Jon (j_b) wrote,

Is powerwalking a better fatburner than running?

So I sprang $30 for a Polar B1 heart monitor (Amazon ASIN B000E35K1M ), after reading through a few chapters of advice on the subject in Yoga for Regular Guys ($12~13 used/new).

In the book they mention your "Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate". What I'm curious about is -- is there reputable evidence backing the assertion that exercising to a level not exceeding this rate (ballpark: 180 - age) is a better fat burner?

On the Stairmaster, staying at/below 150 is -cake-, the intensity level is 3 or 4 compared to the 6-7 I'm used to. On a 5k run, I found it was too annoying to repeatedly have to stop and walk, so I worked out a compromise speed-walk while pumping my arms to increase the exertion. ("Eye of the Tiger, Rock! You're a wreckin' machine!") It wasn't bad, but I have to wonder, is it *actually* burning more fat to work less?

The gist of the explanation put forth by the book is that if you work harder than this heart rate number, your body will go into "anaerobic" (?) mode and start burning sugar for more quick energy.

Closest Wiki articles I've found on the subject -- Heart rate, Aerobic threshold.

I guess I'll continue digging ... maybe the NSCA journals will have something.

According to the scale's current estimate, and some quick math, I've got 17.25lb of fat to loose to hit my target percentage.

In summary, ventilatory and lactate thresholds, although very similar, should not be viewed as occurring at precisely the same exercise workloads. The use of the term anaerobic threshold in the lay community and with exercise professionals has led to much confusion and oversimplification of the function of the body’s energy systems. So much error presently exists with the heart rate threshold technique that further research is needed to be able to confidently utilize this technique.

Chatted with tiger0range who confirmed that lower intensity workouts burning more fat is valid -- My understanding of his explanation is that the liver acts as an if-needed source of glycogen which kicks in and takes over from fat burning if you go faster than speed $FOO. Also, the Aerobic Threshold exists, but it's not directly related to this. (Like that article before said, the body's power systems are complex and aren't just based on a few easy factors). Ffff.
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