Afterburn effect workout Routine
High-intensity calisthenics can trigger exercise after-burn.
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The after-burn effect may sound like an elusive fitness myth, but the phenomenon, known technically as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, is real. Both cardiovascular and resistance training exercises can trigger the after-burn effect, but it's actually how you do those exercises that determines how many extra calories you'll burn after a workout and for how long. Duration and intensity of exercise are the two biggest variables affecting EPOC. Unfortunately, any type of exercise done at moderate intensity is not likely to have much of an after-burn effect.
Work Harder for Maximum After-burn
The principle behind EPOC is that the body burns more calories after a workout as it works to restore itself to a normal resting state. Following a light- to moderate-intensity workout, it doesn't take long for the body to return to this state. However, following a high-intensity workout, the body requires anywhere between 15 minutes and 48 hours to return to normal, resulting in an elevated calorie burn during that time. The length of a workout also relates directly to exercise after-burn. Longer bouts of exercise elicit higher EPOC than shorter bouts at the same intensity. However, multiple shorter bouts, such as with high-intensity interval training, may elicit the greatest after-burn effect.
Cardio Workouts that Trigger After-burn
Swimming, cycling, calisthenics, running, jumping rope and high-intensity aerobic dance are a few examples of cardiovascular exercises that can trigger the after-burn effect. Aim to exercise for 20 minutes or more at an effort level of seven or eight on scale of one to 10. If you can't do a long, hard workout, either because you're short on time or you're not fit enough yet, then try a high-intensity interval training workout. HIIT workouts alternate short periods of high-intensity work with short periods of rest or low-intensity recovery. For example, you could alternate between one minute of running at three-quarters speed with two or three minutes of slow jogging or walking, repeating this for up to a total of 20 minutes or more.
Related Reading: The Calories Burned During HIIT on a Treadmill
Turn on After-burners with Weights
Resistance training can result in a high rate of EPOC, and again intensity is key here. Complete two to four sets of eight to 10 exercises using a heavy weight that only allows you to complete between three and eight repetitions for each set. Be sure to rest for two or three minutes between sets. In terms of exercise selection, doing multi-joint, compound lifts will result in greater after-burn than single-joint isolation exercises. So, be sure to include exercises like squats, lunges, bench presses, pull-ups, deadlifts and military presses in your routine.
Put it All Together for an EPOC Workout
A great way to trigger the after-burn effect is by combining high-intensity cardiovascular calisthenics with high-intensity strength moves. After a short total body warm-up, perform a circuit of exercises that pairs 30 seconds of exercise with 30 seconds of rest. Alternate cardio-based moves with strength-based exercises. At the end of the circuit, you can rest for a few minutes and repeat the whole cycle up to two more times. An example workout might look like this: squat jumps, rest, dumbbell rows from plank position, rest, jumping lunges, rest, dumbbell squat to overhead press, rest, jumping jacks, rest, medicine ball wood-chops, rest, skater leaps, rest, pushups, rest five minutes, repeat.
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