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So I've been looking online to see what my target heart rate should be. And it seems ridiculously low. For maximum fat burning, most sites say you should only be working at 60% of your maximum heart rate. For me, this falls in the 115-130 bpm (approximately, I don't recall the exact numbers).
I use my elliptical trainer 3x a week for 30 minutes. I just finished my workout and I was trying to get my heart rate into the "target" zone. I had to slow right down and then the lowest I could make it go was 130 bpm.
What is up with that? It feels very silly to do a workout slowly in order to burn the maximum amount of fat. Seems so backwards. Does anyone know anything about this? Is this accurate or are all these target heart rate sites lying to me?
I think it's based on your maximum heart rate. Your max is some number minus your age. And then the "maximum fat loss" number is 60% of that.
Either way, I am experimenting this week. I'm trying to keep my heart rate at 130 bpm during my workouts, which is hard to do! I still break a sweat but I'm not breathing hard at all and it's really easy! LOL I'm going to see what happens. It sure makes my workouts more bearable and I don't watch the clock so much. I want to do a bit more research too.
and it looks like it varies depending on your fitness level. I also found another site that says that 50-60% is the warm up zone. 60-70% is the fat burning zone(where you need to be to start burning fat) and 70-80% is the aerobic zone, which burns more calories, 50% of which are fat. I think you're fine to bump it up.
Yeah, I just can't imagine how that actually works, know what I mean? Like you, I barely feel like I'm working out in that zone, lol! It does say that the aerobic zone burns more calories, and half are fat, so maybe even though the percentage is lower, the actual amount is higher? It doesn't say how much fat is burned in either. I'm so confused!
Ok.... hypothetically, let's say in half an hour, I burn 200 calories on my elliptical keeping my heart rate in the supposed maximum fat burning zone. If 85% of those calories are fat gone, then I just burned 170 calories of fat.
Then let's say if I work a lot harder and burn 300 calories in half an hour, only 50% of those calories are fat, so I've only burned 150 calories of fat working much harder (although obviously there would be other benefits such as aerobic and cardiovascular whatever).
So if this is true, I'm still burning more fat going slower. I know, it sounds absurd! That's why I want to try it for awhile and see what happens. I actually haven't lost any weight for a really long time so if this makes ANY difference, I'll be quite pleased. ha ha!
Also, according to my elliptical's read-out (which isn't entirely accurate), if I go slower, I still burn 200 calories in 30 minutes and if I work pretty hard, that only goes up to maybe 240 calories at the most. So there may not even be as big a difference as my hypothetical situation allows.
Anyhoo, just thinking out loud. Thanks for humouring me, Mama Theo!