The body processes that expend energy are:

Basal Metabolic Rate – 60% of the calories burned by bodily processes.
Adaptive Thermogenesis – 25% of the calories burned by bodily processes.
The Thermic Effect of Food – 10% of the calories burned by bodily processes.
The Thermic Effect of Exercise – 30% of the calories burned by bodily processes.

A phenomenon called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) happens during the thermic effect of exercise. This elevated calorie burning after exercise can last long after exercise is over. The number on your calorie counter isn’t where it stops. EPOC represents the body restoring itself form physiological variables elevated by exercise. Essentially, EPOC is an attempt to return the body to regular values, or homeostasis. Since oxygen intake is elevated, and fat is burned through the process of taking in air and expelling carbon dioxide, it is well understood that EPOC aids in weight loss and weight management.

How does exercise intensity effect EPOC? Independently, the exercise intensity seems to the largest contributing factor to the effect of EPOC. That means that EPOC is elevated during high-intensity resistance training in comparison to traditional resistance training.

A traditional resistance training program might look similar to 4 sets of eight exercises: bench press, latissimus dorsi pull-downs, military press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg press, leg curls, and sit-ups. Each of these exercises would be performed with 8-12 repetitions, while each set went to failure. Each set has a minute to two minutes of rest in between.

The High Intensity Resistance Training protocol can go similar to this. The protocol includes a bench press, leg press, and latissiums dorsi pull-down, with the subject performing a specific training sequence for each exercise. This included lifting to failure for 6 repetitions, and after 20 seconds lifting the same weight to failure a second time, and after another 20 seconds of rest, they lifted the same weight to failure a third time. Then rest for 2-3 minutes and repeat the same sequence a second time. For the leg press, there is an additional set added.

With aerobic exercise, high intensity and/or a combination of higher intensity with duration significantly influences EPOC. With resistance training, higher-intensity exercise with shorter rest periods meaningfully influences EPOC.

EPOC is a substantial technique to use with weight loss. The name of the game is to always increase metabolism while increasing exercise, rather than dropping calories too low.

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