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What Does Peak Cardio and Fat Burn Mean?

Cardiovascular exercises mainly indicate the various forms of physical workout regimes that require very fast, quick and vigorous movements. These exercises increases the heart rate to the topmost speed in order to provide more oxygenated blood to the muscles and various other parts of the body. This is the time when the heart has to beat much faster and pump more oxygenated blood to the various parts of the body which makes the heart rate to be at the highest during these exercises. Hence while doing the cardio workouts, one should record and keep a close observation on the heart rate of an individual. It has often been said that the rate of the heartbeat also indicates the intensity of the workout and the level of stress and functional movement the exercise is creating for the body. This is an index that directly indicates the amount of weight that is being lost by the body while doing that exercise and the amount of fat burn that is happening for the body.

What Does Peak Cardio Mean?

The cardio or the heart rate is often counted on the basis of the reading recorded for a minute. Peak cardio is often indicated as the increase of heart beat by nearly 60 to 80% of the normal heart rate of an individual.(1) Such a heartbeat indicates at a point where the body is working at its optimal level. When the body is performing physical activities at its optimal capacity, the entire body is at a higher requirement of oxygenated blood. This is provided by the heart. So now the heart needs to pump a greater amount of oxygenated blood and also needs to pump at a much faster rate.(2,3) Hence, the heartbeat increases while doing any physical labor. In other words, your heart beat is also an indication of the amount of fat that is getting burnt in the body.

What Does Fat Burn Mean?

In the realm of cardio exercises, there are various levels of a heartbeat. These different levels of heartbeat indicate various exercise intensity levels which directly indicates the energy amounts that are being used up at the time of doing the exercises and the amount of fat that is being burnt by the body during the exercise sessions. Roughly there are about four such levels – the low intensity, the moderate intensity, the high intensity, and the maximum effort. It will intrigue you to know that the very ‘low intensity’ level is also known as the fat-burning zone. This is the time when about 50 to 70% of the heartbeat rate is increased and this level is also known as the warm-up level.

Experts have opined that the body depends on the stored fats more than the carbohydrates of the body for getting the fuel while you are working out at the lower intensity. This also means that you happen to burn more fat when you work at a lower intensity. This is a sort of exercise that happens to be great for the beginners and for people who wishes to train in endurance, working at a lower intensity can do wonders for you. Additionally, if you do work at a lower intensity you can work out for a longer period. This means that at the end of a lower intensity workout you can burn more fat. However, working out in a lower intensity always cannot help you to burn out all types of fats in your body. For certain body areas and certain forms of fats a higher intensity of the workout is also required.(3,4)

Ideally, if you wish to burn fat and also build your endurance it is best if you combine exercises regimes and patterns of various heartbeat levels.(5) This is one of the best ways through which you can adequately work the different parts of your body and work on various forms and areas of body fat. It will help you to build your endurance and also bring your body to the desired shape. Combining various levels of cardio exercises will also help you to stabilize your heartbeat rate so that you can continue for a long time.


Both the terms, peak cardio and fat burn belongs to the domain of cardiovascular exercises and workout regime. Both the term indicates exercise intensity levels that will indicate the amount of fat that is being lost by the body at the time of doing the exercises. In every sense, both peak cardio and fat burn happen to be interlinked and indicate at a similar aspect that indicates at the amount of energy level being consumed by a person while working out and the amount of fat that is being burnt.


  1. Know your target heart rates for exercise, losing weight and health. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates.
  2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition.
  3. Fletcher GF, et al. Exercise standards for testing and training: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;128:873.
  4. Bushman BA, et al., eds. ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2017.
  5. Riebe D, et al., eds. ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2018.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 2, 2020

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