Let me share with you the one thing that can make all the difference in your fat burning cardio success which is what I refer to as “the key.”
When I used to do two hours of cardio a day I did so because the textbooks say one pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories.
With that understanding, I figured that to drop a pound of fat daily all I had to do was set up my diet soundly and set up my cardio so that I would burn 1200-1600 calories PER CARDIO SESSION…
Which had me burning between 2400 and 3200 calories per day!
Perfect plan, right? Not at all.
Yes, I made progress but the time commitment was brutal and no I did not drop seven pounds per week (sad face).
What I didn’t understand at that time is that it’s not about how many calories you burn during your cardio session but how much you burn after the session is over…
“The Key”: E.P.O.C.
EPOC is an acronym for “Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption” but in the fitness world, it’s often times referred to as “the afterburn.
When your goal is fat burning the afterburn is literally your very best friend.
An intense workout puts greater stress on your body’s ability to get enough oxygen.
It, in essence, creates an oxygen “deficit” that your body works feverishly to resolve.
This forces your body to have to use up even more energy in order to get more oxygen into your body– which brings your body back into balance.
The secret behind EPOC is in the term “afterburn” AKA the amount of fat your body burns AFTER YOU STOP DOING YOUR CARDIO SESSION.
When you do cardio in a way that turns the EPOC key in your body, you position yourself to have the afterburn work FOR you. Far too often people (including myself once upon a time) make the mistake of doing long, slow to moderate sessions of cardio in the hopes of burning off enough calories each day in order to potentially drop a couple of pounds by the end of the week.
This in itself isn’t bad, it just isn’t the fastest way to get to your goal safely.
So the mental shift you may have to make is that it’s not about how much time you spend doing cardio but about the quality and intensity of the time spent. When done right, you can literally wake up feeling leaner than the night before.
Impossible? Not at all…
“Rest and Burn Fat”
The little unknown fat burning secret is that the majority of fat burning really takes place while your body is at rest throughout the course of your day and especially while you are sleeping.
Your goal during cardio is to optimize each session to see how far you are able to push the EPOC so that you can create a greater and greater afterburn effect with each passing day.
Learning this single thing in my competitive bodybuilding career helped me go from literally doing 2 hours (sometimes 2.5 hours) of cardio per day seven days a week to only doing two 16 minute sessions per day while I was getting “stage ready.” Yes, that is only a total of 32 minutes!
I wanted to share this to illustrate the power of how much time can be saved without sacrificing results when you use the afterburn to your advantage.