How to Increase Metabolism: The Afterburn Effect

Are you wondering how to lose weight faster?

A very clever hack is by increasing your metabolism and activating the afterburn effect by using fat burning exercises.

In this article we give you all the details to implement this strategy.

As a bonus we’ve included a metabolism increasing workout at the end of this article.

Why to increase Metabolism?

Put simply, metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

During this complex biochemical process, calories in your food are combined with oxygen to produce the energy your body needs to function.

If only there were a way to get more fat burning benefits out of your workouts.

So that leaves us: how to increase metabolism? And what are the best fat burning exercises?

The secret is engaging in short:

High intensity workouts (HIIT workouts) that induce something called the afterburn effect.     

The simple definition of the afterburn effect is an increased state of metabolic efficiency that can be achieved as a result of intense exercise.

The effect of certain kinds of exercise on our resting metabolic rate (RMR), or the rate of our metabolism when we are not exercising, is important to know because we spend most of our day in RMR.

Studies (like this one and this one) have shown that the type of exercise we engage in, be it short and intense or long and endurance-based, can cause a change in the fat-burning efficiency of our RMR.

So yes, that means fat burning exercises really do exist! And that’s great news when you think about how to increase metabolism. It means we have more tools.

In other words, if you exercise correctly in the morning, you may be able to burn fat all day long.

You’ll gain lasting fat burning benefits using exercises you can do from anywhere. You can burn fat at home and keep burning fat after your workout is over.

However the key to weight loss isn’t a single exercise.

When considering how to increase metabolism overall, remember,  it requires modifying your training program.

So how can you burn fat at home? And what exercise burns the most fat?

First, let’s examine the goal: increasing your metabolism.

How to Increase Metabolism

The best way to boost your metabolism and keep it elevated even after your workout is over is with short, high intensity workouts; particularly those that target multiple muscle groups at once.

We call these “global” exercises and we recommend using functional training to achieve this. 

The more muscles you utilize during exercise, the more calories you burn. That’s how to increase metabolism in a short time.

Each repetition requires the use of more oxygen, which intensifies your workout and leaves you feeling like you’ve made real progress towards your training goals.

This type of exercise helps us maintain an elevated level of metabolism after our session is over, which leads to the afterburn effect.  

Many of the Mammoth Hunters workouts match that description to a tee: functional training in a HIIT format.

Here are some specific exercises that will help you trigger the afterburn effect.

The Afterburn Effect

The scientific name for the afterburn effect is EPOC, meaning Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.  It’s what happens after you work out…and you keep burning calories. The afterburn effect.

After an intense workout, the body needs more oxygen than usual in order to recover properly.

It’s important to remember that even though we may feel like we’ve fully recover from a workout, our bodies still need to recover on a chemical level.  Our muscles need to rebuild their reserves of phosphocreatine (fast energy), their PH levels and their temperature.  All of these processes require proper hydration and oxygen intake.

Heightened oxygen intake requires your body’s metabolism to work at a higher rate, which in turn burns fat.

If properly achieved, the afterburn effect can keep your body burning fat for anywhere between a few hours to two full days.

Yes, burn more fat for two full days after your workout!!!

This is one of the reasons we recommend scheduling your workouts so that you don’t have two high-intensity sessions on consecutive days. After all, you need to give your body time to recover, and to enjoy the fat burning benefits of the afterburn effect.

Want an exercise plan you click and follow? Use our video guided workouts.

Fat Burning Exercises

So how vigorous does your workout have to be in order to induce the afterburn effect? Are there really fat burning exercises?

You need to work out intensely, at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate. The best way to do this is with HIIT, because it’s very difficult to sustain that kind of heart rate for more than a few minutes.

And how do you know if you’re training in the right zone? What is 85% of your maximum heart rate? 

The best way to measure the intensity of your workout — and whether if it is intense enough to activate the afterburn effect and keep burning fat after you’ve stopped moving–is by calculating your maximum heart rate.

Subtracting your age from 220 (beats per minute, bpm) is a simple way to get a ballpark estimate of your maximum heart rate without doing a complicated threshold test.

fat burning exercises heart rate zones


For example, the maximum heart rate of a 30 year old is 190bpm (220-30=190).  In order to workout with the intensity required to activate the afterburn effect, a 30 year old must push his or her heart rate up to 85-90% of their maximum, which in this case is 160-170bpm.

What exercise burns the most fat?

There is no clear answer to this: the more important thing is putting your body into the right metabolic state to trigger an increased metabolism overall.

While you could go out and run or bike or swim for hours, you can also achieve an increased metabolism effect by doing HIIT exercises as a way to increase metabolism.

Here are some specific fat burning exercises that, because they are functional and work multiple muscles at once, thus activating the afterburn effect and therefore increase metabolism.

Here are 10 great fat burning exercises that increase metabolism:

1. Burpee

2. Burrol

3. Mountain Climber

4. Thruster

5. Jumping Squat

6. Star jump

7. Surfer

8. Push ups

9. Roll push up

10. Jumping lunge

Bonus Track: Metabolism increasing HIIT workout

Repeat these four exercises for one minute, then rest 20 seconds. Repeat this sequence 10 times, while attempting to maintain the same number of reps each time set.

5 Burpees

5 Push ups

5 Jumping squats

5 Mountain climbers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Brilliant article! I found you accidentally and so grateful for what I’ve learned in 2 short days. You’re helping me take my fitness to another level. MH is a gem!