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Obese and can't reach cardio level on fitbit

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  • rjmwx81rjmwx81 Member Posts: 255 Member Member Posts: 255 Member
    I'm not sure how much scientific basis there is for those "zones" anyway. Working in the "fat burn" zone still has cardiovascular benefits (particularly if obese), and working in the cardio zone still burns calories (and thus fat). Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good by trying to stay in a certain zone. Work hard, sweat, don't work yourself up to the point of a heart attack, and you'll see results.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,784 Member Member Posts: 17,784 Member
    There is scientific bases for the zones and zone training when you have actual sport related goals that can benefit from specific adaptations that are made, improving fat burning to improve endurance, improve lactate uptake to improve sprinting, zone to avoid because nothing but stress, how long of effort in that zone, ect.
    None of which is likely useful to average cardio workout and goals of getting fit and burning some calories.

    About the only non-sport I can think of is the fact the Fat Burning zone used to be called the more properly termed Active Recovery zone.

    Do a hard workout one day that leaves muscles sore or tired needing to recover, and you could still do cardio in that zone to usually aid healing. And therefore be prepared for the day after for another hard workout.
    For those that don't want to truly take a day off, an interval type week you might say - hard, easy, hard .....
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,814 Member Member Posts: 9,814 Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    I rarely workout hard enough to stay in the cardio range for long.

    I lost over 80 pounds that way. It's more about the food. Exercise is good for you and cardio range is good for your heart etc., but it's something that takes consistent conditioning. If it's important to you, you'll get there. One day at a time.


    You're lapping the people sitting on the couch. Keep it going. :)

    The fat burning "zone" is a myth anyways. When you contract a muscle, you burn energy. Not likely going to get much more if your heart rate is elevated.

    The higher your heart rate is, the less fat you're burning. The whole reason your heart rate goes up when you exercise is because you need to supply more oxygen to the working muscles to keep up with the energy demand of the exercise. At a certain point you just can't get enough energy quickly enough to keep up by using oxygen to unlock the energy stored in fat. So you add another source into the mix, one that doesn't rely on oxygen. Anaerobic meaning "not aerobic." As the intensity goes up, more of the energy is coming from carbohydrate and less from fat.

    That's relevant in the sense that you can run a 5K on glycogen, but not a marathon. When you're doing the kind of endurance activity where carbohydrate is limited compared to the length of your event, you need to pace yourself. You mostly stay in the fat burning zone so that you have glycogen available to go very high intensity at the points where it matters most, like the sprint at the end of a race.

    For weight loss, none of this is relevant. Your body is going to replace both with food you eat. Calories are what matters for weight.

    But it's good to understand what's going on, and not declare real things myths just because they don't apply to a particular situation they weren't created for. I mean you wouldn't say bikes are myths because they can't fly like in ET.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,784 Member Member Posts: 17,784 Member
    I mean you wouldn't say bikes are myths because they can't fly like in ET.

    Wait - what??!!

    I thought I just hadn't hit that point in my training yet - childlike enjoyment of the riding and trust in it happening.
  • creesamacreesama Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Ha, so remember how I couldn't reach cardio a few days ago? Well the next day I hit cardio and a tiny peak, yesterday was mostly cardio and peak, and tonight was 86% peak😬 I felt fine during and right now after. Is this more of fitbit figuring me out?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,784 Member Member Posts: 17,784 Member
    The restingHR side of the equation - it still has no idea of the HRmax side of it.

    Now it may swing out of reality going the other direction.
  • nc_bearkittennc_bearkitten Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Perceived Exertion is a valid way to judge your workout. If you were borderline uncomfortable, short of breath, and able to speak short sentences that is a 7-8 on a ten point scale. You are the best judge of what is challenging for you.
  • cparsons_60cparsons_60 Member Posts: 85 Member Member Posts: 85 Member
    Thank you Heybales and NorthCascades for your informative replies. Threads like this are why I read the comments on MFP. "You can run a 5K on glycogen but not a marathon" -- new information to me, very interesting and helpful.

    I learned at some point that all exercise starts out as anaerobic, but if you do it long enough your body switches over to burning stored fat instead of glycogen. Even a leisurely walk, if it lasts long enough, is eventually an aerobic exercise. Is this accurate?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,784 Member Member Posts: 17,784 Member
    Thank you Heybales and NorthCascades for your informative replies. Threads like this are why I read the comments on MFP. "You can run a 5K on glycogen but not a marathon" -- new information to me, very interesting and helpful.

    I learned at some point that all exercise starts out as anaerobic, but if you do it long enough your body switches over to burning stored fat instead of glycogen. Even a leisurely walk, if it lasts long enough, is eventually an aerobic exercise. Is this accurate?

    No.

    You already burn fat for vast majority of day. You start walking it still does, nothing changes, it just burns more of it.
    At some point though the level of exertion requires a tad faster energy source than fat so a mix of glycogen starts being used - still aerobic. Your cardio fitness level determines these changes as to sooner or later.
    Start jogging - more energy, more glycogen and higher%, and more fat.
    Start running - more energy, more of both sources but higher % glycogen again.
    Start sprinting - mostly glycogen and high energy and maybe still aerobic to some degree.
    Faster sprinting - glycogen and anaerobic and you are about to end your run.

    Here's pic of my test showing these facts. From standing.
    Blue is HR.
    Red is glycogen
    Green is fat.
    X is seconds, y is HR and % glycogen and fat to 100%

    2cd9d23uou5b.png


    ETA - wherever you are getting this info you are mentioning - start ignoring those sites/people.
    Bad info.
    Frankly sounds like typical keto mis-representation and confusion, lies by those that actually know this stuff.
    edited August 8
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 16,737 Member Member Posts: 16,737 Member
    I learned at some point that all exercise starts out as anaerobic, but if you do it long enough your body switches over to burning stored fat instead of glycogen. Even a leisurely walk, if it lasts long enough, is eventually an aerobic exercise. Is this accurate?
    @cparsons_60

    No it's absolutely wrong!

    In addition to the excellent info that Heybales provided unless you are interested in endurance cardio it's not worth even thinking what mix of fuels your daily activity and exercise are using - it simply doesn't matter if you are either just a recreational exerciser with moderate duration and/or concerned with fat loss.
    That fat loss comes from a calorie deficit and not from trying to manipulate fuel substrate usage during exercise.
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