New EPOC Exercise Focuses On Burning Fat After Workouts
A Fishkill health club offers a new heart-monitoring exercise regimen called EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
When they’re not sweating it out in the free-weight gym or cardio center, clients of All Sport Health & Fitness in Fishkill rove between a slew of invigorating classes — yoga, cycling, barre fusion, and, increasingly, EPOC, among them.
EPOC, which stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, shifts the focus away from calories burned during specific activities to those lost in the aftermath of high-intensity exercise sessions. Restoring pre-workout heart rates, blood lactate levels, and depleted muscle glycogen all require the expenditure of significant energy. Essentially, “oxygen debt” then translates to the higher metabolism frequently sought by fitness buffs.
According to Katrina Cook, fitness director and personal trainer at All Sport, heart-rate-monitored EPOC classes are designed to bust plateaus. “It helps with weight loss; it leads to visible muscle toning, and it increases calorie burn up to 36 hours after working out,” she says. “When you work out in a certain heart-rate zone, it takes your body 24 to 36 hours to recover your original oxygen levels.”
During the EPOC classes, which last about an hour, students partake in an amped-up cardio portion involving the treadmill, elliptical, and rowing machine, followed by functional strength training. “We use all sorts of equipment,” Cook points out. “Dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells — even your own body weight.”
While there are both beginner and advanced EPOC classes, which most loyalists take two or three times a week, Cook says the latter is not an intimidating environment. Just like yoga classes mingle students of different levels, personal trainers will suggest modified versions of hard-to-tackle moves for anyone in need of a gentler approach.
Embraced by teenagers and senior citizens alike, the classes — which were touted as part of All Sport’s 12-week EPOC Transformation Challenge — reflect a rising interest in more proactive, self-aware fitness, says Cook. “EPOC, even for those people used to advanced exercise, helps them break out of any plateau. When they see their heart rate go out of their zone, it helps them open their eyes,” she explains. “They know just how hard they need to work.”