31 May 2007


I was reading the newspaper yesterday and I came across this article on "How to burn body fat." When I read it, it made me wonder, "Am I doing it right?" "Is this the reason why there's no visible change yet?"...until I did the computation...

How to burn body fat
Jim Saret's Sports Exercise
Manila Standard Today
30 May 2007

As a conditioning and fitness coach, I’m usually at the gym training athletes every day. While at the gym, I would often see a group of familiar faces hunched on the stair climber, gliding on the elliptical rider, or running as fast as they can on the treadmill. I’ll see the same familiar faces again on the same cardio machines the next day, and the next, and the next.

One of the major reasons a lot of us have a hard time burning body fat is because we don’t really understand how fat works (you’re probably thinking that as long as we exercise, we will be burning fat right?) Believe it or not, burning calories is easy, but to burn calories from fat will require patience, and a little help with math. Follow the two simple guidelines below, and you’ll have better success in your quest to fight fat.

First. Take your time. Literally. Our bodies have three major sources of energy: carbohydrates, fat and protein. During the first 20 minutes of movement or exercise, the body uses carbohydrates as the primary source of energy. Only after 20 minutes will the body switch to fat and use it as the major energy source.

No matter how hard or how slow you run, pedal, or pound the stair master, if you do it for less than 20 minutes, you will only have burned carbohydrates and not fat. Doing it for 30 minutes would have made you burn 10 minutes of fat and 20 minutes of carbohydrates. Try to stay longer if you can to maximize the fat burning stage (you shouldn’t count the first 20 minutes of your cardio as fat burning).

Second. You have to exercise in your “Fat Burning Zone.” This is the number one reason why people never seem to lose weight even if they do cardio regularly. You can run or bike all you want but if you’re heart rate isn’t even reaching your minimum Fat Burning Zone, then all the energy and effort you’re putting in will not account for much.

The Fat Burning Zone is 60 to 75 percent of your Target Heart Rate. Reaching this zone is your guarantee that you are working out at the right intensity to burn fat. Anything below it means that you didn’t even get a good workout and that you just wasted your time.

To find your Target Heart Rate:
Target Heart Rate = 220 – your age
To find your Fat Burning Zone:
Target Heart Rate x .60 = Lower fat burning range

Target Heart Rate x .75 = Upper fat burning range
Example: Age: 20 years old
Target Heart Rate: 220 – 20 = 200 bpm
Fat Burning Zone:
Low Range: 200 bps x .60 = 120 beats per minute
High Range: 200 bps x .80 = 160 beats per minute

Make sure that he is burning fat, a 20-year old person will have to exercise for 30 minutes or longer, with his or her heart rate between 120-160 beats per minute. Anything below his Fat Burning Zone won’t give him the results that he wants. Good Luck.

(Jim Saret is one of the top conditioning coaches and fitness experts in the country. He has a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine from Brigham Young University in the US. He is a member of the Men’s Health Magazine Advisory Board, and hosts a fitness radio show on DZ Sports Radio every Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m. Email at olympictrainer@gmail.com)


Anonymous said...

Hey, this is good! Pero I beg to disagree with you - pumapayat ka naman e. Nax. Supportive. - XeB

RheaV said...

Hahahaha. I knew you'd comment. Wala lang akong maisip na intro. hehehe. Thanks, friend.