In short, the definition of the afterburn effect is calorie burn AFTER exercise. If you are doing an intense activity like sprinting, your body experiences a metabolic disturbance. It takes time and calories for your body to get back to homeostasis. This is the crux of the afterburn effect. The greater the metabolic and muscular disturbance, the greater the afterburn effect will likely be.
In short, the more calories you burn, the easier it is to lose fat and keep your metabolism humming. So if you are seeking to get leaner and lose fat, might as well try to maximize the amount of calories you are burning during and after exercise.
For decades, most exercise physiologists focused on estimating calorie burn during exercise. For exercises that don’t require a lot of intensity like jogging, or walking, this makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to estimate how many calories are burned during a jog by measuring the oxygen your body consumes during that jog with a metabolic cart. But what about if you are weight lifting intensely, or sprinting? Recent research shows that as much as 95% of the calorie burn from anaerobic exercise (short bursts of intense activity) may occur AFTER the exercise.
In a phrase – short burst of intense activity. In other words, high intensity interval training and strength circuits types of workouts, which are the foundation of the workouts we create at BuiltLean. The better shape you get in, the less time it takes to maintain your great shape because you can crank up the intensity.
Check out a 45 minute interview with the world’s foremost expert on the Afterburn Effect Dr. Christopher Scott right here: Afterburn Effect Interview.