Ever touch the stove just after it’s turned off? We hope not—you’d find, of course, that the burners are still scorching. The heat generated by the stove produces latent heat, even after the stove gets the signal to shut off.
Well, that same idea applies to your body after working out. Depending on the type and intensity of your exercise routine (more on this in a minute), your body continues to burn calories afterwards. Called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (or EPOC for short), it’s a physiological phenomenon that explains how your body continues to burn calories long after your workout ends.
How can you put EPOC (a.k.a. the afterburn effect) to work for you? The American College of Exercise has a few important insights, gladly shared here.
For starters, some science. According to the ACE, the human body burns about 5 calories for every 1 liter of oxygen consumed. Increase the amount of oxygen you consume during and after a workout, and it stands to reason that you’ll boost your net calories burned. Let’s take that idea even further: Exercise that forces you to consume more oxygen also helps you burn more calories well beyond your last rep.
The best exercises for achieving the afterburn effect are strength training and weight-lifting routines that work multiple muscle groups at a time, and those that alternate between upper- and lower-body movements. (Think TRX training, Disq training, or interval reps on your Hoist PTS home gym.) Research shows that resistance training provides an even greater afterburn effect than does running at a steady speed for the same amount of time.
By far, the single most-effective way to get EPOC results is with high intensity interval training (HIIT). High intensity workouts require more energy and more oxygen consumption—and like resistance training, appear to be superior to steady running in harnessing the afterburn effect of EPOC.
Looking to achieve EPOC results with your workout? Visit Gym Source and let our knowledgeable team find the right solutions for you.