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What is the fat burning pulse?

An old fitness fairy tale says that you have to run at a slow pace (110-130 pulse) for at least 20 minutes before fat burning begins in the cells. Luckily, this fairytale is not true.

The fitness fairy tale that you have to run at a slow pace (110-130 pulse) for at least 20 minutes before fat burning starts in the cells is not true, because the fat burning in the body is boosted immediately after the first few minutes of exercise, Also, the running speed does not have to be snailish, because everyone should run so that this is also perceived as exhausting, ie the more you sweat, the better.

Because the more intense the training session, the more calories you burned. If you want to lose weight or reduce body fat, it does not matter if the calories come from the carbohydrate or fat stores. The main thing is that they are burned so that at the end of the day you have a negative energy balance (ie burn more energy than absorb it).

Physiological processes

How can this fact be explained and how are the various physiological processes in the body related to it?

At this point, it is important to understand how different types of energy delivery work.

First, the muscle cells have readily available and ready-to-use energy sources such as ATP (triple sugar) and creatine phosphate. This energy is used for muscle contraction within the first 8 seconds. Especially the sprinters are dependent on this lightning fast reaction of the body.

But let's start with an ordinary jogger who trains 1 to 2 times a week for 40-60 minutes each week. For him, this energy supply is completely unimportant. Because after the immediately accessible sugar has been consumed from the musculature, the body switches to the energy production from the carbohydrates. The carbohydrates (KH) are split down to ATP with the help of numerous biochemical steps and thus made available to the body again.

Since the carbohydrates are usually present in the body in larger quantities, but limited, this process runs unnoticed by the runner for about 30-40 minutes from.

Fatty acids burn in the fire of carbohydrates

The next possible and inexhaustible source of energy would be the fatty acids (FS) that the body has stored by supplying the surplus energy in the form of the fat stores. From a biochemical point of view, the FS must be broken down into numerous simple steps and thus readily available energy components, which in turn takes quite a lot of time. From this fact, the fitness fairy tale seems to have arisen with the 20-minute load duration. In fact, fat burning has been contributing to total energy expenditure since the beginning of the load, but only to a very small extent due to the numerous stages of degradation of the FS. However, the longer you can sustain a load, the greater the energy gain from the fat reserves. Because in addition the burning of the FS needs enough KH. Ie. that the FS burn "in the fire of the KH".

So while the energy supply from the KH is getting smaller and smaller, the energy turnover from the FS increases upwards.

In theory, you could now continue the running load to infinity. Because there are enough fat reserves in the body. However, other performance limiting factors, such as orthopedic loading, appear over time.

Another big advantage of our body is that after the end of the stress the body does not stop immediately with the burning of the energy, but continues to burn up to one hour of excess energy. The so-called "afterburning effect" occurs. That's perfect because it "cuts you off doing nothing".

No fat burning pulse in mass sports

But let's get back to the optimal fat burning pulse. Quite simply - in popular sports, it does not exist! As mentioned above, the energy source (KH or FS) does not matter to a person who wants to lose weight. In turn, it is important to be able to withstand a prolonged load of 40-60 minutes, but independent of the training pulse. So if you're able to run faster and still maintain the same time, you should do it. As a result, only the used energy balance is greater and you get closer and closer to the desired goal.

So what should you do to reduce body fat?

1. Energy intake should be lower than energy output.

2. Distribute smaller meals throughout the day. The starvation is completely inappropriate at this point, otherwise the FS can not be burned because there are no KH.

3. Keep up the training time, even if it is very tiring at the beginning.

4. Do not increase the running speed too much. Only if you have been training for a few weeks.

5. Leave the heart rate monitor at home.

Where does the error come from?

The conceptual confusion of fat burning pulse comes from the competitive sport of long-distance runners. These athletes need very large carbohydrate stores in their cells in order to be able to perform extreme burdens. Because without carbohydrates, no other energy components can be "ignited". Thus, the athlete trains with this slow running method, the fat metabolism, so he can sustain an extremely long load without hypoglycemia. With mass sports and weight loss, this training method has nothing to do. (Also read the article: Is there an optimal fat burning pulse?)


Run so fast that it will be exhausting for you (regardless of heart rate).

SUCCESS and less weight = sweat + 2 to 3 times / week train + hold the load for at least 30 minutes

Marina Lewun

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