A Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Interval Training | Team Afterburn

High intensity interval training is one of the most popular and effective workouts today, for individuals from the everyday person trying to improve health, to the seasoned athlete trying to get in the best shape of their lives. So what exactly makes HIIT training so popular? Why is it so different from the normal gym experience? Let’s take a look:




HIIT, short for high intensity interval training, is a training method designed to bring your body to all-out effort of a short period of time (anywhere from 20-60 seconds) with short period of rest in between (roughly 30 seconds). The idea, which we’re sure you’ve heard us say it time and time again in class, is to get the heart rate elevated and then keep it there for the duration of class. Why would we do this? Because this burns the most amount of calories in the least amount of time!


Another thing you’ve heard us mention in class is the afterburn effect, otherwise known as the EPOC effect. The EPOC effect is short for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and is achieved when our heart rates stay elevated to the point where our body continues to work and burn calories for hours after we leave the gym! This is why HIIT workouts are far more effective than standard gym workouts.


Aside from just the increased calorie burn, here are a few more benefits from HIIT:

  1. Increased Metabolism
    It’s no secret that as we get older our metabolism starts to turn on us! The EPOC effect, which we get when we combine the high intensity with the intervals, allows the fat burning to start taking full effect before we’ve even left the gym!
  2. Quick and Convenient
    No time for the gym? No problem! Interval training workouts are designed to be quick, easy, convenient, and most importantly, effective! Most routines last 30-45 minutes…who can’t spare that? At Team Afterburn we start each class at 10 minutes after the hour and you are gone by the top of the next hour. 45-50 minutes at most for a life-changing commitment!
  3. No Experience Required
    While HIIT workouts appear to be (and in many cases are) designed for high-level athletes, the beauty is that they are designed to be effective for everyone! At Team Afterburn we focus on the functional aspects of fitness and your life. We focus on exercises that will benefit you not just in the gym, but everywhere else!


Are you ready to truly challenge yourself with interval training and make the kind of commitment that is life changing? See for yourself what so many of our members have and are experiencing online at www.teamafterburn.com/testimonials and also head over to Facebook and like us for regular updates and tips at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn. Better yet, though, come down to the studio with your gym clothes and join us for a workout! Hope to see you soon!

low calorie breakfast


Despite the common myth that eating healthy means eating boring, it’s simply not true! At Team Afterburn we stress to our members that portion control, meaning understanding your calorie intake vs you’re the calories you are burning, is what it really comes down to. Keeping a focus on low calories foods will allow you to still eat some delicious meals, including breakfast! Let’s take a look at 7 healthy, low calorie breakfast recipes that will help you shed the pounds and still eat great!

1.) Blueberry Syrup and Waffles!

Up first is one of our favorites! All you’ll need for this amazing breakfast is 1/3c of blueberries (frozen), 2 tsp of syrup, 2 waffles (whole grain), and some pecans!

If you microwave the syrup and the blueberries together for a couple of minutes, you will get a nice blueberry-flavored syrup! Top the toasted waffles with the syrup and blueberry mix, along with some pecans, and you have a delicious low calorie breakfast!


2.) Tomato on bagel and cream cheese

Once again, we will focus on whole grain for the bagel and we will use low fat cream cheese to keep this one healthy! Using just 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese, spread onto a toasted bagel and top with a tomato slice on each side! This delicious low calorie breakfast will get your day started at under 300 calories!


3.) Banana pancakes and PB!

A classic! Adding peanut butter and banana to your whole grain (yes, you see the pattern) batter will give a great taste to the pancakes! Top with some honey on the top and you’re off to another great day thanks to a super low calorie breakfast!


4.) Granola parfait

Simply, yet delicious and very low calorie breakfast! About 6 ounces of yogurt (Greek if you’re looking for the protein), 2 tsp of honey, and whole grain (yep) granola! You can top it off with some blueberries or other fruits and this is a cool, light treat which is great for summer months especially!


5.) Omelet with bacon and spinach

Did we say bacon? Yes! Well, ok, turkey bacon. Crumble the turkey bacon and mix it with baby spinach, adding both to a nice mix of egg whites. Cook the mixture together on a skillet and serve with some toast! Low calorie breakfast is served!


As you can see, breakfast can still be amazing when you’re watching what you eat! Combine great foods like this with a consistent workout routine (like Team Afterburn!) and you will achieve the results you have always wanted! Check us out online at www.teamafterburn.com and come check us out with our 6-week, no commitment trial package for just $75! You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn.

There’s a reason why we tout the 45 minute workout at Team Afterburn, where you burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. We live in a busy world with buys lives! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) helps us maintain the ability to work out, effectively, while not having to adjust our daily routines. Whether it’s before work, during your lunch break, or even during that small window the kids are at practice, Team Afterburn offers the ability to get in an incredibly effective, efficient working through the benefits of HIIT. Research has shown that HIIT training has shown the same results as other cardio and metabolic workouts in as little as 25% of the time invested.

Benefits of HIIT

If you still aren’t quite sure what HIIT is, check out a prior blog we did on how it works: HIIT: What is it and is it effective?

You’ll Melt Away Fat

Of course during an intense HIIT workout you will burn a crazy amount of calories, but it’s the Afterburn Effect (EPOC effect) that really makes this an amazing workout! When you ask your body to work so hard during that workout, it will go into recovery mode for up to 24 hours after the workout, meaning you continue to burn calories at an elevated level after you leave the gym, which is a unique benefit of HIIT workouts!

Your Heart Will Get Stronger

For most people, getting into that red zone (90% of max heart rate and above) is no fun. It’s difficult and means we are pushing ourselves to the limit. However, max training means max results. Studies have shown that those who do continued HIIT workouts for as little as 6-8 weeks see an improvement of up to double their anaerobic capacity (running, biking, etc).

Heavy Equipment Not Required

We love using weights to help supplement the heart rate spike and to add an extra element, but they certainly aren’t required for an effective HIIT workout!  Members will often get intimidated by the large weights and think that the gym is not for them because they aren’t ready for weights like that. That’s ok, you don’t have to! High knee sprints, fast feet with touchdown/box jump, and jump lunges all work as a fantastic way to get that heart racing..

Getting Lean, Not Weak

There’s a reason why we alternate between cardio and weight days at Team Afterburn. Studies have shown that a combination of both resistance training and HIIT workouts allows us to maintain our hard earned muscle while losing most of our weight from fat storage!

Increased Metabolism

HIIT workouts can encourage the production of human growth hormone in our bodies by over 400% during that Afterburn Effect! HGH not only causes us to burn more calories, but it also helps us maintain that nice, young look and feel!

You Can Do It Anywhere

While we certainly hope you do your HIIT workouts with us at Team Afterburn where you get the benefit of accountability, certified trainers, and of course a group of friends, we do realize that life doesn’t always allow for a trip to the gym. You can always do your favorite exercises like burpees, jump squats, and all of the other great non-equipment workouts from the comforts of….well, anywhere!

It’s Challenging

HIIT workouts require you to dig deep and bring out a side of you that is not only rewarding physically, but mentally. You will need to give it your all the entire time you are working out, resisting that desire to slow down or even quit. Ultimately, that leads to some pretty awesome mental rewards!

If you’d like to know more about what we do at Team Afterburn and the benefit of HIIT workouts, or if you are still looking for a little more info, check us out online at www.teamafterburn.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn!

It’s the weekend which means we get to take a break not just from work, but also from working out and eating healthy, right? Wrong! While we love that break from work, we should make our commitment to health and fitness a never-ending journey! Weekends can be a time to pile up the calories because we tend to be more social, go out more, and we eat more meals in the day with other people (and not on a time limit). So, in today’s edition of Phil’s Kitchen, we are going to give you some healthy snack reminders as you head into those weekend breaks!

healthy snack

  • Crackers with a healthy hazelnut or Nutella spread! You can even top this yummy treat off with a banana slice!
  • Smoothies! Smoothies are delicious, filling, nutritious, and you can get creative with the recipes!
  • Hummus! Hummus is wonderful with crackers or pita bread, or even by itself!
  • Pretzel chips and dip. You can choose from a number of low calorie dips to got with this delicious, low calorie chip!
  • Yogurt parfait! Nice and refreshing healthy snack in these summer temperatures!
  • Rice cakes! Rice cakes are extremely low in calories, which allows you the room to add a little topping such as peanut butter!
  • Frozen yogurt! Yes, we said it, frozen yogurt! Go easy on the toppings and you can make this a low calorie healthy snack!
  • Popcorn! Don’t douse it with butter and salt and popcorn can be a healthy treat for everyone!
  • Celery sticks! Actually, ants on a log! A classic! Celery with peanut butter and raisins is a low calorie treat we can all enjoy!
  • Watermelon! Stay hydrated in those hot summer months with this delicious, low calorie snack!


Stay on track with your diet over the weekend and any time you are out of your normal routine and opt for the healthy snack! If you need a little extra help, check us out online at https://www.teamafterburn.com/6-weeks-trial-membership/ and join the Team for help meal planning and of course, calorie killing workouts!

If you look back to our activities throughout our life, they typically always involved friends. When we were kids we played outside with friends, when we were teenagers we hung out with our friends on weekends and at school, and even into adulthood we spent time with our group of friends. As older adults we still crave the same thing, but our social events tend to become fewer and further between. Make going to the gym a social event! Spending time with people you enjoy while in the gym can not only lift your spirits, but also make your workout that much more effective, which is why group fitness classes are a fantastic way to reach your goals.

When you work out on your own, you miss out on a lot of elements of group fitness classes, such as making new friends, gaining accountability, and also being part of a workout that has already been designed in a safe, effective manner! 

People tend to get very bored in the gym, which is why boredom is one of the leading causes of people quitting before they reach their goals. When you walk into Team Afterburn and see familiar faces and can enjoy your time in the studio during the group fitness classes, every day is new and exciting and you don’t get that bored feeling! You find ways to challenge and push each other during group fitness classes and can even laugh and joke about life outside the gym. Effective workouts are just as much mental as they are physical!

People also often fall short of their goal due to time constraints. When you work out alone you are trying to figure out the best routine and which station to go to next and sometimes even have to wait for a station to open up. In group fitness classes, the entire class is already pre-determined and you just need to show up, enjoy the group, and get in a great workout!

If boredom, lack of time, not knowing exactly what you are doing, or a number of other reasons are excuses you have given for not reaching your health and fitness goals, give group fitness classes a try at Team Afterburn! Check out our 6-week, no commitment trial package for just $75 at http://www.teamafterburn.com/6-weeks-trial-membership/ and get started today!

Summer is just around the corner and everyone is surely looking for the best summer body workout! Well, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it all starts with you and your hard work, determination, and overall motivation and commitment to success! However, Team Afterburn has developed a rapid, 6-week summer transformation program that is designed to get you the quickest results in the least amount of time possible! This truly is the best summer body workout!


best summer body workout


At Team Afterburn one of the core philosophies we work around is that we understand what it’s like to have a busy life, have responsibilities, and that all of these things typically make our health and fitness and easy thing to take off the table. Keeping that as one of our focuses has allowed us to design a program that takes the burden off of you and simply requires you to show up!


Based on the principles of high intensity interval training (HIIT), our rapid summer transformation program will have you burning calories at an extremely elevated level, while working to tone your muscles at the same time, combining for the best summer body workout! Here’s the real kicker that pushes Team Afterburn’s program over the top: we don’t just stop there! We also work on your diet and provide you with meal plans and assistance in what you should and shouldn’t be eating! We also provide biweekly reassessments to measure your progress and ensure you are on the right track for the summer body!


The temperatures are heating up with each and every passing day, so it’s time now to find that best summer body workout! Check out our program at https://www.teamafterburn.com/rapid-summer-transformation-program/?et_fb=1 and read our numerous member reviews and success stories and get started today!

One thing we all look for when trying to get in shape and lose weight is the best exercises to lose weight. We want to make sure we are being efficient with our time and getting the most bang for our buck, so to speak. One of our members, Jason Schlichting, recently pointed out that we have several exercises that are essentially variations of a burpee. Very good observation, Jason, and there is a reason behind that!


best exercises to lose weight


Burpees are a favorite exercise of elite athletes, military special forces, and of course HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. So, the reason you see exercises such as traditional burpees, stay low burpees, burpee box jumps, fast feet touchdowns, and others is because we want you to be as effective and efficient as possible with your workouts, while still getting variation! In other words, when searching for that best exercise to lose weight, you’ve found it (over and over) here at Team Afterburn!


Here are four reasons burpees are truly one of the best exercises to lose weight:


1.) You melt away calories


Research has already proven that HIIT workouts can burn up to 50% more calories and fat than traditional workouts. When one of those exercises incorporates the entire body, like a burpee, then you are maximizing your results even more and turning your body into a calorie-burning machine!


2.) You build strength


We preach functional fitness at Team Afterburn. How we treat our bodies now will have long lasting effects on our everyday lives, for the rest of our lives! Burpees work muscles from top to bottom and every repetition helps build up our strength over time!


3.) You increase your conditioning


We love those elevated heart rates at Team Afterburn and burpees are one of the most effective ways to achieve that! There’s a reason why individuals who need to be at their very best for extended periods of time (special forces, athletes, etc) rely so heavily on burpees. Burpees will help increase you endurance and allow you to work harder, for longer periods of time.


4.) You can do them virtually anywhere, any time


No matter what type of workout we have going on in the studio that day, burpees can always be incorporated. This means you can also do them on days you cant make it to the gym, days you are on vacation, or heck even when you are just at home and want to burn some extra calories! Challenge your coworkers to a burpee contest and show them what you’ve been working toward at Team Afterburn!


As you can see, burpees truly are one of the best exercises to lose weight, and we love to utilize them in our program. However, we make it a point to keep you on your toes and keep the exercises new and interesting, so we love to modify them and make new exercises, while still getting the benefits of the burpee! If you are looking to improve your health and fitness, check out our 6-week, no commitment trial package at http://www.teamafterburn.com/6-weeks-trial-membership/ and also like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn.


With so many new members since the last time we highlighted our coaches, we thought it would be nice for you to get to know a little more about the trainers you see every day who are committed to helping you, the members, reach your goals! After all, in order to achieve your goals efficiently, you are going to want to be working with the best local trainer around and we have a team full of them at Team Afterburn!


best local trainer
Today we are going to get to know Coach Andrew (aka Coach Angel) a little better! Andrew moved to Arizona from Michigan in August, 2012 and started out as a member at Team Afterburn before becoming a trainer! One of Andrew’s strengths is that he knows how effective Team Afterburn is, having dropped from 20% body fat to 8.5% since he first joined the Team!
What makes Coach Angel one of the best local trainers in the area? Well, for starters, he knows what he’s doing! Andrew is a Certified Personal Trainer through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America and has also earned certification in Feeding the Athlete, Practical Modality Instruction, the Harmful Effects of Excessive Exercise, and several continued education credits through AFAA as well. Additionally, Andrew is CPR certified through the American Heart Association and has obtained his Weight Management Certification through the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers!
Andrew is committed to your success and knows what it takes to reach your goals through his own experiences and his training! In other words, you are in great hands with Coach Andrew, one of the best local trainers around!

Sticking to a new diet can be one of the hardest things we have to face when trying to reach our health and fitness goals! Not to worry, at Team Afterburn we are here to help you along the way, not only through meal planning assistance, but also through accountability and support. In today’s Afterburn Blog, we are going to provide some tips that will prove very important in making sure you can realistically stick with a new diet!


meal planning


  • Like most things, doing something “cold turkey” is really tough. The same goes for sticking with a diet. Understanding what it takes to make such a big change is going to be the first step. In other words, be realistic and understanding of the task ahead so that you aren’t in for a shock when the time comes! Be prepared to motivate yourself and resist urges and cravings.
  • Don’t forget why you are doing it in the first place. Don’t lose sight of your motivation, because that motivation will be the key to sticking with it!
  • Be a creature of habit. Eat generally at the same time and in the same fashion. Sit down, don’t eat on the go. Eat slowly, enjoy it.
  • Be accountable! It might sound crazy to write down everything you eat, but in the end, it is a great way to keep track and not “forget” or hide bad foods! This doesn’t have to be something you do forever, but in the beginning,  it will be great for creating the routine.
  • Don’t overthink the foods. At Team Afterburn we will provide you with a meal plan if you want, which makes it that much easier! However, in a general sense, just eat healthy. Cut the snacks, cut the fried foods, and just focus on making sure your meals are healthy in nature.
  • Wrap your mind around reality. Weight loss truly is as simple as calories in vs calories out. Sure, the science behind it is more complex than that, but when it comes to the actual numbers on the scale, it is that basic. So, do you want to snack, or do you want to reduce the number on the scale? It’s a simple choice and you can’t negotiate it. Once you accept that its one or the other, the choice becomes much easier!
  • Don’t treat hunger like it’s a life or death situation. Maybe if you are stranded on an island, but not when you’re going through your normal daily routine. Prove that you can skip a snack. Drink water instead of eating (we often mistake thirst for hunger). Don’t just rush to the nearest food item and make a poor diet decision!
  • Know how to recognizer a craving vs hunger. We need to eat sometimes and we want to eat at other times. Eat when you need to, not just when you want to!
  • Don’t convince yourself that you “earned” a cheat meal. Throughout the normal course of our daily lives, we will get plenty of bad food anyway. It’s just bound to happen. So, let that happen on its own and don’t encourage it by justifying it! You will inevitably eat a piece of candy at work or go out for happy hour with friends or go to dinner with a date. It’s human nature. Let those one-off things be just one-off and don’t convince yourself you have earned bad food. The quicker you get in a habit, the easier the diet will be!


Remember, you don’t have to go on this journey alone! Talk to us about custom meal planning and let us help keep you accountable along the way through monthly reassessments! If you haven’t had an assessment in the last month, talk to one of our coaches to schedule yours! If you aren’t already a member, check us out online at http://www.teamafterburn.com/6-weeks-trial-membership/.

Being a part of the Team Afterburn community is so much more than just having access to group workout classes on a daily basis! Being part of the Team Afterburn community means access to a community of professionals and people like yourself who ultimately become your weight loss support team! Through encouragement, accountability, knowledge, and even a special online support group on Facebook, the community atmosphere is never in short supply when you are part of our community!


weight loss support


Countless studies have shown that the people you surround yourself with tend to influence your decision makings. We may hear this in negative connotations often, but it is true in positive ways as well! When we are surrounded by people who positively influence us, we have what is known as a weight loss support group! One of the primary things a weight loss support community does is hold you accountable, both in and out of the gym!


When you feel comfortable with the environment around you, you tend to migrate toward the choices those people are making as well! So, when everyone else is encouraging one another to go to class at Team Afterburn, you will be motivated as well and in turn pass that motivation along to others! This is also true for eating habits! When others around you are talking about their healthy eating habits or new healthy foods they have discovered, you tend to want to join in on the fun! This is a huge aspect of the Team Afterburn Member Support page on Facebook! Members are always giving encouragement to one another and posting healthy food ideas, which is an extension of the weight loss support community!


Don’t feel like you have to go the journey alone! Team Afterburn, which includes not only our coaches, but also your fellow members, is here to join you and encourage you along the way! Check out our 6-week Summer Transformation Program online at http://www.teamafterburn.com/6-weeks-trial-membership/ and also our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn.