Body keeps burning calories after a hard workout?

When I went to Orange Theory Fitness, they mention at every session that your body keeps burning calories at a faster rate after a high-intensity workout. Then I read this again today:

When you exercise at a high intensity, you elicit a beneficial after-burn effect called excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC). In short, your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate for up to 48 hours following vigorous exercise.

I'm curious as to what the MFP community thinks, is it true?

Replies

  • z4oslo
    z4oslo Posts: 229 Member
    You will have some "afterburn"
    If you train hard for an hour (over 70% of max pulse) the extra burn is about 100 calories to my knowledge. I very much doubt is is over a period of 48 hours though. More likely within the first 12 hours.
  • EttaMaeMartin
    EttaMaeMartin Posts: 303 Member
    i think some research is in order!
  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,488 Member
    I think there is some afterburn (my red, sweaty face for an hour after I swim is part of my evidence. . . .), but I question whether it lasts as long as 48 hours, and how "elevated" the rate of calorie burn is over normal metabolism/respiration.
  • KickboxFanatic
    KickboxFanatic Posts: 184 Member
    EPOC is greatly driven by the type of exercise, duration of exercise and intensity of exercise among other things (age, gender, fitness level, etc.). Studies have shown that long steady state cardio (80 minutes +) at 75% max heart rate,as well as high intensity workouts such as sprint/rowing intervals, can increase EPOC for a duration of time post workout. Heavy lifting (an hour of lifting at 85% 1 rep max) will increase it the most as this breaks down the muscle and increases the bodies recovery needs.

    An individual could possibly see an extra 1,000 - 1,500 calories burned each week by completing 3-5 HIIT sessions and 3-5 heavy lifting sessions.

    Caution should be taken while training at that level and eating at a deficit to ensure that the body is recovering sufficiently prior to the next training session.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    When I went to Orange Theory Fitness, they mention at every session that your body keeps burning calories at a faster rate after a high-intensity workout. Then I read this again today:

    When you exercise at a high intensity, you elicit a beneficial after-burn effect called excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC). In short, your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate for up to 48 hours following vigorous exercise.

    I'm curious as to what the MFP community thinks, is it true?

    Yes, EPOC is a thing...that said, you'd be hard pressed to quantifiabley measure it. Pretty much any exercise, when done regularly, is going to have an EPOC effect.

    Anecdotally, I have gone weeks nursing injuries or whatever before I've noted any real slow down in my metabolism...i.e. I finally start gaining weight at the same intake. If you're exercising regularly over a prolonged period of time, you're going to run "hotter" than you would otherwise. But again...pretty difficult to actually measure.
  • riffraff2112
    riffraff2112 Posts: 1,757 Member
    I've heard of it, probably partially true but chasing the extra burn or counting on it seemed like more reading and studying than I was willing to put it. I figured since calorie burns are an estimate anyway, any additional effect that happens after was also an estimate and probably too negligible to matter.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    When you exercise, you damage your muscle tissue. The more strenuous and intense the workout, the more muscle damage. Building (and repairing) muscle tissue requires energy. That's what EPOC is.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    An individual could possibly see an extra 1,000 - 1,500 calories burned each week by completing 3-5 HIIT sessions and 3-5 heavy lifting sessions.

    Maybe. But you can burn more calories than that in 4 hours with a moderate bike ride.

    1,947 calories (measured with a power meter)
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1198511298

    1,576 calories
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1128891476

    1,823 calories
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1109318412

    That's why EPOC is so disappointing when you actually look at the numbers. You burn an extra some % of a much lower number to begin with.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    I'm curious as to what the MFP community thinks, is it true?

    EPOC for steady state CV work is generally between 4-6% of net, so if I burn say 1000calories on a run I'll get another 40-60 free.

    EPOC for true HIIT/ resistance training is between 6-10% of net, so if I burn say 250 cals in a true HIIT session I might get an extra 25 free.

    Clearly generic interval training, of the ilk of P90X, OTF etc, is going to be somewhere between those points, although more likely towards the steady state end as there is an indirection point in the outcomes at the anaerobic threshold.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    Any time I look at a relevant study, I try to find the results data (if any) that shows EPOC, even if that wasn't a he pint of the study.

    Most of what you see for HIIT, tabata workouts, etc, is an "afterburn" of roughly 75 to 150 total calories, regardless of the duration. Saying "metabolism is elevated for 24-48 hours" is disingenuous when the actual burn averages only 2-3 more calories per hour. As is often the case when people are trying to get your money, OTF is yanking your wanky when making this claim.

    Any professional review article that examines the issue of EPOC reaches the same conclusion: the idea showed great promise, but it cannot be expected to significantly impact weight loss.

    People who achieve success at OTF do so because the structure of the classes push them harder that what they were previously doing, or they buy into their ideas and are motivated to work harder and be more consistent with diet and exercise. Both of these are legitimate reasons to go to OTF, if you like their product. The "afterburn" claims are not.
  • U2Bad1
    U2Bad1 Posts: 41 Member
    An individual could possibly see an extra 1,000 - 1,500 calories burned each week by completing 3-5 HIIT sessions and 3-5 heavy lifting sessions.

    Maybe. But you can burn more calories than that in 4 hours with a moderate bike ride.

    1,947 calories (measured with a power meter)
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1198511298

    1,576 calories
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1128891476

    1,823 calories
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1109318412

    That's why EPOC is so disappointing when you actually look at the numbers. You burn an extra some % of a much lower number to begin with.

    Kind of the like the exercise myth that says you will burn more fat by going for a walk because your heart rate is in the "fat burning zone" when in reality it is much more beneficial from a calorie burning perspective to go for a nice long run ?