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Is Maximal Exercise for 75 seconds the Most Efficient way ofBurning off Fat?

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  • Is Maximal Exercise for 75 seconds the Most Efficient way ofBurning off Fat?

    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
    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?


    David McFarlane MAppSc (Ergonomics)
    Ergonomist, WorkCover NSW

    Gastin P, (2001), "Energy system interaction and relative contribution
    during maximal exercise", Sports Med, 31(10), 725-41. Hyperlink;


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