Fat Burning Zone: [What’s it? +Benefits]

Burning fat is a big priority for people suffering from obesity or are obese, but there’re a lot of misconceptions about how to burn the most fat during exercise.

Yes, a “fat burning zone” does exist but it’s misconstrued. The fat burning zone is a notion that when exercising at lower intensities for longer periods of time, you’ll burn more fat than glycogen at higher intensities.

To further explain, at the time of workouts your body uses energy from two places: glycogen and fat stores. Glycogen is stowed carbohydrates in your liver and muscles.

So yes, your body does use more fat as a fuel during low intensity exercise but you’re also burning calories at a slower rate.

If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re going to have to walk all day long to burn up enough calories to make a difference.

Here the bottom line is – exercising in your “fat burning zone” is not the answer to losing fat.

And the reason is – working out at different intensities has different consequences on your body.

Although the fat-burning zone is real, but it’s not quite helpful for losing significant amount of fat. And in this blog you’re about to find out why.

But first let’s talk about Fat-burning zones…


Fat Burning Zones: What is it?

The concept of Fat Burning Zone is that the body burns a greater amount of fat at lower-intensity

Ellipticals, Trademills are step machines are common gym machines that offer settings for different workout zones. The two most common ones are:  cardio and fat-burn – correspond with exercise intensity.

Have you ever confessed your age to an exercise machine?

Don’t lie – it’s used to predict your maximum heart rate (HR), also known as the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can apparently handle during exercise.

What it means to be in the…

Fat Burning Zone: Exercising at a pace that makes your heart beat at 60 to 75% of your max HR.

Cardio Zone: Exercising at a pace that makes your heart beat at 75 to 85% of your max HR.

Choose fat-burn and you’ll run at a relatively low intensity. And just opposite, pick cardio and you’ll rage at a faster pace.

Now let’s talk a look at the different training zones…


#1. Warm-Up Zone


Warm up fat burning zone



Make yourself comfortable into each workout by warming up first. At a2zfatburners, we often refer to the warm-up as a dress rehearsal for your workout. If you’re running, start by jogging or walking to warm up.

If you’re doing a HIIT workout with plyometrics, begin with some light jumping jacks, or other bodyweight movements.

What It Feels Like?

To start any workout programm, warm-up zone matters. This is where you prepare your cardio-respiratory systems along with your connective tissue and joints to exercise harder.

Always remember – whatever you do, don’t make the mistakes of skipping a warm-up before the main event.

What Are The Benefits?

Particularly as we age, the warm-up workouts become necessary part of preparing your body and heart for the exercise.

Take a look at following warm-up zone:
  • Mobilizes and prepares your muscles
  • Activates your joints
  • Promotes circulation and better blood flow
  • Prevents injury during your workout
  • Prepares you mentally for your workout program


fat burning exercises



#2. Fat-Burning Zone


fat burning workout machine


Just beyond your warm-up is what is often referred to your fat-burning zone or Zone 2. This is basically the lowest heart rate of all the exercise zones, and yes, it’s great for fat burning fat, but as we mentioned above, not the most effective wat to lose weight.

What it feels Like?

In the fat-burning zones, you’re working “comfortably.” In this weight loss program, you might sweat a little and breathe harder than usual, but you should feel as if you can endure this activity for a long time.

Think walking some slow, steady-state work on a cardio machine. You’ll be able to breathe some through your mouth and some through your nose.

When you’re in the Fat Burning Zone you still have the potential to carry on a conversation while at work.

What Are the Benefits?

You can stay here for a while because you feel pretty good in this zone. This means that you can go for a long time and burn extra calories.

Nevertheless, this is not your best zone for burning fat to make a difference in your physical fitness and you don’t get the benefit of any afterburn! Don’t misunderstood, for beginners; this is a great place to start.

But the misconception is that the fat-burning zone is the best place to lose fat is just that – a myth.


#3. Aerobic Zone


Aerobic Workout


The Aerobic zone is the intensity at which your body is using its aerobic metabolism system to generate energy from glycogen and fat. It spans the divide between vigorous-intensity exercise and moderate- intensity.

In general, you must use your muscle groups continuously, especially your legs in order to bring your heart rate up into this zone.

Aerobic activities include cycling, brisk walking, running, rowing and swimming.

Cardio workout machines such as stair steppers, treadmills, ski machines, elliptical trainers and rowers can all provide an aerobic workout.

What It Feels Like?

Aerobic Zone is your next level of exercise which sometimes called Zone 3.

This zone will have you working hard enough to feel the need to breathe mostly through your mouth; most commonly referred as “comfortably hard”.

You’ll be able to talk during this zone, but only in short phrases or words. If you want to carry on a full-blown conversation then it won’t happen.

What are the Benefits?

The calories burned in the Aerobic Zone are more of an even split between your sugar and fat stores that is readily available. While, you’ll burn some of each.

Though you’re not burning as many fat calories as a percentage, you’ll be burning more calories in general.

In addition, working in the aerobic zone really gets your heart pumping, so it’s a great fat burning zone for keeping your heart healthy.


#4. Anaerobic Zone


Anaerobic Workout


What It Feels Like?

Anaerobic Zone is often referred to as Zone 4 and/or 5. When you are working in Anaerobic Zone you are laboring your health, puffed, unable to talk and reaching a maximum heart rate.

It feels like an all-out sprint. It’s a bit difficult to spend much time here – generally less than a minute. You typically spend closer to 20-30 seconds at a time here.

What are The Benefits?

The noticeable downside to the anaerobic zone is the limited time you can spend in it. 30-seconds isn’t much of a workout.

Nevertheless, that’s not the main goal of this zone. You use this for huge benefits and interval trainings. A few short anaerobic intervals (like those you would find in HIIT training) can take your fitness goal to another level than anything else you do.

Anaerobic intervals push your aerobic zones and fat to be bigger and zap tones of calories in record time.

This anaerobic zone acquires the benefits of burning calories in your body long after the workout is finished.

That’s where the afterburn affect kicks in – also referred as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (E.P.O.C). It means that after a high intense workout with higher heart rates, your body will continue to burn more calories than it would after a steady state exercise such as jogging or walking.



What Is The Best Fat Burning Zones To Burn Fat?

So, what’s the best fat burning zone to work in?

Have you ever had one of those tricky MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) on a test where the answer is “all of the above”?

You guessed it – all of them!

Just like working all of your different muscles makes for a well-rounded and more balanced body, working in different training zones gives you a more balanced level of fitness overall: one that helps you burn calories, fat and at the same time keeps your heart healthy.

Make a plan for 2 days a week of anaerobic training, 1 or 2 Aerobic Zone days and plenty of fat burning in between. The Fat Burning Zone is what we generally consider an “active rest” between harder workouts.

So walk, do some yoga exercises and just be in your happy place while you move! The Aerobic Zone burns lots of calories and improves your body stamina.

When you practice endurance, you gain more endurance and as a consequence future workouts become less taxing.

And of course the Anaerobic Zone is setting you up to burn more and more fat. Anaerobic Fat Burning Zone is your metabolism’s little helper.


Recommended Post:

10 Best Fat Burning Exercises to Get Your Body in Shape


Jenny Jasmine
Jenny Jasmine
Independent Nutrition Consultant & Regulatory Specialist in Food & Health Supplement Industries with over 6 years of experience. Highly proficient in all aspects of EU food law ensuring products and marketing copy is legally compliant. Get Me on Social Channels:About Me | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn

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