You may have heard us mention in class that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) produces an afterburn effect, which means that your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate for up to 24 hours after working out!
While this might sound amazing, is it real or is it just another fad workout program?
The Science Behind Afterburn
Afterburn might be the cool term for it, but there is actually a scientific name for what we do: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This refers to the amount of oxygen your body needs to replenish after a killer workout!
So, in other words, yes afterburn is indeed real!
Our body is a well-oiled machine and it needs fuel pumping to the muscles to get things going. Oxygen is what we pump through our body to carry that fuel to the muscles. This causes your metabolism to jump up to an elevated level during and after exercise.
Intense Exercise = Intense Afterburn
Studies have shown that the more intense your workout is, the more intense the afterburn effect is. In other words, the harder you work in class, the more calories you can burn while you are recuperating after class!
In order to get the most out of the afterburn effect, we need to see ourselves at least in the 70%-85% range of our max heart rate (the green and the yellow on the MyZone board). Getting into the red (90%) will really kick that afterburn into high gear! The more intense your workout, the more bonus calories you will burn in the hours afterward.
Intense and rigorous exercise keeps your body burning calories hours after the workout is through. And this is not the only benefit to HIIT workouts – there’s also the bonus of increased muscle tone, fat loss and an increase in your aerobic capacity.
The next time your body is tired and ready to slow down during a workout, remember the afterburn effect and the benefits you’ll have long after your workout is finished! Remember that intensity pays off, and a HIIT workout has more proven benefits than a steady state cardio workout.
If you haven’t already, come down to the studio and experience one of our HIIT workouts for yourself and see just how intense, and rewarding, the experience can be! Until then, visit us online and check out some of our member testimonials at www.teamafterburn.com and like us on facebook at www.facebook.com/teamafterburn.