My trainer told me something interesting the other day. Cardio workouts are GREAT. But if you want to stay in the fat burning zone, your heart rate should be much lower.
Here’s the equation: 220 minus your age = max heart rate. Target fat burning heart rate should be somewhere between 60-80% of that target rate. (Basically shoot for 70% and you’ll be perfect.)
So for me? 220 – 30 = 190. 190 x 70% = 133.
I’m usually between 155 & 175. I usually last no longer than 20 minutes. (Which, let’s be honest, is a stretch.) (Of course, that’s unless I’m in an hour long cardio-based class.)
With 133, I can set the treadmill to an incline of 11 and walk at a 3.2 pace for half an hour. (Which is the minimum length of time to get a decent workout in.) I try to go for at least an hour, actually.
I get hot and sweaty and tired–but never so tired I can’t keep going. I feel like I’m cheating because I don’t end up wanting to puke from pushing myself so hard–but at the same time, I can go so. much. longer.
And my trainer? He’s an ultimate fighter. He’s totally ripped and went to school for this and knows his shit. And yes, the fat burning zone is mostly to help build endurance. But still. It gets me to do MORE than I would usually do, so I consider it a win.
I’m not giving up zumba or body step or body pump, because those classes are great cardiovascular workouts and definitely burn way more calories–and definitely chisel pounds away–but I’m also going to be at the gym for at least an hour additional a few times a week to hit the treadmill for the fat burning workout.
It’s just really great to know. So on those days where I’d rather sit and watch TV and veg out, I can at LEAST push myself to hit up the gym for a treadmill workout. Because the treadmills at our gym have personal TVs and are basically my new favorite things. And I can lose myself in a show for an hour and not feel sick after the workout.
No more excuses.