5 Signs the Afterburn is Real

High intensity training for EPOCKeep working your butt off for a post exercise metabolism boost.   

All of these articles I have been reading lately that dismiss the ‘afterburn’ after exercise are really starting to annoy me.  I‘ve had people come up to me and say that I have been wrong about prescribing high-intensity exercise as a smart and efficient way to lose weight. 

With new research showing that Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is lower than once thought, readers are encouraged not to ‘be fooled’ by workouts that claim to boost metabolism.

With headlines like ‘Don’t bank on afterburn’ and “Don’t be fooled by that ‘afterburn’ pitch”, the media is painting a picture of personal trainers as charlatans.

While late night informercials pitching pieces of crap, and the infamous ‘gym membership contract’ continue to do a disservice to our industry, the afterburn debate needs to be crushed fast before people start trading their interval workouts for leisure walks.

The most recent article I read encouraged people that “ adding an extra 45-minute walk to your weekly schedule may be the best way to burn extra calories”

I agree that if you are new to conditioning that high-intensity training is not a smart place to start, but it shouldn’t take long to get there.

Scientific research has led us in the wrong direction in the past (think margarine), so until the research actually supports what I see on the training room floor every single day I’ll keep prescribing heavy weight training workouts and short duration, high-intensity interval workouts as the fastest route to fatloss.

Here are 5 signs that the afterburn is real and the fastest way to lose weight, especially if you are resistance training:

  1. Insatiable hunger. Have you ever noticed that your appetite goes through the roof when you start training heavy and or performing high intensity training. I find that I am am starving for two days after a great leg workout.
  2. Strength training frequency. Time and time again I see dramatic changes to people’s physique when they make the jump from 2 to 3 strength training workouts per week. The same is not true when you add two or three or more treadmill sessions per week.
  3. Chubby aerobics instructors. I used to work in a women’s only fitness club. The club ran over 50 aerobics classes per week. Some of the instructors taught 2 or more classes per day, a few taught 12 or more classes per week. Most of the ‘full time’ instructors  were still ‘soft’. They had little muscle definition, and never lost their belly. There were three instructors who were lean, shapely with flat stomachs, great posture and muscle definition. Those were the only three instructors I ever saw in the weight room.
  4. Hormones release. You will notice a  burst of energy and feelings of happiness, yes happiness after completing a high-intensity interval training workout. That’s the release of the ‘youth’ hormone that keeps you lean. You don’t get that with a walk in the park.
  5. Nutrient uptake you can feel. Have you ever enjoyed an awesome high-intensity workout and then after, while enjoying your post workout replenishment meal you could literally feel every cell in your body absorbing the nutrients? It’s exhilarating. That’s a workout that is gonna take more than 15 minutes to recover from!

Happy Training,



Further reading

Dr. Mercola discusses Peak 8 training for maximum fat loss

 Charles Poliquin encourages women not to fear muscle gain

 How walking the dog made my butt flabby




1) What is your favourite high-intensity workout?

2) Did you notice a huge physique change when you doubled your intensity but halved your time in the gym? 


Author: Shari Zisk

Shari Zisk B.A., has been a fitness professional for over 20 years. She was born, raised and spent most of her fitness career in British Columbia, Canada. She now lives in the United States splitting time between Los Angeles and Atlanta. Shari writes full time about how to sweat, nourish and glow!

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