The Tale of Fat Max - Encore

The Tale of Fat Max


It’s been a while since I dropped any pure science,
in these blogs, but as if by magic an article popped
up in my inbox yesterday.

***Yes luckily for you, I’m a full on nerd
that gets fat burning science delivered to
my inbox!***

So the article was called:

What is Fat Max?

First off, Fat Max isn’t a person.


That picture up there is NOT Max.



Fat Max refers to the exercise intensity at
which fat is oxidised maximally.



In English- how much effort do you need to
put in to burn the most fat?



Apparently, 65% effort is ideal for maximal
fat oxidation (that’s science for

This would be represented by a jog.

Now, I’m not going to dispute the results

The guy that wrote it is a bit of a legend
in the sports nutrition world, so he really
knows his shit.

However, it’s the interpretation of the
results, which is important. Because this
is where people get confused.

So jogging burns the most fat.

It’s science bitch, Jeukendrup says so!


But . . . .

The results of his study show the fat
oxidation peaked at intensities of 65%,
then more carbohydrates were used alongside
the fat.

The harder the exercise got, the more the
body relied on carbohydrates to provide


Think of fat oxidation like a solar panel
on your roof…

We all know that they’re good for the
environment, renewable, healthy, no carbon
footprint etc.

But I think we all know that a few solar
panels on your roof is not going to provide
enough juice for a full on house party with
a sound system upstairs, all the lights on,
and a band playing in the garden.

If you ask more than 65% of your body –
which is a good thing, don’t worry! – then
your solar panels (fat cells) need a bit of
back up from another source.

In this instance, carbs.



If we look closer at Fat Max himself, we’ll
see that he peaks at 0.6g of fat per

What does that mean?

The absolute maximum number of calories
from fat your body can burn in the ‘fat
burning zone’ is 5 calories per minute.

300 calories per hour.

Sounds good?

But trust me

That’s not very much.

Someone on my Beat The Dad Bod program
burnt 900 calories in an hour last week.

(I’ll tell you more about him another time)

But Alex – they must have been using more

than just fat as fuel!

I know, and he’s still lost a stone in 4

What the actual?


Dude, don’t worry, I know you don’t sit on
the cross trainer paying attention to the
Fat Burning Zone nonsense on the side panel
making sure you don’t train too hard

I’ll go more into the science of Fat
Oxidation later in the week.


In the meantime, don’t let pseudo-fitness
journalist in the Metro page fool you into
wasting your time with exercising like a
lazy bastard when they quote this study as
ground-breaking science!


On that bombshell,

I’m out

Alex “I fucking love Science” Backhouse



Being in the fitness industry for over 12 years, I've seen it all. The fads, the hype and the stuff that really works. I've seen my own body and training have to adapt to family life as my kids have come along and turned my world upside down in the best possible way, and I've done my best to stay at the top of my game throughout.

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