Running for fat loss - does heart rate provably matter?

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Hobart
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Running for fat loss - does heart rate provably matter?

Post by Hobart » Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:38 pm

Help! I'm reading conflicting information here...

I'm a 32 year old male, currently at ~15.5% body fat, trying to get back down to ~10% body fat (and the corresponding waistline) where I was roughly 4 years ago, before an injury took me out of regular exercise.

Here's an example of one of my current exercise runs, which I do 3 times a week: (Launches window w/ Javascript animated google map, incl. log of heart rate and pace)

http://www.magnalox.net/log/no.php?fmt=g&lid=12860

In the book "Yoga for Regular Guys", Dr. Craig Aaron ( http://www.yoga-doc.com ) describes his belief that working out above your maximum aerobic heart rate is counterproductive to achieving the fastest fat loss.

On her site Total Fitness Nework, Therese Iknoian says "Forget the myths about going slower or at a lower intensity to burn more fat." ( http://www.totalfitnessnetwork.com/cgi- ... Speed.html )

Which is it? Should I keep running at the pace I am? Should I run for the same duration at a lower heart rate, or the same distance at a lower heart rate? My goal at the moment, again, is fat loss.

Have there been any (potentially verified by other ones) medical studies proving or disproving the exercise intensity vs fat loss question?

Thanks in advance,
-jon

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Post by Gsus » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:07 pm

diet diet thats all i can say but im curious too know about the heart rate stuff

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Post by Ryan A » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:33 pm

Well, it seems you are comparing maximum heartrate and the traditional fat burn zone heart rate (100% and 60%). The "cardio zone" is 80% and I think this would satisfy both individuals and I think that is the intent of their statements. Maximum heart rate is certainly too much and although a "fat burn" zone may exist, it results in fewer overall calories, which is really the point of exercising to lose weight.

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:46 pm

Hobart wrote:Which is it? Should I keep running at the pace I am? Should I run for the same duration at a lower heart rate, or the same distance at a lower heart rate? My goal at the moment, again, is fat loss
Perhaps you will find this link useful.

Personally, though, I like to mix up my cardio between LSD (long slow distance) and HIIT (high intensity interval training). LSD by itself is ineffective for weight management, but it doesn't stress the joints and is preferable to being sedentary. Doing more than two or three HIIT sessions a week would cause me, at least, to overtrain.

Addendum:
So, what should you do then if your main objective is to shed those excess pounds of body fat?

Two things:
1. Perform some form of high intensity cardio 2-4 times per week
2. Stabilize blood sugar to minimize the storage of new fat

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Post by VoK » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:34 am

If your body can handle it, I would suggest doing HIIT. (http://www.musclemedia.com/training/hiit.asp).

It has done wonders for me in terms of losing fat while maintaining body weight.

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Hobart
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Post by Hobart » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:00 pm

Vok, Stephen, Ryan, Gsus, thank you all for your replies! :-)

I am investigating your suggestions -- in addition, I used Google Scholar to look up the article cited on exrx.net on HIIT --

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en ... 7770740473

Out of the list of 48 citations I found, there were two other (more recent) papers that I found were interesting reading, supporting HIIT for fat loss:

Jeffrey King's May 2001 masters' thesis, "A Comparison of the Effects of Interval Training vs. Continuous Training on Weight Loss and Body Composition in Obese Pre-Menopausal Women" http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/a ... ng0417.pdf

EFFECT OF MODERATE AND HIGH INTENSITY AEROBIC EXERCISE ON THE BODY COMPOSITION OF OVERWEIGHT MEN, Journal of Exercise Physiology Volume 8 Number 2 April 2005, http://asep.org/jeponline/issue/Doc/Apr2005/martim.pdf
"After the 14 wks of the aerobic exercise program the mean %BF of the HI significantly (p<0.05) decreased to 22.49 % (∆=4.91%). The decrease in mean %BF (∆=1.4 %) in the MI was not significant (p>0.05). It is concluded that 14 wks of HI aerobic exercise may be more effective in improving body composition than MI aerobic exercise"
...now I need to talk to a pro in the area to set up a program for me :-) (I have a swollen [not herniated] disc between my C5-C6 vertebrae that I need to take it easy on)

-jon

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