Maximize Your Calorie Burn

9/28/2008 BOCA RATON, Fla. You walk, climb, cycle and sweat, but just can't get the result you want. "Most people are a figment of their imaginations, thinking how well or how much they burn in terms of calories," Bob Esquerre, a fitness trainer in Boca Raton, Fla., told Ivanhoe. Esquerre says you may feel like you've burned 900 calories in that hour-long spin class, but think again. "I may look like a wet rag, but in reality, my actual output of qualitative calories may be 510 plus or minus," he said.

Esquerre says people can over-exaggerate calorie burn by 50 percent. And Luis Alonso, a certified metabolic technician in Boca Raton, says don't trust those machines. "They're completely inaccurate," Alonso told Ivanhoe. "It's just a do-dad. It has nothing to do with your individual metabolism and how you burn calories."

To find your best calorie burning rate, he says a metabolic test is a must. The test measures aerobic base -- your optimum heart rate for efficiently burning fat. For Jodi Duprain, it's 158 beats a minute. At that intensity, she burns half of her calories from fat, which is the goal. A heart rate higher or lower won't allow her to burn as many calories from fat. "I work full-time; two kids at home," Duprain told Ivanhoe. "So when I'm here for my hour, I want to get the most I can out of that hour."

Esquerre says water is also vital. It helps your body burn fuel. It's also critical to frequently change the intensity and resistance of your workouts. "At some point, you have to be able to take that treadmill that's flat and give me a gradual incline to two degrees, to four degrees, to 10 degrees."

And one last tip -- don't lean on the machines. One study shows leaning can reduce calorie burn by 60 percent!

A metabolic test also measures anaerobic threshold -- the exercise point at which your body physically can't burn any more fat. Alonso says metabolic testing has recently become mobile and user-friendly and will revolutionize the fitness world as it makes its way into more centers.

Luis Alonso
Certified Metabolic Technician
Optimized Fitness
Boca Raton, FL


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