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"Fat Burning" zone or "Cardio" zone - what's best for weight loss

I use the treadmill and when it monitors my heart rate it always says that I'm in the 80% cardio zone. Should I stay in the 65% burning zone even though I feel like I'm not working hard enough. Curious about your thoughts. Thanks.

Tue. Sep 11, 4:58pm

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Scientists are mixed on this one as well.

The 65% zone burns the most fat and is sustainable for longer periods of time.

80-90% boosts the metabolist (afterburn).

So why not cycle? 3 days a week do long, 65% work outs, 2 times a week do hard, intense ones.

That's what my HS track coach makes us do, and it really works. Usually, we'll do longer "easier" (ha) workouts 3 days a week, or even 4, and then once or twice a week, practice will be shorter...but DAMNNNNN she'll make it hurt XD

Then again, I'm not an expert XD

Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 4:52 PM

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Thanks for the comments. These days I am proud of myself when I make it to the gym - I just want to maximize .

Thursday, September 13, 2007, 11:15 AM

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When you workout in the fat burning "zone" you are burning about 50% fat and 50% the food you recently consumed/glycogen stores etc. When you workout at a higher HR say 65%-85% you burn roughly 40% calories from fat and 60% from other areas. Percentage wise you will burn more fat at a lower HR workout, BUT you will burn a LOT more calories in general during the higher HR workout, and therefore more from fat. An example: Say you workout for an hour on the elliptical in the fat burning zone and burn 400 calories. 200 (50%) of those will be from fat. Say the next day you do the same time on the same machine but bump up your workout so your HR is in the 65-85% zone, you will burn about 600 calories and 240 (40%) of those will be from fat and your HR will stay elevated longer afterwards and continue to burn some calories.

Training in the high end of your HR is also known as anaerobic conditioning. While a little of that is good for us, too much, or too frequent, it can burn muscle to get fuel so my advice would be to do the majority of your cardio workouts in the fat burning zone, and throw in one or two of the higher exertion ones. And weight train!!! That will help replace muscle you may have lost during cardio and it will help the fat to come off faster.

400 200/200

600 240/

Thursday, September 13, 2007, 1:05 PM

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Thanks for your help. When you ay I should incorporate weigh training, would you suggest that weights be done prior or after cardio?

Thursday, September 13, 2007, 11:47 PM

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