Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Nearly half way through the 2006 MidWinterMakeover challenge at my local gym. I won this challenge last year by losing 12.5 kgs in 10 weeks of intensive exercise and a new eating programme. I have no illusions this time. I won't lose 12.5 kgs again. I won't win again. I will lose weight. I will be fitter.

I've been concentrating this time on increasing my cardio work. I still do weights training twice a week but also do cardio work for 30-45 minutes 5 days a week. Last year I learned about the EPOC theory. At a seminar last week they taught us again. Can I explain it?

So many people who go to the gym to lose weight get on the cycle/treadmill/crosstrainer and see a program called "FAT BURN". 'That's me!" they think and set to aiming to raise their heart rate to around 65% of capacity. Basically it's a pretty comfortable workout. You get a bit fitter - you burn a few calories. Best way to lose weight? Wrong!

Lesson One:
Set your machine to CARDIO. Make yourself work harder (work it out - 220 beats per minute less your age x 85%) is your target heartbeat. For me my target is 152 beats per minute (though I can usually work out in the 160s for about 10-15 minutes. A factor can also be your resting heartrate but that can complicate things). Working at this level I can answer questions with two or three words but I can't really carry on a conversation. If you do this you will not only burn more calories but raise your metabolism/oxygen consumption etc so that after you finish exercising your metabolism will be raised for about 12 hours (instead of one or two after a FAT BURN session).

Lesson 2 - So if you can read a magazine while you are working out then you are not working hard enough.

Here's a link to the technical stuff.

OK so that's the theory - putting it into practice is my aim these next 6 weeks. Watch this space.


Beverley said...

Thanks for that - will try that theory with my walking ie. walk faster, maybe even run! (Don't have a gym membership to try it out there)

suz said...

blah. it's the only time i scramble through ck. lol.
thanks for sharing that though mel, i'll give it a try. sigh

Penny said...

Good luck with the challenge Mel :)

My bio teacher used to say "Always walk 50% faster". Which I thought was interesting. But then I started to wonder - do you have to walk 50% faster of when you walk 50% faster? And then can you increase it again? That means you end up sprinting everywhere doesn't it?

I have to admit that "Fat burn" sounds so much more relevant than "cardio". Someone needs to change the vocab.

Lynda said...

Interesting Mel! Too bad, I didn't read this before my workout this morning. I have been working on the theory of getting my heart rate up though and usually average around the 160mark, although not for 20mins, more like 10 then I do a weights routine. Sounds like harder longer cardio workouts might be coming my way.

Janine said...

yes the trainers at the gym told me about this. I never used the fat burning setting prior to this anyway!! But was good to know the difference in the settings.

Go you on the challenge!!

karen said...

the technical stuff is too *technical* for me LOL .. but I get the *work hard* option!