After your workout, your body continues to utilize more oxygen than during its resting state. This increase in oxygen consumption boosts the energy requirements of your body and therefore, increases the calories your body burns. This phenomenon, referred to as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or “EPOC”, allows your body to continue to burn calories even after your workout has ended. “Exercise after-burn” is the key to maximizing the results of your work out.
What factors contribute to EPOC? After cardiovascular exercise, your body requires elevated oxygen consumption in order to replenish ATP (your body’s source of energy), convert lactate to pyruvate, resynthesize glycogen, decrease your body temperature, heart rate, and ventilation, and reoxygentate your blood.
What can you do to improve your EPOC?
Increase the intensity of your workout: Two different exercise regimens can both burn 700 calories but the higher intensity workout will have a significantly longer EPOC compared to the lower intensity workout. High resistance full body workouts are the most effective way to stimulate EPOC and thus lead to the greatest increase in metabolic rate post workout.
High-intensity interval training: An exercise regimen that alternates between periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery intervals, is essential to maximizing EPOC. This method of training increases both your resting metabolic rate and maximizes your EPOC.
When your time at the gym is limited, efficient time management is paramount to achieve the best results. High intensity interval workouts will increase your calorie burn in the gym and increase your metabolic rate outside of the gym.