The Corrections

Mistake #5

Dec 4, 2008
Outside
Outside Magazine
Fitness Mistakes

Going Long and Slow to Burn Calories
Most athletes looking to lose weight stick to long, slow cardio workouts, since the maximum fat-burning rate occurs at moderate exercise intensity (a.k.a. the fat zone). But if you're looking to trim a belt size, you need to do high-intensity intervals—they simply burn far more calories overall. Plus high-intensity exercise ramps up your resting metabolism by stimulating what's called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). "Your body will continue to burn calories as it replaces the oxygen you expended during your workout," says Nick Winkelman, a performance specialist with Arizona-based Athletes' Perfor­mance. Here's a simple way of looking at it: To lose weight, you need to burn more energy than you take in. High-intensity training is the most effective way to do this—especially if you get only ten hours per week to work out.

The Fix: Replace one or two weekly endurance workouts with high-intensity intervals. Example: Warm up at 65 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for five minutes and then do a one-to-two-minute interval at 90 to 95 percent of your MHR. Return to your warm-up pace until your heart rate drops back down to 65 percent of MHR. Repeat until you can no longer get down to 65 percent of MHR within a couple of minutes—that is, until you're sweating bullets. Then cool down.

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