What is the afterburn effect

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 25, 2017
What is the afterburn effect

The afterburn effect happens when our body continues to burn fat even after we have finished exercising. There are no specific studies demonstrating its effectiveness. However, after certain workouts, our body continues burning calories in order to recover. The scientific name of this phenomenon is excess post exercise oxygen consumption.

Isn't it cool? Did you know that you can still burn calories even after training? Many people say they have lost weight faster by making a few simple changes to their exercise routine, as they have been able to boost the afterburn effect. In this OneHowTo article we will explain what the afterburn effect is so you can try it out and see if it works for you.

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The afterburn effect

This phenomenon is known as the afterburn effect because you burn calories even after exercising. This process can last from 12 to 24 hours after training and will depend on the intensity of the cardiovascular exercises that you have done. The afterburn effect helps our metabolism accelerate naturally and increases caloric expenditure hours after going to the gym.

How does the afterburn effect work?

After a day of sport, our muscles regenerate and our system returns to normal; this process requires a lot of energy and, therefore, more calories will be burned than usual to bring the body back to its normal hormonal levels. This is what is known as the afterburn effect.

Whenever we exercise, our bodies generate more oxygen to give us more energy: the more intense the workout, the more oxygen we need to generate to complete it. When you finish training, you feel like your breathing gradually normalises, but that is not the case: cell respiration continues to be accelerated just as when you were exercising.

What is the afterburn effect - The afterburn effect

How long does afterburn last?

The longest the afterburn effect can last is 24 hours after the exercise. That is why fitness professionals recommend alternating exercise with periods of rest to regenerate the tissues. During those resting periods you are still burning calories.

As a general rule, the longer your body needs to return to normal levels, the longer the afterburn effect. What is clear is that the high point, or when the body burns more calories to regenerate, happens during the first hour after exercise; then it diminishes until disappearing.

What is the afterburn effect - How long does afterburn last?

Afterburn workout

  1. Alternate intensity. by changing the pace, our body does not get used to oxygen and therefore we work harder.
  2. Cardiovascular exercise and toning. instead of just doing cardio at the beginning of training and then doing weights, mix it up and you'll speed up your metabolism.
  3. 45-minute sessions minimum. Every time you work out, it should be for at least 45 minutes to burn calories.

So, we can say that in order to boost the afterburn effect it is better to alternate different levels of intensity during training than maintaining one the whole time. Instead of 20 minutes brisk walking, alternate 10 minutes of quick walk with 5 minutes of sprinting, then slow it down again and so on. Also, instead of doing 30 minutes of exercise a day, we recommend that you take one rest day and do a full hour of workout on training days. That way your body will take longer to recover and therefore burn more calories. To maximise the afterburn effect, we also recommend alternating your workout with aerobics and strength training.

Each time you do some kind of sport, it is clear that the afterburn effect appears in a greater or lesser intensity because our body needs to regenerate and return to normal hormonal levels. To make the most of this natural process, follow the above advice.

If you prefer classes to the weights room, try CrossFit which combines high-intensity aerobic exercise with strength training.

What is the afterburn effect - Afterburn workout

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