3 Tips To Achieve The Afterburn Effect In Your Fitness Routine

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IMG_9390Look I totally get it; you literally don’t have the time or the energy to exercise as often as you once did. It happens and it’s understandable; part of wearing the mom-badge. But seriously, who has time to drive 10 minutes to the gym, talk to Carrie at the front desk for 15 minutes, exercise for 20-40 minutes (depending on your mood), drive back home, take a shower — all before fixing dinner?

Not having enough time is literally one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients; the majority of them are moms. That’s where working out smarter and not necessarily longer or harder comes into play! How does this sound: start exercising in a way that allows you to burn an extra 150+ calories [1] over 30+ hours after your workout still due to that workout [5]! You could be burning calories just sitting there watching Bubble Guppies — yes I’m serious; it’s called the EPOC or afterburn effect.

Afterburn Effect

Don’t get all intimidated by the acronym EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). All it basically stands for is the amount of calories you use after a workout to return your body back to its normal state. This is measured by the extra oxygen you consume to carry out all of the physiological processes to get back to normal (1 extra liter of oxygen equates to 5 extra calories burned).

I’m going to try to keep all of the science jargon out of this article so here is basically how you can be burning calories up to 48 hours post-workout still due to that workout!

1. High-Intensity Exercise

The main way to boost your EPOC effect is to perform exercise at a high intensity for an extended period of time (no, not 1-2 hours either; more on that in a minute).

The higher the intensity the longer and the bigger the EPOC magnitude is; aka more calories burned. This is because when you are exercising at a high intensity you are taxing your muscle more (not to mention your lungs) and it requires more time to get them back to their normal state. But what is high-intensity? Great question.

Science has shown that in order to elicit a decent EPOC effect you need to perform the exercises at 70-75% of your VO2max for an extended period of time [3]. That basically sounds like an equation off of the Big Bang Theory, right? But it’s rather easy to figure out.

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