“F the Fat Burning Zone”

Posted by in FitTip, Health Tips

Summer is 6-weeks away (hopefully), is your body ready for a swimsuit?!?

If you’ve been hibernating while watching Netflix and crushing on comfort food for the past 6-months you don’t have time for long, slow, boring cardio to get you back in shape…it’s time for some serious work.

Every single Personal Training Health Assessment Form ask’s the question:

“What is your #1 barrier to regular exercise?” 

I’ve only received one answer, ever: TIME.


Since TIME is everyone’s reason for not exercising on a regular basis, I say…”F the Fat Burning Zone!”

The Fat Burning Zone is a lower intensity heart rate training zone, typically 65% of your max heart rate, that is performed over a long duration, 45-60 + minutes. When training in this zone your body initially burns blood sugar then taps into your endurance energy source, fats.

The more effective and efficient reciprocal of the Fat Burning Zone is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. Short duration (15-30 mins) at a 80-90+% of your max heart rate effort.

The extreme of each of these training mediums is marathon running versus sprinting:

Sprinter vs Jogger Physique


But doesn’t working out longer burn more calories?

Nope and here’s why:

When you workout in the Fat Burning Zone you are no doubt burning extra calories for an extended period of time. However, once you complete your workout your body returns to your pre-workout rest state within 45-60 minutes. Therefore the maximum elevated caloric burn above and beyond resting state is only 2 hours (1 hour working out + 1 hour recovering).

High Intensity Interval Training (a combination of cardio and strength exercises) spikes your heart rate and metabolism while breaking down your muscles. Understand that you do not become stronger while working out, it happens during the recovery process.

With HIIT it takes your body as much as 5-7 hours to recover…therefore a quick & efficient workout can put you in an elevated calorie burn state long after your done physically working out.

Cambridge University Boat Race Team Preparations

HIIT Exhaustion!

Here are some of the hottest HIIT fitness programs on the planet including a free in-home one:

What if I’m out of shape??

Intensity is all relative. 90% heart rate max for me may be sprinting at 10-mph on a treadmill for 60-seconds. 90% for you may be walking 4-mph at a 2% incline. Make sense? Use a basic 1 to 10 rating of perceived exertion scale to gauge how hard you feel you are working out.

1-10 Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale:

  1. Looking at the treadmill
  2. Stretching on the treadmill
  3. Super slow walk
  4. Walking
  5. Trotting
  6. Jogging
  7. Running
  8. Running with an incline (80% heart rate max equivalent)
  9. Sprinting (90%)
  10. All out effort!

Tricep kickbacks using a 5# dumbbell is not going to get you ready for summer…or anything for that matter. PUSH IT! If your body isn’t challenged it doesn’t have anything to adapt to therefore it will not change. Maintain? Sure. Change? Nada.

Everyone wants their workout routine to be as efficient and beneficial as possible.

“Challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish.”