EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, is an effect that takes place upon completion of physical activity. It refers to the amount of oxygen consumed after a workout, and can lead to a variety of benefits. Here are 5 benefits of EPOC:
1. More Oxygen Consumed = More Calories Burnt
According to Ace Fitness, the human body spends 5 calories to consume 1 liter of oxygen. So the more oxygen that is consumed for a workout, the greater the caloric burn. High-intensity workouts in particular are a great example of EPOC in actions, as this can push the body to continue taking in high quantities of oxygen even after the workout is completed.
2. EPOC Can Measure Fitness
If an individual measures the length of their EPOC effect, they can get a general sense of their fitness. Longer EPOC effects would indicate lower levels of fitness versus shorter EPOC effects. The use of EPOC as a measurement tool is an excellent benefit to a both fitness and weight loss programs.
3.EPOC takes Effect Based on Intensity, Not Length
One complication that can arise over the course of a workout regimen is that of time. EPOC can be taken advantage of to provide the same effect as a long workout, if not better. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is an example of this in effect. According to wikipedia, HIIT can take as little as four and half minutes but produce excellent fitness results. This is great for individuals who don’t have time to commit to a long workout.
4.EPOC Improves Heart Health and Muscle Strength
EPOC and the related training has been shown to improve the VO2 max of the individual who’s training. VO2 measures the volume of oxygen that the body can use, and directly relates to cardiovascular health. This means that EPOC has a positive effect on heart health, blood flow and muscle strength.
5.EPOC Helps Burn Difficult to Lose Fat
Subcutaneous fat is fat tissue buried underneath the skin, making it difficult to burn even with regular fitness training. EPOC and related exercises have been directly related to burning subcutaneous fat at a higher rate that comparable exercises.
EPOC provides a considerable boost to any training program, and is easily attained in a short amount of time. The use of HIIT training or simply more strenuous exercise can reap these benefits or more from excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.