Again and again we hear about people doing low intensity “fat burning” cardio and we would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

Yes at lower heart rates you burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. In fact when you sleep almost 90% of the calories you burn are from fat. The problem is you don’t burn very many calories overall.

For example if a person ran or walked at 65 percent (in their Fat Burning Zone) for 30 minutes and burned 400 calories; 60 percent of these calories are made up from fat, which means that 240 calories of the overall 400 calories burned are from fats.

However, if this same person trained in their Cardio Zone at 75 percent and burned an estimated 700 calories, the now lower 40 percent of fat calories burned equals 280 calories with the overall total being 700 calories burned. So in the end more is better. Read More

The image below is the results from an active metabolic test:

the fat burning zone

The black line shows the individual’s ability to burn fat as an energy source. As you can see as they move up through the heart rate zones this decreases but really not that much until the end when it drops off. So feel free to push yourself if you want try some interval training it is a fun easy way to up the intensity of your cardiovascular workout. Read More

This type of training can work on treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers and steppers and many new pieces will have interval training options built into the programming.