will end up burning more fat once you've used up your carbs. It may depend on what you want to do. If you go too hard or too much with the intensity, you risk burning up your hard-earned muscle.