Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
EPOC in a nutshell is when you train so hard that you body has to produce energy anaerobically (without oxygen). The result is that your body is then in a deficit of oxygen that it will continue to metabolise a few hours after the session has finished.
In short, that means Fat is being metabolised when you’re relaxing at home!
So how can this be done?
I won’t lie to you, this method of training is hard. EPOC training requires extreme effort and should not be tried if you are under medication for any of the following: High blood pressure, pregnancy, physical disabilities (that impair coordination) etc. The reason for this is that you are disrupting your bodies “Homeostasis”. Homeostasis is defined as optimal conditions for your body to live in (temperature, hydration etc). Whenever this is done there are finite amounts of time that you can withstand being outside of those levels.
In the case of exercise you’re attacking your bodies ability to de-toxify the blood of Pyruvate (lactic) acid. This is a substance that builds up during high intensity exercise and causes the continuation of exercise to become harder and harder. An example of this is doing sprints, you will be able to sprint maximally for about 10-15 seconds. That goes for athletes at elite level too. As the level of acid increases, performance level will decrease rapidly. At this point your body will change its energy system preference to more aerobic (with oxygen) to try and facilitate recovery.
We do not want to switch to the aerobic training systems as this will change the way that the deficit builds up. EPOC intervals require us to work maximally for 10-15 seconds and then rest. This could be a set of heavy squats or sprints, followed by a rest period of 2-3 minutes.
The more time you spend ‘without’ oxygen, the more time you spend rebuilding the deficit using Fat as an energy source later on. Coupled with a nutritious energy source to replace the nutrients you have expended. What you have is a pretty reliable source of weight loss.
Why doesn’t everyone do EPOC if it’s so good?
People don’t want to push themselves in most cases, or don’t know how to. It takes a strong effort to get yourself to a point where you are pushing limits. That is ultimately what it comes down to. Are you willing to push yourself to your limits? If you are then the EPOC system is what you need to try. Check out my post on the Tabata Training system aswell. Tabata i
s another way to faciliate Excess post-excersise oxygen consumption.