What is Caloric Afterburn?

Thursday, March 4 2021 1:23 PM
By Maya Daniels

Everything You Need To Know About Caloric Afterburn

You are always burning calories during your workout, but with the “caloric afterburn effect,” your body continues to blast fat and calories long after you’ve left the gym. How does this work, and how can you get it? We’ve got the answers.

 Caloric Afterburn

The Science of the Afterburn Effect

In simple terms, afterburn is additional energy your body expends after you’ve finished exercising. The technical term, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), helps explain the extra calorie burn. After a workout, your body uses oxygen and calories to remove lactic acid, repair muscles, and replenish stores of creatine, oxygen, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It’s during this recovery period that the afterburn effect takes place.

How Long Does it Last?

There have been several studies to determine how many hours EPOC, or afterburn, can last, and the consensus is that the effect peaks in the first hour after exercise and continues for up to 72 hours. That means your body could keep burning extra calories for as long as three days after a workout!

Intensity is Key

Research has shown that exercise intensity affects the number of calories burned after exercise and how long the afterburn effect will last. The National Institute of Occupational Health in Norway conducted a study that showed EPOC was less when participants performed cardio exercise at a lower intensity and more at higher intensities. During the test, subjects who did 80 minutes of bicycling at 75% of VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise) burned an additional 150 calories during the 10 ½ hour period after they stopped exercising.

Combine Cardio & Strength Intervals

In the study above, the subjects had to workout for almost an hour and a half and maintained an intensity level that made talking difficult to achieve a 150 calorie afterburn. For many of us, our schedules are too packed with work and family obligations to fit in a 90-minute workout more than once a week or so.

When it comes to using your time efficiently and maintaining muscle and strength, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a better solution than long cardio sessions. HIIT workouts combine short bursts of intense strength, resistance, and cardio exercise with periods of rest or recovery. Studies show a higher calorie burn during and after HIIT workouts than steady-state cardio, which can help boost metabolism and maximize fat loss. Read the blog below on HIIT vs. Cardio. Along with a blog on Tabata Training, which offers a workout plan created by a Genesis personal trainer.

HIIT vs. Cardio | What's Best for Weight Loss?
Tabata Training 101 | Workout Plan Included!

In short, this type of interval training helps you get better results in less time. 

Get the Afterburn Effect

You can get an intense interval workout from the workouts we've created for you at Genesis Go. Try one of our HIIT Cardio blogs from our At-Home Workouts section; a few you can check out are below:


We've also put together several YouTube workouts like HIIT AT HOME WORKOUT and many more for you to follow at your convenience. Stay healthy and STAY ACTIVE!

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