Learn about the EPOC effect and how HIIT Exercise maximizes your workout afterburn! Get a heart-pumping workout with two pieces of equipment!

After a hard workout, we often experience satisfaction and a boost in mood thanks to the release of endorphins. But another type of boost is happening as well. EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, relates to the increased oxygen your body consumes and calories it burns as you return to a resting state following a workout. This metabolism boost means the effects of your workout can last long after your cool down.

Fuel for Your Muscles

When you exercise, the fuel used by your muscles can be produced using aerobic pathways (with oxygen) or anaerobic pathways (without oxygen). Workouts that rely on anerobic pathways can increase the body’s need for oxygen afterward, thereby increasing the EPOC effect.

HITT Exercise

Studies show that HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is the most effective way to spark the EPOC effect. HIIT involves alternating extremely intense periods of activity with periods of rest. When you push your body to its limits, your muscles will rely on anaerobic pathways for energy. This energy will be immediate, but in very limited quantities—you won’t be able to sustain maximum effort for long periods of time. The rest or low intensity period is just as important. Forcing your body to repeatedly shift between high intensity and rest provides excellent cardiovascular conditioning and can lead to increased endurance and speed.

There is a direct relationship between the amount of energy used during a workout and the effects of EPOC. A 20-minute HIIT workout will require more EPOC than a long, slow run, for example. You may also increase the EPOC effect by employing more major muscle groups during your workout. The key is focusing on intensity rather than duration.

Tips for HIIT Exercise


– HIIT is a convenient form of exercise when your time is limited.
– HIIT workouts that involve bodyweight or added weight, like medicine balls, can increase the EPOC effect.
– Choose exercises that allow you to be explosive and keep your heartrate at or above 80% maximum for the greatest EPOC effect.
– Because you’re working out at high intensity, technique is very important. Make sure you can do an exercise with proper form at lower intensity before going all-out.
– Allow 48 hours of recovery between HIIT workouts.

Learn about the EPOC effect and how HIIT Exercise maximizes your workout afterburn! Get a heart-pumping workout with two pieces of equipment!

HIIT Workout (Utilizing Only 2 Pieces of Equipment!)

What You’ll Need:
SMART Medicine Ball
Agility Ladder

Time:  18 minutes

3 Rounds

  • SMART Medicine Ball:  Lunges – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Agility Ladder:  Jumping Jack Feet – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • SMART Medicine Ball:  Mountain Climbers – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Agility Ladder:  High knees, two-feet per rung – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds

*Agility Ladder exercises may also be done with the SMART Medicine Ball to increase intensity.


Watch our Cardio SMART Medicine Ball Circuit Video on YouTube!

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