Still Believe In The "Fat Burning Zone"? You May Be Wasting Your Time

Tyler Lafleur


Most of you, I am sure, are more than aware of the "Fat Burning Zone".

If not, just take a look at the old school graphs plastered all over the cardio equipment at the gym.

But, the more important question is, what is the fat burning zone and should you be in it?

This topic has been beaten to death over the years in the exercise space and it is just starting to make its way into the Functional Medicine space, so we are not going to dive into the "science" behind the fat burning zone's inception or its efficacy. For a more in-depth look, you can read about that here.

In this post, we are going to take a more pragmatic approach to this phenomenon.

First, you should probably take a look at your goals and your current habits, and think on them for a minute.

If you aspire to lose body fat and put on muscle, do you honestly believe that walking on at treadmill or spinning on an elliptical at 60% of your max heart rate is going to leave you shredded and ripped?


Probably not...

Second, if your goal is fat loss, you will get much further along and closer to your goals by partaking in some sort of weight lifting or High Intensity Interval Training a couple of times per week, as opposed to performing cardio in your "fat burning zone" only. 

This next statement is extremely vague and non-specific, on top of the fact that it has many caveats that could occur, but I will say it anyway:

Low intensity cardio is much more effective when performed in a fasted state in the morning or as a recovery modality following days of hard or high volume training.

Don't make it your staple form of exercise unless you are injured or partaking in nursing home water aerobics.


On the flip side, if you are already super stressed, you may just want to unplug or get a massage as opposed to stacking up even more stress on your plate from the additional exercise.

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And lastly, and this cannot be stressed enough, without a better diet or a great and worthy reason or purpose for becoming healthier, you are simply wasting a lot of heartbeats performing cardio for nothing.

You can't out train a bad diet, and you most certainly cannot maintain a healthy body if you are stuck in deep-rooted, unhealthy mental ruts.

Figure out what some of your current pitfalls are in regards to your health or fat loss goals, then simply be honest with yourself about what you are going to change.

Whether you love to exercise, or you simply are wanting to improve your appearance, you won't get very far by not challenging yourself with your training.

Remember, if you are injured or simply cannot push yourself to new limits due to disabilities, that is one thing, but if you are just continuing to "walk" or "cycle" because some 1980's magazine convinced you that it was cool, then you may want to step up your sweat game and really focus on your diet.

The biggest pitfall or trap that I see clients fall victim to is thinking that low intensity cardio coupled with "consuming complex carbs" is going to result in them dropping body fat and increasing their energy.

I haven't witnessed that yet.

Have you?

If you still have questions, comment below or reach out to us and ask. We can help clear up some of the confusion.

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