All about EPOC

Posted by Cindy Poiesz on

All About EPOC


What Is EPOC?

EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. It should really be EPEOC, but we’ll shut down the perfectionist in us. Some people informally refer to this as “afterburn”.  EPOC is the process your body takes while recovering from a workout to bring it to its natural resting state (homeostasis) and fuels the body’s increased metabolism from the increase in body temperature generated during a workout. In layman’s terms, it’s the time after your workout when you are still burning calories naturally without any physical energy output. EPOC is greatest immediately after a high intense workout with the effect diminishing over time.

Depending upon the workout, you may experience EPOC for up to 38 hours post-workout (Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM (March 2002). "Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management". European Journal of Applied Physiology 86 (5): 411–7.). For those trying to lose body fat fast, this is ideal, as you are maximizing the fat burning capabilities of your body at any hour of the day instead of just during your workout.  Can I get an “AMEN”!


How Can I Get My Body Into EPOC?

One thing is certain – the EPOC effect is increased when you increase the intensity of your exercise.  That’s why a High Intensity Interval Training workout has been widely discovered to be one of the best ways to experience this effect and reap its benefits.  In our last blog post, we talked about HIIT workouts being one of our Top 5 most effective fat-burning workouts.  The physical energy output during the exercise itself, plus the increased EPOC effect afterwards basically turns you into a fat burning machine! Now that doesn’t mean that you should do 5 HIIT workouts a day to keep your body burning fat constantly, but it is a great workout strategy to add into your routine a couple times per week.

Now what if you love to run, you treadmill addict, you! Simply make some adjustments to create a more hybrid workout, such as running a spring interval workout, or a favorite of Cindy’s, a walking, running, sprinting interval:


Workout: 1) Sprint as fast as you can for 15 seconds/ 2) Walk for 30 seconds.

Complete for a total of 10-15 rounds and work your way up to 20 total rounds.


Workout: 2) Sprint at a good pace for 30 seconds/ 2) walk for 15 seconds.

Complete for a total of 10:00 minutes.


Workout: 3) Sprint as fast as you can for 15 seconds/ 2) Walk for 15 seconds.

Every minute increase the incline by 1.0 percent.

Complete until you cannot increase incline, or stop at 5:00 minutes and build up.

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