During my Exercise Science bachelor’s degree program, I learned many physiological adaptive methods that lead to weight loss. But none more effective than EPOC- or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. What does that even mean?
Rather than bore you with the science, let’s dig into excess post exercise oxygen consumption and how it can benefit you when you incorporate it into your workout routine.
Have you ever wondered if it’s true that you can continue to burn calories without hours on the treadmill or stairmaster? You absolutely can.
This phenomenon is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), and it plays a significant role in helping you achieve your fitness goals. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind EPOC and how you can leverage it to maximize the benefits of your exercise routine.
What is EPOC?
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption refers to the increased oxygen consumption (by your muscles) that occurs after intense physical activity. When you engage in activities that require significant energy expenditure, such as high-intensity interval training or weightlifting, your body undergoes several physiological changes. EPOC is the body’s way of recovering and returning to its pre-exercise state.
Understanding the Science:
During intense exercise, your body relies on stored energy sources, primarily carbohydrates, to fuel your muscles. However, these energy sources become depleted during prolonged or high-intensity workouts. EPOC occurs as your body works to replenish these energy stores and restore various physiological processes to their resting levels.
While the exact mechanisms behind EPOC are complex and multifaceted, there are a few key factors that contribute to its occurrence:
- Replenishing Oxygen: Your body needs to replace the oxygen debt created during intense exercise. EPOC helps restore oxygen levels to normal by increasing your breathing rate and heart rate, enabling the delivery of oxygen to tissues and aiding in the breakdown of lactic acid.
- Restoring Energy Stores: EPOC plays a crucial role in replenishing depleted energy stores, such as glycogen, in your muscles and liver. This process requires energy, and the increased metabolic rate during EPOC helps facilitate the replenishment of these energy stores.
- Thermogenic Effect: EPOC also leads to an elevation in body temperature, which results in increased calorie expenditure. This thermogenic effect occurs as your body works to cool down and return to its normal resting state.
Leveraging EPOC for Fitness Goals:
Understanding the power of EPOC allows us to optimize our fitness routines and maximize calorie burn. Here are a few strategies to leverage EPOC effectively:
- Incorporate High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT workouts are known for their ability to stimulate EPOC. By alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and active recovery periods, HIIT workouts create metabolic disturbances that lead to a higher EPOC effect. This means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve left the gym.
- Strength Training: Engaging in resistance or strength training exercises can significantly increase EPOC. The muscle damage caused during strength training requires energy for repair and recovery, leading to an extended period of elevated metabolic rate post-workout.
- Circuit Training: Circuit training combines strength exercises with bursts of cardiovascular activity. This combination not only improves strength and cardiovascular fitness but also promotes a higher EPOC effect due to the overall intensity of the workout.
- Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for all aspects of exercise, including EPOC. Drinking enough water helps your body efficiently transport oxygen and nutrients, aiding in the recovery process and maximizing the benefits of EPOC.
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is a fascinating phenomenon that allows you to continue burning calories even after you’ve finished your workout. By understanding the science behind EPOC and incorporating appropriate training methods, you can harness its power to achieve your fitness goals more effectively. So, next time you’re planning your exercise routine, remember to include high-intensity workouts and strength training to unleash the full potential of EPOC and take your fitness journey to new heights.
What does EPOC look like in your exercises selection? I’m going to give you the recipe I’ve used for over a decade of coaching 1,000s of busy adults to reach their weight loss goals. Ready?
Here it is:
- Warm up 5-10 minutes to develop intramuscular temperature and prevent injury
- Perform a dynamic warmup for 5-10 minutes to improve mobility and prevent injury
- Select 6-10 resistance training exercises in your gym or at home that match your sport or performance goals
- Perform 15-20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise AFTER resistance training and incorporating interval training is even better
- Cool down by stretching and foam rolling to begin the repair and healing process for your muscles
- Refuel with a well balanced meal that includes protein within 45 minutes of your workout
Hopefully, you gained some insight into how to reach your weight loss goals quickly and safely without spending hours in the gym or kitchen.
I’ve been using this formula for over ten years to help get my clients results FAST and I’m not sure why more coaches aren’t telling every one of their clients that they can build lean muscle and lose body weight at the same time.
This is the number one secret weight loss formula the fitness industry and no one is talking about it. I’ve been using this secret formula with my clients for years to shred unwanted body fat by burning calories long after their workout is over.
If you’re looking for more support in your own weight loss journey, reach out to me via email and I will get you a free 7 day trial of the only weight loss program you can do in your gym or home that will keep you safe and supported along the way. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up today, absolutely free.
Head Coach at Fit Life Champions
“Helping you create a healthy lifestyle to be your strongest self“