Saturday 24 April 2021

Slow and Steady Wins Nothing

One of the most deep-seated and fiercely argued tenets of cardio work is that in order to burn fat, you should always be working in the “fat-burning zone.” If you’ve ever been on a cardio machine at a health club, you’ve seen those nifty little guides that relay the supposed effects of different heart rate zones. With words such as “Maximum Fat Burn Zone” plastered all over lower heart rates, it’s no wonder that we’ve all been seduced into thinking that the only way to burn that stubborn fat off is to keep our heart rates low and steady. This is why many of us insist on setting the treadmill at a brisk walking pace and staying on it for as long as possible.

The concept of the “fat-burning zone” is based on the premise that your body burns a greater percentage of calories from fat when it’s working at lower heart rates. If we consider this concept alone, you might choose the low-intensity workout. To complete a 30-minute workout at a low intensity, you can get 50 percent of the energy she needs from fat. If you were instead to do a high-intensity workout for 30 minutes, just 40 percent of the calories burned would come from fat.

Ok, low intensity burns more fat, right ?  WRONG !!!  Let’s compare the same 30 minute cardio session.  Low intensity burns 100 calories. 50% come from fat or 50 calories of fat. High intensity burns 150 calories, 40% come from fat or 60 calories of fat. That’s 20% more calories from fat. Plus high intensity gives you EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption otherwise known as the “afterburn”. This will allow you to burn calories for up to an hour after your session. It’s a win win situation. !

Still not convinced? Maybe this fact will get your attention: Consistently working out at a low intensity can actually train your body to store fat. You read that correctly. If you consistently perform low-intensity exercise (that is, at a low heart rate), your body will adapt by beginning to store fat so that it can complete the next bout of exer­cise more effectively. This scenario is called “metabolic efficiency,” and it’s the ultimate catch-22 of exercising.


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