What the heck is EPOC?
So you’ve probably heard this fancy turn thrown around gyms. Gyms claiming to enhance EPOC. EPOC this, EPOC that. But what exactly is it?
Lets get right down to it. EPOC stands for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. Fancy, I know. But look no further than here; I am going to explain EPOC in the easiest way I know how, cars. Imagine your car for a second, you turn the engine on and it heats up, you drive from point A to point B, and then you turn your car off.
BUT, does the engine immediately cool down as soon as the key is turned? Nope. It gradually cools down; our bodies work in a similar way.
Enough about cars, lets take a close look into what your body is doing during exercise. So we come in for a class. We begin to warm up, our body already has started to use ATP (equivalent to gasoline for a car). The ATP your body is using at this moment is taken from anaerobic (without oxygen) pathways.
This simply means that we didn’t use any oxygen to make this energy, BUT (and this is a big but) when we are finished working out we will replenish these stores using oxygen. Thus, the EPOC effect.
This effect is enhanced when the intensity of your workout is increased, not the duration. So you might feel great after an hour walk/jog/run outside, but the intensity of that workout is very low.
You may also feel great after, say a Gravity and Oxygen workout, where the intensity is high in a thirty-minute time frame. Here’s another way to think about it. You can probably ride a bike at a slow pace for an hour, but how long can you sustain your fastest speed on that bike, probably only a few seconds.
Both instances require a ATP, but from different energy systems. The more we can obtain ATP from those anaerobic systems, the greater the EPOC effect will be.
An ever better result studies have shown, is that resistance training in a circuit format can add a greater EPOC effect.
Good thing we do both here at G+O!
So here’s the take away, the higher the intensity, the greater the EPOC effect the more calories burned for each training session.
Good stuff right?
P.S. Keep an eye out for some videos further explaining the idea of “afterburn” and how you can make the most of it when it comes to structuring your workouts.