Losing fat is clearly the major reason people hit the gym. A lot of them do cardiovascular exercise but end up frustrated as they see no significant fat loss. Many people lose hope and stop doing cardiovascular activity. The truth is, the duration and sustained intensity of the cardiovascular training tell you whether you burn fat.
You can burn fat with the Karvonen Formula when doing cardio. Karnoven is a mathematical formula that calculates your target heart rate zone. Your cardio workouts can give you the result you want if you maintain your target heart rate. This article will show how you can burn fat using the Karvonen Formula.
Understanding heart rate
Duration and intensity determine whether or not you use fat as an energy source during workout. Since the actual fat-burning process begins only after some cardio training, you need to sustain the exercise for an extended period of time to make sure that you burn fat.
You can measure intensity of the cardio workout in beats per minute. The more intense the workout, the more oxygen is needed and the heart, consequently, has to beat faster in order to meet the required oxygen.
But if the intensity increases too much, the body cannot process fat as an energy source and shifts to another energy production method known as anaerobic glycolysis. You have to make sure that your heart rate does not get too high to keep your body from switching to another energy production system.
Using the Karvonen Formula
The Karvonen Formula calculates where your heart rate should be when doing cardiovascular workout to ensure significant fat loss. Age and resting heart rate (RHR) factor in the calculations. The following are the formulas in computing your zone’s upper and lower end:
- Upper: 220 – Age – RHR x 70% + RHR
- Lower: 220 – Age – RHR x 85% + RHR
As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) moderate-intensity physical activities should range 50%-70%, whereas vigorous-intensity activities should be at 70%-85%. Start with the moderate range if you are uncertain regarding what range to use in burning fat with the Karvonen Formula.
If you are able to stay in the range for 45 minutes, then you are ready to train in the vigorous range. Remember to stay in your zone for at least 20 minutes to ensure your body engages in the fat-burning process. The longer you stay in your zone, the more you will burn fat with the Karvonen Formula.
Monitoring your pulse
A heart rate monitor is one convenient way in monitoring your pulse. While you can choose from many styles, the design is basically the same: a sensor strap around your chest transmits a signal to the watch strapped around your wrist. Many watches that enable you to program your zone alert you if you are not within your target zone using a combination of tones.