If you were given the option of a high-intensity workout or a fat-burning workout, which one would you choose?
If you’re like most people, it’s a no-brainer. A high-intensity workout sounds grueling and unrelenting; a fat-burning workout conjures up images of the sculpted, svelte results we long to achieve.
Of course we want to work out in our fat-burning zone!
The fat-burning zone is as legit as the Twilight Zone.
And yet, there persists a nagging misconception that slow, steady-state aerobics leads to fat loss. This myth has spread far and wide in the exercise world. Some cardio equipment even features fat-burning settings, essentially encouraging us to ratchet down our pace with the empty promise that doing so will melt fat from our frame.
The truth is that you don’t burn a greater amount of fat exercising at a lower intensity. You burn a greater percentage of fat exercising at a lower intensity.
That distinction has major implications. If you work out at, say, 65 percent of your max, you might burn 50 percent of calories from fat. If you go at it more rigorously, you might burn 35 percent of calories from fat.
However, with the more challenging workout, you’re burning far more total calories — and more fat calories overall.
And with the 65 percent workout?
You don’t get any better at what you’re doing.
Nor do you see results in the mirror.
The takeaway: Forget you ever heard the term “fat-burning zone.” Banish it from your vocabulary.
To maximize your fat loss, work out at the highest intensity you can comfortably maintain. You’ll become stronger and more capable. You’ll sleep better, feel less stressed, have a lower resting heart rate and a higher energy level.
When you focus on improving your performance, everything else falls into place – and, ultimately, off your waist.