Friday, 24 October 2008

Fat Burning Zone

I have talked previously of the fat burning zone when on the topic of muscle definition but thought I would go further into the explanation of how this works and what it is all about.

When training we tend to put the highest intensity into what we are doing as we believe this will burn the most amount of calories thus help us lose the most amount of weight through fat loss, this unfortunately is not the truth.

As the body is using energy it does so in three ways...firstly the body uses carbohydrate stores, then fat stores and finally protein stores. The higher the intensity of your workout the more likely it is that you are utilsing your protein stores rather than your fat stores.

The end story of this will mean that your cardiovascular system will get stronger due to the high instensity of your workout, GREAT!, but you will also be in a position where prolonged training at this intensity will see muscle reduce with little fat loss.

The optimum way to train is at a medium intensity within the fat burning zone, the fat burning zone will see your body use carbohydrates and fats for its energy needs. This fat burning zone will ensure that the optimum amount of fat is lost through training.

So how do you find your fat burning zone?

To gain your fat burning zone we use your heart rate. Take your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) and multiply this by 60% to find what your fat burning zone base heart rate is.

To find your ceiling fat burning zone heart rate take your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) and multiply this by 70%.


I'm 27 so...

220 - 27 = 193
193 x 60% = 116
193 x 70% = 135

This means when training in the fat burning zone my heart rate should always sit between 116 beats per minute and 135 beats per minute.

If you train four times a week for forty minutes in the fat burning zone along with a healthy diet you are sure to see great fat loss results within four to six weeks while retaining our bodies muscle mass.