Afterburn, commonly known as EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) is a strategy used by the very best Personal Trainers as a way to maximise fat loss for their clients. It simply describes the increased metabolism you experience after a workout.
As your body recovers from a certain type of workout it needs to use more oxygen and this therefore keeps the metabolism high.
The lasting effect of this afterburn can be anything from 30 minutes to 36 hours. It all depends on the way that you have been training.
The things to focus on are the duration of your workout and the intensity. The more intense your workout is the greater the effects of EPOC. There are a number of ways to increase the intensity in order to cater for all fitness levels and one is to offer a range of different weights.
For example, someone that has never used kettlebells before might have a go at doing as many swings as they can for 1 minute with a 4kg weight and this will feel intense. Within a couple of weeks as they get used to this weight the intensity will feel like its dropping so then it will be time to increase the weight to 6kg. This type of progressive overload helps to maintain the intensity of every workout. For some that are already very fit and strong then a 16kg kettlebell may be used initially and then they may move on to an 18kg within a few weeks.
It’s worth noting when discussing types of workout that maximise EPOC, long steady cardio – running, cycling, rowing etc has the least effect. It tends to also be the most boring, so we make a point of keeping sessions fun and varied and they tend to follow a tried and tested High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) formula.
In order to fast track our clients fat loss goals we structure our workouts in such a way as to maximise the afterburn effect well into the next day.
This is how we get our clients burning up to 850 calories every session!