“Exercising in the Fat Burning Zone, (40-60% of Max Heart Rate) is the most effective method for losing body fat”.

 True or False

Answer: False

The science:  This myth arose out of the misinterpretation of research which showed that our bodies use a higher percentage of fat for fuel during lower intensity exercise.  People then assumed that we would be better off exercising at these lower intensities if our goal is to lose body fat.

The problem with the low intensity approach:

  • We burn a significantly lower amount of total calories during the exercise session when compared to higher intensities (75-90% of Max Heart Rate).
  • We only burn calories during the exercise session.
  • The low demand of the exercise can result in a lowering of the metabolism over time making it more diffcult to create a calorie deficit.

So what is the most effective training intensity for fat loss results? 

High intensity interval exercise and metabolic resistance training


  • This type of training creates a post exercise elevation in metabolism (EPOC) for 24-36 hours during which the body supercompensates before returning to the normal resting state. This is where the body really uses fat for fuel since it can meet the low energy demands during this period.
  • The metabolism is elevated over the long term due to an increase in muscle mass making it easier to create a calorie deficit.
  • Work capacity is increased  over time resulting in the ability to exercise at higher intensities, stimulating a more significant metabolic disturbance.

Some research has shown that exercising at these higher intensities applied through intervals resulted in 9x greater fat loss than steady state low intensity methods.

It’s not how many calories you burn but how you burn them!


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