What Is EPOC? – Does It Help You Burn More Calories?

If I told you there was a way to burn calories while resting, I’m sure you would give anything to get this info on how to do it.  Luckily for you, I am giving this info out at no cost.

So when trying to understand what is epoc and how it helps you burn more calories after a workout, it’s best to compare your body to a car.  Once you have arrived at your destination after a long trip, you will notice that the engine continues to stay warm as it gradually works back to its resting temperature.

Well the same thing occurs with your body as you finish exercising. Similar to how a car’s engine stays warm when trying to cool down, the body’s metabolism will continue to burn calories even while at rest.  This process is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.

Which is also the required amount of oxygen needed to bring the body back to its normal resting level metabolic function.  So how does epoc help you burn more calories when it comes to exercise?

How Epoc Helps You Burn More Calories

What makes epoc so important when it comes to burning calories, is the fact that you are able to burn calories while resting.  During a workout, it’s easy to understand that your body is burning calories due to the energy that is being exerted.  

But when trying to understand how calories are being burned after, can be a little more difficult to understand.  In order to burn calories, the body needs to use up energy.  

So after exercising when your body is working to bring itself back to a normal resting state, this requires energy to do so, thus burning calories.

Factors That Affect Epoc

Duration and Intensity level are the 2 important factors that can help determine how many calories are being burned due to epoc.  If you increase the intensity level of an exercise, then more oxygen is required to help restore the body to its normal state.

Along with Intensity, if you also add duration in which you decrease the amount of time you rest during each set, you are going to make your body work even harder to restore its oxygen levels back to normal.  Thus allowing you to burn more calories.

Best Way To Increase The Epoc Effect

HIIT – Which stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  What makes HIIT training so effective is its ability to restrict the amount of oxygen that is being restored to the body.

This type of training requires lest rest in between exercises, thus causing the body to work so much harder in order to bring oxygen back to the body.

Resistance Training – Which can involve lifting weights or any other type of exercise that puts stress on the muscles, is one of the most popular forms of training.

By increasing weight and not giving yourself much rest in between sets, you are restricting a lot of oxygen to the body as you complete each rep.

You will notice that after each set, your breathing will get heavier as the body tries to restore its oxygen levels back to normal.  This requires a lot of energy and will allow more calories to be burned.


As you can see, there are many benefits of epoc for anyone trying to lose weight.  You don’t have to be an athlete in order to reap the benefits of it.

The only thing I would caution is that make sure you are medically cleared to perform such exercise routines as increasing intensity can be difficult for anyone not medically fit to perform them.

As always, please leave a comment if you have any questions about the article you’ve just read, and I will be glad to answer them.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Kenny - December 10, 2016

Fascinating article! I never knew about EPOC. I think it is great to learn new things all the time. I really liked what you said about the car. Your body needs to cool down and during that cool down your body is still hot and is burning calories, great info. The High Intensity Interval Training makes sense to burn more calories during EPOC, your body is hotter so burns more. What made you interested in this topic?

    Ralph - December 12, 2016

    Hey Kenny! Thanks for you comment. Learning how the body functions under different type of stress put on it is interesting to me. Especially when it comes to fitness, it can be difficult learning how to get the results you want without actually knowing how the body responds to different situations.

Christian - December 10, 2016

I had never heard of the term EPOC, but I am familiar with HIIT, which I feel as if I can’t benefit from it because I’m asthmatic, and it is difficult to keep up with the regimen while exercising. Everything I do, I have to do it slow.
However, EPOC sounds ideal, burning calories while resting? Sure you have to do the work to gain the benefits. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could potentially gain the same results with a low intensity workout? Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Ralph - December 12, 2016

    Hi Christian. I would suggest try lifting weights. It’s not as intense as HIIT, but can get the same benefits due to muscle building. just make sure to get proper rest in between sets so enough oxygen is being restored to your lungs due to your condition. See how your body responds it.

Jeff - December 10, 2016

Great article. I knew that you could burn calories at rest but didn’t know exactly how it all worked. I do a fair amount of strength training (average of 4 times a week). On average, how many calories would you say is burned during periods of rest after a resistance training workout?

    Ralph - December 12, 2016

    Hey Jeff! It can vary with each individual, but at least a 100 extra calories. Also keep in mind, some would say that epoc can last up to 24 hours, so that is a whole day your body is burning calories along with daily activities.


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