The busier I get, the more I think about ways to improve my training economy and efficiency. If we think about the actual definition of efficiency, that is, receiving the most output from the most minimal input, we can arrive to one conclusion. We must find ways to maximize our training and utilize methods that take up less time and produce more results! This is especially true when trying to use cardio as a means of fat burning. So, today I will show all of you how to capitalize on simple heart rate calculations and higher intensity interval training (with both standard cardio and actual weight lifting). Yes, I know thinking about using weight training as a primary means of fat burning is a crazy idea, but just hear me out on this one. Not only will this save you time and improve your training efficiency, but it will also help you build muscle and lose fat simultaneously (which is what we all want)! So, Here is a guide on efficient fat burning and muscle saving cardio!
Calculating Your Ideal Fat Burning Range
Here is step one, and something that is easy for anyone to calculate and apply. Basically, we all have a certain heart rate range that is ideal for fat burning. Meaning, if we keep the number of beats per minute of our heart at a certain threshold throughout our workouts we will create a fat-burning machine for not only the duration of our training, but for hours after (cardio with greater intensity and focus on elevating heart rates is proven to carry a much longer fat burning effect after completion than more slow and steady state cardio). It is quite easy to calculate your fat burning heart rate range, and you can easily track it using an apple watch or any other style of heart rate monitoring.
Here are the steps for calculation:
Calculate Max Heart Rate= 220-Age
Find the high and low ranges of your heart rate:
Standard Fat Burning Cardio
Before I get into using the above heart rates with strength training, I will briefly detail some standards for “HIIT” cardio, that is, high intensity interval training.
Some conventional HIIT Protocol:
Using Weight Training To Burn Fat
Looking to burn fat and maintain muscle, and don’t have time to add an extra 15 minutes to your training session? The solution is simple. Use your accessory exercises in an interval fashion. For example, let’s say for sake of argument you are working out your upper body. You plan on bench pressing as your primary movement and then following that up with a workout that goes as follows:
Simply perform rounds of these exercises in succession in a circuit manner. Keep your heart rate in the range you calculated and only take a rest once it goes above your upper threshold. The beauty of this is that you can keep your hypertrophy (muscle building) sets and repetitions and still burn fat. Not only that, but you are consolidating your time and improving your training economy!
Gerry DeFilippo: ISSA CPT- CPPS, AAPS. Founder/Owner: Challenger Strength.