You are here

EPOC: Burn More Calories AFTER Exercise


I used to mindlessly walk on the treadmill at a steady pace for 30 minutes or more and consider that my “cardio” workout. But now, my personal trainer, Stephanie Pipia, recommends interval training for my weight-loss program.

According to Stephanie, steady state cardio means that you work at a steady lower heart rate (40-55% of max heart rate) for a longer period of time. The benefits of steady state are that you burn fat as your primary fuel source during the workout. However, for most people, they do not begin to burn fat as a fuel source until 30 minutes of exercise. Therefore, in order to burn a significant amount of fat during a single workout, you have to exercise for at least an hour.

On the other hand, Stephanie says interval training can be thought of as a higher intensity workout for a shorter period of time. Interval training is performed at fast-paced work periods followed by short recovery periods,

which is repeated for 20 to 30 minutes. This means you burn a mixture of fat and carbohydrates as a fuel source.

My Stairmaster workout now consists of 2 minutes at 65 steps per minute, followed by 1 minute at 45 steps per minute. I then repeat this 3-minute interval for 20-30 minutes. My treadmill workout consists of 3 minutes at 4.0 mph, followed by 2 minutes at 5.5 mph, repeated for 20-30 minutes.

Stephanie says this type of high-intensity training is associated with a greater after-burn known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), meaning that one continues to burn more calories after the exercise session ceases.

Let me know if you give these workout methods a try!

Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 32-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!

Who’s helping Yasmin? Tiara Coaching Life coach Alison Miller, Ph.D, nutritionist Keri Gans, R.D, and Equinox personal trainer Stephanie Pipia.


Add a comment