Friday, January 18, 2008

Fat burn zone

There was a recent discussion on the Dragondoor.com forum about "cardio" and in a subsequent response on his blog Brett Jones , MRKC had the audacity to say the following:

"...the message coming from the general fitness industry which separates cardio and strength work and perpetuates the myth of fat burning zones etc... (yes I said the fat burning zone is a myth). "

Myth?

What silliness!

What outrage!

What nonsense!

This guy knows strength, but he is soooo off base about cardio, right??

Everybody knows that kind of exercise is best for losing bodyfat is "aerobics for 30-45 minutes 4-6 times per week at 60-70% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).” ( MHR is calculated by subtracting your age from the number 220. )

Right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. And I am gonna tell you why.

That kind of exercise is supposed to get you into something called the “fat-burn zone”, where a greater percentage of the calories burned come from fat. The concept is that since the human body burns a greater percentage of fat during low intensity exercise than it does at higher intensities, then that is the optimal way to burn fat overall.

See, the problem is the “as a percentage” bit. At higher intensities the body may only burn 35% of calories from fat while at lower intensities it may burn 50% or more of the calories from fat.

However, look at the bigger picture: at higher intensities you burn way more total calories, and more fat calories overall than you do at lower intensities. Would you rather have 50% of $100 dollars or 35% of $300?

So, while it is true that the body burns a greater percentage of fat at lower intensities than at higher intensities, that doesn’t account for the total calories burned, which is far more important.

Wanna get into the REAL fat-burn zone? Swing, snatch, press and TGU for a lot of reps. Cut all sugar and flour from your diet. Watch lard sizzle away.....

6 comments:

ozarkdude4 said...

Well said David. We can only hope the cardio club get the message. Some people just won't change or try a new angle. They only want to whine and wonder why they are not fit from doning a hour of tread milling, a waste of time.

P. J. said...

A little reasoning behind the myth. LSD (long slow distance) does burn more total calories during exercise. And fat burning requires oxygen, so if you go too hard to aren't burning fat during exercise. The flaws in this are that the extra calories burned are negligible when compared to a a 24-48 hr fat burn caused by elevation of fat burning hormones as a result of interval style training as you will get in one of David's bootcamps. LSD also tends to be catabolic, meaning it tears down muscle tissue. So yes you lost a little bit of fat but you also lost muscle so you didn't improve your body comp which should be the goal, not weight loss. Strength endurance training with swings, snatches, etc will build muscle which will give you more fat burning ability even at rest.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Reminds me of a conversation I had at a gym with a guy whose body was shaped like a potato. I don't claim to be huge or anything, but if someone sees me without a shirt on, the only obvious conclusion they can come to is that I workout and eat right.

I was sitting in the gym lobby reading "Hardstyle" or whatever that magazine thing is that Dragon Door sends out. This guy sees the kettlebells on the cover and says:

"ha, those bell things look like they might be ok for a fun-type workout, but you'll never burn fat with those. Everyone knows they just burn carbs."

my reply:

"Yeah, well, 'Everyone' should do some research on what happens to carbs when you don't burn them"

at which point I slapped him in the gut with the magazine, causing him to waddle off to the vending machine with his head held in shame.

Andy's Blog said...

yup;) it's amazing what 99% of the population will tout off as good fitness advice. i guess that's ok if you want to look like 99% of the population...
yay for snatching:)

Franz Snideman said...

Preach away brother David!

nice post! totally agree!