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At the moment, I do a simple 30 minute interval run before my workout (which I've mentioned in another thread), my aim is simply to lose a bit of flab (i'm not majorly fat, i'm just trying to loose the love handles ;)).

Anyway, the people in the bodybuilding forums tell me that the best way for this is to do short, high-intensity runs, whereas the people on this forum (i think!) are saying that longer, lower-intensity runs would be more beneficial.

Can someone put me straight please.. ? Thanks :D

(At the moment I am doing 1m run, 1m walk for 30mins, then 30 mins steady pace on the bike, 5 days a week)

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Here is the deal....
Short anaerobic bursts burn and use immediate energy sources. ie glucose and glycogen. When you use these sugars anaerobically you are not getting the most use of the ATP production. I won't go into the chemistry involved, but you know when you go hard for short distances you tire quicker and your muscles get weaker faster.
When you go slower, aerobic, the body use the stored energy sources as fuel. This does not happen overnight and will not happen in a few weeks. It takes the body along time to learn HOW to use fat as energy. When the body learns that it does not need to burn the glycogen stores, it will start to burn the stored fat and become a more efficient calorie machine.
Long distance runners count on this energy to carry them through the long runs. They cannot count on the 2000 calories of immediate use enrgey to carry them through, they train their bodies to burn the fat. Of course they have very little to burn, so they require a lot of different foods, but thats a different story.
Long, slow, aerobic runs will reduce the fat. Not overnight and not in a few weeks. Months.... and months.
Of course this is all mute if you eat bad in the interim. Any saturated fats and extra calories will immediately replace what you have burned and you will be back at square one.
I hope that helps.
Sheldon
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The reason for the conflicting advice is the source. Bodybuilders will tell you the best way is to do exercise that will build muscle, and that way when you do more intense, shorter workouts, you'll progressively burn more calories. But here we're all runners - primarily distance runners, so that's what we're going to advise. Both will work, I think it's mostly up to you to decide which you'd rather do.
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i'll agree that the two disciplines of body building and aerobic training clash.

basically put low intensity,49% and less of MHR burns more fat than glycogen/carbohydrates

51% and more burns more glycogen/carbohydrates than fat.

now the cause for the confusion is the more muscle you have the more energy required to fuel it. so.....it will burn more fat even at rest.

if you do not want to "bulk up" and just want to lose fat, stay under 50%
and i'll second the fact it takes time, patience, and perseverance.

good luck
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Thanks Hyper, that's what I was wanting to get at. Then I reread my post and noticed it wasn't even mentioned.
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Thanks Hyper, that's what I was wanting to get at. Then I reread my post and noticed it wasn't even mentioned.
No prob MED, i got your back covered. :thumbsup:
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Can anyone confirm that there is some truth to this? This doesn't match anything I've ever heard or run across in my studies...
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I'm not sure about the numbers, but in theory it works. I'm not sure about burning fat with more muscle too.

More muscle does burn more energy, but if that muscle goes anaerobic, then it is anaerobic and that definetely does not burn fat.

Exercise that is low HR, and long in duration is the only way to burn fat.

Sheldon

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Can anyone confirm that there is some truth to this? This doesn't match anything I've ever heard or run across in my studies... I am pretty sure the graph i have pictured in my head comes from the "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat id**t" but i know i have seen this around for years as well. the reason the "fat burning" zone on the Aerobic Machines is at lower pulse rates.

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A quick check of my sources does indicate that the 50% number where you burn less fat AS A PERCENTAGE then glycogen / carbohydrates may in fact be true. However, this is rather misleading I think. Sorry, I don't have time to go into all the details right now, but as soon as I hear back from some experts, I'll throw in a few ideas on the subject.
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here's a link i pulled off my home PC. the guy has somesriuos credentials in the UK track & field arena


Intensity and Energy Source
The relationship between exercise intensity (% of your Maximum Heart Rate) and the energy source (carbohydrate and fat) is as follows:

Intensity % MHR % Carbohydrate % Fat
65 - 70 40 60
70 - 75 50 50
75 - 80 65 35
80 - 85 80 20
85 - 90 90 10
90 - 95 95 5
100 100 0


i see were i got the numbers slightly skewed but the premisce of what i was saying is there. 75% intensity is where ilike to keep myself normallyfor the LSD and i just associated it with the 50 percent mea culpa there.
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I think the bottom line is that the higher the intensity you train at, the faster the rate at which you burn energy. This needs to be sustained for some time in order to run any significant total number of calories. Lower intensity running will take a higher percentage of the calories from fat, although the total amount of fat you may be burning could easily be less since your total energy usage is less. Let's not forget that you don't have to actually burn any fat during exercise to lose fat. Your body can convert energy sources, so it really doesn't matter what source the calories to sustain exercise come from. Simply maximize the calories you burn. This is generally easier accomplished by going longer instead of harder.

A whole different thing happens with burning fat at the end of a marathon. In marathon preparation, the idea is to teach your body to efficiently use fat as a fuel source in order to get you through a long race instead of as a tool to lose weight. Unless you are running quite fast, it is unlikely that your body has enough available glycogen stores to get you through a marathon. When these run out, you need to use fat energy (or eat gel packets) to get you through the later miles. This generally occurs with runs longer than 90 minutes, which is one reason it is critical to do long training runs. You don't need to run in excess of 90 minutes to lose weight, but you do need to run that long to train your body to use fat efficiently as a fuel source.
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Additionally, the fact that you are at a slower HR allows you to get more ATP production from each energy unit. ie glucose.

At the higher intensity you are getting a net of 2-4 ATP from the cleavage of the glucose, you are getting more ATP from the same glucose when you are able to use the Krebs cycle.

I also agree 100% about the losing weight by running slower statement. The idea of fat buring is to get further with less intake, the amount of fat burned would be much greater if you (I cannot believe I am going to say this) lift weights and gain lean muscle mass.

Sheldon
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OK, so if i swap my daily 30m interval run, for a 30m constant pace run, would I see faster fat-burning results? At the moment, i walk at 'level 4' (on the treadmill) for a minute, then crank it up to 'level 8' then alternate between the two, for 30 minutes. I've seen my heart rate drop slightly over the past couple of weeks (LINK: Here). That chart, taken from my watch, is using the 220-age formula, which i know isn't supposed to be the most reliable method of working out your MHR and different zones, but I haven't managed to figure out my exact levels yet :S (My actual rate in those runs goes between 160-190 bpm) I've also recently started to end my sessions with a 30 minute constant-pace bike ride, i've only been doing this for the past week, and my heart rate seems to average at about 70%. (Link: here). (Average = 145 bpm) I suppose to begin with, i really need to work out my zones (is the 220-age formula really that inaccurate?). But i'd appreciate any advise and any suggested changes in my cardio work would be greatly appreciated :) (Please bare in mind, i'm running to literally lose a bit of flab around my belly, and generally improve my fitness, i'm not currently aiming to run competitively, or for 'speed' ;)) Thanks everyone!
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