What is the best exercise to burn calories long after you’ve finished the actual workout?

This is a great strategy you have picked up on, as there are certain exercises that can greatly enhance your post exercise oxygen consumption. To make things a bit clearer, I’m going to highlight what isn’t the best thing to do, so you can aim for a balanced level of different activities, to hit your end foals a lot faster.

EPOC in a nut shell.
Exercise post oxygen consumption is the ability of your body to keep burning calories even after the exercise session has ended. Our bodies need time to reduce our temperature, and rate of caloric burn, allowing us to go back to our normal metabolic state, which is homeostasis (the bodies main aim constantly).

The best way to cause the largest caloric burn after your exercise session, is to pick anaerobic forms of exercising, as well as some great hacks I’m going to share with you shortly.

Anaerobic exercise produces a greater demand on your body, increasing it’s need for more oxygen after the workout. This is what produces the EPOC effect. This can last for up to 24 hours or so, depending on the intensity and duration of your workout.

Exercising this way means that oxygen demand has surpassed oxygen supply, and the body frantically shuttles glucose from the muscles to use as fuel. This process is called glycolysis. Glycolysis occurs in muscles cells during high-intensity training without oxygen, and it produces the energy very fast. This process also produces lactic acid, which is the reason why your muscles get so tired after a while. When you get to this stage of training, you know you’re triggering EPOC to occur.

Ok, so how do I trigger EPOC when I exercise?

Great question, as there are a few methods and hacks that can trigger this response, giving you the best strategy for weight loss to occur.

5 ways to trigger EPOC for a massive fat burning potential

  1. Train with weights
    Use those compound, multi joint exercises demands a lot more from the muscles than single jointed or machine exercises. Even better is the strategy of heavier training loads or very short rest periods. This can be achieved with super setting or tri setting. You are constantly performing a movement, one after the other, giving your body no time to recover. Just when it thinks its’ got a chance, your back onto your next set. Cluster sets are also great too, if you pick one exercise and rest only for 15 seconds between reps, smashing out some heavy volumes for 5–8 reps at a time.
  2. Circuit training.
    This is very similar to super setting or tri setting. Using about 4–6 exercises back to back, with only a rest period at the end of the last exercise, places a huge demand on the body to keep pumping oxygen to fuel the effort. The great thing about circuit training, is that you don’t necessarily need weights, and can get the similar burn by continuous movement only. I love to circuit train when I travel, as you don’t ever know what machines of weights a gym may have, and you can still get a great workout, without having to spend half your holiday within a gym setting.
  3. HIIT.
    High intensity interval training consists of sprints on and off for the duration of 20–30 minutes. Those sprints need to be your all out effort, if they are going to make a difference in your physique as well as your EPOC potential. They are quite taxing on the body, and only the recommended amount should be aimed for, either 2–3 times per week. When Iv’e done HIIT, I always get ill from how hard I push myself. Of this is you, stick with steady state and focus on your EPOC strategy becoming weights dominated.
  4. Don’t forget that it doesn’t matter how long you exercise, it’s the intensity that will set of EPOC. So, save your self hours of pointless workouts in the gym.

    When I say that you have to go all in on your efforts when it comes to strength training, HIIT as well as circuits, I’m referring to the point where you really have to stop to catch your breath. This is the KEY feature of EPOC, and it will ignite your results more so than the amount of time you’re in the gym. There really is no need to be within the gym for 2 hours. It’s such a waste of your may valuable breathing hours.

  5. Sorry cardio bunnies – steady state cardio will never give you EPOC.
    Steady state leaves us in the fat burning zone, which is not a bad thing at all. You just have to understand that in that zone, you are only burning what you use during that given time. Your body has not been pushed to it’s limit enough to trigger anaerobic training. Use these sessions for active recovery, and also as a means of getting your steps in, or a bit of relaxation. There is still potential for burning calories and fat stores, and it’s a good idea to keep doing these in moderation. Sometimes we need a form of exercise that doesn’t push us as much as anaerobic. A good balance is key here.

In summary, if you want to activate EPOC, you must train anaerobically as much as possible during your sessions. Do swap and change so you don’t burn out your nervous system. Keep in touch via the usual mediums – all my details are located above or you can just click here for my site and my two primary social media platforms right here. Please feel free to upvote this if you found it useful, and share with others also on the muscle building journey.


  • Tim , 20/01/2020

    I find this article very interesting. I am in my late forties now and beginning to plateau with my regular regimen. Do you feel the EPOC technique would help me?

    • admin , 21/01/2020

      Hello Tim
      I believe you need to switch it up and get a custom made program. This means you will achieve your goals in less time.

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