Do you need a larger bang on your train buck? Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is one technique to get it.  

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EPOC, typically referred to as the “afterburn effect,” is the elevated use of oxygen and energy after you cease exercising. It’s the power your physique makes use of to return to a resting state — a present that retains on giving. 

What is EPOC? 

Sports medication doctor Michael Dakkak, DO, compares EPOC to the warmth of a automobile’s engine.  

“After you turn off your car, the engine stays warm,” he illustrates. “Your response to exercise is similar. When you finish a workout, your body continues to burn energy as part of recovery.” 

Experts aren’t positive how lengthy EPOC lasts, although estimates vary from quarter-hour to 48 hours.  

Can you measure EPOC? 

Researchers use high-tech laboratory tools to measure oxygen consumption throughout and after train. Some superior health trackers additionally predict EPOC utilizing knowledge collected throughout your exercise. But most individuals don’t have entry to real-time, private EPOC. 

You can estimate EPOC utilizing data from analysis research. According to one study, the EPOC impact produces a 6% to fifteen% enhance in total calorie consumption. So, when you use 300 energy throughout a exercise, you could burn as much as 45 bonus energy from EPOC.  

This could not appear vital, contemplating you naturally burn 1,300 to 2,000 energy a day. But EPOC energy add up.  

“Over weeks, months and years, burning these additional calories translates to losing extra pounds — just from the afterburn,” Dr. Dakkak says. “EPOC can be one of many strategies for successful weight loss.” 

What’s the perform of elevated oxygen consumption after train? 

The EPOC impact is said to how your physique shops and makes use of power (metabolism). The important gasoline on your cells known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which your physique produces by breaking down the sugar glucose. ATP manufacturing can happen with oxygen (cardio) or with out (anaerobic).  

Exercise, which will increase your demand for ATP, can be cardio or anaerobic: 

  • Aerobic train contains actions you preserve at a steady price, like strolling, jogging, biking and swimming. During cardio train, your cells use the oxygen you breathe to make ATP.  
  • Anaerobic train includes brief bouts of strenuous exercise, together with sprinting, weight lifting and high-intensity interval coaching (HIIT). These workouts shortly dissipate the oxygen in your cells, creating an oxygen debt. They may create small tears in your muscle fibers that, when repaired, result in stronger muscle mass.  

The EPOC impact is best after anaerobic train, Dr. Dakkak says. Increased oxygen consumption refuels and repairs your physique because it: 

  • Cools down your physique’s core temperature. 
  • Removes extra lactic acid that builds up throughout anaerobic ATP manufacturing. 
  • Repairs broken muscle tissue. 
  • Replenishes mobile oxygen and ATP ranges. 

What’s the very best EPOC exercise? 

The profit you obtain from EPOC is dependent upon a number of elements, together with your weight, age, baseline health, stage of effort and period of train. The important issue driving EPOC appears to be train depth. In analysis research, higher-intensity exercises sometimes present larger ranges of EPOC than steady-state cardio train.  

One study in contrast EPOC in three train teams: 

  • Group 1 cycled for 40 minutes at a gradual state of 80% of their most coronary heart price. 
  • Group 2 did circuit weight coaching of 4 units of eight workouts. Each train included 15 repetitions at 50% of their most weight stage.  
  • Group 3 carried out three units of eight heavy-resistance workouts at 80% to 90% of their most weight stage till exhaustion.  

EPOC was best in teams 2 and three, whereas group 1 had a decrease however nonetheless measurable EPOC.  

Applying outcomes from analysis research to the true world might be tough, however Dr. Dakkak says that the takeaway from that is that to spice up EPOC, it’s finest to rev up the depth of your exercises. High-intensity exercises embrace: 

  • Resistance workouts: These use conventional weights or your physique weight, like pushups, lunges and burpees. 
  • Interval coaching: Interval coaching is one thing you are able to do irrespective of your health stage. Try alternating excessive ranges of exercise with steady-state train, like by incorporating sprints into your working or biking routine. Or if strolling is extra your vibe, attempt brief intervals of speed-walking or mild jogging.  

How a lot must you train?  

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ present Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends: 

  • 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.  
  • Moderate- or higher-intensity energy coaching of all main muscle teams at the very least two days per week. 

Before beginning or altering an train routine, speak to your healthcare supplier to make certain it’s secure for you. And begin slowly to let your physique get used to the train and keep away from accidents. 

You can tailor train to your health stage, time, sources and private preferences. Whatever exercise you select, Dr. Dakkak recommends incorporating HIIT exercises two to a few instances per week.  

“If you only have 30 minutes to exercise, do part of that workout at your maximum level of effort,” he advises. “For more demanding workouts, incorporate a 24- to 48-hour rest period to help you recover properly.”  

Including some depth intervals in your train routine may help you reap the advantages of EPOC. It may present an added enhance to your energy, endurance and well being.  

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