First let’s start off by explaining what the afterburn effect is, and then we can get into how you can enjoy this exercise phenomenon for greater weight loss. The afterburn effect is professionally referred to as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. Following a particularly intense workout your body needs to repair the damage and strains that you have put it through. To do this it needs oxygen.
Post workout your body requires more oxygen than it did prior to your workout because it is working harder to cool down and repair itself. Breathing in the additional oxygen causes your metabolism to work harder and continue to burn calories even after the workout is complete. Welcome to the afterburn effect.
How To Take Advantage Of The Afterburn Effect
All Workouts Are Not Created Equal
There are certain workouts that you can do that increase the chances of enjoying the additional caloric burning that accompanies the afterburn effect. While all exercises are beneficial to your health they are not all created equally and thus they will not all produce the same results.
For the afterburn effect to engage you must perform at least thirty minutes of a high intensity workout, preferably in either resistance training or interval training. They are the two most likely to increase your heart rate to the levels necessary to begin the afterburn effect post workout.
Pump Up Your Intensity
Studies show that increasing the intensity of the workout is not the only way to boost the afterburn effect. You can also perform exercises that engage the use of multiple muscle groups to benefit from this post workout calorie burn. Dynamic and compound moves require a higher level of physical exertion which is what you’re looking for in a workout if you want to accomplish a period of afterburn.
Keep in mind that high intensity training shouldn’t be performed on a daily basis though. In fact it is best to leave a rest day or a low intensity day in between each high intensity day to allow your muscles an opportunity to heal and grow.
How Long Does The Afterburn Effect Last?
The lasting effects of the afterburn effect is hard to measure because it’s different for each person, although it does generally range from an hour or two to as many as forty eight hours in extreme cases. Although lasting any longer than twenty four hours is fairly unlikely. Studies show that the afterburn effect lasts about twelve to sixteen hours for most people, which good news if you’re interested in truly getting the most out of your workouts.
The amount of calories that you burn during this time can also vary greatly so while you’ll enjoy a temporary boost in your metabolic rate for a few hours it may not translate to enough calories for you to notice a significant difference on a daily basis.
A Few Extra Calories Go A Long Way
Keep in mind though, that while you may not notice that extra fifty to two hundred extra calories burned throughout the day, your body will. Plus working out harder means not only means you’ll enjoy the afterburn of a few additional calories but that you’ll generally burn more calories during your workout as well.
Low Intensity Afterburn Effect
Everything In Moderation
There is no such thing as the afterburn effect following a low or moderately intense workout. Unfortunately you do actually have to go hard to reap the benefits of this reward. Although low and moderately intense workouts are also incredibly important, especially since you can’t go hard every single day without the very serious threat of possibly injury.
High intensity workouts should not be completed every day, but neither should low or moderate intensity workouts. Your routine should have a healthy mix of all three to keep your body tight, toned, limber, strong and most importantly — healthy.
Keep Your Workouts Balanced
Professional trainers suggest a rotating schedule for the best fitness results including high intensity training three to four times per week broken up by moderate intensity training two to three times per week with at least one low intensity or no workout rest day included in each and every week.
This routine ensures that your body has the proper amount of time to repair and heal itself so that it can become stronger without burning out. It also ensures that your metabolism remains revved up and ready to go, even on your off days.
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