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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fat Burning Zone #2

High Intensity sessions - just as good!

The implication from all this research is that if you wish to burn maximum amounts of fat then you should train in the 68 to 79% MHR window. The reality is that if you train at higher intensities you can burn just as much fat - you cannot be serious - read on

If you cycled along at 50% VO2max, fat would provide about 50%, on average, of the energy you needed to keep going. If you cycle along at 75% VO2max, fat would provide 33% of the required calories. Thus, the slower workout sounds better from the fat breakdown perspective - or does it?

A moderately fit athlete exercising at 50% VO2max generally consumes about 220 calories during a 30 minute workout. If the same athlete works out at 75% VO2max, 330 calories are burned during the same period.

Of course, 50% of 220 calories and 33% of 330 calories yield an identical number of calories coming from fat - 110 calories.

Fat provides all your energy

Let us consider the other extreme. If fat alone was meeting all your energy needs, you would not be breaking down carbohydrate during your workouts and as a result your leg muscles would be amply and permanently stocked with glycogen (assuming, of course, that your diet contained a normal carbohydrate content).

Each time you ate, the carbohydrate from your meal would be processed and transported to your muscles. Your muscle cells would say, 'No thanks, I don't need more carbohydrate, I'm already full.'

The surplus carbohydrate from your meal would then be converted to, you guessed it, fat. Looks like a no win situation - as fast as you burn fat off it is replaced.

Effective way to lose fat

Most exercisers are time constrained to some degree and do not have hours to spend on low intensity sessions. When time is limited, there is little reason to train in your Fatmax Zone. If your overall goal is to get leaner, the bottom line is that calorie burning is the best way to achieve it.

The most effective way to lose body fat is to burn slightly more calories than you take in, and to continue this negative energy balance over an extended period of time.

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