Kris Simpson here from Bodies by Design. How do you measure cardio intensity? Is it how much you sweat or if you could talk or if you can’t talk while you’re doing your cardio? When you’re in your car do you guess how fast you’re going or do you look down at your speedometer? Case in point is you need something like this, a heart rate monitor watch, to make sure that you’re in the right zone and you’re not guessing and wasting your time while you’re doing your cardio. But beware, a lot of the cardio machines that are out there have built-in heart rate monitors and also calorie counters and they’re not all that accurate. They usually overestimate how many calories you’re burning, which justifies you eating more food perhaps, which is not good.
Let’s take a look at the different workout intensities and which one burns the most calories. Let’s start with low intensity cardio, defined as less than 60% of your max heart rate. For me that is about 100 beats per minute or bpm. On an elliptical machine, based on my age and my weight, I’ll burn about 400 calories per hour. Great for leisure but not so great for burning calories.
Let’s get the heart rate up and move into moderate cardio intensity. It’s also called steady state cardio. Its defined as about 60 to 75% of your maximum heart rate. For me that is about 100 to 130 bpm. I’ll burn approximately 500 calories per hour with this type of cardio. If I hit the elliptical let’s say seven days per week, theoretically I’ll burn a pound of body fat. That brings us to high intensity, also called the aerobic zone, defined as about 75-85% of your max heart rate. For me that is about 130-150 bpm. Now I’m going to burn 600 calories per hour what’s intensity.
You see, you got to train hard but you also got to train smart. With a steady state cardio you’re going to get more calories burned for less time and less wear and tear on your joints.
Until the next Fit Guru, I’m Kris Simpson. Inspire to Aspire!