the fat burning zone
I know at some point we have all heard about the “fat burning zone” in our pursuit of weight loss. They tell us we need to stay in our fat burning zone, and depending on who you talk to it’s any where from 60-80% of your maximum heart rate(see below for equation). I want to clarify ”the fat burning zone”. This method of target heart rate training burns a greater percentage of fat calories per amount of work, although this type of training is effective in burning fat calories, its wickedly inefficient, let me explain. There is a direct correlation between heart rate and amount of calories expended. The higher your heart rate reaches the greater amount of calories burned, for example. 10 minutes of training in your fat burning zone will have burned ~ 50 overall calories, and 50% of which or 25 calories are fat calories. Now, same 10 minutes, but this time we are going to increase intensity to about 85% maximum heart rate. This time around we will have burned ~ 70 overall calories, and 39% of which or 27 calories are fat calories. That is 20 more calories and 2 more fat calories, now this doesn’t seam like a whole lot, BUT for a thirty minute session 210 overall calories, and 81 fat calories will be burned! The fat burning zone has its moments, for example. A bodybuilder needs to retain maximum amount of muscle while cutting down for his contest. But, if your main goal is weight loss, kick in the high intensity training and use the fat burning zone as a warm-up or better yet, active recovery for your high intensity interval training(HIIT).
The fat burning zone is also a great adjustment period for beginners. If you have had very little exercise or physical activity for a significant period of time (months/years), I recommend beginning in this phase until your recovery heart rate increases to ~ 15beats per minute * This is the ability of your heart rate to drop after stopping an intense exercise session. If heart rate does not drop at least 12 beats in one minute, you are in severe risk of a heart attack.