Image by: It’s Holly
By Jake Bradshaw
The “Afterburn” effect is when your body burns fat long after the workout is over. This is the goal for all men who want to gain muscle and burn body fat, especially around the belly. One of the greatest misconceptions is to always focus on calories. Though this is incredibly true if you want to lose weight, in essence it does next to nothing for body fat.
To truly understand the process of this scientifically-proven method, there are many things you need to learn. It’s more than just about lifting the heaviest weights or running the fastest speed. The secret lies much deeper than that. You want to burn body fat? Read, learn, and practice…
The Metabolic Rate
Elevating your metabolic rate is the key to afterburn. The whole aim is not to burn fat while you’re working out, but after. So in essence, you want to use stored carbs as your primary fuel source during the workout, then burn fat when afterwards. The only way to do this is to raise your resting metabolic rate.
Here’s how it works technically. Whenever you’re struggling and gasping for air, you take in extra oxygen in order to recover, right? Well, this extra oxygen causes your metabolism to rise. When you’re done with your workout, your body begins returning to its normal resting metabolic rate. In doing so, it burns fat to recover since you’ve already exhausted the stored carbs during your workout.
Believe it or not, it takes a lot of energy and calories for your resting metabolism to return to normal. This means more fat will be burned post-workout, even up to 48 hours. Here are a few exercises that can speed up your metabolic rate:
- Sprints – The whole idea here is to shock your muscles and fat. Instead of running 5 miles, do a twenty minute set of sprints. Start off with a slow jog for three minutes. Then sprint for one whole minute, and power walk another. Sprint one minute, power walk another. Repeat this until the full twenty minutes is up.
- Jump Rope – 8 sets of 1 minute max effort will definitely take advantage of the metabolic effect. It will have your heart pounding almost instantly. Twirl the rope at full speed to get the full effect. Mix in knee kicks and even double-unders to make sure you’re struggling for air after each set.
Long Workouts vs. Hard Workouts
We all know those gym rats who basically live at the gym. Sure their body might be lean and ripped, but what they’re really getting are long lines and wasted time. Most people equate long workouts with long workouts, but the truth of the matter is long training sessions usually means low-intensity muscle contractions and even longer rest periods.
If you want to take full effect of afterburn, make your workouts short and intense. This will always become more effective. Think about the regiments of your favorite MMA fighters. Most of them spend a lot of time prepping and stretching, but as soon as their workouts begin, it’s fast and furious with short recovery periods.
Here’s an idea. Give yourself a time frame. 30 minutes is usually a good goal. It forces you to get as much done as you can in a shorter period of time. After all, the more you push yourself, the more your body initiates a chemical response and neuro-endocrine reaction.
This raises testosterone and releases human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in your system. Both of these stimulate muscle growth and fat loss. The physiological processes will keep you burning fat long after the workout ends. So start getting intense!
Alternate Muscle Groups At The Same Time
You might gain a lot of muscle by constantly lifting heavy weights, but trust me, you won’t burn nearly as much fat. And this fat will act as a cover up to the muscles you worked so hard for. Instead of lifting huge amounts of weight, mix the best of both worlds.
A study at New York’s Syracuse University found that these types of “supersets” increased afterburn by an extra 450kcals compared with regular training. Using opposite muscles groups so that one rests while the other works will keep the heart rate pumping.
The trick is to combine heavy lifting with explosive plyometric movements. In other words, go straight from lifting to a heart-raising movement. What would normally be your “rest period,” use it as an opportunity to bring more oxygen into your lungs. Here are a couple examples:
- Barbell Deadlift/Burpees – Do 6 reps of barbell deadlifts followed immediately by 12 – 15 explosive burpees, and repeat. After 3 sets you may even start to feel the fat melt away.
- Free Weight Lift/Jumping Jacks – Pick up a 35lbs weight, keep feet shoulder length apart, and lift the weight starting from the chest and up to the ceiling. Do this ten times, followed by 30 jumping jacks. This will hardly give you time to breath, allowing the oxygen to quickly enter the body.