I’m always looking to make things as efficient as possible. I’m always asking:
• How can I make workouts shorter (and still get the same results as longer workouts)?
• How can I maximize every minute I spend working out?
• How can I get the same results as a 60-minute workout in just 15 minutes?
I like efficiency—when it comes to workouts, I think we all do—but sometimes, efficiency is bad.
To make your workouts more efficient at burning calories you have to create inefficiency.
Keep reading and I’ll explain one way you want your workout to be inefficient—especially if you’re looking to burn calories and melt away stubborn fat.
Let’s Talk “EPOC”
EPOC is Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption.
It’s the time after your workout is over when your body uses MORE oxygen than normal to help you return to a resting state. We’ll call it “recovering from a workout.”
When you’re able to make the most of “EPOC,” you’ll lose stubborn fat faster than you ever thought was possible. But triggering increased “EPOC” is all about making your workout specifically inefficient.
What is EPOC?
Think about EPOC like the engine in your car:
When you drive your car, the engine heats up. After you stop driving, it takes time for the engine to cool down again. It stays warm.
The same thing happens inside your body after you exercise.
After a workout is over, the metabolic processes you’ve activated to burn energy (calories = energy) don’t just stop.
Your body keeps burning calories (using energy) at a HIGHER LEVEL after your workout is over. That’s EPOC.
You’ve Heard “EPOC” Called “Afterburn.”
The most popular name for “EPOC” is “Afterburn”—when your body keeps burning calories AFTER your workout is over.
• Afterburn (EPOC) is the time it takes your body to return to a state of rest (it’s how long it takes for you to recover from the work you’ve done exercising).
• During this time, your body uses more energy (energy = calories). This extra energy is required to help your body recover from your workout.
• The time afterburn (EPOC) lasts varies from 15 minutes to 48 hours (or even more).
• How long afterburn (EPOC) lasts depends on EXERCISE INTENSITY and DURATION OF INTENSITY.
Now here’s the thing: All workouts trigger EPOC on some level, but some workout styles, plans, and exercises are better at it than others.
Let’s break this down into component parts so you can start putting afterburn to work in your workouts:
After a Workout, Your Body Requires MORE Oxygen than Normal.
When you exercise, you’re basically beating your body up. Muscles tear up and energy stores deplete. After your workout, your body uses more oxygen for these purposes:
• ATP production (to replace the ATP you used during your workout)
• Replenishment of muscle glycogen
• restoration of oxygen levels throughout your body
• Muscle repair (due to tissue adaptations during your workout)
• Returning your body temperature back to normal
The longer it takes your body to perform these processes, the longer you will keep using MORE oxygen. Using MORE oxygen is the definition of EPOC or (afterburn).
It’s Called “Afterburn” Because the More Oxygen You Use, the More Calories You Burn.
This is the other piece of the puzzle. The human body requires around 5 calories for every 1 liter of oxygen you take in. Use more oxygen, your body needs more calories.
It’s that simple.
Researchers and fitness pros call EPOC “afterburn” because during the recovery period after your workout you’re burning more calories than you normally would at rest because your body is using more oxygen.
And it’s all about calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose (as long as you don’t replace those calories with more food).
Calories are nothing more than the form of energy your body burns as fuel. That’s it. Just like you put gas into your car—you put fuel (calories) into your body. Extra calories are stored as fat. Burn more calories and your body taps into those stores.
To Help You Trigger “Afterburn,” I’ll Actually Make Your Workouts Less Efficient in ONE Specific Way
One of the primary philosophies of MAX Workouts is to trigger afterburn.
It’s the reason you can burn more calories with just 15 or 20 minutes of exercise than many people do exercising for an hour (or even more).
To trigger afterburn, I actually create workouts that are less efficient in one specific way:
MAX Workouts are designed to use more ATP—because it will take your body time (and require more oxygen) to restore ATP stored in your muscles after your workout is over.
You Need a Workout that Uses More ATP.
Here’s the secret to creating a workout that keeps EPOC going longer (that’s afterburn—more oxygen used and therefore more calories burned after your workout is over).
You have to create workouts that use ATP faster.
What is ATP?
It’s adenosine triphosphate – a ‘nucleotide’ the ‘molecular unit of currency of intracellular energy transfer.’
ATP is the energy your body uses. Your body takes in the food you eat and converts it into ATP, a chemical form of energy that your cells use to function. ATP primarily comes from the food you eat.
Every time you exercise your body uses ATP—producing it as needed (or using ATP stored in muscle).
If you want to maximize your workout time, you have to create a workout that uses MORE ATP.
During Steady, Aerobic Exercise (Running, Jogging, Walking, Cycling) Your Body Uses ATP More Efficiently
Your body is really good at conserving ATP when you do endurance-based exercise using your aerobic metabolism.
Your aerobic metabolism has a slow rate of ATP production (that’s the process of converting the food you eat or the fat you have stored into energy—ATP). Aerobic metabolism is one of 3 ways your body produces ATP.
You also have an anaerobic metabolism.
Your anaerobic metabolism is in use during exercises that require large bursts of energy that last from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. These metabolic pathways produce ATP rapidly.
You also have a phosphagen system.
This system uses stored ATP (stored in skeletal muscles). Instead of producing ATP your phosphagen system uses what’s available. You use this system for massive bursts of energy that last 1 to 30 seconds—where fatigue is nearly immediate.
Workouts that Use ATP Faster Keep Your Body Burning Calories Longer.
Anaerobic metabolic pathways produce and use ATP much, much faster than aerobic pathways.
Phosphagen pathways use stored ATP even faster.
Aerobic pathways are very efficient at producing ATP.
Why does this matter? Because EPOC lasts longer if your body has to replenish ATP (and creatine phosphate) levels after your workout.
That’s Why I Call MAX Workouts the “15 Minutes of Exercise” that Produces “60 Minutes” of Result.
MAX Workouts are not efficient at producing ATP.
The exercises you perform when you use MAX Workouts primarily trigger your anaerobic and phosphagen metabolic pathways.
The result is that your body needs MORE oxygen for longer after you are done with your workout.
And you keep burning calories.