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Let's get this clarified... optimum fat burn intesity


Nicke

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Greetings F-Nerds!

 

I've read so many forums and articles regarding this and I must say that it has left me a bit confused as to what is the optimum running pace for fat burn is, or level of intensity for any training. Never mind the time of day or your previous food intake. But would someone (from their perspective) be able to clarify?

 

Underlying thoughts: fat vs glucose to derive energy, higher pace burns more calories/min than lower pace, calorie is a unit measure to quantify energy - fat or glucose?

 

 

I really do appreciate the efforts put in to research this and to learn it properly but a simplistic clarification would be ideal for me - I'm not out to change the way of training, only to use it for my own benefit. I'm happy to stand on others shoulders to achieve my goals ;)

 

Many thanks!

 

Apologies for all the 'typos'...

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"If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always got"...

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Lower intensity exercise will get more of it's energy from fat vs. other sources (glucose, your muscles, etc). This is why you see fitness equipment etc. labelled with stuff like "fat burning zone". However, you will burn more calories overall at a higher intensity, including more fat. So, for overall weight loss, you're generally better off doing more intense exercise. On the other hand, your body can only handle so much really intense exercise, so doing some intense (e.g. high intensity intervals) and some less intense is good too.

 

Body builders on a cut will sometimes do lots of low intensity cardio (e.g. walking on a treadmill) to try to optimize fat burn over muscle loss, but I'm not sure how well that really works even in that specific case, and for most people aren't optimizing their body fat percentage that much.

 

One final thing: It doesn't matter how optimal an exercise plan might be if you won't stick with it.

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I read an article about this a while back, so interpret it in your own way. It stated that doing low-intensity exercises such as jogging, burns up your glycogen stores (carbohydrates). On the other hand, doing high-intensity exercises uses up your glycogen stores and fat. I'll give an example of when one does sprint, rest, sprint, rest, etc. When you are sprinting, you are burning up your glycogen stores (carbs). When you stop to rest in between sprints, your body is burning up fat. Higher intensity will burn up more calories as well. Frankly, I see no use in low intensity workouts/cardio. I hope this answered your question because I kinda just felt like I was rambling on. :)

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Creatine phosphate, carbohydrates (glucose), and fatty acids are all energy intermediates. When your body need to replenish it's adenosine triphosphate (ATP, the main energy currency used in the body), it turns to them in that order respectively. An average 70 kg man can store only about 120 g of creatine in his body, in comparison to dozens of lbs of fat. So, once your body burns up it's creatine stores it turns to it's glucose stores, and once it burns past that it turns to it's fatty acid stores. Creatine is the fastest at restoring ATP of the three, so it's used most often in short burst exercises like power lifting weights (anaerobic exercises). Fatty acids require oxygen to be used so they are used in an oxygen rich environment (aerobic exercises), which is how the "fat burning zone hypothesis" was created. However, in terms of fat loss none of this matters. In a controlled study I recently read both light and intense exercise groups burn the same amount of fat, because fat loss/gain is a result of calories consumed and calories burned. However, the low intensity groups lost roughly 5 lbs of weight all from fat, while the high intensity group lost 5 lbs of fat and gained 5 lbs of non-fatty mass (most likely in the form of water). So, if you're looking to drop weight you want to walk long distances, but if you're looking to lose fat and maintain muscle you can either pair walking with weight training (like I prefer to do because it's more enjoyable) or do high intensity exercise. Just remember, your body needs to be in a caloric deficit to lose mass, exercise can just help you reach that deficit. Hope this helps!

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The "fat burning zone" is not a relevant concept for weight loss. When in the context of an overall calorie deficit it doesn't matter. Burning calories most efficiently burns fat most efficiently.

The fat burning zone is actually relevant in two specific cases:

- When bulking, and gaining weight, doing some cardio in the fat burning zone will keep your gains slightly cleaner (tiny, tiny effect, fractions of a pound a month, but a real effect).

- When lean with real stubborn fat spots (cold to touch, etc...), fasted cardio in the fat burning zone is one of the only ways to mobilize that fat. This is a concept not relevant to most, only to the lean trying to get leaner.

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currently cutting

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The "fat burning zone" is not a relevant concept for weight loss. When in the context of an overall calorie deficit it doesn't matter. Burning calories most efficiently burns fat most efficiently.

The fat burning zone is actually relevant in two specific cases:

- When bulking, and gaining weight, doing some cardio in the fat burning zone will keep your gains slightly cleaner (tiny, tiny effect, fractions of a pound a month, but a real effect).

- When lean with real stubborn fat spots (cold to touch, etc...), fasted cardio in the fat burning zone is one of the only ways to mobilize that fat. This is a concept not relevant to most, only to the lean trying to get leaner.

Nice one... Any comments of types of Calories?? I've got to the point where I don't let this dictate my training as long as I'm in a deficit and moving the right direction but yet a ponder these things..

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"If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always got"...

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- When lean with real stubborn fat spots (cold to touch, etc...), fasted cardio in the fat burning zone is one of the only ways to mobilize that fat. This is a concept not relevant to most, only to the lean trying to get leaner.

 

So does it only have to be within the "fat burning zone?" What if you're doing fasted HIIT? Would that not help those stubborn fat spots?

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No, because fasted HIIT doesn't directly burn fat. Only indirectly, it burns up the carbs and hence raises overall fat burning at rest until the carbs are restored. While this is fine for overall fat loss, it doesn't force the body to tap into stubborn fat reserves to support the high burn rate during exercise.

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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I think you guys are kind of over thinking this a tad bit.  These are all fluid processes.  What I mean is, your body is constantly shifting from catabolic to anabolic states, burning, storing, synthesizing, etc.  Waldo hit the nail on the head when he said that overall numbers matter a lot more than direct fuel sources. 

 

Diet-wise, metabolically speaking there is virtually no advantage to fats or carbs.  You won't burn more calories or lose more weight relying on one over the other.  You still have glycogen stores that need to be replenished, and you still have adipose tissue that is either being depleted or filled.  As long as you are training hard, you'll burn the same amount of calories regardless of what you ate.

 

If you are doing fasted cardio, hit it hard.  The more you can burn in a short amount of time the better.  Cardio, like any other type of training, should not be approached with a lackadaisical attitude.  The more work you put into it, the more you will benefit.  If it worked and it was easy, everyone would do it.

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