Learn about the training methods which make Afterburner such an effective fat loss program.

Afterburn workout program

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

12 min read

What if there was a way we could make your time outside the gym as productive as your time in the gym?

Well, there is!

Introducing Afterburner. This 8-week program combines several training methods into one fat-scorching program which will have you burning blubber from your midsection all day long!

This program was over a year in the making and testing phase, and I hope you enjoy the fuck out of it. Read this program overview to see how all of the different moving parts work.

Here’s a quick guide:

Program length: 8 weeks.
Frequency: 6 workouts per week.
Session breakdown: Each workout features intermittent cardio and supersets. You will train 2-3 muscle groups per session, and hit each muscle twice per week thanks to the six workouts.
Rep ranges used: Low reps, mid-range reps and high reps.
Muscle Buster techniques: Intermittent cardio, HIIT, Supersets.

Training Calendar

Afterburner workout schedule

Afterburner is an 8-week program.

You will train six days per week, with one recovery day. I’ve scheduled that for Sunday, but you can change it if you want to.

In an ideal world, you would follow this program exactly as it’s written because this will allow you to get the best possible results from it. However, not everyone is going to be able to do that, and I don’t want those people to miss out on the benefits of Afterburner – so you can still follow the program, you just need to customize it a little bit.

  • Can only train 3x per week

I recommend completing the first three workouts then picking up where you left off next week. The program will take twice as long to complete this way, but it’ll still be very effective, and you’re still training your full-body every week so it ensures that no muscle groups are being skipped along the way.

  • Can only train 4x per week

Complete the first three workouts then choose one of the remaining days from that week to be your fourth session. I recommend choosing the session which features a body part you’d like to bring up.

  • Can only train 5x per week

Same approach as above, but you have two sessions to choose.

Turn On Your Afterburners!

the afterburn effect

Did you know your body responds differently depending on the kind of training you perform?

Performing traditional cardiovascular exercise (i.e. 30 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike) will use fat as the primary fuel source, whereas performing high intensity exercise (i.e. weight training or HIIT) will use carbohydrates as the fuel source.

Considering the primary goal of this program is to help you lose body fat, one might expect that traditional cardio is the way to go – but it’s not!

You see, although high intensity training uses carbohydrates for fuel, the fat loss benefits are absolutely phenomenal. It triggers a process called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which can see you burning calories at an accelerated rate for up to 14 hours after training(1, 2)

That’s why HIIT is so effective.

Due to the fact that most of the results occur after training, this process is often referred to as “the afterburn effect” (hence the name of this plan). It’s the primary mechanism by which you’ll strip away body fat throughout Afterburner, and each of the methods you’ll use in the workouts (intermittent cardio, HIIT, and supersets) are fantastic for boosting EPOC higher than you’d normally experience with a traditional training plan.

A graph showing how the afterburn effect from HIIT is mich bigger than that of aerobic cardio.

Intermittent Cardio

HIIT and weights workout program

Most people have heard of intermittent fasting… but intermittent cardio?

It’s not as complex as it sounds.

When you take a look at the workouts section of Afterburner you’ll see that each workout has four blocks of cardio woven into it. Each block lasts 7 minutes – so you’ll perform your first block, then go hit the weights, then go back and perform another block of cardio, and so on.

If we add them all together it means you’re packing 28 minutes of cardio into each session alongside your weight training, which is already great for boosting your fat loss results, but structuring them in this way allows you to take advantage of some unique benefits.

The first is enhanced performance. Let’s face it, most people dislike long cardio workouts even though they know it’s effective, so they labour through them (or skip them entirely). Chunking them down into short blocks makes it easier to do. During a 2011 study, researchrs discovered that when they split a group of runners’ 30-minute session into three 10-minute blocks, the participants found it considerably easier to perform, and many of them even recorded a higher calorie burn. (3)

The second is that it’s perfect for HIIT, because it works best when it’s kept short and intense. In the study above, whn participants switched to performing HIIT the results got even better. (1, 3)

We already know how great the fat loss benefits of HIIT are, but one thing which is often overlooked is the muscle sparing effect. Due to the similarities between HIIT and weight training (performing a burst then recovering is very much like doing a set then resting) it will actually help you hang on to your hard earned lean muscle tissue (which traditional cardiovascular exercise can not do), and that’s definitely something we want to take advantage of! (1, 4)

As you progress through each phase of Afterburner I’m going to change the structure of your short cardio blocks. They will become progressively more challenging as your body gets acclimatized to high intensity training, so you’ll unlock continuous results.

Here’s how they’re set up:

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