Monday, February 9, 2009

Days 5 and 6 from Alwyn Cosgrove...

Day 5

The Hierarchy of Fat Loss (cont.)

4. Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism
The next level of fat loss programming would be a similar activity. We're still looking at activities that eat up calories and increase EPOC.

EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) is defined scientifically as the "recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels" and "can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals."

Essentially, we're looking for activities that keep us burning more calories after the exercise session. If you aren't using fat burning programs that maximize EPOC then you are:

             1. Wasting your time

             2. Using fat burning methodologies s from last century

5. Activities that burn calories but don't necessarily maintain muscle or elevate metabolism
This is the "icing on the cake" -- adding in activities that'll burn up additional calories but don't necessarily contribute to increasing metabolism. This is the least effective tool in your arsenal as it doesn't burn much outside of the primary exercise session.


Day 6

Today is the last day of the Afterburn Training eCourse. We are going to wrap up the course with a closer look at both resistance and interval training.

Metabolic Resistance Training
Basically we're using resistance training as the cornerstone of our fat loss programming. Our goal is to work every muscle group hard, frequently, and with an intensity that creates a massive "metabolic disturbance" or "afterburn" that leaves the metabolism elevated for several hours post-workout.

A 2002 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology used a circuit training protocol of 12 sets in 31 minutes. EPOC was elevated significantly for 38 hours post-workout.

Thirty-eight hours is a pretty significant timeframe for metabolism to be elevated. If you trained at 9AM until 10AM on Monday morning, you're still burning more calories (without training) at midnight on Tuesday.

Can we compound this with additional training within that 38 hours? No research has been done, but I have enough case studies to believe that you can.

In my experience, full body training in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format (with non-competing exercises) in a rep range that generates lactic acid (and pushes the lactic acid threshold or LAT) seems to create the biggest metabolic demand. It makes sense: training legs, back, and chest will burn more calories and elevate metabolism more than an isolated approach training one of them.

The rep range that seems to work best is the 8-12 hypertrophy range, although going higher will work just as well with a less trained population.

High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training
The second key "ingredient" in fat loss programming is high intensity interval training (HIIT). It burns more calories than steady state and elevates metabolism significantly more than other forms of cardio. The downside is that it flat-out sucks to do it!

The landmark study in interval training was from Tremblay et al. This study pitted 20 weeks of endurance training against 15 weeks of interval training:

Energy cost of endurance training = 28661 calories.
Energy cost of interval training = 13614 calories (less than half)

The interval training group showed a nine times greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group (when corrected for energy cost).

Read that again. Calorie for calorie, the interval training group lost nine times more fat overall. Why? Maybe it's EPOC, an upregulation of fat burning enzyme activity. I don't care. I'm a real world guy.

If the interval training group had lost the same fat as the endurance group, we'd get the same results in less time. That means interval training is a better tool in your fat loss arsenal.

If you want a fat loss program that has everything we've talked about over the past 6 days (all the good parts) and you want to lose fat at the fastest possible rate then you want Afterburn Training.

Head over to and pick up your copy today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet his program is kick-ass! I know I want to take things up a notch...just not sure with what.

Thanks for the info. ;)