So you’ve reduced your heart to a science: you know when, where, how long, and how hard to work to get that feeling of pure adrenaline – when you know you’re taking your body to the next level of muscle mass . But are you really in the zone?
Although many experts disapprove of the concept of a “fat burning zone”, some studies show that in order to maximize fat loss you must reach your “fat burning zone” first. This zone is defined as 35 to 69 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR).
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How to calculate your maximum heart rate
Once you wake up, find your Resting Heart Rate (RHR): Feel your pulse by pressing your left wrist with your right index and middle fingers. Take 15 seconds to count the beats of your pulse. Multiply that number by four. This is your resting heart rate. Write it down.
Using your RHR, follow this simple formula to find your MHR and Fat Burning Zone: 220 – Age = MHR – RHR x 0.65 + RHR = 65 percent of MHR.
Here is the breakdown:
- Subtract your age from 220 to get your MHR
- Subtract your RHR from your MHR and multiply that number by 0.65
- Add your RHR to this total
- The number you will now be given is 65 percent of your maximum heart rate
Don’t let that intimidate you – just enter the numbers that apply to you and do the math. In the equation, MHR is your maximum heart rate. For the best fat loss results, you should hit 65 percent of this maximum (the equation above will help you determine).
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It is not recommended to exercise over your MHR as it can lead to symptoms of burnout over a period of time. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling weak, stop or try the good old-fashioned “conversation test”. If you can’t even say a sentence without feeling upset, take it down a bit. Using your MHR as a guide will take you to the fat burning zone you are looking for.