Do you feel hot and sweaty for hours after a hard HIIT session? Do you feel more alert
and energised? Well this is known as the afterburn effect. Studies show that the best way
to benefit from this is by doing a HIIT workout. Fartleks, interval workouts and tempo runs
can all create the afterburn effect.
Intensity is key
HIIT is a cardio session with short bursts of very hard work. The whole point of high-intensity interval
training is to build up the intensity of your normal cardio exercise. To really make HIIT
training work you need to push yourself to the max during every set of exercises.
Taking part in regular HIIT sessions (1-3 per week) makes you faster and stronger.
Consuming the right fuel, like a protein shake, 30 minutes before you train will help you last longer and allow you to give it your all during the session meaning a longer afterburn effect.
Studies show that working your hardest is key to boosting endurance, regulating insulin
levels, increasing metabolism and losing body fat. If you’re new to HIIT training or just
starting out on one of our Body Transformation Programs, the level of intensity may take some getting used too. To help gauge whether you’re working hard enough the fitness pros like to use
something called a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. This scale is used to describe
effort levels on a spectrum of 1 to 10. Effort levels during HIIT workouts should be around a
9 on the RPE scale to reap the benefits of the training.
HIIT helps to burn more calories during and after exercise thanks to Excess Post-exercise
Oxygen Consumption also known as the afterburn effect.
What is the afterburn effect?
The afterburn effect is the additional energy expenditure that occurs after exercise.
Once you stop exercising, the process of recovery starts immediately. Sweating is
necessary, sometimes for hours after your workout, because it keeps you cool as your
muscles, liver, heart and immune system begin the energy-demanding process of recovery.
The increase in metabolism is where EPOC comes into play.
So, what does the afterburn effect actually do?
The afterburn effect boosts your metabolic rate and helps you to burn more calories for
hours after high-intensity exercise.
How you can maximise the effects of EPOC:
1. EPOC boosts your metabolic rate, helping to burn more calories hours after you’ve
done your workout.
2. There is a direct correlation between the amount of energy used during your workout
and the amount of EPOC. So the harder you go during your session/workout leads to
more EPOC afterwards!
3. Doing full body exercises that work for all major muscle groups - this intensifies the
4. Staying hydrated is vital to speeding up the removal of lactic acid and allowing your
glycogen stores to be replenished.
5. Good nutrition, including high- quality carbohydrates and protein is also fundamental
to help your muscles recover after a HIIT workout.
6. Quality sleep.
Are you looking for regular HIIT workouts with a fun, friendly team? Body Image Bootcamp
run HIIT sessions in Newbury, Thatcham and now Basingstoke! Come and join an ever growing community and take part in our Body Transformation program and see the results for yourself!