EPOC is a term that has been thrown around a lot. People have been told it’s a good thing but no idea what it actually means! EPOC – excess post exercise oxygen consumption, to put it simply, is your body trying to get back to your pre workout state, homeostasis.
After cardio or weight training, the body continues to need oxygen at a higher rate. Which is oxygen debt. Basically it’s your body replacing oxygen that has been used by working muscles during exercise. Which means that energy is being expended after your workout at an elevated rate to do so. The greater oxygen debt you have, the more time it will take the body to return to rest.
During EPOC there is replenishment of energy (ATP, glycogen, and molecule conversion) All are energy resources the body uses during exercise. Your body also needs to re-oxygenate the blood and restore levels of circulatory hormones. A decrease of body temperature and heart rate is required to return to a resting state. This requires the body to expend energy to return to a normal core temperature and heart rate. It takes energy to do all of the above! Which means your body continues to burn even after your workout is finished! The extent of this will depend on how hard you use your working muscles.
Research shows that high intensity resistance training creates the greatest EPOC. YES…… more than aerobic exercise. The greater the EPOC the more energy expenditure for several hours after your workout. What does that mean? Means you are a better fat burning machine!!! The best results I see with clients is an intense resistance training program followed by a short bout of metabolic conditioning. The following exercises I put together as an example:
1. Sliding mountain climbers
30 secs (If you find a push up position hurts your wrists, push up bars are great to relieve any pain) Keep lower abs tight and torso still. Elevating your body slightly allows you do move more fluidly and keeps your spine in neutral where it should be.
Element Fitness Power Gliding Discs
2. Agility ladder
Shuffle (to the end and back) There are many types of shuffles or foot work you can do here.
Element Premium Push Up Bars
3. Agility ladder
Jumping jacks (to the end and back) The jumping jack is harder than it sounds! Requires a lot of core! You can easily lose control of this movement if you aren’t keeping your core tight.
Treadmill Factory Prism Fitness Smart Agility Ladder, 30-Foot Length
4. Med ball side to side slams
30 secs (as fast as you can in good form) you will do a slight squat to catch the ball. Make sure you are not pushing forward through your knees.
Xtreme Monkey Slam Balls
Rest for 1 min and repeat 3 – 10 times depending on your fitness levels. If it’s after resistance training, I suggest 3-6 times.
This is very core based which always makes movements a lot harder! Concentrate on tightening the abs, especially the lower portion. When doing the agility ladder, you will notice you can easily move forward out of control if your abs are turned off. Keep them tight! To add more intensity, do a push up after every 4 mountain climbs. The push up bars help relieve wrist pain. Doing your resistance training first and ending with this metabolic conditioning, will definitely increase your oxygen debt and keep you using energy for a long time after your workout!
This is a great way to create EPOC at its best! This can very EASILY be done at home after weight training or just as intense circuit training to replace cardio!
All these workout tools can be found at the Treadmill Factory and are listed below. All the equipment is small and easy to store! No sweat! Well actually a lot of sweat! Hope you learned something from this fat burning tip!