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afterburn effect

The Afterburn Effect: Maximizing Your Spiritual Fitness

Have you heard about the “afterburn effect?” No, I’m not using fighter-pilot speak. I’m referring to a popular phrase in the booming fitness industry. As Christians, we know that spiritual fitness is more valuable than physical fitness. Scripture tells us:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (NIV, 1 Tim. 4:8). 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t leverage some effective spiritual techniques from the world of physical fitness.

In particular, we can learn from what’s known as the afterburn effect.

The afterburn effect is the technique that’s slimming waists and fattening wallets for consumers and producers, respectively. During certain exercise profiles, your body continues to burn calories even after the workout is finished. You’ll find this effect mentioned by Michael Hyatt (The Most Valuable Missing Ingredient In Your Fitness Routine ), Men’s Health (Lose More Weight With Afterburn), and the New York Times (For An Exercise Afterburn, Intensity May Be the Key).

The bottom line: you might see more long-lasting effects from high-intensity workouts.

What if we could engage the afterburn effect during spiritual conditioning? Is there a way to exercise our minds and study God’s Word that will give us more long-lasting effects?

I think there is.

The afterburn effect isn’t caused by changing what you do (workout), but how you do it (high intensity versus endurance). Maximizing our growth from the Word is not relegated to the time spent reading it, but also how we study it.

I believe we can ignite the afterburn effect by getting intense with the Word, by going deeper—not just by reading, but by actively synthesizing ideas continuously throughout the day in relation to Biblical texts.

If you want to shake up your spiritual workout, for your passion to continue to burn long after your devotionals, then don’t study longer—study with intensity. Attempt to get inside the minds of the men God used to reveal His Word to us. Learn about their history. Discover what fueled their passion.

Then discover yours.

When you use the afterburn effect, you’ll discover more about the men and women who have devoted their lives in the service of God. You might even learn more about yourself.

How do you achieve the afterburn effect in your studies?

Photo Credit:  Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Scott

About Jason

is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of five. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. Jason also writes about leadership, parenthood, and worldview development on FIGHTER FAITH. His book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview is now available on Amazon.

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One comment

  1. Thank you so much for this article. The Holy Spirit prompted me about this some days ago and what to do to always have an afterburn. It starts with a desire and a plan and you nailed it here, going deeper and deeper and consistently too. It’s amazing how many of my search results only showed burnout and not this. Thank you again.

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