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TOPIC: Heart rate level and fat burning?

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June 1, 2012 5:31 PM
So I recall a long time ago when I was with a personal trainer, he told me that if my heart rate was above 142 (at the time thats what he said) and under 115 that my weight loss would not happen. He told me I had to be in the sweet spot of 134 (for my body).

He said if its above 145 that I would be burning sugar, and not fat (as I understood it), so I would probably be more likely to binge eat because I would be burning sugar very quickly, and thus it would not be effective.

So can someone tell me what this is about? I thought the more you sweat the more calories you burn? Should I not be having a high heart rate when I work out? Whats the correlation? Im conflicted on whether or not I should monitor my sweet spot heart rate or just GO with it...

Very confused!sad
  21990793
June 1, 2012 5:38 PM
http://www.freeweightlossexerciseprograms.net/fat-burning-heart-rate.html
June 1, 2012 5:39 PM
Bump...if I am doing cardio, I can't keep my heart rate in my target range and have no clue how to do it without lessening my workout so I usually don't worry about it, but if it is important, I'll have to start paying attention.
  7352376
June 1, 2012 5:41 PM
QUOTE:

Bump...if I am doing cardio, I can't keep my heart rate in my target range and have no clue how to do it without lessening my workout so I usually don't worry about it, but if it is important, I'll have to start paying attention.


If you have a machine that you can adjust resistance that would work... I am supposed to keep mine between 119 and 158 for fat burning and when I get up around 155 I just lower the resistance or If I was jogging I would walk untill I was back in my zone
June 1, 2012 5:44 PM
From http://www.brianmac.co.uk/hrm1.htm

QUOTE:

The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone - 60% to 70%

Training within this zone develops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. All easy recovery running should be completed at a maximum of 70%. Another advantage to running in this zone is that while you are happily fat burning you may lose weight and you will be allowing your muscles to re-energise with glycogen, which has been expended during those faster paced workouts.

The Aerobic Zone - 70% to 80%

Training in this zone will develop your cardiovascular system. The body's ability to transport oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from, the working muscles can be developed and improved. As you become fitter and stronger from training in this zone it will be possible to run some of your long weekend runs at up to 75%, so getting the benefits of some fat burning and improved aerobic capacity.

The Anaerobic Zone - 80% to 90%

Training in this zone will develop your lactic acid system. In this zone, your individual anaerobic threshold (AT) is found - sometimes referred to the point of deflection (POD). During these heart rates, the amount of fat being utilised as the main source of energy is greatly reduced and glycogen stored in the muscle is predominantly used. One of the by-products of burning this glycogen is lactic acid. There is a point at which the body can no longer remove the lactic acid from the working muscles quickly enough. This is your anaerobic threshold (AT). Through the correct training, it is possible to delay the AT by being able to increase your ability to deal with the lactic acid for a longer period of time or by pushing the AT higher.
The Red Line Zone 90% to 100%

Training in this zone will only be possible for short periods. It effectively trains your fast twitch muscle fibres and helps to develop speed. This zone is reserved for interval running and only the very fit are able to train effectively within this zone.
  13683591
June 1, 2012 5:45 PM
I personally don't believe in the heart rate stuff. It wont make you lose more weight if that's your goal. Lower heart rate = less work. Fat burns slower and glycogen burns faster. You want to burn glycogen because it'll burn more calories, take longer to refill the stores and build metabolism to repair muscle for up to 36 hours. Hence why simple sugary carbs and protein is great post workout!
June 1, 2012 5:45 PM
But surely you want do give your body an all-round workout! The better you train your heart the more stamina you have. The more stamina you have, the lower your heart rate will be (so easier to get into that magical fat burning zone, in which I don't believe by the way ;) ). Also, the more MUSCLE you build, the more fat you'll burn. If you combine both, cardio and muscle, you'll get fit and burn fat without even trying too hard, the heart rates should only be a guideline. If you consistently stay at the same heart rate, your body will get used to it and get lazy, aka shut down. Gotta keep it running though to achieve anything, so mix it up and don't fixate on the heart rate too much. :)
June 1, 2012 5:46 PM
QUOTE:
If you have a machine that you can adjust resistance that would work... I am supposed to keep mine between 119 and 158 for fat burning and when I get up around 155 I just lower the resistance or If I was jogging I would walk untill I was back in my zone


^This

Depending on your fitness level moving into the anaerobic zone can be easier. I know when I first started trying to get back in shape about all I could do and stay below 80% was a fast walk.
  13683591
June 1, 2012 5:48 PM
so if your heart rate goes above say 145 you dont burn fat? oh this is very confusing !!!!!!!!!someone please help me too!!!
June 1, 2012 5:50 PM
1. Your actual max heart rate could be as high as 210 or more and still be "normal". An estimated max heart rate should just be used as a general road map until you actually start exercising and can compare your feelings of perceived exertion with your exercise heart rate.

2. There is no "fat burning zone". There are intensity levels at which the body burns a higher percentage of fat for fuel (the highest percentage being at rest). However, the percentage of fat burned during a workout or the total amount of fat burned during a workout HAS NO EFFECT ON STORED BODY FAT. In other words there is NO advantage whatsoever in trying to "burn more fat" during a workout.

2A. The same holds true for "working for a certain duration so that your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat". That indeed might happen, but it is of zero significance when it comes to reducing body fat. Your goals during exercise are to: train for fitness, maximize overall calorie expenditure, and conserve lean muscle mass. That is achieved through a balanced program that includes cardio exercise of different intensities and duration, and resistance training.
  3147698
June 1, 2012 5:52 PM
I would look here:
http://alanaragon.com/myths-under-the-microscope-the-fat-burning-zone-fasted-cardio.html
June 1, 2012 5:53 PM
i dont bother with the ranges since it all works out in the end. you may burn a greater % of fat in the "fat burning" zone but you burn more calories in general when you pick up the intensity, even if the percentage is smaller.

i figured out that in the end it's the same, so since i'd get bored keeping my heart rate at just 130 (which my fat burning zone according to charts) and wouldnt stick with the workout that long i just go ahead and shoot for something out of the zone and that crosses into anaerobic since i wub intense workouts
  12840602
June 1, 2012 5:54 PM
QUOTE:



2. There is no "fat burning zone". There are intensity levels at which the body burns a higher percentage of fat for fuel (the highest percentage being at rest). However, the percentage of fat burned during a workout or the total amount of fat burned during a workout HAS NO EFFECT ON STORED BODY FAT. In other words there is NO advantage whatsoever in trying to "burn more fat" during a workout.

2A. The same holds true for "working for a certain duration so that your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat". That indeed might happen, but it is of zero significance when it comes to reducing body fat.


^ And this. People tend to focus too much on what happens during a short timeframe without paying attention to what happens over a greater period of time.
June 1, 2012 5:59 PM
Max and min heart rate burn is quite dependent on your age.

To get to fat burn and losing weight, the application shows that I need to work within 131-140bpm, 60-70% of my max heart rate. At this rate it is burning 10% carbo, 5% protein and 85% fat. But anything higher -70-80%, it is burning 50% /50% cabo, protein. And if go higher at 80%, body is burning 85% carbo and that's when you start craving sweets. Hope this explains.
June 1, 2012 6:05 PM
QUOTE:

Max and min heart rate burn is quite dependent on your age.

To get to fat burn and losing weight, the application shows that I need to work within 131-140bpm, 60-70% of my max heart rate. At this rate it is burning 10% carbo, 5% protein and 85% fat. But anything higher -70-80%, it is burning 50% /50% cabo, protein. And if go higher at 80%, body is burning 85% carbo and that's when you start craving sweets. Hope this explains.


actually it's most dependent on your V02 max and how healthy you are. The age things is just an arbitrary guestimate. For instance I'm 40 and so if Janet Evans. I seriously doubt she and I have the same max and min heart rates
  12840602
June 1, 2012 6:35 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:



2. There is no "fat burning zone". There are intensity levels at which the body burns a higher percentage of fat for fuel (the highest percentage being at rest). However, the percentage of fat burned during a workout or the total amount of fat burned during a workout HAS NO EFFECT ON STORED BODY FAT. In other words there is NO advantage whatsoever in trying to "burn more fat" during a workout.

2A. The same holds true for "working for a certain duration so that your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat". That indeed might happen, but it is of zero significance when it comes to reducing body fat.


^ And this. People tend to focus too much on what happens during a short timeframe without paying attention to what happens over a greater period of time.


Agree completely. If there was a "Fat Burning Zone", all cyclists would be fat, as they keep their heart rate at between 150 - 185 mile after mile.

The "Fat Burning Zone" is a marketing tool used by equipment manufacturers to get people into the gym....
Steady state Cardio at any heart rate will burn calories....period. What has been proven is that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will burn more residual calories after workout has finished than steady state cardio....

In other words...forget the exact "Zone", just work hard and it will happen..
June 1, 2012 8:56 PM
Awesome! Thank you for answering!

Alright so...in short...I should NOT be concerned with my heart rate and burning fat? As in, I dont need to carefully monitor it??
  21990793
June 2, 2012 2:40 AM
You should or might want to still monitor it, just to see the progress you do over time, how it goes down as you become fitter and might want to step it up. Also, keep an eye on it, just in case you go too high, and I don't mean number wise, but for you personally. I know, when I go above 180, I begin to feel dizzy and sick. Also, if you have one that monitors calories burnt as well as your heart rate, that's a useful tool for MFP, since the values on here are mostly way off of what you really do. Sometimes I have burnt up to twice as much for activities than MFP tells me^^
June 2, 2012 3:32 AM
There is a fat burning zone but it's been completely misinterpreted by the makers of fitness equipment.

For weight loss & overall fitness exercising at higher intensities burns more calories which is what you want to do (it doesn't matter if the calories are from fat or glycogen).

The "fat burning zone" is of interest to endurance athletes as your body is only capable of storing a limited number of calories by way of glycogen (2,000 to 3,000 or so) in muscle tissue and your liver but even a skinny ultra-marathon runner has 35,000 or more calories of stored fat for fuel.
June 2, 2012 3:43 AM
I don't know about burning sugar vs burning fat. As an retired RN i do know that the target heart rate is set to protect your heart. Therefore, I'd recommend you go to MayoClinic.com and see what they have to say about your rate based on your age, etc. Be kind to your heart and don't exceed the maximum rate. Good luck on your journey.
  23790131
June 2, 2012 3:48 AM
bump
June 2, 2012 3:50 AM
QUOTE:

I don't know about burning sugar vs burning fat. As an retired RN i do know that the target heart rate is set to protect your heart. Therefore, I'd recommend you go to MayoClinic.com and see what they have to say about your rate based on your age, etc. Be kind to your heart and don't exceed the maximum rate. Good luck on your journey.


The only way to accurately establish MaxHr is to take a stress test. The old 220-your age is pretty much meaningless, at 56 I have resting HR of 52 and routinely exceed 220-my age. (with the blessing of my Dr).

In the absence of a stress test the next best thing is perceived effort. If you're able to carry on a conversation while running (barring any underlying heart disease or defect) you're in a good place.If you're gasping for air slow down (unless you're a sprinter and going anaerobic for 12 seconds to run 100 metres)

As always, it's a good idea to consult with a physician before starting or modifying any fitness program.
June 2, 2012 6:54 AM
QUOTE:

Awesome! Thank you for answering!

Alright so...in short...I should NOT be concerned with my heart rate and burning fat? As in, I dont need to carefully monitor it??


Correct....

Notes:
A Heart Stress Test is the best way to determine maximum heart rate, and V02max, but unless you're very overweight, or had a family history of heart problems, or are a professional athlete....its a bit excessive.

220-age is old information but still a good general guideline. As Brian said, he's 54 and well exceeds this calculation, I am 44, and 220-44 = 176, and I routinely reach 185-188 in interval workouts. I do use the 170 mark as my red-line. So if i'm on the treadmill or bike, and hangout at 170+ for too long, i'll bonk.

If you buy a cheap Ekho HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) for around $60, that will be a great training aid. It will let you know when you're above 135...so you'll know you're actually doing work, push yourself hard on a treadmill....something that's steady state, if you've worked hard in the past, you know when you're cooked...look at the heart rate and estimate a max. Then what I do is set the two set points to beep....one at 135 for the low, and one at 165 for the high (for an extended workout), and around 180 for interval workout. If you're not working hard enough...it will beep....if you work too hard...it will beep.

That's pretty much the basics, and is really all you need
June 2, 2012 9:56 AM
QUOTE:

There is a fat burning zone but it's been completely misinterpreted by the makers of fitness equipment.

For weight loss & overall fitness exercising at higher intensities burns more calories which is what you want to do (it doesn't matter if the calories are from fat or glycogen).

The "fat burning zone" is of interest to endurance athletes as your body is only capable of storing a limited number of calories by way of glycogen (2,000 to 3,000 or so) in muscle tissue and your liver but even a skinny ultra-marathon runner has 35,000 or more calories of stored fat for fuel.


Very well put. I know from experience that if I try to stay in a higher range for too long I will get dizzy. Intervals between 70-80% with short stays into 80-90% give me the best workout.

For short 30 minute workouts I have no issue staying around 85% for the most burn in the short time I have. If I have time for more than 45 minutes, I will monitor my zones so I can make it as long as I can.
  13683591
June 2, 2012 10:04 AM
I do almost all interval stuff on the machines, so when I'm on a tougher one, my heart rate might be 160-170 and then at the lower intensity it's 120-140

I've also noticed as I exercise more that my "high" heart rates are higher than they used to be, but my heart rate also drops faster than it used to

in short, I don't really worry about it. I just get my burn on and if I'm tired and sweaty when I'm done? i did good :)
  13312971

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