Testing EPOC

IDEA Fitness Journal for April 2015 has a fantastic article about the advantages of high-intensity training. The big advantage is excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). What that fancy word means is your body keeps burning fuel (mostly fat) for minutes, hours, days after your exercise. So what’s the best exercise for this extra burn?

The article covers several important studies including one by Paoli et al (2012).

This study was tested on young men with training experience. Besides specific controls for the exercise, the researchers controlled diet and randomized the routines and times.

Here are the two routines:

1. Traditional Strength Training
62 minutes:

10 min treadmill
Set sequence: each rep 1-0-2 with 1 min rest single joint and 2 min rest multipoint after each set
4 sets/exercise

Bench press, pull down, shoulder press, bicep curl, tricep extension, leg press, leg curl, sit up

2. High-intensity Resistance Training
32 minutes:

10 min treadmill
Set sequence: each rep 1-0-2, lift to failure (6RM), 20 sec rest, lift to failure, 20 sec rest, lift to failure then 2.5 min rest after each set

Bench press (2 sets), leg press (3 sets), pull down (2 sets)

The BIG news: 22 hours later (almost a full day!), those who did the long traditional workout burned an extra 5% above their average resting metabolic rate. Those who did the short high-intensity workout burned 23% more. The difference in calories was 99 vs 452.


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