How to Unlock Your Fat Burning Potential Through Zone 2 Cardio

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I got a late start to my career as a fitness researcher and writer.

I started over 15 years ago.

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I didn’t really hit my stride until I was 40.

When I started, most of the other people on the Internet writing about fitness were in their 20s.

My peers were getting lean WITHOUT cardio.

We will talk more about these young fitness influencers in a sec…

Need a music video break first (just some funky songs I like to break up the text).

Remember, these people were typically 15-20 years younger than me.

Here’s what is interesting about many of these fitness influencers who started at the same time I did.

Many of them are entering their 40s and now use Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in order to get lean.

I think a lot of this is due to being stubborn.

Wouldn’t want to get caught on an exercise bike if you based your entire career bashing it.

It’s possible to get lean after 40 naturally.

But to do so, you will most likely need more cardio than you are doing now.

It doesn’t have to be hard cardio.

A have a hard 8-week round of Visual Impact Cardio to increase VO2 Max (which accelerates fat burning).

This gets you up to speed quickly but…

You don’t even need to go this hard.

I like more mellow intervals a couple of times per week.

Most of the week, I’ll do an extended session of “fast walking” intensity cardio.

This is considered ZONE 2 Cardio.

It’s gained traction over the past couple of years.

Here’s how to hit Zone 2 level intensity.

You should be able to talk, but it won’t be super easy to have a conversation.

If you are on the phone with someone and you are doing Zone 2 cardio, they can tell you are exercising. You can still talk, but you are obviously exercising.

When I’m in Zone 2, I reach a heart rate of roughly 130-140 beats per minute.

This isn’t exact.

People vary quite a bit in heart rate, so don’t use mine as a target.

Here’s what led to the recent resurgence of Zone 2 cardio.

About 3 years ago, Dr. Peter Attia (Standford Longevity Expert) interviewed Dr. Iñigo San Millán (expert on cellular metabolism).

He interviewed Dr. Inigo again this past year.

Here are the biggest takeaways from that interview.

  • The health of your mitochondria is the best indicator of your overall health.
  • Zone 2 training is the best way to increase mitochondrial health.
  • It can take several months or years to reach your best mitochondrial health.
  • Short bursts of high-intensity training can’t make up for getting in Zone 2 cardio.
  • He recommends a minimum of 3 hours per week of this type of cardio.
  • He personally gets over 6 hours of this exercise per week.

The main point is this.

Brief and intense workouts can’t replace 3 hours of time spent in Zone 2 each week.

There is a time element here.

According to Dr Iñigo…

High-intensity exercisers and bodybuilders have very poor mitochondrial function compared to people who do longer-duration cardio.

If you only do short intense workouts, it is very likely that you have poor mitochondrial function.

Especially if you are over 40.

We know that Zone 2 cardio is absolutely one of the healthiest forms of exercise, but how does it work for fat loss?

I’ll discuss that next.

Zone 2 Cardio for Fat Loss Explained…

Here’s the big criticism about cardio for fat loss.

Fat loss happens in a calorie deficit, and that deficit is much easier to achieve through diet than exercise. It’s simply easier to eat 500 fewer calories than it is to burn 500 calories through cardio.

That makes sense on the surface.

It’s pretty straightforward to get lean in your 20s and 30s through diet alone.

As you age, your mitochondrial health declines.

What does that mean when it comes to fat loss?

The healthier your mitochondria, the more fat you burn doing ANY activity.

A person in their 20s and 30s is able to get lean without cardio.

This is because they have efficient mitochondria due to being young.

Then they hit 40 or 50.

Getting lean through diet alone becomes rough.

Middle age is the time when people turn to weight loss drugs like WeGovy or TRT to get lean.

ANYTHING but cardio.

The irony is that doing cardio the right way is the key to reclaiming your youthful ability to burn fat.

In the most recent Zone 2 Cardio interview Dr. Inigio says this.

“It’s unbelievable and super inspiring how much they improve in their 60s. I’ve seen people in their 70s with the metabolic parameters of active people in their 30s.”

If you are in your 40s or 50s?

I am betting it’s possible to get the metabolic parameters of someone in their 20s.

The way to do this is through Zone 2 cardio.

According to Dr. Inigo…

Ideally, you want to do at least 45 minutes straight for each Zone 2 session.

If your goal was to get 3 hours in per week?

You would want to do four 45-minute sessions.

This is a great starting point.

Since September, I’ve been getting in about 3 hours per week.

I’ve decided to increase my Zone 2 cardio to 5-6 hours per week from now until June.

On my 4 lifting days, I’ll do an hour.

On two of my non-lifting days, I’ll do 45 minutes of Zone 2 and 15 minutes of some form of HIIT cardio.

One off day per week

The idea is to optimize my metabolic health and metabolism with a higher dose of Zone 2 cardio.

You won’t get the metabolism similar to someone 20-30 years younger overnight… it can take several months to more than a year to reach your peak mitochondrial efficiency.

I’ll do 5-6 hour per week until summer.

Reduce it to 3-4 in the summer and then back to 5-6 in the fall.

This seems like a lot, but remember…

Fat is oxidized in your mitochondria.

Aerobically fit people have strong mitochondria.

People who are out-of-shape have weak mitochondria

Aerobically fit people have the greatest ability to burn body fat.

Not just during exercise.

They burn more fat 24 hours per day.

If you want to improve your body’s ability to burn fat, Zone 2 cardio should be a priority.

I never quit doing cardio because the fittest 75-year-old I’ve ever met spent 5 hours per week doing cardio.

He became a mentor to me over 10 years ago.

I cover everything I’ve learned from him here.

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I love it that the current cutting-edge science is backing up what I’ve suspected for a long time.

The right type of cardio leads to a healthier and longer life and…

If you’re willing to put in 3+ hours of Zone 2 cardio each week, your metabolism will be in a much better place a year from now.

Diets will work better.

You will lose weight when you cut calories instead of getting stuck.

*NEW* Visual Impact Fat Loss Boost Diet
For 15 years I've helped fashion models get lean for photoshoots. Use my plan to Lose 5-10 pounds of PURE body fat in 14 days.

Staying lean and healthy will come naturally to you.

Give it a shot!

Cheers,

-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

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