What Is The “After-burn Effect”?

When you do your exercise, calories are burnt by your body. This consumption of calories is not instantly discontinued, once you have finished your work out. Your body keeps on consuming calories even after you are done with your exercise. This is called “After-burn Effect”, technically known as “Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption”.


It sounds very nice that our body continues to burn calories even when we are resting after exercise. But it happens with many exercises and people have experienced faster weight loss practising some of them. So, you can also manage your workouts with slight modifications and plan to extract maximum benefit out of it.

Why Does This Happen?

While our body undergoes exercise, it affects our muscles. Once we finish the exercise, muscles, through a natural process, start to re-generate to return back to the normal position. For this phenomenon to happen, a lot of energy is required, which results in calories consumption, even after the workout. It also accelerates the rate of metabolism.

Duration Of After-burn Effect

The phenomenon is given the name “after-burn effect” since your body continues to burn calories after you are done with the exercise. Duration of this after-burn effect can last up to 24 hours, depending upon the potency of the workout.

During a hectic exercise, your body generates more Oxygen to provide required energy to complete your work out. Generation of Oxygen is proportionally related to the intensity with which you perform your exercise. More intense your exercise, more amount of oxygen is generated by your body to provide you the required energy.

afterburn duration

This excess generation of oxygen results in higher rate of respiration. Once the work out is completed, your respiration rate calms down but the Cell Respiration continues with the same speed which results in burning calories, for 12 – 24 hours after finishing the exercise.

Due to this reason, professional trainers always advise doing your exercise on alternate days or periods, so that your body muscles can be regenerated to normal through the “after-burn effect”. Interestingly, your body continues to burn calories during this resting period, as well. So, longer your body takes to return to normal, longer will be the duration of after-burn effect.

How To Manage After-burn Workout?

So, now when you have understood, what is After-burn Effect and how it works, you may be interested to learn how you can schedule your workouts, giving this natural process, space to happen.

Here is the answer:

  • The intensity of Work Outs – The intensity with which, you do your exercise, results in the intensity of generation of oxygen, your body requires to complete the workout. So, alternate the intensity of exercise to give your body better chance of returning to normal with the after-burn effect.
  • Cardiovascular Exercises –  Instead of doing only Cardio exercises in the first phase and then going to weights, mix up your exercise to give your body more chance of enhanced metabolism.
  • Duration of Work out session – A minimum of 45 minutes of work out session is ideal to burn calories.

So, if you intend to boost after-burn effect, follow these instructions:

  • Instead of doing your exercises with same intensity throughout your work out session, change the intensity at alternate intervals.
  • Brisk walking for continuous 20 minutes can be replaced with 10 minutes of quick walking and 5 minutes of a sprint. Then slow down and again repeat in the same order.
  • Instead of a continuous 30 minutes’ exercise, daily, without a break or rest, you should do full exercise session for the least of 60 minutes with rest on alternate days. It will result in more calories consumption than a 30 minutes’ daily exercise, without a rest.
  • You can alternate your workouts between Aerobics and Strength Training.


Each type of workout or sport results in the different duration of after-burn effect. In one case, it may be for a longer period and in other cases, the duration may be relatively less. So, better utilization of this natural process of after-burn effect will give you a way better result in toning up your body, with fewer efforts.

As with all workouts and sports, regularity and consistency in your practice and exercise is key to success, so, never relax. Make a well-calculated schedule of your workouts by giving proper chance to this natural phenomenon to occur in the body.

If you like my article about ‘What Is The “After-burn Effect”?’ and you’re interested in reading more related articles you may visit the ‘Sport‘ category. Please leave a comment below that how much you find this article helpful. You may also hit your queries in the comment section below if any.


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