Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption

E.P.O.C ( Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)

What the Hell is that?

In Short…it’s the amount of oxygen intake needed after performing strenuous physical activity to replace your deficit.

Since I am trying to cut for my show, Oct. 2, I have been trying to burn as much FAT as possible. I Hate cardio…as many of you do as well.  But lifting with an increased intensity 5 days a week in the gym and now HIIT cardio training comes in and E.P.O.C.

E.P.O.C is the effect of performing HIIT training ( high intensity interval training). I had recently read an article by ACE Fitness expert, Peter Mcall( here is the link by Peter Mcall) and he describes the effect similar to a car engine.  Simply put, he states a cars motor needs to cool down after a long trip. You don’t just turn it off and the engine become instantly cool and back to the pre trip state. It takes some time to right itself.

Our bodies do the same. Once the workout is over, our body wants to be restored to normal resting metabolic state.  Our metabolism is revved up and cools down using oxygen.  Let me explain…our bodies use ingested nutrients in our diet to produce energy call ATP ( adenosine triphosphate).  This is the fuel we need for sustain action say running and lifting weights. ATP can be produced with aerobic activity ( oxygenated) and anaerobic activity ( non-oxygenated). When performing LOW INTENSITY STEADY STATE cardio or exercise…oxygen is used for ATP production. Think about it…your jogging along at a steady clip and breathing is natural…energy is created and used equally.

During strenuous intense activity HIIT ( High intensity interval training) we get ATP production without oxygen. Again, your sprinting this time going as fast as you can and suddenly your gassed and gasping for air…you ran out of energy. Your body was in an ANAEROBIC state and used up all the atp it could produce without oxygen.  Now your panting, bent over and feeling like your going to die…but your body is replenishing the ATP stored with the oxygen your breathing. so you wont die! Geesh!

So during the E.P.O.C Phase ( after your death sprint) we see the following:

  • Production of ATP to replace the ATP used during the workout
  • Resynthesis of muscle glycogen from lactate
  • Restore oxygen levels in venous blood, skeletal muscle blood and myoglobin
  • Work with protein for the repair of muscle tissue damaged tissue during the workout
  • Restore body temperature to resting levels

This is why we continue to burn calories after an intense exercise. Keep in mind that the exercise can be intense heavy weight lifting as well not just sprinting. It can literally e anything that causes you to use your anaerobic system for atp production and places you at your VO2 Max.

HIIT Training

I use heavy weight training, which requires short but big burst of energy, with short rest intervals between sets. I am also doing HIIT cardio 2 days a week as well.  There are a couple LISS cardio days thrown in for good measure and of course endurance build up.

So we see that HIIT training is superior to LISS in burning fat/calories. The greatest take away is that the calorie burn last for several hours after you have stopped the activity.  Two thumbs up!!! It’s a bigger payoff.

So what are your thoughts on HIIT training and E.P.O.C? Are you doing this? Are you gonna try? It can be done in as little as 10 minutes…so you have the time.

P.S. a study done by Bersheim and Bahr (2003)  resulted in the biggest EPOC deficit in those doing heavy resistance training in the neighborhood of 80-90% of 1RM to exhaustion.

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