As I mentioned yesterday, and want to look at in more detail today, although 14% sounds impressively larger than 7%, this can be terribly misleading. 7% of a large number can still be more than 14% of a much smaller number even if the percentage contribution is higher in the second case. And no matter how you cut it, the majority of calories burned come during the workout, not afterwards. As you’ll see, the EPOC doesn’t amount to jack for any realistic amount of activity.
In the last year or three, exercise programs for fat loss have been geared around the concept of using certain types of training (either interval style cardio or highish rep/short rest weight training) to cause fat loss through an ‘afterburn’ effect where calories are burned after workouts to a greater degree than following standard training styles (esp. low intensity cardio). Clearly from a real-world perspective, this type of training ‘works’.
First off, I want you to look around the next time you’re in the weight room. Go look at all the people who are lifting weights. I bet some of them are not very muscular. Does this allow me to conclude that “Weight training doesn’t build muscles”"? Of course not, that would be moronic. What it means is that there are other factors (e.g. how they are training and their diet) that are interacting with the weight training.
As a bit of introduction, it’s recently come to light that one major cause of insulin resistance in obesity has to do with the accumulation of fat within skeletal muscle. Referred to as intramuscular triglyceride (IMTG), fat stored within skeletal muscle appears to play a big role in how well (or poorly) the muscle can utilize glucose and respond to insulin. I’d note that it’s a touch more complicated than that for reasons I don’t want to get into.
I’ve heard a variety of amusing things along the lines of ‘Faster is always better, don’t walk if you can run, don’t run if you can sprint’ and other unqualified nonsense (in a less generous mood I’d call this complete bullshit but I’m feeling generous today).