Have you ever wondered how to train aerobically to most efficiently lose body fat? I get a lot of questions about aerobic exercise training, and it seems that there are many misconceptions about how to train effectively, so I want to clarify some points.
Years ago, we instructors were taught to encourage our clients to stay in their “target heart rate range.” This range is also called your “target zone” or your “aerobic heart rate range.” This range simply gives you the number of times that your heart should beat per minute while exercising aerobically. The number represents about 60% to 80% of your heart’s maximum capacity. We were taught that this is the range in which we most efficiently use fat as a fuel source for exercise. Hence, the mantra, “lower intensity, longer sessions,” was drilled into aerobics instructors everywhere as the way to help clients burn body fat.
For my clients that have heart disease or any other cardiovascular complication, I encourage the use of a heart rate monitor that is worn strapped around the chest. This will provide an up to the minute, accurate reading of your heart rate. This population needs to be careful not to exceed 70% of their maximum heart rate without permission from their cardiologist.