EPOC

December 29, 2009

I put this word on the whiteboard at the gym a couple weeks ago and asked if anyone knew what it meant. I didn’t get any takers. A week later, I spelled it out – Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption. Even after listing these words, I only had a couple members ask me what it meant…

In today’s society, with so many people wanting to lose weight, I feel this is an important concept to understand. The formula for losing weight is simple: calories in must be less than calories out. This being said, the most important aspect of losing weight is to manage the calories you take in; a good diet is essential.

This, however, is not my specialty. I focus on calories out…. exercise. The concept of EPOC has been studied for several years, and it suggests that after exercise the body continues to need oxygen at a higher rate than before the exercise began. Thus your body is burning more calories than it was prior to exercise. Research suggests that high-intensity resistance exercise disturbs the body’s homeostasis to a greater degree than aerobic exercise, resulting in a larger energy requirement after exercise to restore the body’s systems to normal. Therefore, counting calories burned while on the treadmill and comparing them to the calories burned while performing high intensity resistance training will not give you the complete picture. You should also consider the effect of EPOC with your training methods. The training methods used at our gym uses high-intensity resistance exercises and therefore in my opinion is a fun way to increase your EPOC.

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