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3/29/12 8:25 P

I have a Polar HRM and I use it to more accurately track my calories and I do a lot of jogging so I used it for that. I don't believe there is a "fat burning zone", but when jogging I aim to keep my HR at 145 or higher, and if I drop below 140, I know I have to pick up the pace a bit more. Personally, I think they are a good way to stay motivated and push yourself a little further :)

3/29/12 7:59 P

The readout on any heart rate monitor is not individualized in any way to a given individual. The algorithms are based on an average of all the people who are similar to any data you input in an attempt to make individual for you. The same problem exists with the predicted heart rate formulas. As the saying goes "your mileage may vary"

The fat burning zone exists but is not an effective measure for training. Learn to use your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to gauge how hard you are working since it as a one to one relationship with a laboratory measured value. Your cardio exercise baseline should be 60% RPE meaning that if you perceive that you are working at 60% of your ability you are at that level. At times you should make part of your workout in the 75% to 80% range. The best thing about your RPE is that it automatically recalibrates daily to your ability for that day.

I am Sergeant Major and I approve this post.

Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 3/29/2012 (20:00)
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3/29/12 7:30 P

All zones are based on your estimated max heart rate, what if this is not quite right. I was lab tested and found that my V02Max was in the top 10% of 20 year olds. I am 57, therefore the "Normal estimate" for a 57 year old is a little off for me. and perhaps for you. These are just estimate. If your heart rate goes higher it does not necessarily mean you are in dangers, particularly if you have been cleared for exercise by your doctor, and if you are feeling fine and not unduely stressed.

3/29/12 7:09 P

I have the same problem. If I'm jogging even suuuuuper slowly, I get right to my 90% zone. I just take breaks to bring it back down, and each week I can spend a little longer there without discomfort.

You're going to burn fat no matter what, so just get out there and improve a little at a time -- whatever that means for you (time, or speed).

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3/26/12 4:26 P

I'm not an avid runner, but from talking with some I am under the impression there may be performance/fitness applications for sometimes workout out in that zone when training for events (but the people who mentioned doing this also train in higher zones during other workouts). My polar keeps track of time spent in each of three zones, but I never really try to stick to any zone in particular I mainly go by perceived exertion and just try to keep an intensity that feels challenging but not too uncomfortable at the time. And what Unident said, I'm not sure if I would call the zone itself a myth (just how some apply it to weight loss), but even a 5% difference, when I do the math the estimated calorie burn of 55% vs 60% in a workout, the 55% fat burn usually burns much more calories and fat grams than the 60%. So don't worry limiting yourself to that zone unless you have another reason to do so.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/26/12 2:32 P

Yup, it's a myth.

The lower intensity fat burning zone is based on the reality that you burn more fat than glycogen at lower intensities. You burn a higher percentage of fat in that workout.

But 60% of 100 calories burned is only 60 calories - whereas 30% of 400 calories burned is 120 calories! Half as much 'percent', twice as much 'burn'.

So work hard and burn a lot of calories - don't worry about where they come from. For weight loss, it's total calorie burn that matters anyway, not whether you burned fat or glycogen - your body will balance it out later in the day if it needs to anyway.

3/26/12 10:59 A

Don't pay any attention to the so-called fat burning zone. It's a total fallacy and a weight loss myth. If your heart rate goes higher, that's perfectly okay as long as you don't feel light headed or have chest pain.

This fat-burning zone is a myth. The truth is that your body burns fat all the time, depending on what it's doing, what you've been eating, and how active you are.

If your goal is fat loss, you need to be unafraid to work out intensely - high above the so-called fat-burning zone. the more intensely you work out, the harder your body has to work in recovery and the more fat you end up burning post-workout.

don't pay any attention to the fat burning lies. Work as hard as you feel comfortable working.

AKINVA Posts: 58
3/26/12 10:51 A

Question for those that have HRMs:

I just bought a Polar FT7 HRM to motivate me and log the appropriate calories burned. It has this feature that shows you when you're in the fat burning target zone, or fitness zone.

I find that it's REALLY hard to stay in the fat burning zone, even when just walking. My heart rate goes so high (sometimes 198) that I'm almost always in the fitness target zone.

How do you guys stay in the fat burning zone? And what does it mean in terms of weight loss when in fat burning vs fitness? I only have about 20 pounds to lose.


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