T Nation

Running and HR Zones


Hi, I'm using a heart belt to monitor my BPM while running and I'd like to understand how to use the HR zones for lowering BF.

I'm trying to lose fat in 2 ways: running for a long time ~60 min and high intensity intervals (HIIT) for 16-20 minutes.
I found out that in my HIIT I usually run in my VO2Max zone and in my 60 minutes runs I'm usually in the anaerobic state.
I don't think I should be in these zones for fat burning. For my HIIT I think I should be in the anaerobic zone and for the running maybe in the aerobic zone.

It's a bit unclear for me and I'd appreciate an answer to the question bellow:

For maximal fat burning in what zone should I be for a 60 minutes run and in what zone(s) should I be for a 20 minutes HIIT training.

Thank you.


Ditch the HR monitor. But so you know, it comes with instructions.

Learn to use google.

For slow steady run, carry a conversation while running.

For HIIT, go balls to the wall for every intervals.



T-Nation search box, but agree.

Agree and agree.

For maximal fat burning, don't get hung up on nitpicking details and trying to find "the best" kind of cardio, because everything works. Lift weights 3-4 days a week, do cardio 3-4 times a week, and have a consistent nutrition plan in place that supports fat burning and muscle retention/building.

Around this same time last year, you asked a pretty similar question, worrying about the difference between 16 minute intervals and 20 minute intervals.
What kind of results did you get with your last cutting plan?


Thank you for your answers. I understand that it all works as long as you stick to it, I was rather curious on the small differences. And google searches are pretty conflicting (mostly blog articles on people reblogging about keeping in the X hr zone without giving any proof on why it works).

I use both 20 minutes and 16 minutes runs and I have some results with keeping fit but not great results. My main problem is the nutrition as I lack the time to make my own meals and at work I can only eat fast food. I'm looking for a solution on that right now.


Make the time.


Your problem is you are lazy. Sorry, but don't make excuses as to being curious about the "small details" when you eat like the guy in Supersize Me. Your problem is the Big Damn Foundation of not eating shite. Get up early. Eat breakfast. Make your meals, put them in a cooler. Go to work, use your break to eat a meal from the cooler. Or make the meals at night when you get home and are watching tv. Don't be lazy. That's a bloody copout and you damn well know it. NOTHING IS GOING TO WORK eating shit. I know people who work 14-16 hours a day who still have time to bring their own meals. One works in the ER. How's that for stress? Do it. You don't do it because you want an excuse.


Thank you for your answer. It is true I didn't give priority to my eating habits (I don't exaggerate with eating but I don't really eat healthy foods either). It's not due to laziness but due to other priorities I have. I'm planning to do this, thank you.


Something has to be wrong here. You can't run in your VO2 Max for 20 mins, and you can't run in an anaerobic state for an hour. If you did, you would die.


My dilemma also.


Curious as to why everyone is saying to ditch the hrm? I don't use one but thought it's useful?


Neither of those ways are all that effective for trying to lose fat. They will make you fit though. The only real effective way for losing fat is a good diet.

Chris87 what he said is more than possible, I've witnessed it. It generally happens in those that are not in very good shape. Vaidab You will have to stick with it until your heart rate comes down. As you lose fat, and your heart and lungs get stronger it will get better. This can take a very long time depending on diet and consistency. You also will need more than one day of rest or a much more casual walk outside where neither your heart rate or lungs are pushing too hard.


HRM are very useful, IF you know how to use them and you are actually training for running.

First thing to realize is that the old 220-age thing is a rule of thumb, not written in stone. My HB has always been higher the "normal". After going for a test at a University, I learned that I have higher then normal HB. Normal for me.

Second, most people use it as a crutch. It's a tool, learn to use it as such. Mine will tell my distance, elevation, HR, pace, speed, etc. Looking at when I was training for a sub 15 minutes 5K, it helped a lot for pace and making sure i wasn't overdoing it. But useless on hill day.

Also, on a personal level, a question like that is equivalent to "I have a weight belt, how do I use it". I comes with instructions, read that. Learning to program that damn thing, is another question altogether.