How hard should I exercise to lose fat?

Comfortable pace

Doing cardio is great, regardless of your goal, but to get the best results from your hard spent time you need to be exercising at the right level of intensity.

This is something that many people struggle with so you are not alone. How hard should I exercise? How hard is too hard? How do I know if I'm doing enough? Are all questions that personal trainers hear regularly, although maybe not quite as regularly as clients claiming they are training 'too hard'!

For the majority of people wanting to lose fat, a 'comfortable pace' is recomended. You may have heard this term before, either in magazines or in a gym. It is a guide used by fitness professionals to dictate your level of exertion. For best results when trying to burn fat, you can measure your heart rate but a much easier and cheaper way to do it is to simply stick to a 'comfortable pace'.

To find your 'comfortable pace' I would ask you a question whilst you have been doing the cardio for at least a minute and if you can answer with a full sentence without pausing for breath then you are not going quick enough, if you can only manage one word in between breaths then you are going too quick. Ideally you would manage to speak 2 or 3 words in between breaths and that is your comfortable pace.

Exercise at the right intensity and you will achieve your goals a lot quicker.

  • Too hard - you struggle to speak 2 words between breaths
  • Just right - you manage to speak 3 or 4 words between breaths
  • Not hard enough - you can comfortably speak 5 or more words between breaths

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