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    Old 02-01-2006, 04:27 AM   #1
    snuggle377
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    Cardio for fat loss

    I'm a female that's 5'1" and weighs about 122 pounds. I've got some stubborn fat in the hip/thigh area that I'm having difficulty getting rid of. I began strength training a while back and put on some muscle, but along with it, came some fat!

    My diet is fairly clean, steel-cut oats w/a bit of almonds on most mornings for breakfast, an apple or veggies w/ low fat cheese or peanut butter (natural) and jelly on whole wheat for snacks, salads w/grilled chicken for lunch and dinner is either sashimi, grilled salmon, chicken breast or 99% fat free ground turkey with a vegetable and 1/2 cup of brown rice or sweet potato. I do sneak in a small piece (1x1 inch square) of quality dark chocolate from time to time. Gotta get my "fix" sometimes!

    I exercise 5-6 times a week and do both cardio and strength training. When I do cardio, it's usually pretty intense for a good 45 minutes. My heart rate is within the 160-170 range and if I'm doing HIIT, it can easily jump to the 180s, but that's only for short bursts.

    Is the constant high intensity of the cardio workouts preventing me from losing fat? I heard a trainer at my gym telling a client that she dropped 4% body fat simply by staying within her fat burning heart rate zone. She went on to say that she had actually been training too hard. I don't get it! How can easing up on your cardio produce more fat loss than doing higher intensity sessions?

    Sorry this is SO long. Any input is greatly appreciated!

     
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    Old 02-01-2006, 09:50 AM   #2
    Naxis
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    The theory behind that is that when you work at a lower intensity, the body uses a higher percentage of fat for fuel even though you burn fewer overall calories. I don't know if I really buy that it's better to work less hard (my fat burning zone is like a fast walk) and there's a lot of general controversy on the issue and conflicting opinions, so it's kind of hard to say either way. Maybe one or two days a week, try it and see if it makes a difference. Maybe just the variation will make a difference.
    Also as far as diet does, do you know how many calories roughly are in a days worth of food? Do you vary your calorie intake throughout the week? Do you have a cheat day?
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    Old 02-01-2006, 10:28 AM   #3
    snuggle377
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Naxis, thanks for the reply. My fat burning zone is also at a fast walking pace so I'm really having a hard time believing that I'll burn more fat doing it that way than running at 7.0 mph for the same amount of time.

    I got on the treadmill this morning and did a fast paced walk at various inclines for about an hour. My heart rate monitor calculated that 55% of the calories I burned, came from fat. When I run, the percentage is much lower...like 35%. I'm going to do the fat burning zone workout for a while to see if that makes a difference.

    Since I do eat 6 small meals a day, I often feel like I'm overeating! I had been eating about 1200 and then recently bumped it up to about 1300. My husband says that I don't eat enough for the kinds of workouts that I do. I have a hard time trusting that I can eat more and STILL lose! At one point I tried to zig-zag my calories, but it just became a pain in the butt to figure stuff out. I haven't been very good with establishing my macronutrient ratio either, so maybe I'll see some results once I start doing that. As far as cheat days go, yes, I do have ONE cheat meal a week.

    I think my last resort for this fat, is lipo!

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 10:29 AM   #4
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Your diet sounds pretty good, I would certainly try to add some more protein though. People mistaking confuse the length of a workout with intensity. They are two different things. I will outline a cardio program for you that is very simple and very intense. It has worked wonderfully for me and I know many other people that it has work very well for too. Think of your cardio sessions as a means of boosting your metabolism not as a means for directly burning calories durning your session. Pick your favorite cardio machine and do a 16 minute workout at a medium pace. Record your numbers such as distance traveled or calories burned whatever fixed numbers you can get from the machine. The next time you do cardio beat your numbers by a little bit from the time before. This will seem easy at first since your first session you shouldn't have gone all out, but as the weeks go on it will get exceeding more difficult. Eventually your sessions will get very very intense! Do cardio 4 or 5 times a week and try to space it out at least 8 hours from your weight training to help preserve your muscle. Keep your time at 16 minutes as this is the optimal amount of time to efficently spike your metabolism without taping to deep into your muscle supplies to get energy, which is what happens when you do prolonged cardio sessions. No matter what your heart rate is at your body is going to be getting the majority of its energy from your hard earned muscle. After a few weeks you will begin to notice how much more effectively your metabolism is running and that along with a good diet plan is the key to fat loss.

    Last edited by MaxOT26; 02-01-2006 at 10:32 AM.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    For me if I need to jumpstart fat loss I will do long session of cardio 45 to 60 min on treadmill at 4.5mph for about a week or two this seems to work really well for me, then after I have lost a bit I will begin running again my scale will go back up a pound or two because of muscle but I have compensated for that by my fatloss walks. If you are one of the types of people that rely on the scale for the magic number like I tend to be, you might want to give this a try it helps me. I do vary them as well couple of days I walk a couple I run. Goodluck.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Sixteen minutes of cardio?!? I'm used to doing about 45 minutes-1 hour of either the treadmill or elliptical.

    When I do HIIT, it's VERY intensive. I do intervals of inclined running starting at 7% incline while running at 7.0 mph and finish at 9% incline while running at 9.0 mph. However, I usually do a 2 mile warm-up (about 20 minutes) prior to the 15 minutes of intervals.

    I think that if I do more of the HIIT, then it would be similar to your 16 minutes of cardio. Different things work for different people, but I'll give your 16 minute session a try. Thanks!

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 12:45 PM   #7
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Your right, different things do work for different people, however physiologically the process for burning fat is all the same for everyone. Spending 45 min to an hour on the treadmill will reap some benefits of course, but do not be fooled, prolonged cardio training is conducive with muscle breakdown. Your bodies main source of enery during exercise is not fat, it is glycogen. This is all over the scientific literature if you don't believe me. Your body keeps a reserve supply in the liver which is very quickly depleted once you under go physical exercise. Once that supply is empty the most readily available supply is muscle. That is a physiological fact not an opinion. Knowing this then, the most effective way to do cardio without stipping away muscle is short peroids of intense training spaced out ideally 24 hrs, but more practically 8-12 hrs between strengh training. The high intensity and ever increase intensity of your workouts will cause a snowball effect on your metabolism. Your cardio sessions will have specific goals and direct objectives everytime, and the 16 minutes will make it much easier mentally to give 100% of your effort thus makeing your time spend on exercise much more effcient.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 01:24 PM   #8
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    I gotta ask: have you actually seen results from this?
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    Old 02-01-2006, 01:49 PM   #9
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    I know it sounds strange huh Naxis. Goes agains conventional exercise theories. I have been doing this cardio routine 3 times a week for just under a year. If I could show you my six-pack I gladly would not to mention the energy levels I have reached by having my metabolism working so effectively. This is the type of cardio training two of the most elite NATURAL bodybuilders in the world use Skip LaCour and Jeff Willet. It is actually starting to leak into the IFBB circuit as well. Upon reading about their program, I was skeptical to say the least. So, I really looked into the science of it and it just really makes sense. After doing it for so long, I know it works, and if you saw Jeff Willet and Skip LaCour who have more national championships and team universe wins then I have fingers it would grab your interest as well.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 02:34 PM   #10
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Where do you get 16 minutes and not 15 or 17? Is there evidence suggesting that it peaks at 16?

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 03:05 PM   #11
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaxOT26
    Eventually your sessions will get very very intense! Do cardio 4 or 5 times a week and try to space it out at least 8 hours from your weight training to help preserve your muscle. Keep your time at 16 minutes as this is the optimal amount of time to efficently spike your metabolism without taping to deep into your muscle supplies to get energy, which is what happens when you do prolonged cardio sessions. No matter what your heart rate is at your body is going to be getting the majority of its energy from your hard earned muscle. After a few weeks you will begin to notice how much more effectively your metabolism is running and that along with a good diet plan is the key to fat loss.
    Does this mean it is bad to do cardio right after a weight training session?

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 04:15 PM   #12
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    also: to Snuggle377:

    You arent eating enough. Either bump calories a bit, ideally with a little more protein, or add another 'cheat' meal in the week. Keeping calories so low for so long will prevent further fat loss too. You can also add some more healthy fats in there too, which has always worked well for me.
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    Last edited by Naxis; 02-01-2006 at 04:15 PM.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 04:42 PM   #13
    snuggle377
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    MaxOT26: I see your point about the shorter, more intense sessions. I'm definitely going to give it a try...my husband has seen results by doing what you suggested. I just figured he was lucky and now I'm jealous of his six-pack!

    Naxis: I think you're right about me not eating enough. For the past year, I've been recovering from an eating disorder, so my perception about how much is sufficient is still pretty skewed. Once I started eating again, man, the weight just piled on and now I'm trying to work it off in a healthy manner.

    Thanks to everyone for their posts. Great information and I really appreciate it! Take care!

     
    Old 02-02-2006, 01:34 AM   #14
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snuggle377
    I heard a trainer at my gym telling a client that she dropped 4% body fat simply by staying within her fat burning heart rate zone. She went on to say that she had actually been training too hard.
    Trainers at gyms seem to have a habit of giving bad advice, stick with the high intensity.

     
    Old 02-02-2006, 04:51 AM   #15
    snuggle377
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    Re: Cardio for fat loss

    F.R.O.S.T.-I've belonged to my gym for a few years now and I hear conversations between clients and trainers while I'm working out. I swear, these people really push for "training smarter" by doing long cardio sessions in your fat-burning heart rate zone. Maybe that would work for someone that's obese and has never worked out, but I think I'm fairly "fit" and just have some pesky fat that won't go away. I have muscle that I don't want to lose!

    I do have one question though. Should I be concerned that when I do the short, high intensity workouts, I'm not burning nearly as many calories as I would had I done 45min-1 hour at a "moderate" intensity? I'm thinking that since I wouldn't be burning as much, then I'd have to adjust my daily caloric intake to something lower...

    Sorry for all of the questions guys. I trust your opinions more than the trainers at my gym. Thanks!

     
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