I was doing some research on the importance of specific heart rates for performance and fat oxidation, when I came across a curious topic: the Afterburn Effect. I vaguely remembered the concept, but was instantly intrigued to find out more – the research behind it.
Okay so now I’m guessing you’re intrigued too…
Why is more oxygen consumed after exercise?
After exercise your body has to recover, and oxygen is required for a number of reasons:
- Replace oxygen stores
- ATP (energy) / creatine phosphate resynthesis
- Removal of lactate in muscle tissue
- Restore body temperature
- Increased ventilation and circulation post-exercise
- Increased rate of triglyceride/fatty acid cycling
- Change in carbohydrate to fat as energy substrate
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE AFTERBURN EFFECT
- Intensity of exercise
– Curvilinear relationship between intensity and calories burned after exercise.
– Higher intensity = more calories burned after exercise
– It is possible that steady-state cardio exercises are not required for maximum afterburn when compared to weight lifting.
- Duration of exercise
– Linear relationship between exercise duration and calories burned after exercise
– This is observed especially when exercise is performed at a higher intensity
– Increased metabolic rate is observed up to 38 hours post-exercise
– Short bursts of high intensity can burn more calories in less time than steady-state cardio.
|DURATION||CALORIES BURNED DURING||CALORIES BURNED AFTER||
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED
- Other possible factors
Increased calorie burn post-exercise
- Splitting exercise sessions with 6 hours between sessions.
- split a 60 minute session into two 30 minute sessions
- one morning and one evening
- Add supersets to your gym routine
- complete one exercise to the next without any rest periods
- complete exercises following one another that uses opposite muscle groups so that while the one muscle contracts, the other rests
- Add cardio before a resistance session
- complete a 10 minute cardio session before your weights session to increase calorie burn
From the above you can see there are many ways to supercharge your training in oder to get optimal results. However, there are a few points to note:
- There is never a one-size-fits-all appraoch to training. It is up to you to determine what works best for you, your personality, and your lifestyle. TRIAL AND ERROR!!
- Exercise burns calories, but nutrition still remains the most powerful weapon. Also remember that food is what fuels your body in order to build that coveted muscle – so you can’t have muscle without wholesome food.
- The afterburn effect is an exciting prospect for people wanting to burn more fat, but much more research is needed before definite assumptions can be made.