Although endurance training can be good for general health, high intensity workouts such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can help you reach your weight loss goals faster. The reason is that HIIT can boost your metabolism over a longer period of time. It’s all thanks to a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.
EPOC will actually cause your body to keep burning calories long after you finish your workout. Why? A candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long. And your HIIT workout needs to burn so very brightly. Now imagine your fat is that candle.
When you work so intensely that you can’t sustain your exercise for longer than about 20 seconds, your body starts running out of oxygen. So, it has to work extra hard to refill itself with oxygen. It can take the body another 16-24 hours to rebuild its regular oxygen levels. During that time, you will consume more oxygen than you would have otherwise.
EPOC is optimized when your workout pushes your heartrate to 70-80 percent of its maximum. You don’t want to push too hard, but keep the intensity high. Doing so will even increase the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use in a period of time, also known as your VO2 max.
In fact, EPOC inducing workouts will even help with endurance. If you add about three minutes of high intensity to a 30-minute endurance workout, one study shows that your endurance will increase. These high intensity workouts will also help you amass lean muscle. So, you’ll be ripped and fit.
And you are more likely to enjoy EPOC inducing workout according to another study. That means that newbies are more likely to continue their exercise routine.
And you can do all this with less time. The high intensity workouts that cause EPOC usually only take 20 minutes or even less depending on your level of fitness. One study found that these shorter workouts were as effective or better than longer workouts. A study from 1996 even found that 4 minute workouts of Tabata training had similar effects.
And you can choose whatever type of workout you prefer. One study found that one high intensity workout was as effective as the next whether cycling, burpees, or whatever. So find a workout you like and go hard out!
Unfortunately, high intensity workouts do have one downside for men. One study suggests that it can lower a man’s libido. Or is it that men with lower libidos prefer high intensity workouts? Currently, it’s hard to say exactly what relationship EPOC or high intensity workout might have with a man’s sex drive, but be aware if your brakes are applied.
You have to rest and recover! The benefits of EPOC inducing workouts can be seen as much as 24 hours after training. So, your body needs at least that much time to recover. Never workout two days in a row. In fact, many experts suggest 48 hours between training sessions.