Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Incline walking for fat loss?


Quote  |  Reply

My trainer told me that to change my body composition, meaning burning fat, not just calories, I should do incline walking for a half hour 3 times a week.

This makes me a little nervous, as I tend to be in the HIIT and running school when it comes to cardio. I'm aware it burns more calories, but I also know that a lot of sources say that slow cardio will burn a higher proportion of fat.

I guess my question is, what exercise is the best to maximize fat loss, and will 30-35 minutes of incline walking 3 times a week, coupled with 45 minutes of interval Pilates twice a week, be enough to lose a significant amount of fat while keeping my weight relatively steady? I want to lose inches! Especially around the gut.

Today I did a variation because I didn't really trust her, haha. I did 5 minutes of HIIT, 10 minutes of incline, 10 minutes of jogging, another 10 of incline, and then 5 more minutes of jogging and a 5 minute cool-down. Am I overdoing it? Is it true that I can incline walk, which makes me feel like I'm not working hard, and get better results? The ease and quickness boggles my mind.

14 Replies (last)

The whole idea behind the slow cardio burns fat thing relates to the fact that yes, you'll burn a higher proportion of fat at a lower intensity, but less calories overall. At a higher intensisty a lower proportion comes from fat, but the overall percentage is higher, therefore you're still burning more fat. Think of it like this, would you rather have 90% of all the money I have (I am a poor student), or 10% of Bill Gates' money? The 10% of Bill Gates money is gonna be more than 90% of my money, despite the fact that it's a lower percentage.

It's good that you're keen on HIIT because I think that is the best exercise for fat loss. No the only way you'd overdo it is if you did interval training for too long or too often. Nah, the harder you work, the better results you're gonna get. Yeah you might burn more calories if you do an hour of jogging as opposed to 20mins of interval training, but with the latter your body has to work throughout the day to repair your muscles, therefore raising your metabolism slightly. I've read that HIIT acts as a signal for your body to burn fat, as opposed to steady-state cardio which can burn muscle.

So basically you have the right idea :)

Hey Laur3n, thanks for putting it into perspective. I had stumbled upon this post and wondered for awhile now the difference between low and high intense cardio when it comes to fat loss. For awhile, all the information I read had me thinking that low intense cardio was better for fat loss. But when you used the example, it makes things come into perspective and I get a better understanding of things. I should have just listened to my own body because when I do high intense cardio, I tend to lose more quickly.

Original Post by beijingbelle:

Is it true that I can incline walk, which makes me feel like I'm not working hard, and get better results? The ease and quickness boggles my mind.

Something is wrong here. It should not feel like you aren't working hard. How fast do you run when you run? Walking 3.9 mph on a 15% grade is the equivalent (or more) of running 8 minute miles. Are you saying that "feels easy?"

I think that maybe you are a very slow walker or just aren't "inspired" enough to put out the effort. So, that type of exercise isn't a good one for you. Do something that gets you motivated to push hard and that you enjoy. But, don't think less of incline treadmill workouts in general.

FYI. Thirty minutes of incline treadmill, by someone who is "into it" will burn as many or more calories than running 30 minutes, and far more than 20 minutes of HIIT (even including the EPOC/"afterburn").

note: If it was a very fit person/athlete, the truth of that statement might require the use of the steeper treadmills.

note: If it was a very fit person/athlete, the truth of that statement might require the use of the steeper treadmills.

There's always the option of shouldering a backpack filled with heavy stuff and then walking the incline. 

http://www.enhancedfp.com/training/final-nail -cardio-coffin-rachel-cosgrove

"Your body can adapt to steady state cardio. The more your body adapts the fewer calories you burn.

[with cardio] Your body actually becomes efficient at storing fat. Since you're now burning fat as your primary source of fuel, your body adapts and becomes very good at storing fat. Blame it on a dumb self-preservation mechanism built into the body's operating system.

December 2006, Canadian researchers reported that just two weeks of interval training boosted women's ability to burn fat during exercise by 36%.

According to a British study, levels of Human Growth Hormone, which assists in building muscle and burning fat, skyrocketed 530% in subjects after just thirty seconds of sprinting as fast as they could on a stationary bike.

One reason intervals are more effective is that they target more of your muscle. During endurance exercise, you use a lot of slow-twitch muscle fibers and too few fast-twitch muscle fibers. It's those fast-twitch muscle fibers that give you firm muscles and fast-tracked results."

Hmm, well I am quite fit and my leg muscles are well-developed, so walking hills/stairs is never too hard for me to begin with. My school has 4 floors, and I walk with my backpack up to my 4th floor locker several times a day.

I don't know MPH or percentage, but I was walking 5.5 kmph at a 7.5 gradient.

While I do lean toward intense cardio, and the Bill Gates example was brilliant, at my big "weightloss" period a few months ago HIITs were making me quite frail-looking and gaunt, plus my skin was loosening and my belly button was losing shape. This was probably because the fat loss was a little too swift, and the other calorie loss came too much from muscle and glucose.

I think since I have plenty of time I will try an incline, making it more intense for my fitness level and lose the fat slowly and more easily. I do believe the quick 5 min HIIT will do me good though, I know all the benefits and when I was doing it months ago my grades soared and fitness went up fast.

Thanks all for your help.

You may find this calculator useful to compare incline walking situations to running:

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs.h tml

It accepts km/hr or miles/hr.  You specify whether you are running or walking and enter the gradient.

Try going steeper on the incline. Almost all treadmills go to at least 15. It will feel much harder and feel more like the other hard workouts that you do. Be cautious if you feel much tension in your achilles tendons.

Good luck.

 

Woah, so helpful! Thanks :D

Turns out the inline walking is practically the same as the jogging. So I think my method of alternating will work quite well in terms of offering variety of benefits and general variety so things don't get boring.

One question - You weren't holding onto the treadmill right? If you were, then that explains why it was so easy for you. Holding on cuts the effectiveness of it in half.

I HIGHLY recommend incline walking. If you put the right amount of effort into it. This means using a steep grade of at least 10 or higher, a decent speed, and you don't hold onto the treadmill. After an incline walking session on the treadmill, I am sweating bullets, winded, and my HR gets way up. In a sense, incline walking is more challenging than HIIT because the workout is constant. At least when you are running sprints you get a chance for recovery in between. However, when you are walking at a steep grade, there is no break. You have to keep it up the whole time.

Keep in mind that the effectiveness of incline walking is that it is MORE INTENSE. There is nothing magic or intrinsically superior about incline walking per se. It's a way for people to work at higher intensities who can't, or don't want to run.

Walking on level ground, even at speeds that most people would find a musculoskeletal challenge (like 4.0-4.5 mph), is low-intensity exercise. If you are looking to just burn calories and don't mind doing it for 60-90 min, then level walking can be beneficial. But, unless you are older or deconditioned, walking has limits as a cardiovascular fitness exercise.

Slowing down the speed and cranking up the hill can double, triple, even quadruple the intensity of the exercise. Not only can this benefit people who don't want to or can't run, it can also be a change of pace for anyone who wants to give themselves a break from the pounding of running.

When I was in my "weight loss" phase, I found it a great way to get in a good calorie burn on a "rest" day. Or I would do it as a second workout for the day.

 

No, I do not hold on or lean back, I keep my form as correct as possible :)

I want to burn fat calories, so if I were to increase the intensity, wouldn't my heart rate go into a similar zone as the HIIT and burn a smaller proportion of fat?

Yeah, the most important thing is NOT TO HOLD ON. It really is amazing when people think that they can ramp the machines up to 10% or 15% and then put the speed up to like 5MPH and have to hold on to keep up.  Just continue to push the incline, WITHOUT holding on till you have a hard time, and then keep that rate for 10 minutes.  up it if you find HR dropping, or moving away from whatever target you have.

Original Post by beijingbelle:

I want to burn fat calories, so if I were to increase the intensity, wouldn't my heart rate go into a similar zone as the HIIT and burn a smaller proportion of fat?

Do not be confused by the "fat burn zone" - you might burn a higher proportion of calories from fat at a lower heart rate but a) you will burn a higher total number of calories from fat if you work at a higher intensity and b) you will burn a higher number of calories in total at the higher intensity, and in the time after your workout, the source of those calories will even out.

People who are training for distance events (marathons, etc), use the fat burn zone to pace themselves - to make sure they can finish the event. Those zones are not useful for people who are working out with the goal of fat loss.

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Original Post by beijingbelle:

I want to burn fat calories, so if I were to increase the intensity, wouldn't my heart rate go into a similar zone as the HIIT and burn a smaller proportion of fat?

Do not be confused by the "fat burn zone" - you might burn a higher proportion of calories from fat at a lower heart rate but a) you will burn a higher total number of calories from fat if you work at a higher intensity and b) you will burn a higher number of calories in total at the higher intensity, and in the time after your workout, the source of those calories will even out.

People who are training for distance events (marathons, etc), use the fat burn zone to pace themselves - to make sure they can finish the event. Those zones are not useful for people who are working out with the goal of fat loss.

This is absolutely true. I didn't save the link, but Azdak recently posted some studies that showed if you included the whole 24 hour period, the fat burn was exactly the same, independent of the activity. They had wo groups burn the same amount of calories in their workouts. The group that did high intensity burned more fat later to make up for their lost glycogen reserves. The group that did low intensity, conserved their glycogen reserves during the exercise, and burned far less fat later in the day. "It all evens out" is the perfect way of saying it. Smile

14 Replies
Recent Blog Post
Need a little spice on the side at dinner? Warm your fall meal with the heat and flavors of hot peppers tossed with cool, crisp Napa cabbage. Then, sit back and dream of warmer days

Continue reading...