Sep 4 2015

Bootcamp: The Secret to Faster Fat Loss and Better Run Times

EPOC: Can you really burn calories and torch fat all day long, even when you aren’t working out?

Have you heard of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption? Also known as EPOC. It’s the scientific term for the afterburn effect, which can help you burn more calories long after you’ve stopeed your workout (we touched on this in our 09/01/15 email). Keep reading to learn how EPOC can earn you more effective workouts, burn more calories and help your runs. 

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Improve Your Race Time

Over time high-intensity workouts can increase your VO2 max, or your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy. That means better endurance, which leads to more energy and the ability to sustain more work for a longer period of time (better run times, Folks).

You will find that when you do go back to slower, steady state cardio, you’ll be able to maintain that longer with more ease.

For endurance athletes, adding one or two EPOC-enhancing workouts (that would be 2 Folk Bootcamps, Folks) to your weekly routine can also provide a boost in your next race. The reason: Working different aerobic systems improves endurance while building stronger fast-twitch muscle fibers, which can help deliver that final kick needed to finish strong.

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Burn More Calories

When a person works out at an intensity they can’t sustain for a long period of time, two things happen: their muscles begin to burn and they start feeling out of breath. Why? Upon exertion, muscles start to fill up with lactic acid (the chemical that causes the burning) and the body’s oxygen stores become depleted.

These high-intensity training sessions force the body to work harder to build its oxygen stores back up—for a period of 16 to 24 hours post-workout. The result: more calories burned than if you’d exercised at a lower intensity for the same (or longer) period of time. During rest, your body has to work hard to clear away the lactic acid and pay back its oxygen depletion. 

Studies show strenuous resistance exercise results in greater EPOC compared to steady-state endurance exercise that burns the same number of calories. So while you might burn the same calories during an hour-long jog (and don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my long runs), but shorter, more intense workouts can give you more bang for your buck with more fat loss.

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HIIT and Circuit Training via a Folk Wellness Co. Bootcamp

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to get your heart beating. HIIT alternates between short, intense anaerobic exercises, such as sprints, with less-intense recovery periods. 

When time is of the essence, Tabata workouts can get the job done in just four minutes flat (we include these a lot in our bootcamp classes). Pick an exercise (running, biking, jumping rope, box jumps, mountain climbers, pushups, you name it) and alternate between 20 seconds of all-out work and 10 seconds of rest, repeating for eight rounds. A recent study out of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found Tabata-style workouts can burn a whopping 15 calories per minute, and the workout meets or exceeds fitness industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and modifying body composition.

As an alternative to interval training, circuit training (moving from one exercise to the next with no rest in between) will give you a similar effect.

It’s important to note that your body will take longer to recover from super high-intensity workouts, so make sure you add some variety in your workouts. I usually stick to the intense workouts of about 4 times a week. We get stronger when we recover. Yoga, stretching, foam rolling, running, swimming, cycling, other forms of light cardio or any other activity that increases blood flow and aids in circulation will help aid recovery.

Sources: Shape