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Newbie Steeady-State Cardio Question

First off, hi everyone, my name’s Jeff. I’m 18 and I’m fairly new to training beyond casual things like bench press and sit ups.

I just had a question about cardio goals. When I’m doing steady-state cardio to get my heart rate up (I’m in a weight-loss phase), most machines I use have ranges that go, from slowest heart rate to fastest, “Below, Fat Loss, Cardio, Above.”

I understand completely that exercise machines have their flaws in many ways, and that shouldn’t be a work out bible by any means, but in terms of my “target” heart rate in other exercises, which should I be aiming for typically?

At the moment, I’m following Chad Waterbury’s RFFL plan, and my heart rate during most of it is 150 or above (I figured that was the “intense” part, and the point of low rest periods). Treadmills and bikes and such estimate my “Fat Loss” optimum at about 135 and my “Cardio” goal at 160. Most of the time I use these machines in the ways I’ve looked into, it climbs into the Cardio range anyway.

Should I just disregard these range labels?

I wouldn’t worry about heart rate range… I’d say if you’re going to run for half hour, run at a speed that makes it hard for you to run for half hour. However, I’d do interval training instead, most of the time.

The fat loss range refers to less intense exercise in the aerobic energy system range, where fat is the primary energy source.

As intensity increases, you will move into a more anaerobic zone, that will use stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy.

For lifting you move into the ATP-CP energy system.

Google energy systems and see what you find. Its worth looking into, just so you can how the metabolic demands of slow walking differ from weight training.

I’m not familiar w/ Waterbury’s plan, but if it is very low carb dietary strategy, I would avoid hard intervals. Otherwise, just ignore the heart rate and make sure you are working semi-hard.

Gotcha. Here’s a link to what I’m doing before regular training (or not depending on whether or not I think my body can handle it):

He vaguely addresses diet, but doesn’t necessarily tell you it’s low carb, and God knows I still eat 100 g or more a day. What’s the advantage of burning carbohydrates rather than fat? Is it like burning fat before it’s stored as fat?

Ignoring it has done me fairly well in the past, so I’ll follow your advice and just make sure I’m working a sweat.

#4) Perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)