How to Take Advantage of the Afterburn Effect to Burn Calories

How to Take Advantage of the Afterburn Effect to Burn Calories

By admin

The afterburn, or afterburn effect, is a phenomenon that allows you to continue burning calories at a higher rate even after you have finished exercising. This effect can be harnessed to maximize the results of your workouts and promote weight loss. In this article, we will explore what the afterburn effect is, how it works, and which workouts are most effective in taking advantage of it.

What is the Afterburn Effect?

The afterburn effect refers to the fact that after performing intense physical activity, your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even up to 24 hours after finishing the exercise. This effect is scientifically known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. During EPOC, your body continues to consume oxygen, which means it also continues to burn calories.

EPOC is necessary because your body is trying to restore itself to its pre-exercise state and adapt to the physical stress you have just experienced. This process includes replenishing fuel reserves, cellular repair, building tissue, and balancing hormones.

How Does EPOC Work?

During intense exercise, you breathe heavily to get more oxygen into your body and fuel your effort. However, your body is able to take in less oxygen than it needs. This creates an oxygen debt that must be repaid.

One study showed that high intensity interval training (HIIT) significantly increases EPOC more than constant moderate intensity resistance exercise. HIIT training, in which short bursts of high-intensity exercise are alternated with low-intensity recovery periods, creates a greater afterburn effect than moderate-intensity training.

According to the study, the afterburn effect can last up to 24 hours after exercise, with the body burning additional calories during the recovery and adaptation process.

Another study showed that weight training also contributes to significant EPOC. Lifting heavy weights and performing high-intensity resistance workouts can boost your metabolism for several hours after finishing the session, contributing to overall fat loss and muscle growth.

Effective Workouts for the Afterburn Effect

To make the most of the afterburn effect, it is important to incorporate high-intensity workouts into your fitness routine. Here are some basic strategies for increasing EPOC:

Incorporate HIIT

High-intensity interval workouts, known as HIIT, have become popular in recent years. During HIIT workouts, you alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short recovery periods. This approach can significantly increase your EPOC levels. You can find videos of HIIT workouts using fitness apps or specialized studies that can help you get started with HIIT and the afterburn effect.

Try weight training

In addition to the many benefits of weight training, such as osteoarthritis prevention, better brain health, and increased mobility, weight training can also produce an afterburn effect. Weight training and bodyweight exercises challenge your major muscle groups, increasing post-workout oxygen consumption and thus calorie burning.

Combine cardio and weight training

While cardio and weight training are both effective forms of physical activity, integrating both into your routine can optimize the afterburn effect. You can reap the benefits of both types of training by combining them together. For example, you can add a 30-minute elliptical session (alternating between 15 seconds of sprinting and 45 seconds of slower movement every minute) to your gym routine on the same day that you do upper-body weight training. Or, after completing a weight training session at home, you can do a short run alternating periods of sprinting and jogging.


The afterburn effect offers a promising avenue for improving fitness results through strategic exercise planning. By understanding and applying the principles of EPOC, you can maximize calorie burning and improve your overall well-being. Remember that the key lies in the intensity and variety of your workouts, pushing your body to adapt and recover, thus maximizing the afterburn effect.

While scientific evidence supports the existence and benefits of EPOC, individual results may vary based on factors such as genetics, fitness level, weight, and muscle mass. Finally, it may be helpful to consult a health coach or exercise professional to design an exercise plan tailored to your personal goals, needs, and fitness level.

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