EPOC Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption,What is it and how can I get it to happen?
What is EPOC or Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption? EPOC occurs in the period after we have exercised. It refers to the time after exercise where our metabolism is still raised so we are still needing energy we get this energy through fat burning therefore calorie burning. EPOC can occur for several hours after exercise even when we are relaxing at home or at work.
So why do we still need energy even when we are not doing any exercise? After exercise our bodies need to recover and replenish our systems. For example after a hard work out we may have dipped into our creatine phosphate and glycogen stores. Lactate acid may have built up that will need oxidising and our blood cells may need resaturating. Muscles may need repairing and building. All of these processes are energy consuming and keep our metabolism raised and to fuel that extra energy we use our fat stores therefore we can still be burning calories whilst having our feet up and binge watching on Netflicks! Happy Days!
So what kind of intensity do we need to be working at whilst performing our exercise sessions to gain the benefit from EPOC afterwards? Findings from research has shown that there is a relationship between EPOC and the intensity of exercise that you do, but that it can vary depending on the person. The general consensus is that the EPOC period is longer with higher intensity exercise. To create any significant EPOC effect it is generally thought you need to be working at a level of about 70% MaxHR or more.
So does that mean if I’m a beginner I won’t be able to get the benefit from EPOC? Absolutely not. There are always extra benefits from exercise. Things are always relative. If you are new to exercise you will still be challenging yourself and dipping into the different energy systems in your body, however this will be relative to you. For example you may perform shuttle runs that are hard for you and take you to 70% of your MaxHR and you will be able to do this for a short period of time before needing rest. A more trained individual may complete the same shuttle runs and as they are more trained they will do them faster and more of them in the same amount of time and then continue for a longer period, they also may need no rest before performing their next exercise task such as burpee box jumps as in a short circuit. This means their systems will be working for much longer at a much higher intensity so their EPOC afterburn will last for longer, however you as a beginner will still be able to achieve EPOC afterburn but it will likely last for a shorter period until you are more experienced and then it will improve step by step as you do, so definitely benefits X.
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