EPOC
Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), also known as “afterburn,” occurs after strenuous exercise as a way to bring your body back to its “normal” resting state.

By: Body - Physical Training - 11/15/2018

Have you ever run up a long flight of stairs and found yourself still gasping for breath minutes later? Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as "afterburn," occurs after strenuous exercise as a way to bring your body back to its "normal" resting state. It takes time for your body to replenish the oxygen used up during exercise, and during afterburn, you continue to burn calories as a result of your elevated metabolism.

You might have experienced EPOC after completing a tough workout, remaining hot and sweaty even 20–30 minutes later. The good news is that it doesn't take a long workout to achieve afterburn. However, it does require that your workouts be more intense.


Rounds of short bursts of high-intensity exercise—such as cardio or resistance training—followed by periods of low-intensity exercise or rest is the best way to achieve afterburn. This style of intermittent high-intensity exercise can burn more fat, improve glucose tolerance, and even increase your aerobic fitness. This isn't "new science" despite what the expensive gyms and programs tell you. You don't necessarily have to pay extra money to achieve the same results.

Here's a simple method to consider: Split your cardio workout into two shorter sessions of higher intensity (i.e increased speed, or resistance) to accomplish a longer period of calorie burn afterward. For example, if you usually cycle after work for 50 minutes, do two 25-minute rides instead: one before work and one after work. Or replace your normal resistance training with supersets: Pair 2 exercises of opposing muscle groups and complete them back-to-back with minimal rest to increase intensity. For example, combine pull-ups with pushups into one superset, completing 8–12 repetitions of each exercise for 3–5 sets. You also can do a full-body workout by combining 3–4 different supersets. Remember to maintain proper form because it reduces your risk of injury as well.


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