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View Full Version : Is Maximal Exercise for 75 seconds the Most Efficient way ofBurning off Fat?



dmcfarlane
09-10-2008, 04:05 PM
Dear All,
Recently I came across an interesting research paper that suggests that
maximal exercise for 75 seconds is the most efficient away of burning
off fat. The paper concluded that; "The duration of maximal exercise at
which equal contributions are derived from the anaerobic and aerobic
energy systems appears to occur ... most probably around 75 seconds"
(Gastin P, 2001). It sounds almost too good to be true; did nobody
understand the implications? You'd think it would have been front-page
news.
Professional athletes bulk themselves up on carbohydrates and though
they are motivated by sporting ambition, weight is not usually a crucial
issue as they have ample time to burn off their excess calories with
work-outs. The average person is mainly motivated by the desire to shed
excess fat.
Public Health bodies such as Heart Foundations recommend that people do
at least half an hour (or 20 minutes at the very least) of maximal (or
near maximal) physical activity on most (and preferably every) day of
the week for health benefits. As far as I can tell from sports training
literature typical athletes in training ("jocks") aspire to at least 30
minutes of near maximal anaerobic training (at 60 - 80% of maximal Heart
Rate or more) to "burn off the fat". However, most ordinary people in
the workforce tell me that they cannot devote this amount time to
exercise due to their long working hours and their endless
time-consuming commuting (thanks to the parlous state of our congested
roads and public transport). People who are not working tell me that
they find such as regimen too tiring and many find such a regimen so
daunting that they just give up before they even start.
This research data suggests that breaks for exercise (and short stints
of vigorous exercise) could make a real difference to combating obesity
and maintaining the fitness of the workforce as even 2 or 3 minute
work-outs should be helpful. Five-minute breaks are not unfeasible in
many workplaces and there is an interest in warm-ups in some workplaces
where the work is physically arduous.
Can anyone make any recommendations regarding the frequency and content
of short keep-fit work-breaks?

Regards,

David McFarlane MAppSc (Ergonomics)
Ergonomist, WorkCover NSW

Reference
Gastin P, (2001), "Energy system interaction and relative contribution
during maximal exercise", Sports Med, 31(10), 725-41. Hyperlink;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11547894

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