Go for the Afterburn!
I’ll never forget Jane Fonda’s encouraging words, “go for the burn” while lying on my living room floor trying to squeeze out just one more leg lift! I exercised religiously to The Jane Fonda Workout in the early 1980’s. I ‘fondly’ remember wearing a matching striped leotard and cozy leg warmers trying to mirror the amazing woman smiling down at me as I went for the burn!
Those days are long gone, and workouts have evolved but some of her signature moves (clamshells anyone?) still remain in the muscle activation and corrective portions of our programming today!
That’s about where the similarities end though. In the power and resistance portions of our programs we progress to whole body multi-joint movements such as kettlebell swings and barbell clean & jerks to illicit a different response…. Afterburn! After a session of high intensitiy resistance training in which all the large muscle groups are recruited, we not only burn calories at a higher rate while exercising but we continue to expend calories at increased rates after our training session is done!
Afterburn, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), as it is referred to in exercise science, is a term that refers to the increase in oxygen uptake during the recovery period following exercise. In order for the body to recover from the disruption brought on by high intensity interval and resistance type sessions, and restore homeostasis, it must sustain elevated levels of metabolic processes for a period time. EPOC accounts for some restorative physiological processes such as restoration of muscle glycogen and muscle repair.
Some studies have found that the Afterburn component of EPOC can have elevated effects on the resting metabolism for up to 48 hours following high intensity bouts of resistance exercise. In other words, give it your all in the gym today and continue to reap the benefits while sitting at work or watching the kids’ soccer game tomorrow afternoon. And NO…this is not an excuse to skip tomorrow’s training session! Think of it this way; today’s Afterburn piled on top of yesterdays Afterburn and so on and so on….turn you into a fat burning machine! Remember, everything you do each day gets you closer to achieving that big goal!
Go for the burn today and reap the benefits of Afterburn tomorrow!