Target Heart Rate is Pointless for Losing Body Fat
By Mike Geary Author of The Truth about Six Pack Abs
I co-wrote this target heart rate article with Craig Ballantyne because we want to get the message out to everyone who keeps struggling with this outdated mentality that they must be in some sort of "fat burning zone" if they want to stand any chance of losing body fat with their workouts. We'll show you why targeting a specific heart rate to be in this so-called fat burning zone is actually the opposite of what you should be focusing on in your workouts if you truly want to get lasting fat loss results.
One of the worst myths in the fitness industry is that you need to maintain a specific heart rate range in the fat burning zone in order to lose fat. But this is simply not true. Unfortunately, this false belief leads people to choose low intensity steady state cardio routines that are ineffective and cause most people a major lack of results from their workouts.
The quicker you get rid of the "target fat burning heart rate = the best workout" mentality, the faster you will actually start to get real results with fat loss and changing the shape of your body for good.
In the Turbulence Training workouts, you actually burn more fat and more total calories when you are OUT of the gym due to the high-intensity and variable intensity nature of the training methods in these programs. This phenomenon is not due to the elevated heart rate you experience during the workout (even though your heart rate will be increased from the supersets and intervals), but rather from the metabolic and hormonal response you achieve from the more effective workout compared to your ineffective "fat burning zone" workout.
Over the last 10 years, scientific research has indicated a couple of very important things to us about exercising for body fat loss. First of all, lifting heavier weights while exercising leads to a higher caloric consumption by the body in the period for about 1-2 days following the workout when compared to lifting light weights with high repetitions. So that's why 6-8 repetitions per set is better than 12-15 reps per set when it comes to stimulating the metabolism for losing fat permanently. That's one of the cornerstones of the types of training routines in programs that actually get results, like Turbulence Training.
Another important aspect we have learned from scientific research in recent years is that highly variable interval-type training is far superior to slow, steady-pace cardio exercise for fat loss and post-exercise induced calorie burning. In the long run, if you focus on the internal metabolic response your body is getting from your workout routines, instead of how many calories you burn during some sort of magical "target fat burning heart rate zone", you will achieve MUCH better fat loss results. So not only is it more result-producing, but it is also more time-efficient to use short high-intensity interval training workouts instead of slow, long, steady-pace cardio sessions.
The only time you might need to know your specific heart rate is during the recovery period of the interval training. It is important to take enough time during your recovery intervals in order for your heart rate to drop back down significantly (allow it drop to approximately less than 60% of your max heart rate).
That way you are able to get more quality work done when it counts. You do not want to start your next high-intensity interval too soon, nor do you want to exercise too hard during your recovery intervals.
All of these details are provided in the interval training guidelines within the Turbulence Training program. And we'll show you how to properly structure your intervals so that you allow enough recovery time between each. With these guidelines, you do not have to worry about monitoring your target heart rate or anything fancy like that. It's just not necessary. Just follow the TT instructions, and you will do great.
So here's the bottom line:
If you want to start actually getting the fat loss results you've been wanting for so long, do not worry so much about your target fat buring heart rate zone during exercise. Instead, make sure that you are working at a high-intensity and a variable intensity (according to your individual capabilities of course) during each weight lifting and interval training session.
The TT workout guidelines will give you all of the details you need on the specific rest periods to use between supersets and intervals. With these guidelines, you will start to see vastly improved results from your workouts within weeks of implementing the changes.
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Mike Westerdal is the author of the first and original...
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