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Have an EPOC Workout

December 23, 2019

Have you ever wished that you could burn calories just by sitting around watching TV or reading a book? If you have, there’s great news for you! This hope is not a pipe dream; it’s an epic reality. Learn more about how to make the most of your workouts so you can make the most of your couch time.

By Fitness Team at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center

EPOC represents an increased amount of oxygen uptake after exercise that the body needs to resume its normal resting level of metabolic activity or homeostasis.

While it may sound surprising, the body does burn calories while at rest, however not many. This is called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). The RMR supports breathing, circulation, organ functions, and basic neurological functions. But what if we could burn more calories than the minimum amount? 

This is where EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (pronounced EE-pock) is the key to maximizing your RMR. This is often referred to as the “after burn” of a workout. After exercise, the body can go into an energy deficit, withdrawing larger amounts of nutrients that need to be restored, even after exercise has been completed. 

EPOC represents an increased amount of oxygen uptake after exercise that the body needs to resume its normal resting level of metabolic activity or homeostasis. This increase in oxygen usage means an increased energy (calorie) requirement. It also explains how the body can continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished a workout.

How does EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) work? 

The body metabolizes the nutrients it consumes and stores them into something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the fuel our bodies use for muscle activity, and it can be generated with oxygen (aerobically) or without oxygen (anaerobically). If physical activity is done at an intensity that is sustainable for longer periods, we continue to use aerobic systems to fuel the metabolism. However, if we are active in ways that place greater demands for anaerobic systems, we create a need for oxygen to be restored AFTER the workout. 

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How can you maximize your EPOC?

Many things contribute to your EPOC, but mode, intensity, and duration are the most significant contributors.

Mode

Mode refers to the type of exercise, meaning either anaerobic or aerobic exercise.Mode refers to the type of exercise, meaning either anaerobic or aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercises will cause a significant increase in EPOC when compared to aerobic exercise. Strength training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will be far superior to typical cardio training because they are anaerobic forms of exercise. 

Intensity

Intensity refers to how hard the exercise is. The more intense an exercise session is the more EPOC it will cause compared to an easier exercise session. 

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Duration

Duration refers to the length of the exercise session. The longer the duration, the more the EPOC compared to a shorter workout.

Manipulation

Manipulation of one or more of these variables can help you make the most of your post-exercise metabolism, making your EPOC epic. 

To maximize your EPOC, follow these three guidelines:

  1. Focus on strength and HIIT training instead of cardiovascular exercise.
  2. Work out hard while still being safe.
  3. Exercise for longer periods of time. This does not need to be continuous exercise; however-two thirty minutes workouts will not be the same as one sixty-minute continuous bout of exercise.

You can experience the thrill of EPOC workouts! The Duke Diet and Fitness Center will help you create personalized fitness programs to help you see the results you want. Work with an exercise physiologist or fitness specialist to exercise safely and effectively. Learn more at www.dukedietandfitness.org, or call 1-800-235-3853 today!

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With more than 40-year years of experience in delivering wellness and weight loss programs, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center has established itself as one of the leading weight loss and total body health destinations for health conscious individuals seeking a residential style health program focused on natural weight loss.

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