Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
We all know that our bodies warm up as we exercise, and when we stop exercising our bodies can remain warm for some time before we return to our resting body temperature. During this cool down period your body’s metabolism can continue to burn calories at a higher rate than when it is at rest – this effect is known as EPOC and is basically the amount of oxygen your body needs to go back to its normal metabolic function known as homeostasis.
Metabolism is the process of your body converting the nutrients you eat into fuel for your muscles to move. This fuel is called adenosine triphosphate or ATP and needs oxygen in order to be produced. Exercise that requires more fuel, requires more oxygen and therefore enhances EPOC – which means you get to burn more calories even once you have finished exercising. At HITZone we call this the ‘Afterburn’ effect. In fact, studies show that the amount of extra energy burned during EPOC can be as much as 6-15% of that used during the exercise itself.
At the start of your cool down period after exercising you need oxygen to:
- Bring the body’s temperature back to normal.
- Restore blood oxygen levels.
- Create new muscle fuel (ATP) to replace the fuel you just used during exercise.
- Help repair muscle damage during the workout.
The type of exercise you do plays a significant role in how much energy your body burns and therefore how many calories you burn. By increasing the amount of oxygen, you need during and after a workout you will also increase the number of calories burned.
So, what is the best type of exercise for burning calories?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most effective way to stimulate the EPOC effect while resistance training with short rest intervals also leads to a significant EPOC effect, especially when alternating between upper and lower body movements. This is because it is intensity and not duration of exercise that has the biggest impact on EPOC – meaning that after a short intense HIIT workout using resistance training the body will continue to burn oxygen at a higher rate. This is exactly what is happening after a 25-minute HITZone session and is part of the reason why our members achieve such great results using our unique, patented HIT Machines.
The Magic Of HIT Machines
A study conducted by Dr Conor McClean at the Sports and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, found that participants expended more calories and were able to maintain higher average heart rate when using using the HITZone HIT Machine compared to traditional mixed aerobic and resistance exercise.
This comprehensive research study also found that energy expenditure was significantly increased immediately following exercise using the HIT Machine.
Comparison of energy expenditure study