So what exactly is afterburn? In a nutshell, it’s the energy your body burns after your workout in order to restore oxygen levels.
A higher intensity workout requires more energy to replenish your oxygen. So, by choosing the correct type of exercise, at the most effective level of intensity, you’re on your way to melting a touch more energy!
Here are some tips for getting the most from afterburn:
1. You’ve got to work hard
You’ve got to get sweaty! If you talked for a large portion of your session, or just went through the motions, it’s not going to cut it. Sweating and getting breathless at intervals is the goal.
2. You need to feel the burn (literally)
You need to ‘feel’ that you are working hard, that you are being challenged and if you think that you have more effort to give, go for it, as this is exactly when the good stuff happens!
3. Use heavy weights
Select a weight that is tough and challenging, but that you can use safely.
4. Use compound (big) movements
Exercises that require a multi-joint action or lots of muscles working at the same time are the types to concentrate on.
5. Aim for a high heart rate with recovery
Workouts that are difficult in intensity are key. Choose forms of exercise that provide a high heart rate for a certain duration, with a short rest in a lower heart rate zone for recovery.
Examples of training types:
- Interval Training
- Heavy Weight Training/Supersets etc
6. Avoid sugar and alcohol pre/during/post
Sugar and alcohol are toxins and can mute the impact of afterburn.
Avoid these before, during and right after your workouts to maximise your results and give your body a chance to do its thing.
7. Mix up your training
Cross training with lots of various activities is amazing for stimulating a response this way.
Perform this approach to training up to 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days to allow for recovery between workouts.
While the afterburn effect and its ability to reduce body fat storage is great, it shouldn’t replace a sensible approach to training and nutrition.
If you are in a position to add these high-intensity sessions into your regime, see it as a bonus – not an excuse to indulge in more calories afterwards!