Why is the “after-burn” an important tool in your arsenal?

EPOC represents the oxygen consumption the body uses to return to its pre- exercise state. For every liter of oxygen consumed, approximately 5 calories are burned. Naturally, if more oxygen is being consumed, you will reach the liter of oxygen sooner, and burn calories faster. The longer you are in EPOC, the longer you are consuming higher amounts of oxygen, and burning calories faster.

What factors determine the magnitude and duration of EPOC?
EPOC and Cardiovascular Exercise
The Effect of Intensity

Research demonstrates that the intensity of a cardiovascular exercise bout has the greatest impact on EPOC. As exercise intensity increases, the magnitude and duration of EPOC increases. Individuals will burn more calories, suggesting a stronger response of EPOC, as well as have EPOC duration last longer, following a higher intensity exercise program than a lower intensity exercise program.

The Effect of Duration

Research consistently reports that a direct relationship also exists between the duration of exercise and EPOC. Research will suggest that increasing exercise duration significantly increases total EPOC. Given sufficient aerobic exercise intensity, exercise duration is an important factor influencing EPOC.

A Middle Ground?

Incorporating high-intensity intervals into continuous exercise has also been found to significantly increase EPOC

The Effect of Intermittent Versus Single Bouts of Exercise

Several studies have concluded that intermittent aerobic exercise bouts elicit a greater EPOC response when compared to continuous exercise bouts.

Resistance Training & EPOC

From the research that has been done, it suggests that resistance training elicits a valuable EPOC response for weight loss and/or weight management. In fact, a greater duration of EPOC and higher EPOC than cardiovascular exercise.

The Effect of Intensity and Type of Program

EPOC is distinctly influenced by the intensity of a resistance-training program or cardiovascular program. A higher-intensity program has been found to elicit a greater EPOC response than a lower-intensity program when total work (volume) is kept constant. The type of resistance training program/cardiovascular program is also important

EPOC and Training Status

Trained individuals have shown to recover faster from higher intensity exercises than untrained individuals. Even though people with higher fitness levels appear to return more quickly to a pre-exercise state, the magnitude of their EPOC still is high and worthwhile.

Practical Application

Using weights, increasing exercise intensity, breaking exercise into multiple sessions, and increasing duration of exercise can all affect EPOC in positive ways. As a small, but consistent and important part of your exercise programming, EPOC can help boost metabolism and chip away at your fitness goals when applied regularly.

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