Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

Last update: 2022-05-16

Do you know that there are some cardio workouts that can make your body keep burning calories and building muscles after exercising? Do you want to maximize that effect? Then, read this post!

Here, I am going to walk you through the definition of the afterburn effect and the three best cardio workouts that maximize your afterburn.

Understand The Science Of The Afterburn Effect (EPOC)

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

EPOC is the increase in the rate that calories are burned (also known as metabolism) after one person ends a workout session.

The elevated metabolism results in elevated oxygen consumption – which requires the body to recover and get back to its pre-exercise state.

EPOC is impacted by many elements:

  • Higher core temperature
  • Increased neurotransmitters
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated ventilation
  • Re-oxygenation of the hemoglobin and myoglobin
  • The re-synthesis of lactate to glycogen

It can last up to 72 hours– which is equivalent to 3 days - after a workout session.

According to many reliable studies, intensity is key to affect how long EPOC will last and how many calories are burned after a workout.

3 Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

Workout 1: Cardio + HIIT

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

HIIT is short, high-intensity bursts of cardio exercise alternated with equal or longer periods of rest. The sweet spot for each HIIT workout session is somewhere between 20-30 minutes.

It is a safe and very effective workout to maximize your afterburn. Here are specific heart-pumping routines for each exercise level.

Note: You can adjust the numbers of each exercise to your physical health conditions.

However, make sure to complete each move back-to-back with no rest within 30 seconds and do your best like your life depends upon it. Rest 30 seconds.

Repeat for however long the workout takes

For beginners – 10 to 15 minutes total

  • 5-minute warmup
  • 20 Alternating lunges

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 20 mountain climbers

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 20 Burpees without push ups
  • 20 Kneeling push ups
  • 20 Bodyweight squat

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 5-minute stretching

For intermediate-level exercisers – 20 minutes’ total

  • 5-minute warmup
  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Jump Lunges

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 20 Regular Pushups

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 20 Squat Jumps

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

  • 20 Burpees with push up
  • 5-minute stretching

For pro exercisers – 30 minutes’ total

  • 5-minute warmup
  • 20 Mountain Climbers with Twist
  • 20 Single-Leg Bulgarian Squats
  • 20 Navy Seal Push Ups

  • 20 Tuck Jumps
  • 20 Full Burpees with Push Up and Jump

  • 5-minute stretching

Workout 2: Cardio + Weights

Adding or combining weight training to your cardio workouts is a smart move to help you get you over a plateau, increase your resting metabolic rate, and extend that burn.

To get the highest EPOC, I picked total-body weight training combined with cardio workouts. You only need to practice this workout 2 or 3 times per week - which is perfect for busy individuals with a tight schedule.

What you will need:

  • Two 10-pound dumbbells or a trap bar

Below is how to perform the workout:

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

From the starting spot (Point A), grasp the weight, and walk 20 yards. Put the weight down (point B), sprint to point A, then sprint back to point B.

Rest one minute. That’s one circuit.

Do the circuit five times.

10-minute stretching

Workout 3: Mixed moves

This workout is perfect for both indoors and outdoors.

If you intend to walk/jog/run indoors, a treadmill is the must-have fitness equipment. On the contrary, choose a running route that is flat and non-obstacle. To increase the intensity, choose sloppy terrain.

The total workout time is 25 minutes.

Here is how to do the workout:

5-minute jogging or brisk walking at your comfortable pace

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

2-minute slightly faster jogging or walking (as long as you feel a bit breathless)

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

20 Plyo-Jacks

1-minute fast jogging or sprinting (pick up the fastest speed as you can)

1-minute slightly slower jogging or walking (as long as your heart rate lowers to baseline)

20 Plyo-Jacks

1-minute fast jogging or sprinting (pick up the fastest speed as you can)

1-minute slightly slower jogging or walking (as long as your heart rate lowers to baseline)

20 Jumping Lunges

Cardio Workouts That Maximize Your Afterburn

1-minute fast jogging or sprinting (pick up the fastest speed as you can)

20 Jumping Lunges

1-minute fast jogging or sprinting (pick up the fastest speed as you can)

2-minute slightly slower jogging or walking (as long as your heart rate lowers to baseline)

3-minute jogging or brisk walking at your comfortable pace

5-minute stretching

Alternatives for indoor workout version

If you’re running on a treadmill and there are free weights available in your home gym. You can combine running with some weight training exercises.

Replace Plyo-Jacks and Jumping Lunges to Triceps Kickback, Reverse-Lunge Curl, Running Man, Plank Low Row, or Thrusters while holding dumbbells.

Conclusion

Above are three different cardio workouts that maximize your afterburn. Determine your physical health conditions to choose the right one. Remember to warm up thoroughly before getting started and perform stretch exercises after that.

Rest appropriately and follow a healthy diet. Thanks for reading!

Nancy Lang
Nancy Lang

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