fat burning zone/cardio zone?

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compassionategirl
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#16 Postby compassionategirl » Thu May 18, 2006 10:44 pm

Staying in your target heart range/fat burning range is essential for burning fat and not muscle. Your target heart range for burning fat is 65-75% of your max heart rate. TO calculate your range, take the number 220 and subtract your age: that is called your max heart rate. Multiply that number by 65% and 75%. Keep your heart rate between those two numbers while exercising and you will burn fat, not muscle.


So, let's take my numbers as an example. I am 30 years old so:

220 - your age = max heart rate
220 - 30 = 190. So 190 is my max heart rate.

Now take your max heart rate and multiply it by 65 % and 75% to get your fat burning range. So, for me that woulld be

190 X 65% = 124
190 X 75% = 143

So my fat burning range/target range is 124 - 143. If I keep my heart rate between these two numbers while doing cardio, I am burning fat, not muscle.

As you get more cardiovascularly fit, you will find that you will need to do a more intense workout to get your heart rate up to your target range. A lot of newbies to fitness always make the mistake of killing themselves on cardio because they see a really fit person running fast on the treadmill. So they think that they need to also run that fast to get that fit. What they dont realize though is that that person's heart rate is probably in their zone. But if somebody who is not cardiovascularly fit tries to run at the same speed, their heart rate will be through the roof which isnt what you want (at least not for a sustained amount of time). SO always let your heart rate monitor be your guide - not what other people seem to do doing on the treadmills! :D

Cardio for fat burning purposes is really all about your heart rate. That is why it really doesnt matter what form of cardio you choose - so long as it can get your heart rate up to where it should be. If waving your arms violently in the air and jumping up and down gets your heart rate to wear it should be, then it doesnt matter from a fat burning perspective if you choose to do that over, say, a treadmill work out. Choose something that is fun for you and can get your heart rate up to where it needs to be - that is the key to good cardio!


hope that helped.
People reviled today for their activism will be tomorrow's angels, and people respected today for their power will be tomorrow's demons. History will absolve us and condemn them. ~ Paul Watson

9nines
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#17 Postby 9nines » Fri May 19, 2006 8:43 am

I wanted to point out something technical because calling a certain zone fat-burning might cause problems (muscle loss.)

From fat-burning-zone, I am sure most people would think that implies burning all fat but that is far from the case. At most you might be getting 50% of your energy from fat at the fat burning stage. The other 50% is from sugar and stored sugar and an immaterial amount of muscle.

Also, if you deplete that sugar, you are going to then burn a material amount of muscle. So if do a exercise in the fat burning zone for a long time (say an hour) and have not eaten in a while, you are probably going to burn a material amount of muscle because you are risking carbohydrate depletion at which point that other non-fat 50% is going to be from muscle (examples the many skinny fat people you see in gyms - low mass but flabby tone.)

Also, that zone name implies you are burning more fat than one would in a higher heart rate more intense workouts. That is not correct. You are meeting a higher percentage of your energy needs from fat in the so-called fat burning zone but the increase in total calories burned from more intense workouts is much higher than the percentage of total calories burned as fat that you lose.

For example: on a typical cardiovascular exercise, at 125 heart rate, you might be burning your total fuel as 50% fat and 50% sugar and burning 800 calories an hour, so 400 fat calories an hour. The same exercise at a 160 heart rate, your body might be burning around 35% fat and 65% sugar but burning 1500 calories an hour, so 525 fat calories an hour. (Note: I did not quote those numbers from specific research, as I am just using this to illustrate the math but based on my reading those would be pretty close to point.)

The danger is that at higher heart rates, as much more calories are being burned, you have higher risk of depleting carbohydrate stores, at which point you burn a material amount of muscle.
Last edited by 9nines on Fri May 19, 2006 9:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

9nines
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#18 Postby 9nines » Fri May 19, 2006 9:16 am

compassionategirl wrote:
Cardio for fat burning purposes is really all about your heart rate. That is why it really doesnt matter what form of cardio you choose - so long as it can get your heart rate up to where it should be. If waving your arms violently in the air and jumping up and down gets your heart rate to wear it should be, then it doesnt matter from a fat burning perspective if you choose to do that over, say, a treadmill work out. Choose something that is fun for you and can get your heart rate up to where it needs to be - that is the key to good cardio!




I am not sure that is correct. Many more variables: number and size of muscles involved, resistance, work being done, etc. than just on governing one, heart rate, likely determine the amount of calories burned.

For example, you could do a single arm exercise (quickly thrashing it around) and your heart will beat fast to increase the rate of blood flow those single arm muscles need but that might be the same heart rate needed, if your whole body were doing an exercise but the latter would be burning many more calories. In other words, same hear rate but many more calories in one situation than the other.

I have read no research on this but it should be easy to prove or disprove. Get a heart rate monitor and do jumping jacks (uses both legs and both arms) then note your heart rate while doing this exercise. Then rest (or on another day) then do same arm movement but no jumping and see if you can easily get to the same hear rate that you achieved from the jumping jacks. If you can easily get to that same heart rate then you know that heart rate is not the single deciding factor because you are clearly not burning as many calories not jumping.

The battery is dead on my heart rate strap that my stop-watch monitors, so I can not test but I am curious about the outcome.

Anyone mind testing my idea?

crashnburn
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#19 Postby crashnburn » Sun May 21, 2006 1:18 pm

I will. Soon.

Matt
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#20 Postby Matt » Sun May 21, 2006 2:09 pm

I would be very wary of the "age minus 30" formula to get maximum heart rate. Heart rates vary greatly based on genetics, gender, (and yes) age, etc. The only real way to find max heart rate is to do a test on yourself. Even this is not a real measure as your geneticallly-determined max heart rate--especially if you are not very fit--usually cannot be reached, even at maximum intense effort.

My max heart rate is about 205 and I'm 37 years old. Additionally, I have a cyclist friend who is 25 and his max heart rate is 185. So it can vary greatly.
Matt Norwood
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crashnburn
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#21 Postby crashnburn » Mon May 22, 2006 10:09 am

Agree with Matt.

I am guessing Max HR's can probably change as you start getting more active as well.

PS: Whats a good few ways to guage it. I just bought an HRM.

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Sean
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#22 Postby Sean » Sat May 27, 2006 11:52 am

I have a question in regards to this. It's not related to the cardio zone or anything, my question is when is it the best to do cardio? If you do cardio prior to lifting, you'd be burning your stored sugars from what you ate prior to working out right so then you wouldn't be burning as much fat. But if you do cardio after lifting weight you'd already have lactic build up in your muscles which from my understanding would present you from burning fat too. Any opinions or knowledge on this?


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