HIIT can help you burn fat faster than general cardio. But first…. what is EPOC?
Let’s be honest. We all want that quick fix. We want the fastest way to achieve results. The faster you can achieve your goal weight and the body you want the better. Right? Much of the craze right now is HIIT and somewhat rightly so. The way HIIT is being advertised right now is that it helps you burn fat even after your workout. This is where EPOC or excess post oxygen consumption comes in. More on that later.
Although there is some truth to this, it is not as simple as it sounds. It does require some work, consistency and dedication… and a little bit of self-created suffering.
Again… what the heck is EPOC?
EPOC or excess post oxygen consumption is basically just elevating the body’s metabolism after exercise. Keep in mind, various exercises or intensities are able to succeed in increasing the body’s ability to burn more calories after a workout. Low intensity exercise is not going to get you there. To put it simply, look at EPOC as a post-workout fat burner. Catches your attention doesn’t it? When trying to stabilize, the body is expending energy to recuperate by utilizing increased amounts of oxygen; returning to normal body temperature and bringing the body back to it’s resting state. This means that you are burning more calories on just trying to recover.
Fitness Tip: Don’t negate this benefit by eating more than you should!
Fitness tip: Don’t negate this benefit by eating more than you should!
What kinds of exercises promote EPOC?
High Intensity Interval Training
The most popular type of exercise heard around the world right now is HIIT.
High intensity interval training definitely succeeds in achieving the benefits of EPOC but it is not just one type of exercise. There are honestly many different ways in which to accomplish the task and there is no one way that is considered the best.
30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
This means to go an all out maximum effort for 30 seconds and then 30 seconds at a moderate pace or rest. This can be done with any and various types of workouts. Workouts are typically done in 5 minute rounds with rest in between rounds.
Exercise tip:Try running fast or sprinting for 30 seconds, jog or walk for 30 seconds for a 5 minute round. Get a 3 minute rest and put in two more rounds.
Other benefits: Running technique, breathing consistency, total body conditioning
20/10 – TABATA Method
Like 30/30, in this format you will go 20 seconds maximum effort and 10 seconds rest for a total of 4 minutes. In this type of workout, taking it slow or going through the motions will not cut it. For the 20 seconds that you are putting in work you have to really push yourself to maximum levels. You’re not doing yourself any favors by taking it easy. Maximize your efforts, achieve results.
“You’re not doing yourself any favors by taking it easy.”
Exercise tip: Mountain climber workout
20 seconds maximum effort, 10 second rest, 4 minutes total
Other benefits: Core training, abdominal work
AMRAP – As many rounds/reps as possible
This method is very beneficial when it comes to getting a great workout in a short of amount of time. You can also be very creative with it and include workouts that are fun for you as well as one you know you can do efficiently. Choose the workouts that you’d like to include in the workout, set the reps for each exercise, set a time frame for the workout and complete as many reps or rounds as possible. Another benefit about this type of training is that even including simple exercises can really challenge you. The idea is to really push yourself to complete as much work as you possibly can within the time allotted. You’ll notice the clock is a good motivator.
Crossfit does well with this type of training.
Exercise tip: 30 min AMRAP
Pull-ups 10 reps
Push-ups 20 reps
Crunches 30 reps
Air Squats 40 reps
Workout tip: For pull-ups, use bands for assistance or an assisted pull-up machine.
Workout tip 2: Include workouts that you know you can perform well, and not ones you still need to practice.
Circuit Training – Completion of Rounds for Time
Circuit training is not much different from AMRAP training. You still need to push your limits. This is the only way you will force your body to adapt and change. Rules are the same. Create a round of workouts with your choosing. The only difference is that there is not a set timeframe. You will need to accomish all exercises and rounds as fast as possible.
Exercise tip: 4 rounds for time
15 Dumbbell thrusters
15 box jumps
400 m run
Workout tip: Create a goal time to complete the workout. Rest as needed but push your limits. Self-discipline is key.
Self-discipline is key.
High intensity interval training has many various types but those are usually the most popular. You can use one style and change up the exercises as long as you focus on improving on each one as well as improving your total conditioning. You will see the biggest change if you really push your limits. Part of training is getting uncomfortable and forcing your body to adapt to new challenges. If you feel like workouts are getting easier, change up the routine, increase resistance or the set time frame. If you didn’t struggle then you didn’t challenge yourself and your body has no reason to adapt or change. It is not that the workouts are getting easier, it is that you are getting better and stronger and your body needs new and more difficult exercises.
Always, remember, you can cheat through your workouts but you cannot cheat the method.