The Science Behind How EPOC Helps You Burn More Calories Post-Workout

Just when you thought there was nothing more satisfying than crushing an intense sweat ‘sesh and seeing a massive calorie burn on your fitness tracker, you learn about EPOC-- Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. 

Otherwise known as the afterburn effect, EPOC is a biological phenomenon that helps you burn more calories for hours after you’ve finished working out. 

But for those of you just hearing about how EPOC burns more calories let’s explore the science behind it so you can get the afterburn effect working for you!

What Is EPOC Anyway?

When you work out your body’s demand for oxygen increases. Oxygen is the energy that your body needs when exercising. And post-exercise oxygen consumption measures the calories your body burns once you complete your workout.

Think of it like this, if you go for a long car ride it takes time for your vehicle’s engine to warm up and cool down. The engine will remain warm even after you’ve shut it off - this is how EPOC works.

How To Get EPOC Working For You

Capitalize on your body’s afterburn effect and shred even more calories.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

On a biochemical level ATP is the reason behind muscle contraction--it’s our energy supply. So the more ATP you use while exercising, the more you’ll need to recover.

Fast-Twitch Muscles

There are two types of people out there: the slow and steady tortoise or the sprinting rabbit. Engaging fast-twitch muscles, by embracing your inner rabbit stimulates ATP far more than the slow and steady tortoise. Fast-twitch muscles are denser from weightlifting or HIIT and take more power (ATP) which means you’ll shred more calories post-workout.

Get access to thousands of workouts for fast-twitch muscle recruitment on Sweatflix and see how EPOC burns more calories, faster. Join us now for a 30-day FREE trial.

Anaerobic Exercises

In the same way, you want to employ your fast-twitch muscles, you also want to lay off the cardio and opt for anaerobic exercises instead. Anaerobic exercises are activities that involve short bursts of energy - i.e., the use of fast-twitch muscles. Aerobic exercises rely on oxygen while anaerobic exercises are fueled by tapping into energy stores, like glucose. This is how EPOC burns more calories; by using more energy.

Hit Up HIIT 

We know that HIIT activities are more intense than going for a long walk. HIIT requires more calories and ATP during and after your workout making it the best exercise you can do if you want to burn more calories post-workout. This is because it cranks up ATP levels, utilizes fast-twitch muscles and it’s an anaerobic exercise.


How Long Does It Last?

It’s unclear exactly how long the afterburn effect lasts. It seems the only thing researchers can agree on is that the greatest calorie burn occurs on the heels of an intensive workout. Some studies imply that the only caloric loss is short-term and immediately follows the end of an exercise while others demonstrate the effects can go for as long as 38 hours.

The Best EPOC Workouts

If you want to exploit this naturally occurring phenomenon then join us at With thousands of workouts for every fitness level, we’ve got the motivation you need to keep EPOC running at prime. After all, EPOC works best when you vary your workouts. 

  • Plyometrics: high-intensity and dynamic jumping build power and shreds calories.
    Try this free plyometric workout for fat loss!

  • Circuit Training: using heavy-weights and no rests is how EPOC burns more calories.
    Try this free cardio circuit workout.

  • Tabata Training. Work hard for 20 seconds. Rest 10. Repeat for 8 rounds. Use full-body, high-intensity moves like clean and presses, burpees and jump squats for best results.
    Learn more about Tabata training here

How EPOC Burns More Calories

You work hard, so take advantage of the afterburn effect and take your workouts to the next level!

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