What if we tell you that a high-intensity workout that you did in the morning is enough to burn calories throughout the day even when you are sleeping?
Well, you might not believe it like most of the people out there because it sounds too good to be true. However, it’s a fact and this phenomenon is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
Table of Contents
- 1. Understanding The Concept of EPOC
- 2. EPOC Is Caused Due to Production of ATP
- 3. Recruiting Fast-Twitch Muscles = Greater EPOC
- 4. Effects of EPOC On Your Body
- 5. What Is the Best Way of Incorporating EPOC Through Your Workout?
- 6. What Is the Secret to Achieve EPOC?
- 7. Workouts That Can Give You EPOC Effect
- 8. Takeaway
Most fitness trainers are not aware of the concept of EPOC that’s why they encourage their clients to increase their training time to maximize the calorie burn.
But you are lucky that you have come to the right place to learn how you can burn calories throughout the day just after a few minutes of workout.
Read More: Best 10 Minute HIIT Workout at Home
Understanding The Concept of EPOC
EPOC can be simply explained through its link with elevation in the metabolism rate. By metabolism rate, we mean the rate at which calories are burned by your body.
We know that when we are exercising at an elevated heart rate, our metabolism rate increases for some time to burn more calories for fulfilling the energy demand of our body.
While you are training, the muscles in your body are filled with lactic acid and the oxygen supplies are utilized.
But, when we rest after an intense workout, our body needs the energy to recover. And, to fulfill this demand for energy our body keeps on burning calories.
This means that once you stop working out after a high-intensity workout, your body keeps on burning calories for up to 24 hours to restore that natural balance.
However, it’s to be noted that this does not mean that you can consume the same nutrition and lose weight strictly based on exercises like HIIT.
Inevitably and ultimately, the most influential factor in weight loss is and always will be, diet.
Your diet will ensure that you consume a lesser number of calories and lose fats, carbs, etc. in the process.
EPOC Is Caused Due to Production of ATP
During a workout, your body needs energy that is fulfilled by a chemical compound in our body known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Some amount of ATP is stored in your muscles but it’s utilized quickly once you start exercising. But as you start exercising ATP production is also initiated.
Higher is the intensity of your exercise, the higher will be the ATP production.
Once you finish your workout then your body needs to recover that lost ATP for which it burns calories.
So, we can conclude that after high-intensity training, your body burns calories when you are resting to recover ATP.
Recruiting Fast-Twitch Muscles = Greater EPOC
The fast-twitch muscle fibers are the ones that are used when your body makes sudden and extreme movements. They are used very quickly and as a result, they are fatigued earlier.
The larger your muscles are the more ATP will be required for engaging them. This means more calories will burn for recovery once you finish your workout.
Effects of EPOC On Your Body
- Increase in respiration
- Increase in heart rate
- Elevated levels of neurotransmitters and catecholamines
- Elevated hormonal levels such as cortisol, insulin, and growth hormone
- Increase in core temperature
What Is the Best Way of Incorporating EPOC Through Your Workout?
To experience increased levels of EPOC after a workout, you need to intensify your exercises. High-intensity and anaerobic exercises are known to give a greater EPOC effect.
One reason for the greater EPOC effect is that these exercises primarily rely on fast-twitch muscles. So, to experience the benefits of EPOC, you need to make sure that you push your body as hard as possible.
HIIT: Most-Effective For EPOC
High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the most effective methods to achieve EPOC. Let’s have a look at what makes HIIT the best:
- Time-Efficient: Through 15-20 mins of HIIT, we effectively achieve EPOC and keep burning calories for the rest of our day.
- Engages Fast Twitch Muscles: In HIIT workout, you push your body with the maximum force during different intervals, it’s helpful in engaging fast-twitch muscle fibers.
- Increased Oxygen Consumption: HIIT workouts are efficient for stimulating EPOC because you consume more oxygen during them.
This results in increased usage of ATP, when you are in a rest state then your body burns calories at an increased rate to restore those ATP’s.
How Long Can EPOC Last?
The time of how long EPOC can last depends on the intensity of your workout. If you completed a light intensity workout then your body can even recover within 20-30 mins.
But, if you’re recovering from a high-intensity workout, especially HIIT then you can even be in the state of EPOC for nearly 48-hours.
What Is the Secret to Achieve EPOC?
If you want to achieve EPOC after your workout then you should consider the intensity of your workout. And, by increasing intensity, we don’t mean increasing the duration of your workout.
An easy way to measure the intensity of your workout is by measuring your heart rate.
- Low intensity is at 45-55% maximum heart rate (MHR)
- Moderate is at 55-65% MHR
- High intensity is at greater than 70% MHR
You can also increase your workout intensity using the following methods:
- Using heavier weights
- Taking less rest between sets
- Using supersets, drop sets, and training in circuits.
Workouts That Can Give You EPOC Effect
Cycling at different speed levels and incorporating HIIT bike workouts, adding or reducing resistance can help in giving EPOC effect.
These are jumping exercises, it includes box jumps, burpees, jumping, and a lot more.
Try doing circuit training with some weights, you can use dumbbells to intensify your workout.
Incorporate cardio workouts or variable exercises like squats, shoulder presses, pushups, crunches in your circuit workout.
A punching bag workout can be very high-intensity, it can be very effective for the EPOC effect.
A variety of exercises can give you the EPOC effect. You should always keep in mind that your focus should be on increasing the intensity of exercise.
Working out for even 2 hours won’t be as beneficial as high-intensity exercises for achieving EPOC.
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