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How to Burn Fat AFTER a Workout Ends – Scientific Timing – Thomas DeLauer
Engaging in exercise causes oxygen debt or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the ‘afterburn’ effect
During EPOC the body is restoring itself to its pre-exercise state, and thus is consuming oxygen at an elevated rate. This means that energy is also being expended at an elevated rate. The following occurs during EPOC:
1) Replenishment of Energy Resources: Replenishment occurs for the immediate source of energy, known as the phosphagen system, which is comprised of creatine phosphate and ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In addition, lactate, a molecule that is produced during more intense exercise, is being converted to pyruvate for fuel utilization. The body is also restoring the muscle glycogen (a stored form of glucose) that has been used during the exercise bout.
2) Re-oxygenation of Blood and Restoration of Circulatory Hormones: During exercise metabolism, large amounts of oxygen are used to break down food substrates for energy. Therefore, the body continues to expend energy after exercise to re-oxygenate the blood. In addition, in the postexercise period, the body restores the levels of circulatory hormones, which increased during exercise, to normal.
3) Decrease in Body Temperature: As energy is liberated from the exercising muscle tissues of the body, heat is produced. Thus, during EPOC, the body must expend energy to return to the normal core body temperature.
4) Return to Normal Ventilation and Heart Rate: Energy expenditure is greatly elevated as the body rapidly returns to a normal breathing rate. Heart rate is also returning to a pre-exercise rate.
During exercise, the amount of ATP and creatine phosphate in the blood deplete significantly, but they are replenished in the recovery period when VO2 is elevated
Also during recovery, the 70% of lactate accumulated in the muscles is removed and released into the blood, further producing energy
Intensity of weightlifting is also applicable when it comes to EPOC – a study published in the journal Diabetes Care looked at resting energy expenditure (REE) responses in 40 inactive men
They were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 10/group): control, low-intensity resistance exercise, moderate-intensity resistance exercise, and high-intensity resistance exercise
REE increased in all groups at 12 hours in an intensity-dependent manner – REE reached baseline after 48 hours in the low- and moderate-intensity groups and after 72 hours in the high-intensity group
A study conducted in the journal Metabolism had subjects bicycle at intensities of 29%, 50%, and 75% of VO2 max for 80 minutes
Researchers found that the greatest EPOC was seen in the 75% group, lasting for about 10.5 hours and resulting in an additional 150 calories burned
Subjects were assigned to one of two groups and did 30 minutes of running: one group ran continuously at 70% VO2 max and the other did sprint intervals, pushing themselves to 105% of VO2 max for 1 minute followed by 2 minutes of rest
The EPOC of the interval group was about 69 calories and the continuous group about half that amount – 69 calories of additional energy expenditure
This means that the cumulative EPOC effects of 3 HIIT workouts per week can add up to an additional 200+ calories burned