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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-06-12, 10:26 PM   #1
RWBlue01
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Optimal heart rate to burn calories

How do I figure out what my optimal heart rate should be to burn calories?
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Old 07-06-12, 11:36 PM   #2
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The most calories are burned at your maximum heart rate, period. The faster your heart rate, the more calories you burn. There is no question.

Obviously, however, you can't workout long at max... Many people can workout for an hour or more at 80-90% of their max though... the key is to find an effort you can sustain, and then sustain it.

BTW your maximum heart rate is, simply put, the maximum beats-per-minute your heart CAN beat. It cannot be calculated using the 220 minus your age method accurately, nor any other "formula". I'm nearly 50 years old with a maximum of 206bpm... In my 20's it was over 220... So we're all different. You can only determine your maximum by pushing yourself to it.
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Old 07-06-12, 11:43 PM   #3
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The highest one you can sustain for the duration of time you have to exercise. If you have 5 hrs it will be different than if you only have an hour.
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Old 07-07-12, 01:03 AM   #4
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The highest one you can sustain for the duration of time you have to exercise. If you have 5 hrs it will be different than if you only have an hour.
Yes. But if the question were "how should I ride to lose weight?" the answer would be slightly different. It's easier to manage one's post-ride appetite after a longer session at a steady pace than after a shorter, intense workout that burns similar numbers of calories. In my experience, anyway.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:24 AM   #5
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^^ Agreed but I didn't see the question posed that way. Long rides work best for losing weight but you need to have the time. You also still need to control your intake as there is no shortage of long distance fat cyclists.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:43 AM   #6
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^^ Agreed but I didn't see the question posed that way. Long rides work best for losing weight but you need to have the time. You also still need to control your intake as there is no shortage of long distance fat cyclists.
Don't I know it. LOL. The thing about cycling is, it can be like running or it can be like walking. Fat cyclists are the walkers.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:52 AM   #7
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I've actually been having a little luck losing weight now that I've started regularly attacking hills instead of flats.

Long flat rides never seemed to do anything for my weight, but made me so ravenous that I actually gained weight.
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