Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why High-Intensity Exercise WORKS

Hello Everyone!

Last time I explained why training in the fat burning zone is not the fastest way to lose weight. I explained that if fat loss is your goal then you need to preform higher intensity cardio because it burns more total calories and therefore more fat will be lost.

But how does higher intensity exercise do that? Especially if you can only train at high intensity for a quarter to a fraction of the time than you can at lower "fat burning zone" intensities?

It's because of EPOC which is an acronym for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC is the term to describe the physical adaptions your body makes after you are done exercising.

Think back to the last time you ran up a flight of stairs. When you got to the top were you breathing normally? How was your heart rate halfway down the next hall? How warm were you as you sat down at your destination?

This is because at high intensity exercise (running up stairs in this case) our body's can't keep up. Therefore they play catch-up (EPOC) by keeping our breathing, heart-rate, and metabolism revved up. This is so all our organs and tissues can stabilize from the recent lack of enough oxygen and blood.

Metabolism is our calorie/energy burning system and can be profoundly affected by high-tensity exercise. In fact, some studies have shown that EPOC can still be affecting the metabolic system up to 36 hours after exercise! This means that hours after your workout you are still burning more calories from your workout. Hence, why high-intensity is the best, fastest way to loosing weight!
I'll save the mileage talk for next time. Until then...

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

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