You’ve probably heard losing weight is all about burning more calories than you eat. That is true, to a point. But what if I said you could actually burn more calories, even while you sleep? Interested? Good. Remember the TV show Seinfeld? Of course you do. It was known for being the show about nothing.
However, there was one episode that was about something. This episode highlighted one of the best workout tips to fast track your body to living the lean lifestyle. And when I say, “living the lean lifestyle”, I simply mean you maintain a lean physique, 365 days a year. No yo-yoing. You look fine all year round!
Even though this term was never used in the episode, it was in full effect. I’m talking about the Afterburn Effect. The Afterburn Effect was the theme of episode #105, otherwise known as “The Jimmy” episode. It’s the one where George has a really intense workout before an important company meeting (about stealing).
Due to the intense workout, even after showering, George can’t stop sweating. His employer gets suspicious of all his “nervous perspiration” and accuses George of being the company thief.
Obviously this is a little bit of an exaggeration, but what George was experiencing was the Afterburn Effect. During an intense workout, the afterburn effect is ignited, which can help you burn more calories, up to 48 hours, after your workout is completed. That’s right, you’ll be burning more calories, even when you sleep.
The high caloric burn is caused by your body’s need to rebuild and recover after intense exercise. So does this mean you’ll be a sweaty mess at work, like George was, after completing afterburn effect style workouts? No. TV blows most things out of proportion. I’m sure a shower will solve that problem.
You will be burning MORE calories…MORE effectively for up to 48 hours after your workout. That’s one of my keys to living lean all year round.
So now that I’ve had a little fun by explaining the Afterburn Effect in “Seinfeld” terms, let me try to explain it in a more science meets “weekend gym warrior” terms.
The Afterburn Effect a.k.a. EPOC
The afterburn effect is also known as EPOC in the personal trainer circles. EPOC stands for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. Lets simply break down the verbiage of the EPOC acronym:
E = Excess
P = Post-exercise
O = Oxygen
C = Consumption
In other words, after (“post-exercise”) an intense workout (the cause of “excess” “oxygen consumption”) the body experiences an increase in metabolic functioning. This increase in your metabolism causes more calories to be burned. The more calories burned, the more fat burned. The more fat burned, the faster you’re on track to LIVING LEAN!
This Type of Exercise WILL NOT Maximize The Afterburn Effect
It still floors me with all the research being published, that very few fitness professionals are taking advantage of this style of training and its potential to help more people live lean.
It takes a certain type of workout to maximize the afterburn effect. Unfortunately 84.53% of people at the gym don’t follow this “specialized” program. And yes, that is a science-backed percentage with a sample size of 1,002,111. Ok, maybe not…but you get the point.
Do this the next time you go to the gym. Stop by the cardio equipment. Take a moment to look at the people on the machines. Don’t worry, you’ll only be that creepy “gym gawker” for a few seconds.
Now, what percentage of people are going through the motions i.e. slow and steady cardio, barely breaking a sweat, if any? If your gym is like any of the hundreds that I’ve visited, I’d say 70%+ of the people fall into this category. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of these “cardio jockeys” are lean and muscular.
This is the classic example of why people give up on exercise.
Inevitably they spend 60+ mins on the treadmill, bored to death, then don’t see any major changes to their physiques after 6 weeks (if they even make it that long). They get so frustrated with the level of time and “work” put in compared to the results, that they give up and head to the nearest KFC.
Another gym failure. They’ve just become another statistic. Unfortunately no one told them that the most effective way to burn fat and get lean IS NOT long, slow (boring) cardio.
Long, slow (boring) cardio DOES NOT effectively ignite the afterburn effect. Yes you may burn more calories DURING the workout but you’re not burning as many TOTAL calories when you add in the calorie burning potential of the afterburn effect (up to 48 hours later).
Maximizing the Afterburn Effect is all about intensity. Doing brief, intense bursts of strength, speed, and power related work will burn even more fat! The more intense the workout, the greater the afterburn effect.
These Types of Exercises WILL Maximize The Afterburn Effect
The majority of the exercises that maximize the Afterburn Effect are compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups. These moves include: Squats, Presses, Lunges, Deadlifts, Pulls, Sprints, Box Jumps, Boxing Drills (Heavy Bag, Speed Bag), Intense Jump Rope Work, etc.
The more muscles you incorporate, the more work you’re doing, thus, the more calories you’re burning. Also be sure to challenge your body with heavier weight (yes I’m looking at you ladies). Always remember, building muscle is the key to staying young and lean.
Here’s an example of an Afterburn Effect style workout that is designed to help you burn MORE calories up to 48 hours after your session, even while you sleep:
About The Author
Brad hosts the weekly YouTube network show, Live Lean TV, and is the creator of several workout and nutrition programs. His show reaches thousands of followers every week, teaching his philosophies on how to live lean 365 days/year. Brad was also named one of Shape Magazine’s “Top 50 Hottest Trainers in America.” Not bad, for a Canadian!