How To Determine Your Best Heart Rate To Burn Fat For Best Results?
You might already know that the best way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Aerobic exercise makes your heart beat at a faster rate and causes your muscles exert themselves, and this promotes calorie burn. Despite the fact that higher-intensity physical activity burns calories faster, knowing how hard you should push your body can be difficult. And this is where your heart rate comes in. Your heart rate is a valuable measurement that you can use to determine the intensity of your aerobic exercise and maximize fat burn.
Normally, different activities make the heart beat at different rates. It is crucial to know the best heart rate to burn fat when you do cardio to get rid of excess weight.
But how can you target your heart rate to burn fat?
Heart Rate Zones
Most people have misconceptions on how to get into the fat-burning zone. They believe that the harder they work out, the more fat they burn- which is absolutely wrong! Always remember, you’ve to work smart not hard!
Although it may sound strange, the truth of the matter is that fat burning takes place at a much lower intensity than many people realize. Did you know that you could be sweating it out in the gym yet in reality be missing a chance to lose fat?
The good news is that it is quite easy to locate the “sweet spot” where your body starts to melt fat when you are doing your workouts.
The “sweet spot” or the optimum heart rate for maximum fat burn lies somewhere 65% -75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).
How to find out your maximum heart burn zone? Let’s cut to the chase and find that out.
3 Steps on How to Hit The “Sweet Spot” of Your Heart Rate Zone!
Here is a 3 step guide on how to use your heart rate to lose maximum fat.
Step #1- Do Some Calculations!
The secret to burning fat is not in the gym, it’s hidden in some careful calculations. Without these calculations, you’ll be sweating without even getting close to your fat loss targets.
Let’s cut to the chase and get started.
- Sit down with a piece of paper, a pen and a calculator.
- Write down your age at the top. Say it is 30 years.
- Now calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220.
Men’s Max Heart = 220 – your age
women’s Max Heart = 226 – your age
For example, if your age is 30 years, your MHR would be 220-30(your age)= 190 heart beats.
- Now find out the range of your heart rate that ensures maximum fat loss- 65% to 75% of your MHR. If your MHR was 190, the maximum fat burning zone for you would be somewhere between 123 (65% of 190) and 143 (75% of 190).
To monitor your best heart rate to burn fat as you exercise, you need a heart rate monitor. Here is some fitness apps such as MapMyFitness, Wahoo Fitness, RunKeeper can help you to get your heart rate zones.
Step # 2- Go for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’d know the hype about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In fact, HIIT is one of the leading fitness trends of the year. Why is that so? The answer is simple. It gives better and faster results in limited time!
Here is how HIIT differs from ordinary cardio.
When you do ordinary cardio, you focus more on working out for longer durations. Even if you’re able to hit your maximum fat burning zone doing a cardio workout, you’ll actually be burning more calories coming from your body sugars and proteins instead of body fat. Moreover, the effects of cardio on your metabolism diminish soon after the workouts.
HIIT, on the other hand, focuses on bouts of intense workout followed by periods of rest. When you push your body hard enough, it creates oxygen deficit as your body tissues don’t get enough oxygen to fulfil the energy needs during the phases of intense workout. But when you rest after the intense workout phase, your body starts using extra oxygen to make up for the oxygen deficit. This is when the magic happens and your body starts using more energy coming from fat instead of sugars. Moreover, your metabolism remains charged up even several minutes to hours after such workout.
The results of countless clinical researches have proven the fact that HIIT is superior to cardio in burning fat.
HIIT is just like every other workout routine, with bouts of intense intervals followed by rest. Say, you like to sprint or jog as an exercise. You can turn it into an HIIT routine by running at the top of your speed for 2-3 minutes followed by 2-3 minutes of complete rest. Do that 4-5 times in a session.
The bottom line is that HIIT burns more fat than just burning calories.
Step # 3- Combine Fat Burning Zone with HIIT
Now that you know what your fat burning zone is and have some basic information about HIIT too, it is the time to combine both!
All you need is a heart rate monitor to check your heart rate.
Say you’re running on a treadmill. Here is what a 15 minutes sample HIIT workout routine would look like for you.
- Start off with mild warm up exercises like simple stretching, boxing, crunches and squats.
- Now start the treadmill and run for 1 minute at the 50% of MHR.
- Start running faster and hit 60% of your MHR. Maintain this level for 2 minutes.
- Run faster and jump to 70% MHR. Maintain this level for 5 minutes.
- Now jump to 80% MHR for 2 minutes.
- Start slowing down to 70% and maintain for 2 minutes.
- Another 3 minutes at 60%.
- The last 1 minute at 50%.
- Rest for 15-20 minutes.
This is one session of HIIT that targets your maximum fat burning zone.
You can do multiple sessions every day.
There you have it; a step to step guide on how to use your heart rate to burn fat. Just follow these steps and see the results coming in no time!