All About EPOC and the Afterburn Effect of Exercise

October 16, 2015

All About EPOC and the Afterburn Effect of Exercise

How many times have you heard someone say that because of their morning workout that they will be burning calories all day long? While you might want to roll your eyes, you can have this experience as well by harnessing the power of EPOC, also known as the afterburn effect. Below is a breakdown of what EPOC is, what it does to the body and how you can leverage for yourself.


What is EPOC?

EPOC is an acronym for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It is also called the afterburn effect because it helps your body to continue working for you, even after you finish your workout.

How do I Reach this State?

It has been commonly accepted that the research done on EPOC indicates that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one way of reaching this state. Whether you add a HIIT workout to the end of your regularly planned workout or find a HIIT workout that lasts 30 to 45 minutes, the emphasis on incorporating HIIT into your regimen is consistent. A quick internet search can reveal multiple options for HIIT workouts that you can do from home or at the gym. Here is the link to one of my favorite HIIT workouts.


When Does this Happen?

The afterburn effect can last for 24 to 36 hours after you finish your exercise. This means that your body is working to burn oxygen for an extended period of time, which takes energy. The body uses energy in the form of calories. Hence, EPOC has often been referenced as a method to help burn additional calories and help with weight management. 

Why Should I Bother?

Whether you are looking to start working toward your weight loss goals or just want a boost to your regular workout, utilizing HIIT to reach EPOC can take you to the next level. Understanding what your body is doing during this state will help to keep you remain motivated to work harder during your workout. When you know what your body is doing you can respect the process and the effort required. Think : If I want to maximize the afterburn effect, then no excuses. Push for another 10 minutes so I can keep burning calories all day.

When can I Start?

At your next workout! Think of the afterburn effect as an investment strategy for your workout. Some people will invest their money so that it can work for them, reaching EPOC is a way to keep your body working for you after your workout ends.

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