Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

What Do You Mean Low-Intensity Training Isn't The Best For Fat Burning?


But how can this possibly be? Everywhere you look, it's always said that long-duration, low-intensity training is best for fat loss. All high-intensity work does is burn carbohydrates, right?

Wrong.

After reading this article, I guarantee you'll develop a new respect for high-intensity cardio training for fat loss.

Low-intensity exercise is defined as working at a heart rate of about 60% to 65% of your maximum heart rate (which is equal to 220 - your age = maximum heart rate, thus if you are 20 years old, 220 - 20 = 200 max HR). High-intensity exercise is defined as working at about 75 to 85% or more of your maximum heart rate.

Using the previous example for maximum heart rate (max HR=200), working at 60% of your max HR would be 120 beats per minute and 80% of that would be 160 beats per minute.

There are several reasons low-intensity exercise is normally recommended for fat loss.

  • It's easy - In many cases people who are trying to lose fat don't always feel energetic enough to do hard training due to the caloric deficit (a.k.a. diet) that they are on. In these cases, just sticking to an exercise program can be hard enough, never mind making the exercise itself challenging.

  • It's low risk - A personal trainer generally can't go wrong by recommending low-intensity exercise to clients. Even the most out of shape person can usually do low-intensity cardio training safely. While this is certainly appropriate advice for novice trainers, it does not necessarily apply to the more experienced trainer when it comes to effective training.

  • It burns a higher percentage of calories from fat - this is very true: exercising at a lower intensity does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat than high-intensity exercise. But, as I will explain, this does not necessarily mean you're going to burn more fat.

    Let's crunch some numbers to show you exactly what I mean when I say high-intensity exercise burns more fat.

    Low-intensity training burns about 50% fat for energy while high-intensity training burns about 40% fat for energy. This is not a huge difference.

    Say, for example, walking for 20 minutes burns 100 calories. Then 50% of 100 calories is 50 fat-calories burned.

    Now say 10 minutes of interval training at a high intensity burns 160 calories. Well, 40% of 160 calories is 64 fat-calories burned.

    By doing the high-intensity work, you've just burned 14 more fat calories in half the time. Starting to sound good? There's more...

    ---

    Low-intensity exercise only burns calories while you are actually exercising. That means the moment you stop exercising, your

    caloric expenditure goes back down to nearly baseline levels. Within minutes, you're not burning many more calories than if you hadn't done anything at all.

    High-intensity exercise, on the other hand, continues to boost your metabolism long after you're done (often up to 24 hours after, depending on the length and intensity of the training session). This means you're continuing to burn many more calories all day long!

    ---

    Low-intensity exercise does nothing to build or support muscle mass. Maintaining muscle mass is critical to an effective fat-loss strategy as muscle burns fat just sitting there. Want to keep your metabolism working to burn fat? Do whatever you can to build or keep your muscle tissue.

    High-intensity exercise has the potential to increase muscle mass. Compare the body of a top sprinter to a top marathon runner. The sprinter carries far more muscle mass. You won't get big bulky muscles from high intensity training but you will get shapely and more defined muscles!

    ---

    How To Do It

    Now that you've seen how effective high intensity training can be for fat loss, how is it done?

    The absolute easiest way to start this type of training is to get on a cardio machine at the gym and select the interval training program. As you'll see, you'll start off with a fairly light warm-up cycle, then quickly jump up to a high intensity level for a short burst. You will then drop back down to a low level for a period of time, then back up to a high level again, repeated several times and finishing with an appropriate cool-down period.

    The repetition of these intervals is the nuts and bolts of high intensity interval training. You can also do it manually by adjusting your intensity level up and down over short periods of time.

    For example, do 30 seconds at high power then 30 seconds at low power. Repeat. It's very simple and very effective.

    Another excellent method for doing high-intensity training is called aerobic interval training. It is essentially the same concept as the previously explained interval training but the work intervals are longer with the intensity level somewhat lower. A good example would be running at a pace that you can only keep up for about 5 minutes then walking for 2 minutes then running 5 more minutes, walking 2 minutes, etc.

    High-intensity training can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise. Anything from walking/sprinting to swimming to bike riding will work perfectly. I would recommend doing his type of training 2 to 3 times per week for best results. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

    ---

    Remember, what you get out of exercise is directly proportional to what you put in. Work at high-intensity training for awhile and see just how much better your fat-loss efforts go.

    For more information on cardiovascular training, including advice on activities you can do, reviews of different types of cardio machines, other forms of cardio training, and some well-explained, useful, basic physiology go to: http://www.fitstep.com/Library/Info/Info.htm?news

    About The Author

    Nick Nilsson is Vice President of BetterU, Inc., an online exercise, fitness, and personal training company. Check out his latest eBook "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of" at http://www.thebestexercises.com or visit http://www.fitstep.com. You can contact him at betteru@fitstep.com or subscribe to BetterU News, his fitness newsletter at betterunews@fitstep.com.


    MORE RESOURCES:

    5 Reasons You Can't Build Muscle
    Yahoo Sports
    Building muscle is probably the biggest goal of anyone who steps into a gym. Numerous types of workout programs can help you accomplish this goal, but your success is largely up to you, not the program itself. So, before you blame your workout for lack ...
    The 8 Craziest Things People Do to Build MuscleSTACK News

    all 5 news articles »


    I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?
    STACK News
    The best diet to build muscle requires a calorie surplus of at least 15 percent of what you eat to maintain. Your diet must also be balanced. I learned protein is not the only essential thing we need to build muscle and be healthy. Do not neglect ...



    6 ways to rapidly build muscle and burn fat
    GQ.com
    The most effective way to build muscle and burn fat is to add intensity to your work-out. A programme that requires muscles to perform hard in a short space of time with little recovery will boost production of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone ...



    The Truth About Post-Workout Nutrition
    Men's Fitness
    Whether you're trying to lose weight, build muscle, or train for a specific sport you need to feed your body the right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time. What you eat before prepares your body for your workout, what you eat during (if ...



    How Many Sets and Reps Should You Really Do?
    STACK News
    Despite DeLorme's success with three sets, many people argue you only need one set to build muscle and strength. They point to the fact that in DeLorme's method, the first two sets were just warm-ups and only the third set was a maximal effort. Hence ...



    Posted On Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 02:23:51 AM
    Ahmedabad Mirror
    Having higher testosterone levels help build muscle all over your body. If you have high testosterone in your body, you can build muscle faster. Higher levels of natural testosterone and HGH create an anabolic environment within your body that will not ...



    How to Build a Performance-Fueling Smoothie
    STACK News
    The 45-minute window following an intense workout is when your body is most sensitive to insulin, which helps build muscle, so it is important to consume carbs and protein right away. Exercise often lowers an athlete's appetite, so a smoothie is a ...



    2014 Summer Training Guide: Football
    STACK News
    With just four weeks to go before two-a-days, you need to build muscle and improve your conditioning. Muscle will protect your body from the violent collisions during practices and games, surrounding your joints like a natural suit of armor. But this ...

    and more »


    Taco Bell jumps on protein bandwagon with Power Cantina launch
    QSRweb.com
    Nirvana Chapman, a Mintel trend analyst, said Americans are looking for protein to aid in “satiety, weight management and to boost muscle recovery and build muscle after a workout.” With this in mind, protein “appeals to a broad audience in a great ...

    and more »


    Nancy Dell: Healthiest eggs; Whey vs. Rice protein for muscles
    wwlp.com
    Protein is made up of amino acids and for years experts thought we needed all 9 essential amino acids to build muscle. Whey protein which is made from milk has all 9 so body builders would scoop up whey protein to build muscle. But that be changing.

    and more »

    Google News


  • Advertisement



    Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

    Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.