SAM: Would you be able to tell me the best heart beat range for losing weight? Is there a different range for cardio-exercise? I’ve been using a stationary bicycle during the cold weather for exercise. ~ Marcy, Utah
It’s easy to determine your target heart rate for losing fat (remember: you want to focus on fat loss, not weight loss).
The calculation is:
80% x [220 - (AGE)] = Heart Rate.
For example, I’m 34 years old, so I subtract my age from 220, then multiply the resulting number (186) by .80 to reveal a target heart rate of about 148 BPM. That’s about 80 percent of my heart’s capacity. The medical establishment says fat burning mode is between 55 and 65 percent of your maximum heart rate, but as a professional trainer, I’ve personally come to believe that you’ll burn more overall calories by working a little bit harder (e.g. 80%) and get more out of your cardiovascular training time. Also, remember to give consideration to other factors, such as your medical history and what your doctor has to say.