Interval Training & The After Burn Effect
Ever wonder how you can get more out of your workouts? Or why trainers always say that your workout will leave you burning more calories while you’re sitting at your desk all day or what the heck EPOC is? This phenomenon started #trending a couple years ago. I know, EPOC & Interval Training sounds very overwhelming or straight from a medical school textbook, but I’m here to break it down for you.
First, let’s talk about HIIT training, or High Intensity Interval Training. If you’ve heard this phrase before, you probably associate it with…burpees. A lot of burpees. HIIT traditionally is a form of interval training consisting of short periods of anaerobic exercise with shorter, less intense, recovery times. Most trainers will use this form of training for weight loss clients, or clients who want to mix in a new workout alongside their normal weight lifting days. (Maybe talk about kickboxing)? Why is this type of training so popular? One, it promises the best workout in the shortest amount of time, and has additional benefits that continue to happen long after you’re done sweating. This sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not, & doesn’t even require expensive gym equipment or lots of space. Our Virtual Grit online HIIT workouts can be done with a few feet of space & just your own bodyweight.
Traditional HIIT training brings a post exercise metabolic boost. To break it down even further, think about it, after a long road trip, your car’s engine tends to stay warm long after you’ve exited your car and gone about your day. It (engine) will stay warm until it reaches it’s normal, nonfunctioning, temperature. The same thing happens inside of your body when you tap the “finish workout” button on your apple watch. This concept is called, “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”, or EPOC, aka, The After burn. The higher the intensity of your workout, the more significant the EPOC is. Take a Grit Box class in the SweatBox for instance… We warm up your heart rate and body then move into the exercises for combos for that round for 3 minutes then do a 1 minute finisher. After the finisher you do light movement while waiting for the next round to begin. We keep repeating this cycle for 6 rounds or 45 minutes of anaerobic movements. Your body goes into a state of recovery to restore its balance and continues to burn calories while recovering.
So what is EPOC exactly (remember, the medical term I was speaking about earlier?). EPOC is a measurable amount of oxygen it takes to restore your body to it’s normal, functioning, body temperature. Your body needs oxygen to recover and adapt it to the workout you just completed. It is also used to fuel the increased metabolism your body has due to the increased temperature that happens during exercise (body temperature goes up, metabolism goes up). This means if you burn through your O2 levels during your workout, your body will have to work even HARDER afterwards to replenish the oxygen you just used. Your body is now burning more calories at an intensified level up to 48 hours after a workout!
In closing, most HIIT workouts are super fun and energetic. Kickboxing, bootcamps, and cycling all offer this “after burn” effect and leave you feeling accomplished the rest of your day! Whether you’re trying to tone up or shed body fat, you should have fun doing it! Remember, you didn’t come to a workout to get strong, you came to get stronger than yesterday and that all starts with the recovery.