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Best dieting heart rate ("fat burning", "cardio" or "anarobic"??)

I am trying to get through my last 10 lbs and for some reason am now stumped by which heartrate range I should shoot for when doing cardio workouts (I am very fit, work out 5-6 days/week with weights and cardio - eating/drinking too much is what got me in trouble vs. skipping the exercise!). For those that know, would I lose weight (okay, my fat, truly) faster getting my heart rate as high as possible in these workouts (e.g., over the "cardiovascular fitness" range shown on cardio machines, which I believe is then called "anarobic"... which I distantly recall may increase muscle growth??) or at the MUCH lower "fat burning" range. (I don't know if I'll even break a sweat at that range though!)

I just know I can't push my workouts any farther than they are today (cardio each day, some days on top of strenght training) at times up to 60 minutes with hard interval work and resistance. a) I'll collapse!, b) my joints will fall off, and c) I just can't be spending more time at the gym than I am each week. It's getting ridiculous. That's when I realized maybe I'm doing something wrong on the heart rate side of things. That said, I'm scared to decrease workouts as I'm afraid my weight loss will take even longer than it is already. Please help!

Wed. Jan 23, 4:49pm

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OP here again. I forgot to mention that I think I got so confused on this - and perhaps I'm stating the obvious - is because I burn more calories during these above-cardio fitness heart rate ranges, and my diet has been based on a (less) calories in - (more) calories out methodology (like weight watchers). Thanks for any words of wisdom!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 4:55 PM

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I think I found the answer to my own question

but perhaps this will be helpful to someone else. The article in this link explains it best, "The body does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat in the 'fat burning zone' or at lower intensities. But, at higher intensities, you burn a greater number of overall calories which is what you should be concerned about when trying to lose weight. "
The article shows an example of a woman exercising for the same amount of time but either at a moderate intesity or high intensity. 146 cals were burned in the former, 206 in the latter, and while a higher % of cals in the former were "fat" calories, the total # of fat calories burned was higher in the latter (73 in the former, 82 in the latter), so I guess the harder workouts are better for losing weight.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 5:05 PM

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Some other things to keep in mind:

Muscle burns more calories all the time, so you might replace one of these intense cardio sessions with an additional intense HEAVY lifting session (no 3-pound weights, I'm talking about 12-20 pounds on all exercises).

Cardio intervals are supposed to keep your metabolism higher for an hour or two after you work out.

You might actually need a day OFF to recover.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 5:17 PM

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I completely agree with 5:17's post. Do interval training for cardio and lift heavy weights.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 5:22 PM

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OP here

Thanks all. FYI, my weight lifting regime is HIT (high intensity training) - BIG weights (lowest is 2x15 for arnold shoulder exercises) as you do one set until failure at 12-15 reps. Kicks butr, gets the metabolism going, et al. Maybe I do need more recovery time (and I don't sleep well, so...)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 10:55 PM

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