Turn on your Afterburners

February 22nd, 2013
By Dana Bushell
Filed Under: Articles

Can you imagine a state in which you could burn body fat by doing nothing at all? What would you say if I told you to spend more time lifting weights to burn fat rather than on the treadmill? What if I said that to get in the best shape of your life you should limit the time you spend in the gym and just go harder for a shorter period of time? Would you believe that? Well I’m not one to tell lies and everything I just said is the plain old truth. If you find that you are spending more time in the gym than you would like trying to obtain your idea of a perfect physique and it’s beginning to interfere with other obligations in your life, it’s time to listen up. One of the most commonly overlooked functions the body has for fat burning is Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), also known as the Afterburn. 

What is EPOC?

EPOC is a measured increase in post exercise oxygen consumption wherein the body is working it’s hardest to take itself out of oxygen debt and back to homeostasis or resting state. Due to the body’s ability to seek out energy sources to aid in recovery, it is during this time of EPOC that many of the excess calories you have stored are released and used to restore many of the body’s functions including hormone balancing, cellular repair and of course anabolism.

So how does this equate into burning fat?

Well, during exercise your body responds to the resistance training stimulus by releasing free fatty acids into the blood stream. The harder you work, the more intense you are the more of these fatty acids will be released. It’s important to note that working harder doesn’t mean doing more volume; instead you want to be pushing yourself past the point of failure to really benefit from this. Following the guidelines of Max OT coincides perfectly with this process. Once the workout is completed, and your body is trying it’s hardest to recover, those free fatty acids that were released will now be used as fuel by a process known as oxidization.

How long will this effect last?

Many studies that you find out there will indicate that EPOC or the Afterburn will be most noticeable for up to approximately six hours after the workout itself has been completed. This just means that the majority of recovery takes place during this time and that’s when most of the fuel is needed. That being said, there have been instances in which study subjects were measured again for increased metabolic rates as long as 48 hours after a workout and still showed measureable signs of EPOC indicating that calories were still being burned two days after the workout had been completed.

Why not make the effects of EPOC even stronger by combining weight training with cardio?

That’s a great question and by all means would seem to make perfect sense. However, the stimulus from weight training greatly differs from cardiovascular exercises as one is more taxing on the CNS than the other. A study that measured the effects of weight training on EPOC versus the effects of running on a treadmill concluded that in the first 30 minutes of recovery EPOC was the greatest in the weight training group versus the treadmill group even though both groups performed the same amount of work for the same amount of time. I believe the difference was due to the enormous breakdown in muscle tissue and the energy needed to repair such damage versus the breakdown of muscle tissue from cardio exercise which is minimal by comparison.

Supplements

Dymetadrine-X-275h-72dpiSince burning fat is one of the main benefits of the Afterburn you may as well keep it going by adding some of AST Sports Science’s fat burning product, Dymetadrine Xtreme. It’s the best fat burner out there and it too will help up your intensity levels.

So maybe in my intro I mislead you a little by saying you can burn fat by doing nothing at all. You have to workout out and workout hard, but knowing that after you are home and sitting down for the night enjoying your favourite show on television and you are still benefiting from your workout hours later is really appealing to me and should be to you too. Do things right, use the right supplements, be aware of the metabolic jolt you give your system each day by training and you will be well on your way to obtaining the physique you have always wanted.

Sources:

Thorton, M. K., and J. A. Potteiger. “Effects of resistance exercise bouts of different intensities but equal work on EPOC”. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 715-722, 2002.
Burelson, Max. O’bryant H. Stone, Michael. Collins, Mitchell. Tripplett-Mcbride, T. “ Effect of weight training exercise and treadmill exercise on post-exercise oxygen consumption”; Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: April 1998 – Volume 30 – Issue 4 – pp 518-522.

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