Burning Calories

Fueling the fire: how to maximize burning calories during and after your workouts

It’s most likely, you know that both cardio and weight training offer what scientists call excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which describes the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after a workout. But do you know why it happens, or better yet, the best way to maximize this effect for burning calories?

For years, researchers have theorized that the boost in metabolism comes from the body’s effort to process the lactic acid produced during exercise and to replenish depleted levels of creatine phosphate. But to find out how you might be able to maximize EPOC, scientists at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education (Oslo) recently examined what variables provide the longest and highest rise in post-exercise metabolism. They discovered that when it comes to cardio, long and slow wins the race: Duration, not intensity or mode, is the biggest factor contributing to that after-exercise metabolic rise. As your metabolism increases so does the rate of burning calories.

So what about weight training, you may ask? The same study found that the opposite is true. The more intensely you lift–which equates to heavy weights, ladies–the higher your post-workout metabolic rate. What all this means is, when you go to the gym, lift heavy and get in that long cardio session. Afterward, you can sit back, relax and enjoy burning calories well after your workout has ended.
Borsheim, E., Bahr, R. Effect of exercise intensity, duration and mode on post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Sports Medicine 33(14): 1,037-1,060, 2003.

Authors Details: Burning Calories – Michelle Basta Boubion, NSCA-CPT from http://www.muscleandfitness.com


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