Who doesn’t want a faster metabolism? People with fast metabolisms can stave off weight gain and burn calories more efficiently. That’s because with a flexible, healthy metabolism, your body can adjust to your changing food intake and switch between carbs and fat for energy effectively.
In the most simple terms, low-intensity endurance exercise is very effective at increasing mitochondria. The more mitochondria you have, the more lactate can be cleared from your system, helping you burn fat more efficiently. Read my article here to learn more about how this works.
So if you’re trying to burn calories, don’t give up low-intensity cardio. Try power walking a few miles every day or adding a few days of 45 to 60 minutes of endurance cardio to your routine.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is known for its “afterburner” effect (called EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). HIIT causes your body to continue to burn calories after an intense workout while it uses increased amounts of oxygen to restore energy supplies, lower body temperature, and return to a resting state.
In order to get the best metabolism boost AND burn the most calories while working out, your workout needs to be a very high intensity – breathless and sweating. You cannot maintain this level of intensity longer than about 30 seconds, because it’s an all-out effort. Some experts maintain that many people cannot sustain that level of effort for even 30 seconds, thus the benefits of afterburn are overstated. For this reason, and because HIIT can lead to overtraining if done too frequently, HIIT may not be the perfect answer to calorie burn.
However, there’s no doubt that intervals, circuits, and HIIT training can save time. You alternate between high intensity and low intensity for short bursts and usually for much less time.
The bottom line is that for the best calorie burn and metabolism booster, you should integrate strength training, HIIT, and endurance cardio into your program.