If you’ve ever been to a gym, perhaps on an elliptical, a treadmill or stationary bike, perhaps you’ve seen a table like this. Your target heart rate zone points to a range of health and fitness benefits based on how much energy you exert during your workout.
Cardio: When your exercise level reaches approximately 80-85% of your maximum heart rate, you’re in cardio mode, which means you’re working at a level sufficient to strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system. If weight loss is your goal, you will absolutely burn more calories (and more fat) in cardio mode than fat burning mode. Knowing the best heart rate to burn fat is crucial when you do cardio to get rid of some extra weight. I think it is normal to think that, if some cardio exercise burns some fat, much more cardio will burn much more fat.
More cardio clearly burns more fat than less cardio but only when you exercises at the same heart rate. Pushing your body to exercise at a very high heart rate makes you burn more calories, this is true, but not so many from fat. For example, exercising at 90% of your maximum heart rate will burn only around 15% of calories from fat. I think I did lots of cardio at that intensity thinking that it was the perfect heart rate to burn fat, but I was wrong.
While I was panting on that machine I killed some time by trying to read the legend and understand those numbers.
Translated, it means that the best heart rate to burn fat is 65% of your maximum heart rate. Training at higher heart rates burns more calories, there's no doubt about it, but a smaller percentage comes from fat burn. I hope that now you have a better understanding of all those cardio programs that you can choose on the machines. It's the best heart rate to burn fat because it allows you to work out for long periods of time.
This is the heart rate that you should train at to improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system.
Although during exercise this is a rate that burns more calories than the previous ones, only 15% are from fat. When you exercise at your maximum heart rate you burn the maximum amount of calories, but even a smaller part are from fat. There is a very simple formula to calculate what your maximum heart rate should be, actually there is one for men and one for women.
That means that if you are 35 years old, your maximum heart rate is 185 (man) or 191 (woman). If you want to monitor your best heart rate to burn fat while you exercise, well, you need a heart rate monitor. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. I want to explain a few secrets of endurance training by answering some fair and common questions about it.

As the temperatures start to get pleasant, it gets harder and harder to drag yourself to the gym to get the exercise you need. Before we analyze the HIIT training benefits, I'd like to spend a minute explaining what HIIT is.
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Metabolism tests while exercising demonstrate how your body burns fat and carbohydrates during exercise.
While this profile is quite typical for most people the precise points at which these events occur during exercise varies greatly from person to person. Time to talk about all those heart rate charts.  They are so neat and tidy, they make everything so simple and clear. The biggest problem of all with these pretty heart rate charts is that there is a HUGE variation in heartrates between similar healthy individuals which lowers the values of the charts right off the bat. So those pretty charts are all based upon a formula that only takes age into account and nothing else and then arbitrarily divide it up into pretty zones.
When training its often not possible to stop and measure your heart rate with a watch and with your finger on your pulse, swimming is a great example of where you cant do this.
For example, one way to do interval training is to sprint for 2 minutes of 100%, then to walk until you get down to VT1 and then sprint 2 minutes again. Do the Conconi test or beep test to measure your anaerobic & aerobic threshold, or max HR. I wont google the Karvonen formula so I can pretend I knew what you were talking about ?? Seriously, I dont know. So do you believe it is more important to maintain a target heart rate or to have a more intuitive approach of how hard one is breathing? The VT1, VT2 method is *not* intuition – these are very important physiological markers. Or, you could do the smart thing, and do fasted cardio in the morning to deplete glycogen stores, then load up on carbs right afterwards so as to expand your glycogen storage capacity and be able to do longer bouts of higher-intensity exercises in the afternoon. There’s no reason why you should have to choose between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. With that in mind, let’s discuss two of the settings you’re likely to see on your exercise equipment: fat burn and cardio. Depending on how you intensely you exercise, you will preferentially attack different energy stores. Lighter workouts afford the body a greater level of oxygen, which is needed to burn fat most efficiently.
This level of exercise also best improves your blood pressure and lowers your cholesterol levels.
When you exercise in cardio mode, you exhaust your oxygen stores to the point where you aren’t as efficient in burning fat, although you are still doing so. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't train at that intensity because it's still a great workout for your heart which is the most important "muscle" of your body. They are specifically designed for different purposes so make sure you don't choose randomly but based on what your goal is between fat burn, endurance, performance training etc.

I became a fitness passionate during the last 10 years, where I learned a lot by studying and also through personal experience. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalize your web experience.
The image on the right shows total calories (fat and carbohydrates) burned increasing dramatically as exercise intensity increases. However, the number of calories of carbohydrate increases drastically at higher exercise intensities.
During easier exercise most calories of fuel are provided by fat, however as intensity increases carbohydrate takes over.
For example one person’s peak fat burning zone may be at a heart rate intensity of 100 – 120 beats per minute, whereas another person’s peak fat burning zone may be at 130 – 140 beats per minute. They obfuscate this by talking about the ratio of calories taken from fat versus other sources, but that is totally misleading. For a typical couch potato who is trying to lose weight only what would be better, 5-10 minutes of intence cardio or 1 hour of moderate cardio?
A very intense weightlifting session for 30 minutes would leave your body burning through calories for hours afterward, while a mild jog on a treadmill for 45 minutes will have relatively no calorie burn within 5 to 10 minutes of finishing. The important point is that different levels of activity and exercise progressively take you from burning calories to burning fat to improving your heart’s conditioning. This level of exercise corresponds to reaching approximately 65% of your average maximum heart rate. In the grand scheme of things, cardiovascular fitness is much more important than fat burning.
In cardio mode, you switch to preferentially burning carbohydrates, which doesn’t require the same oxygen levels as fat to be utilized for energy.
For the most comprehensive workout, incrementally increase your workouts until you can perform in the cardio mode, because what you care about is the total number of calories, not the percentage of fat burned.
If you have any fears about this, go to your doctor and get a physical, its a really good idea before starting any exercise program anyway!
It's important to note that at the higher levels of exercise, you don't lose any of the benefits obtained at the lower levels of exercise. And yes, you'll still look better burning more calories than focuses on burning a higher percentage of fat relative to carbs. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will usually see better results from shorter, more intense workouts A.
Quite a terrible advice when you’re an ultra-runner, trying to improve yourself on pace.
By that definition I would’ve constantly tried to go way lower (thus run way slower) in order to get my heart rate down.

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