By Kate Horney
At Bikini Boot Camp and in our online BeyondFit Life workouts, we talk a lot about the “fat burning blast” that lasts long after the workout is over. Our workouts are designed with busy moms in mind- they combine weight training and cardio to give you MORE results in LESS time, and I have to tell you, they’re just fabulous!
But how do we manage to get such great fat burning results with workouts that last no longer than 30 minutes from start to finish?
The key is found in the power of EPOC training.
In the world of exercise physiology, EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Studies show that you can burn extra calories and fat for up to TWO DAYS after your workout when you take advantage of a process called EPOC.
Here’s a simple look at how it works:
- When you exercise, your body uses oxygen to fuel your muscles. (Ever noticed how you start breathing harder as your workout gets harder?)
- The harder you exercise, the harder you breathe, and the greater the oxygen deficit that you create.
- The oxygen deficit that you create needs to be replenished after you finish your workout so that your body can return back to homeostasis (ultimately, your state of balance). Many reactions (burning both fat and calories) occur in order to bring your body back to homeostasis, or the resting state of balance that you were in pre-workout.
The key to fat burning is in the work that your body does after the workout is over. Our goal is to create an environment that causes your body to need additional fuel to recover. In addition to the re-oxygenation of blood (the EPOC effect) there are other key reactions that occur as a result intense workouts…
3 ways to burn calories after your workout is over:
- Replenish muscle glycogen. With the right type of intense, anaerobic workout, your body will use muscle glycogen as a primary source of fuel. What happens when the fuel has been used? It must be replaced after the workout, thus requiring calories to refill these stores!
- Return to resting heart rate. After an intense fat burning workout, you should feel your heart beating hard. As it’s working to supply blood, nutrients and energy to your muscles, your heart rate will increase. But your heart rate doesn’t immediately return back to it’s resting rate as soon as your workout is over. Returning to your resting heart rate takes time (and calories) and may lasts hours after the workout has finished.
- Repair. Plain and simple, when you work hard enough to break down muscle tissue during your training, your body takes time and needs lots of extra calories to build them back up.
All of these processes need oxygen and fuel to be performed. What kind of fuel? Fat. In addition to burning calories (energy) after your workout, fatty acids are mobilized to help in the recovery process.
That’s what the fat burning blast is all about!
If you want to become more efficient with your workouts and want to burn fat and calories not just DURING your workout, but LONG after your workout is over, click like on the lefthand side of this post!
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