Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC is the amount of extra oxygen you inhale after HARD workout sessions. By hard I mean NOT STEADY STATE CARDIO. EPOC does NOT occur from traditional steady state cardio. At least not a significant amount. Weights and HIIT Cardio are the ways to put yourself in a state of EPOC
EPOC is a measurement that indirectly tells us that fat is being oxidized to replace lost ATP and phosphorylated creatine. It’s super complicated and super easy at the same time:
ATP and creatine phosphate are molecules used to donate phosphorus atoms to muscle cells during reps 1-10 so the muscles can contract. Then these resultant ADP and creatine molecules are re-phosphorylated to ATP and creatine phosphate while you rest and breath. This energy production is done in the mitochondria from using fat for fuel in the fires burned with oxygen.
Intense training depletes your body of all its energy then requires hours of extra oxygen consumption to feed the aerobic reactions (aerobic = requiring oxygen) in the mitochondria to replace this lost energy. This is called “repaying the oxygen debt.”
EPOC is the Excessive (extra) Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption you experience post HARD training. By measuring how much EXTRA oxygen a person breaths you can calculate how much fat they burned with that oxygen. This is the hidden amount of fat loss you get from weights and HIIT, lay people call it “increased metabolism”. Increased metabolism is actually more a function of thyroid hormones like T4, T3, and T2. Of course stacking the two together (HIIT + (T4 +T3+T2)) is incredibly effective as it just increases the speed you repay the oxygen debt and thus are recovered and ready for more hard training faster. The ingredients in Fenris' Fury and Thor's Hammer transport fat to the mitochondria faster and increase the ability of oxygen to enter your blood from your lungs so the three together ((HIIT + (T4+T3+T2) + (Fenris' Fury or Thor's Hammer)) Is way, way, WAY more effective than HIIT alone.
So by doing anaerobic exercise REALLY HARD your body is in an aerobic fat burning state for up to 48 hours afterward! That means If you train like me, then the entire day you're burning more calories just sitting on your ass than those people who don't lift do WHILE they are on the treadmill. Let me say that again, I burn more calories typing this than most people do while doing their tread-milling. Because I do weights and HIIT, not steady state cardio and telling my friends about how I hate my body.
Now I do have to point out that the CARDIOVASCULAR benefits of cardio are still necessary….
HIIT cardio is merely doing sets with your legs like it’s weights, but it's actually cardio. You perform an all out 100% effort on cardio equipment for 30 seconds (the maximum amount of time you can run on ATP and Creatine Phosphate) then active rest for 60 seconds (the exact amount of rest time for maximal growth hormone release, the primary fat burning, muscle sparing, hormone).
One 30 second pairing of balls out work and 60 second active rest is 1 interval. A session is 10-20 intervals so about 15-30 minutes. Any longer and cortisol will be released and may eat off muscle.
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is the perfect combination of everything. It is intense enough to remodel your cardiovascular system unlike normal fat loss aerobic “cardio”. Cardio means heart after all and in order to make your heart stronger and incidentally make yourself harder to kill you need to do exercise at 80% of your maximum heart rate. Like weights. But with traditional cardio it's the same speed for over 30 minutes. Most mortals can't do this at 80% of their maximum heart rate.
The fat burning zone these fitness imbeciles endorse is the belief that you burn more fat at 45-65% of your maximum heart rate and that if your cardio or weight training puts you higher than this level of intensity your burn LESS fat. This is stupid and wrong.
The misconception is that the lower the heart rate the higher the PERCENTAGE of calories burned are from fat. Not the total amount of calories or the total amount of fat! Additionally it doesn't really matter for most people trying to lose weight, fat loss occurs when the total calories burned for the day are greater than those consumed of course. Macros have nothing to do with it in almost all cases.
Additionally, since EPOC occurs with intense training there is NO EPOC WITH AEROBIC STEADY STATE CARDIO. As soon as you step off the machine the fat loss is pretty much over. With intense training like weights and HIIT you have the EPOC Effect, so there is more fat burned for the next 48 hours.
Thus, these studies on intense vs mild cardio are wrong as they failed to include the 48 hours of additional fat loss, or total fat loss, or total calories burned. All the “fat loss zone” refers to is % of calories burned that are from fat that short session.
The next case for HIIT cardio is like intense steady state cardio, it increases the cardiovascular strength of the individual. There is an EPOC result with intense steady state, but with HIIT, the sessions last much longer. It’s hard to go all out on cardio for more than 30 seconds at a time, and steady state cardio is typically 30 minutes, even if your going full force one is in an aerobic exercise state for like 99% of the session.
With HIIT cardio, you do all out effort for 30 seconds then slow moderate paced cardio for 60 seconds. This is almost identical to the set rest intervals and duration with weights. This allows more of that 30 minute cardio session to be intense and it actually keeps your heart rate HIGHER than steady state intense cardio. So you get more cardiovascular benefits and more fat burning through EPOC with HIIT than intense steady state cardio and we've established its vastly superior to slow steady state cardio.
But if HIIT is the next best thing to weights why not just lift more weights? Weights make you grow more muscle and increase metabolism. So it seems they are vastly superior. It turns out however the anaerobic burst fashion of the intervals actually activate the mTOR pathway in the cell and activate muscle building. HIIT, as a EPOC inducing form of exercise, by definition increases metabolism. So HIIT does both increase muscle and increase metabolism as does weights.
So the facts are that HIIT is better than other cardio hands down no contest. The only thing that is even close to as good as weights is HIIT cardio.
I myself just lift more weights, cardio is for people not coordinated to lift weights safely. The only time I make an exception to this is if I am competing soon and HIIT is a great way to force some fat off when your coming down to the wire. HIIT has been shown to cause more fat to come off from subcutaneous locations than steady state cardio despite all thermodynamic formulas to the contrary.
Traditional cardio is next to worthless when compared to HIIT cardio. Although HIIT is inferior to lifting weights, if you need to lose fat even faster and you can't lift any more this week then you can include 15 minutes or 10 iterations of HIIT cardio as a pre weights warm up. You should be so miserable while doing HIIT that you wish god would strike you dead with a heart attack instead of one more iteration. If you don’t think it’s that bad you need to work harder, pretend you want results.
EPOC is the amount of increased oxygen and fat burning your body does after a real workout. The more depleted your body gets of oxygen the more you have “impending doom” which is the psychiatric term for “I’m gonna die!” If you do not feel like you're going to die, you're not working hard enough. That sensation of impending doom is from you putting yourself into an oxygen deficit and thus is what tells you you WILL experience EPOC later. The more intense the feeling, the more EPOC.
Real Vikings will pass out or throw up from metabolic acidosis. This is when your oxygen levels are so low your body dumps acid out your mouth to reset your blood pH to 7.4 to keep you alive. -Chronicles of Darth Odin, founder of Operation Ragnarok
If you call yourself a Beast and this doesn't happen when you lift then stop. Your no Beast. Beastling maybe, or Beastette. Beasts experience EPOC, Beastlings check their FitBit for how many calories they burned changing a diaper.
Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.