Workout Intensity

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss


Workout Intensity

Intensity is the last piece of the puzzle.

How hard should you work yourself?

When it comes to weight management, there’s often debate about the level of cardio intensity that’s most effective for losing weight.

Some experts will say high intensity is best for losing weight; others swear low-intensity activity is more effective.

Let’s look at the facts.

During physical training, your body has 3 possible sources of energy:  carbs, fat, and protein.

Protein is a last resort.

Of the 3 energy sources, your body is most reluctant to draw on your protein stores.

But whether your body takes energy from its carbs or its fat depends on the intensity of your workout.

Training at a high level of intensity forces your body to draw on carb calories for energy.

They’re a more efficient source of energy, so your body goes for its premium fuel if you’re working hard.

If you’re training at a low level of intensity, your body doesn’t need to be as efficient, and it will draw on a higher percentage of fat calories for fuel.

So it sounds like low-intensity training would be more effective when it comes to losing fat, right?


These physiological facts have led to the mistaken belief that low-intensity activity is better than high-intensity activity when it comes to burning fat and losing weight.

Furthermore, this misconception has spread the idea that people should only train within their fat-burning zones.

The thing is, even though a greater percentage of fat calories is used during low-intensity exercise, the total number of fat calories used is greater during high-intensity exercise because more overall calories are burned.

For example, in a half hour of low-intensity exercise, you might burn 100 calories.

Of those 100 calories burned, roughly 80% will be fat calories, meaning you’ve burned 80 fat calories.

In a half hour of high-intensity exercise, you might burn 300 calories.

Of those 300 calories, roughly 33% will be fat calories, meaning you’ve burned 100 fat calories.

Get it?

Even though the percentage of fat calories burned is higher during a low-intensity workout, you’re burning so many more total calories during a high-intensity workout that, percentages aside, you’re still burning more fat calories with high-intensity exercise, not to mention the 200 carb calories you’re burning as well.

High-intensity workouts also trigger higher post-workout metabolism rates and fat afterburn.

Having said all of this, it’s also true that carb calories become fat calories after a while anyway, so when it comes down to it, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

Forget the idea of a fat-burning zone.

There’s only one moral of the story:  burn as many calories as possible whenever you work out.

The one time low-intensity exercise is recommended over high is at the beginning of your fitness regimen, when you might be inclined to jump right in and give it all you’ve got, only to end up burning out or injuring yourself.

For the first 2 weeks of training, your must pass the talk test during your sessions; you have to be able to carry on a conversation comfortably throughout your workout, or you’re working too hard.

Once you’ve been exercising for several weeks, it’s safe to increase your intensity.

You should then work at about 85% of your maximum heart rate.

To monitor your intensity, first calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 if you’re a woman, or 226 if you’re a man.

Once you’ve calculated what your 85% rate is, you can start keeping yourself at the right intensity by taking your pulse throughout your workout.

The quickest way is to count the beats for 6 seconds and then multiply by 10.

You should check it every 10 minutes or so.

Sometimes during weight training your heart rate will jump above the 85% mark, which is fine.

With weights, the only thing you have to be sure of is that your heart rate doesn’t drop below 75% of your max for the duration of your workout.

When it comes to intensity, you’ll learn to use your own judgment.

If it feels too easy, increase intensity; if it feels too difficult or your form is compromised, decrease intensity.

You’ll find that your abilities change as you move forward, so it’s important to be able to know the right intensity level for you.

As you keep working out and getting stronger, you’ll have to know when and how to increase your efforts in order to keep moving toward your goals.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Winning by Losing


Dick and Lenay

email: – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here –


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