High intensity training involves challenging yourself by working out at a high intensity for a set amount of time (for example 2 minutes) and then reducing the intensity to allow you to recover for a set period of time (for example 1 minute). This type of training can be performed inside or outside using CV equipment, weights, kettlebells or body weight exercises like circuit formats that work all the major muscles. Research has shown you could still be burning fat up to 38 hours after finishing a workout; turning your body into a fat burning machine rather than a fat storing one due to the after burn effect.
What exactly is the after burn effect?
When we are active our body needs to use more oxygen to help the muscles work. This creates an oxygen ‘debt’ within the body. Once we begin to recover after intense activity the body pays back this ‘debt’ by increasing the amount of oxygen coming in. A good example of this is when you walk up a few flights of stairs and even when you stop you find yourself breathing harder than you did whilst you were actually walking up.
After activity your body essentially tries to bring itself back to the state it was in before you started. It replaces the fuel the muscles have used and repairs them in order to make them bigger and stronger. For your body to do this (plus payback the oxygen it needs) it has to burn FAT!
Research has shown that high intensity interval exercise using a mixture of cardio, resistance and body weight training can greatly impact the body’s after burn.
Working out is supposed to be fun and there is nothing like a high intensity circuit to make you smile, especially at when you think about all of the fat you are still burning afterwards. So next time you find yourself mindlessly walking on a treadmill or reading a book on the cross trainer, I want you to set yourself some small goals for the remainder of your time on there. Increase your speed for 1 minute and allow yourself to recover on a lower speed for 1 minute. Do this for at least 8 minutes. Then jump off the machine and start doing some back to back weights and body weight exercises. Remember to allow yourself time to rest when you need it so you can push hard again into the next exercise.
Burn baby burn!