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  • Debunking the Fat Burning Zone Myth

    I was sifting through our website statistics today and I was really happy to see that an article I wrote entitled The Fat Burning Zone is one of the most popular pages on the entire website. This article was published in Australian Ironman Magazine and Fighting Fat Magazine. It discusses the fat burning zone myth; how it came about and why it is completely misguided.

    I have discussed this fat burning zone myth with countless clients and other individuals who are seeking to lose weight. It often comes as a surprise that this zone is a highly ineffective way to break down fat tissue. This is completely understandable, considering the amount of misguided information that is floating around the industry.

    The fat burning zone myth suggests that exercising at an intensity of between 55-65% of your maximum heart rate, you will stimulate maximal fat loss. Exercising at an easier pace will reduce the fat loss and exercising at a harder pace will also reduce fat loss, but target carbohydrate breakdown instead. This is not true.

    What is true is that fat loss is going to be a function of the intensity of your workout. The harder you exercise, the more calories you will expend and the more fat you will break down. In fact, if you exercise at a high level of intensity, you will significantly increase the amount of fat burnt AFTER your workout! Yes, you can actually turn your body into a fat burning machine.

    If you are interested in delving into this topic in more detail, then I recommend that you read my article, The Fat Burning Zone. We discuss exactly how this myth came about, why it is misunderstood and we also consider a handful of studies that have proven it to be incorrect.

    Having said all this, I am by no means implying that low to medium intensity cardiovascular work is useless. I am a firm believer that lower intensities have their place, particularly with:

    • People with injuries and/or medical concerns
    • Elderly people
    • Participants with low levels of fitness
    • People with limited exercise experience

    Whilst a lower level of exercise intensity may not maximise fat loss, there are always many other considerations to take into account apart from just "results".

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