The Afterburn Effect: How to Burn Calories on Your Couch

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep burning calories even after you finish working out? Lucky for you, that’s possible. Thanks to the afterburn effect, your body continues to burn calories throughout the day.

Regardless of whether you’re sitting on the couch or running errands, your body continues to experience the benefits of training. If you’re not familiar with the afterburn effect, here’s a quick rundown of how it works and what you need to do to reap the benefits.

How Does the Afterburn Effect You?

The afterburn effect is the result of something called “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. After training, your body goes into recovery mode. To recover properly, it needs to consume more oxygen. When it does, your body requires more energy to process that oxygen and deliver it to the tissues in need of repair. The extra power needed for this process consumes extra calories, hence, the afterburn effect.

Now, don’t go thinking you’ll burn an infinite number of calories after your morning jog – that’s not realistic. However, it’s possible to burn another 50-200 calories depending on the intensity and duration of your training. To reap those benefits, you need to set up your workouts correctly. If you’re unsure of how to start, take a look at these steps to build an effective custom workout.

Crank Up the Intensity

To profit from the afterburn effect, you’ll need to perform intense exercise one to three times per week. An excellent way to achieve this is through the use of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.

For a beginner HIIT workout, aim to run as hard and fast as you can for about 30 seconds. Then, rest for about one minute and repeat the cycle. Aim for five rounds and increase the duration of your workout as you build your conditioning. You can also perform fartlek training and tempo runs if you’re looking to expand your post-workout calorie burn.

Try Including Strength Training

If you’re a regular runner, you should be including some form of strength training in your weekly workouts. You can incorporate bodyweight movements like pushups, lunges, dips or air squats, or you can include free weight or machine exercises as well.

Strength training will help you achieve higher speed, endurance, and fat loss, and will help boost your metabolism as you gain muscle mass. As a general rule, the harder you work, the more calories you’ll continue to burn even after you’re done working. Just make sure you consume a healthy source of carbs and protein before you train to avoid burning out mid-workout.

When you’ve finished training, replenish your muscle glycogen with a healthy source of carbohydrates, and include a low-fat source of protein for muscle repair. Besides extra oxygen consumption, your body needs protein and carbs to recover, too. Here are four of the best ways to get protein after an intense workout.

In order to get the full benefits of the afterburn effect, make sure you create a routine that emphasizes high intensity workouts. If you’d like to create a routine that allows you to maximize the afterburn effect, Titanz Fitness has the trainer for you. We’ll pair you up with one of our expert trainers who will help you create the best fitness and nutrition plan to optimize the afterburn effect. Contact us today for a free personal fitness evaluation.

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