Do you have a Smart Watch?  

If you do, does it have the ability to monitor your heart rate?  If it does, what you'll learn today can take away all of the frustration you've been having when it comes to getting stuck with your fat-loss fitness.

It's all a part of bio-individual fitness.  I look at the person before the program...especially their heart rate zones.  Why?  When it comes to fitness, what you're doing (or not doing) can totally tank your results...or accelerate them like crazy....when it comes to fat-loss.  Seriously.  Before I explain all of that I need you to find your heart rate zones.  Grab a pen and paper so you can follow along with me.

First, Find Your Zones.

It's super simple.  No need to bore you with the science details behind it all.  Let's get straight to the formula:

220 - Your Age = Max Heart Rate (MHR)

Multiply your MHR by .59.  This number is the top of your Zone 1.

Multiply your MHR by .69.  This gives you the top of Zone 2.

Multiply your MHR by .79.  This gives you the top of Zone 3.

Multiply your MHR by .89.  This give you the top of Zone 4.

Anything above the last number is your Zone 5.

I'll give you an example using myself.  I am 40 years old.

220 - 40 (age) = 180 bpm (beats per minute) Max HR

Zone 1:  up to 106 bpm (beats per minute)  180 x .59 = 106

Zone 2:  107 bpm - 124 bpm (180 x .69 = 124)

Zone 3:  125 bpm - 142 bpm (180 x .79 = 142)

Zone 4:  143 bpm - 160 bpm (180 x .89 = 160)

Zone 5:  161 +

Now, let's talk FAT-LOSS GOLDMINE:  Heart Rate Training.

You have your zones.  What now?  What is this goldmine I'm talking about?

Simply put, it all comes down to the energy you use while training in each zone.  When you are in zones 1 & 2, you burn fewer calories, however the majority of those calories come from fat.  So, if you are in a fat-burning cardio session, why would you ever go over Zone 2?   I'm sure you'll respond to that question with something like, "To burn more calories, of course."

It makes sense, at first.  We've been told it's all about burning more calories then you use (calories in vs. calories out).  THAT THEORY, we've been told is the secret to fat loss (I explained the 4:14 Fitness Secret Sauce to Fat Loss in a recent podcast.  CLICK HERE to listen if you haven't already).  

Let's keep going.

I had a FB conversation just last night with a client from my early days of training.  These were her exact words to me, "Please help!  I'm working out like crazy, doing fat protein and carb and I'm not losing!!  What am I doing wrong??  I only eat 1250 calories a day but according to my watch I'm burning 900 to 1100 calories a day!  Shouldn't I be losing?"

There are entire organizations who use heart rate training along with the calorie in vs. calorie out mentality.  Take for example Orange Theory.  You monitor your heart rate every workout.  It's the science behind what they do.  During workouts you're rewarded for hitting your "splat zones", which are your higher heart rate zones.  Their philosophy is you'll burn more calories in these zones.  Which is completely true.  You will burn more calories in those zones.

But are calories what you really want to burn?  Or do you care more about burning fat?

Calories are simply units of energy.  Where those calories come from matters most.   So, if you are doing fat-burning cardio, WHY ON EARTH DO YOU CARE ABOUT BURNING CALORIES?  It makes more sense to focus on BURNING FAT when you're trying to lose fat - then to focus on BURNING CALORIES.  Hopefully this is starting to make a little sense to you.

I see clients, especially women, who come to me desperate for help because their workouts aren't working anymore.  We test their physiology and usually uncover some pretty crazy imbalances.  These imbalances wreck their sleep, digestion, mood, energy and ultimately fat-loss efforts. 

I'm going to leave you with this when it comes to training.

If you're using cardio to burn fat, stick to heart rate Zones 1 and Zones 2.
If you're over the age of 40, your weight workouts should likely be 2-4 days per week
During weight workouts, it's perfectly fine to get into Zone 3 and Zone 4.  That means you're working super hard and training your heart rate variability.
During weight workouts, don't worry about recovery times.  Instead, be concerned with recovery heart rate zones.  Instead of resting for 30 seconds to a minute, rest until your heart rate is in Zone 1 or bottom of Zone 2.  You can thank me later when you aren't totally tanked from your workout.  🙂
Over the age of 40, adding in a day of sprints is a great idea.  Make sprint day short and sweet.  Keep it under 15 minutes.  Sprint for 20-seconds and ensure your heart rate recovers to Zone 1 before you start your next sprint.  It doesn't matter if it takes 3 minutes for your heart rate to recover, you don't start your next sprint until it's there.  

Here's the Heart Rate Monitor I use.

For me personally, watching heart rate numbers was confusing.  I constantly forget which ones are my zones.  The Rhythm 24 by Scoshe is amazing!  I synced it to the app the first day I got it.  The app calculated my heart rate zones for me and I was good to go.  The light you see on the device tells me what Zone I'm in.  No numbers to remember.  All I have to remember while doing fat burning cardio is that my button needs to blink green or blue.  During weight workouts I want my button to blink orange or yellow while I'm in my workout.  When it's rest time, I don't start my next set until my button is blinking green or blue again.  So simple.  

If you want to check out the Rhythm 24, CLICK HERE.  If you purchase off this link, I receive a small commission from the sale.   

One last note before I go.  A heart rate monitor on your wrist is not as accurate as a chest strap or an armband (like the Rhythm) that goes near your elbow or on the inside of your bicep.  You'll always have more accurate heart rates with monitors that are closer to your heart.

If you found this helpful, please comment below or shoot me an email at  I would love to hear how heart rate training becomes your new goldmine for fat-loss!

- Sarah -