Heart rate is a measure of how hard your heart is working and thus helps people determine the intensity of a particular workout. A heart-rate zone that improves cardiovascular fitness is defined as between 55 and 80 percent of maximum heart rate, according to The American College of Exercise. Unless you are training for a figure or body building competition where working in the fat-burning zone exclusively helps you preserve every bit of lean body mass, it is best to focus on improving fitness and calorie burn with varying levels of intensity. If you've ever wanted a chiseled six-pack or a flat, defined set of abs, you HAVE to be focusing on the rectus abdominis.
To commemorate this glorious, Drake-infused occasion, we've whipped up the Ultimate Summer 2016 Playlist. In my experience, HIIT is the #1 tool when it comes to incinerating the HORRIBLY stubborn body fat that plasters the inner crevices of the abs, specifically the lower abs. In practice you burn more overall calories, and ultimately more fat, at a higher intensity. Sorry, you don’t get anywhere near as much EPOC from long distance running (but you do from weight-lifting). While many different types of interval training exist, at the core it simply implies varying the intensity of a workout at a calculated rate. Ratio — Ratio of time in the low-to-high intensity intervals (Walk 90 seconds, sprint 45 seconds = 2-to-1 ratio low-to-high.
For more information on HIIT see the infographic below from The Greatist, which does a nice job laying out the foundation of interval training and a few different variations, including: Tabata, The Little Method, and Turbulence Training.
It also impacts how insulin works and is released, in a way that isn’t optimal for growth + recovery. I am sorr, but I don’t know of a single person in the world, that can sprint all-out for 45 seconds. I started with HIIT a couple of months ago, now I am doing 2 minutes of warm up, and then 1 minute at 12,5 mph and 1 minute of rest at 3,7 mph, for 15 or 16 minutes….
It’s amazing for basketball because it mimics the way you run — spontaneous bursts and short-duration sprints, with recovery in between. Absolutely — you can do it on a track, the street, an elliptical, stationary bike, rowing machine, etc.
Hey Bryan, I have been trying to combine this HIT method with the 5×5 strength training regiment (not sure if you are aware of it).
So be efficient and do both simultaneously, burn it all up getting your heat rate above the Fat Burning Zone.

I know I am a little late to the party on this post, but I was thinking about it on my run this morning (always with the heart rate monitor), so I figured I'd throw my $.02 in even if no one sees it. If you're goal is to lose weight, then what you should be concentrating on is time in the zone. I do shorter runs when I go to the gym, but my goal isn't really cardio conditioning as much as just getting my heart rate up for the real workout with weights in the gym. When you work your body harder, your heart beats faster and your body turns to different fuel sources when working at various levels of intensity. The maximal heart rate is age dependent, for as we grow older, the heart beats a little more slowly.
A less-conditioned individual may see benefits to her heart health at the lower levels of this recommended zone while an athlete needs to work at a higher intensity to improve fitness. The benefit of working in the fat-burning zone is that you target stored fat and thus encourage weight loss. In this study, significant overlap between the fat burning and cardio zones existed, indicating that a person working within 60 and 80 percent of maximal heart rate is likely to be maximizing fat oxidation. If you choose to work in the lower range of the cardio zonethe fat-burning zonebe prepared to work out longer to burn enough calories to affect weight loss.
HIIT is an absolute beast of a workout, but it’s the fastest, most efficient way to perform cardio, with sessions typically lasting between 10-15 minutes max.
In theory you DO burn the highest percentage of calories from fat during low intensity, steady state cardio (e.g. Regardless of who you are, start with a conservative intensity and gradually progress to higher speeds. I loved how you used facts to back everything you said and the pictures still keep it interesting.
When your muscles are depleted, it’s important to shuttle nutrients in as quickly as possible — too much fiber can counteract that. I do mostly abs, chest and bicep workouts, being that those are the muscles I want to show nicely. Truth is though, to lose weight you need to burn up calories, and endurance training does that more efficiently and effectively than staying in a lower heart rate zone.
It makes sense that people seeking to lose weight would want to maximize fat loss, so oftentimes they strive for a heart-rate level that falls within the fat burning zone. The fat-burning zone occurs at the lower end of the cardio zonebetween 55 and 70 percent of maximum heart rate.

But, keep in mind, that if you work in a higher zone, you burn a greater amount of calories overallwhich is important to weight loss. Incorporating high cardio and lower cardio zone exercise into a workout routine will offer the most aerobic and weight loss benefit. I sprint at 12.5 MPH — choose a level that’s intense and makes you run HARD, but at the same time make sure it feels safe. When working at this intensity, a greater percentage of calories burned comes from stored fat. Although a lower percentage of these calories will come from fat sources, the total number of fat calories burned will likely be the same or greater. For my abs workout I do 3 sets of crunches, 2 sets of reverse sit-ups, 2 sets of leg raises and a couple of other lower ab workouts. Also what do you think about 30 seconds easy pace, 30 seconds medium, and then 30 seconds all out sprint (in a pool)? I’d follow any of our WOTMs — our Summertime Shred might be your best bet because it combines HIIT with weights and dedicated ab training. Take, for example, a person who burns 100 calories in a 15-minute walk at a heart rate of 55 percent of maximum.
It’s a holistic approach to slashing body fat, developing your abs, and slapping on muscle mass. I do feel that I gained a little muscle but I’d like my chest and abs to be clearly showing. I’m still not losing belly fat (after several months) but I think it has to do with my diet. However, a person who runs those same 15 minutes and burns 200 calories may burn only 50 percent of those calories from fat, but will burn a total of 100 fat calories in the same amount of time. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get my chest, biceps and especially my abs to show?

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