In the hustle and bustle of fitness sports, countless myths and legends have become popular, especially in the past few years, and almost all of them have now been scientifically proven or invalidated. Among these myths, in whose pronunciation something like a verbal shudder can be heard, is one of them Afterburn effectwho is also known in English as »Afterburn effect«Is known. Not least because of the media presence and the viral distribution on the net, you almost certainly heard something about this potential miracle of fitness sports and would now like to find out what it actually means. Whether the whole thing is really sound or whether it is just a lazy spell, you will learn in the following article.
What is the afterburn effect anyway?
With all the mystification of the afterburn effect, in which the internet and its self-styled fitness gurus might not be entirely innocent, we must first state that there is indeed such a afterburning effect. It should be noted, however, that this is not a miracle principle, which has only waited for its discovery by any fitness pope, but a formal process that has long been known in sports science. In formal terms, it is the Excess Post Exercide Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), that is, the consumption of oxygen at the end of a physical activity that can be used to quantify the energetic activity of the organism.
What is the afterburn effect?
Its cause is found in the body's own mechanism known as the afterburning effect, in the fact that the organism has to go through a series of metabolic processes in order to recover from the training load and return to its original state of rest or so-called homeostasis. All of these processes require oxygen and allow the metabolism to continue at a higher level until homeostasis is achieved, which also translates into increased calorie expenditure. How high the actual additional consumption of calories depends on the individual depends on the individual. Scientifically proven, however, is a spread of six to fifteen percent.
Which workout provides the biggest afterburn effect?
Since we have now clarified beyond doubt that there is the so-called afterburning effect in addition to the resulting increased calorie consumption, of course, inevitably raises the question of which workout is the most effective in this regard. We want to make it short and yet not stretch further to the torture. The answer to this question is High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT for short. These special and also highly intensive workouts put the organism through the constant change of loading and unloading phases a very high metabolic stress, which is clearly higher than with training sessions, which take place on a continuous load level.
How can I take advantage of HIIT training?
So if you want to make the most of the afterburn effect, you should always include High Intensity Interval Training in your training schedule and do everything within your unit to maximize exercise intensity. You achieve this goal, for example, by not only going to your performance limits during the stress phases, but also increasingly shortening the relief phases in parallel. Another benefit is obvious, as the intensity of these workouts allows you to achieve the same calorie consumption within 20 minutes as in a full hour of slow-and-steady cardio exercise.
How long does the afterburning effect last?
How long the afterburn effect lasts in reality depends on the person as well as the energetic extent of the afterburning effect. Accordingly, the scope is wide, which can last from a few hours after training to a full 24 hours. According to some sports science studies, however, there are also isolated cases in which the metabolic activity, which goes well beyond the normal level of homeostasis, can even last up to 48 hours. However, according to the scientists involved, such cases are in the low single-digit percentage range.
Conclusion - Use the afterburn effect wisely
However much potential High Intensity Interval Training may have for using the afterburn effect, that does not mean that there are no limits. Consequently, listening to your body and not overdoing it with HIIT training is important, as you will easily get into overtraining, which will not only affect your performance, but in the worst case, your health as well. So it's best if you supplement your conventional strength and endurance training purposefully with two to a maximum of three HIIT units per week, and thus you benefit in the best possible way from the afterburn effect in your physical development.