Why Do My Muscles Burn During a Barre Workout?

“Feel The Burn!” | The Science Behind the Barre Burn

Have you ever been in barre class, and during the workout your muscles start to burn and your legs begin to quiver and shake? Well, you my friend, you have experienced what is known in the barre community as the “barre burn”.

If you haven’t had the chance to take a barre class, you are missing out! Let’s find out why.

What is a Barre Workout Anyway?

The barre class workout technique was developed in the 1950s by Lotte Berk, a German-born modern dancer. After injuring her back, Lotte combined ballet barre routines with rehabilitative therapy to create a fitness system. This technique is inspired by elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates, and focuses on low-impact, high intensity movements designed to strengthen and tone your body in ways that few other workouts can. 

With barre, you have the opportunity to work your slow-twitch (Type 1) muscle fibers to build strength endurance. The muscles in each group are fatigued via small targeted movements, high repetition, and light weight or resistance. Interspersed throughout the class are moments of stretching and core work. The class is also designed to boost endurance, improve balance, increase range of motion, promote better posture, and help with weight management.

The Difference Between Slow- and Fast-Twitch Muscles

So you may be asking yourself, what are slow twitch muscles? Skeletal muscle is made up of fibers that are bundled together and work simultaneously to contract and provide the movements that we need to function throughout our day. These fibers are categorized into two types called slow-twitch (Type I) and fast-twitch (Type II), and the difference lies in the way they create energy for their contractions. Type I fibers are more efficient and can contract for longer periods of time, whereas Type II fibers are better for short bursts of speed and strength and fatigue more quickly. 

Slow twitch muscle fibers are mainly used for activities that require efficiency over time such as maintaining posture or endurance exercises like running a marathon. These fibers have a low threshold meaning they are activated first before fast twitch muscle fibers, but aren’t as easily fatigued. They are highly vascularized and have many mitochondria, mini energy producing cells, which utilize aerobic (with oxygen) respiration for energy. Aerobic respiration is a long process involving many different steps to create energy in the form of ATP from amino acids, carbohydrates and fatty acids. Although it may take longer, aerobic respiration provides a larger, steady stream of energy increasing stamina and oxygen capacity of your muscles allowing them to keep going for long periods of time (1). 

Fast twitch muscle fibers are generally built for exercises that require short, explosive, powerful bursts of energy such as heavy lifting or football. These muscles have a high activation threshold and are activated when the slow twitch muscles cannot meet the strength or force requirements of the activity. Their ability to contract quickly with a great amount of force comes from the anaerobic (without oxygen) respiration process of creating energy. Since there are significantly fewer mitochondria in these muscle fibers, ATP is formed quickly from energy stored inside of the contracting muscle cells in the form of glycogen (2). This process will provide much less energy and also begin to build up lactic acid. There are two types of fast twitch muscle fibers including Type IIa and Type IIb. Type IIa, fast oxidative-glycolytic, utilizes some oxygen to help convert glycogen to ATP. Type IIb, fast glycolytic, has the fewest mitochondria and therefore utilizes no oxygen relying on glucose to produce energy (1).

Think of muscles fibers as a spectrum with Type I slow twitch at one end and Type IIb fast twitch at the other end. Type IIa fast twitch muscle fibers will lie somewhere in between having the ability to utilize some oxygen to create ATP necessary for the fast, short term intensive exercises while recovering slightly quicker than Type IIb (1).

So What’s The Deal with the Barre Burn?

So you’re in barre class and suddenly: uncontrollable shaking – check! legs on fire – check! 

We have all experienced this burning sensation in our muscles, but why does this happen?

There are three pathways the body uses to create energy: phosphagen, glycolytic, and oxidative. All three systems work simultaneously to a degree, but parts of the system will become predominant depending on what the needs of the body are.

During short term intensive exercise your fast twitch muscles, which are anaerobic (without oxygen), use energy that is already present in your body along with glucose. These intensive exercises activate an ATP-PC energy system also known as the phosphagen system. This process synthesizes ATP from a high energy phosphate called phosphocreatine (PC) which is stored in your muscle cells. 

According to studies, this phosphagen system can only create energy for about 10 seconds of high intensity effort which is when the glycolytic system takes over (3). This system quickly compensates for the lack of ATP using glycolysis for energy lasting only a few minutes and can ultimately result in an accumulation of lactate and hydrogen molecules. This build-up of hydrogen ions decreases pH causing a state of acidosis interfering with muscle contractions through a number of ways which is why you feel that burn and discomfort. This is now when the oxidative system kicks, which relies on energy derived from fats and carbohydrates.

What’s the Takeaway?

It is beneficial to understand the science behind how your muscles react and contract during different types of exercises. This knowledge can help you integrate the right workouts into your routine to help you reach your goals. 

Remember, slow twitch muscles use oxygen to create energy for contractions providing a long steady stream of energy. Both barre and pilates exercises engage these slow twitch muscle fibers using low-impact movements to the point of exhaustion. These types of workouts also increase cardiovascular endurance and metabolism, which helps to quickly burn calories. Other benefits include: a lifted bum (oh hey!), improved core strength (flat tummy!), increased flexibility (yup – you too can do a split!) and improved posture.

Barre workouts are a definitely must add for anyone who is looking to vary their resistance/strength training workouts, build flexibility and core strength and improve strength endurance.

Fast twitch muscles use very little to no oxygen (anaerobic) for energy and provide those short, powerful, quick bursts of energy. These muscles are initiated during workouts such as powerlifting, sprinting and high intensity interval training (HIIT) but will also contribute to that lactic acid build up causing that burning sensation. Similar to aerobic exercise, studies show that anaerobic exercise can help increase the reduction in non-esterified fatty acids (2). This study showed the benefit of an aerobic workout followed by an anaerobic workout resulting in the release of triglyceride stores and a reduction in BMI.

It comes down to finding the exercise that you enjoy the most while listening to your body and being aware of how these exercises are making you feel. Determining your goals and utilizing the knowledge of the different muscle fibers can help you create an exercise program that includes the right training strategies to maximize efficiency and enjoyment.

Is the burn experienced in barre class the ‘bad kind of burn’? Not at all. The burn might trigger some discomfort, but it is definitely an indication that your muscles are being challenged, which makes them stronger. Barre workouts are a definitely must add for anyone who is looking to vary their resistance/strength training workouts, build flexibility and core strength and improve strength endurance. Happy shaking!


Masked Running – Yeah or Nah?

How does running with a mask impact your performance?

I’ve been a long distance runner for as long as I can remember. While I  love running on a treadmill, I do enjoy running outdoors. So when gyms closed and the ‘stay at home’ order was implemented in Los Angeles, I thought, “No, problem I strength indoors and I’ll get my cardio in by running outdoors.” 

I’ve been running 5-7 miles outdoors, two to three times per week since March 17th. I feel I have been doing a good job keeping distance between myself and other pedestrians while I’m running outside. Recently the mayor required all Angelenos to wear face covering when they leave the house to slow the spread of COVID-19. DREAD!

Since this order was executed, I’ve decreased my time running outdoors because frankly I don’t want to wear a mask while I run. For anyone who’s done it, you’ll know how uncomfortable it is. Masked running definitely takes getting used to because you have to work harder to get the same amount of air into the lungs. 

But running with a mask on is not a new phenomenon. Elevation training masks have long claimed to improve lung capacity and oxygen efficiency by simulating high-altitude conditions. In fact, running with a cloth face covering may have its benefits. Since your lungs have to work harder to get the same amount of air they are used, overtime this effort could strengthen your lungs and diaphragm giving your respiratory system a boost. 

“I hate that my mask gets damp when I run.” Yea, this sucks doesn’t it. What you can do is try nasal breathing as it expels less droplets than mouth breathing, which could keep your mouth drier. And bonus – your nasal pathways are designed to filter allergens and foregin bodies out of the air before they reach the lungs. 

Nasal breathing takes some getting used to,  and can become challenging as your intensity increases. If you are a serious runner, dedicated to your running routine, try practicing nasal breathing throughout the day and not just on runs so you can get used to the feeling. This way you’ll begin to condition the lungs for what they will experience during exercise. 


Welcome to the Living Room!

Everything included in this section is something that I am “Living For!” Get it? Each month I will touch on the some of the products, places and people that have helped me to maintain health and wellness as it relates to topics were are discussing this month on the site. I would love to know what you’re living for this month, look out for opportunities to share what you are “Living for!” on my instagram.

And remember to always #LiveNourished

Nourish + Balance

Vejo – https://www.vejo.com/

Made for you: The world’s first portable, pod-based blender. Bringing you healthy nutrition on the go. This perfect small travel blender is perfect for your active life. Nutritious smoothies are blended by you, anywhere and everywhere, in just 30 seconds. To make a blend, all you do is fill your Vejo full of cold water, pop one of Vejo’s signature blends into the blender, and put the cap on until you hear a click – this automatically triggers 30 seconds of blending. Now you’re ready to refuel and nourish your body in under a minute. 

Here’s why I’m living for this! –  Vejo’s signature blends are great to take the guesswork out of figuring out which smoothie to have at which time of the day. You’ll also save on prep time as these smoothies are ready to go in under one minute. And did I mention the cost savings of not having to buy as much produce and protein powder! These nutrient packed pods have everything you need and are ready to fuel your day. 

Vejo’s performance blends will help fuel you pre- and post-workout. These blends are gluten free, soy free, and dairy free with only 5g of sugar per serving. I especially love that these blends are packed full amino acids, adaptogenic herbs, B vitamins, as well as other vitamins and minerals which aid in both preparing for and recovery from your workouts.

In addition to performance blends, Vejo has pods specially packed full of plant based protein. As a vegetarian and sometimes vegan, I appreciate that included blends with both plant based based protein and whey. These blends are also gluten free, soy free, and dairy free (with the exception of whey) with no sugar added! And at 100 calories and 7 grams of protein per servings, these blends shake up well for breakfast or an afternoon snack. 

Sweat + Sculpt

Bala Bangles – https://shopbala.com/

Add a constant but comfortable resistance to your workout with one pound Bala Bangles wrist and ankle weights, helping to burn fat and build muscle. For yoga, running, aerobics, pilates, walking, traveling, home workouts, core training. You name it! Bala Bangles are made of the highest quality fitness materials and come in a range of colors.

Here’s why I’m living for this! – With online at-home workouts taking the place of group fitness classes and personal training sessions at gyms and sports clubs, weights have become a must have for your home gym. Bala’s weighted bangles are the perfect addition to any home gym! These bangles are great for adding resistance and power to all types of exercise including walking, running, and yoga. I especially like to use these bangles for barre sculpt class to help shape and tone thighs and glutes. If you are serious about your at-home workouts, then Bala bangles are a must have addition to your routine!

Align + Focus

Oura Ringhttps://ouraring.com/meet-oura

Oura’s advanced technology monitors your body’s pulse, movement, and temperature, delivering a holistic picture of your health. With Oura you will receive interpretations of your sleep patterns, activity levels, and recovery – all personalized to you. 

Here’s why I’m living for this! – During this time when our normal routines have been disrupted, monitoring our body’s holistic health is ever more important. 

Investing in sleep is so important in regards to your overall health. When you get enough quality sleep you improve immune function and decrease risk of developing certain diseases. Oura measures sleep using sensors that gauge body signals, including your resting heart rate (RHR), heart rate variability (HRV), body temperature, respiratory rate, and movement, to determine your sleep patterns. After deciphers your sleep patterns to see how restorative your sleep was, and whether you went to sleep on time.  

Maintaining pre-pandemic activity levels can be challenging given the mandate the gyms remain closed. Motivating yourself to take an online class or get outside for a run (wearing a mask) can be difficult. You can leverage Oura’s Activity insights to achieve your fitness goals. Oura captures many activities automatically helping you maintain and also pairs with Apple Health and Google fit to help you find the right balance of physical activity each day. 

Recovering is certainly underrated when it comes to health and wellness. Readiness is an overall measure of your recovery that signals your capacity to perform at your mental, emotional, and physical best. Oura’s readiness estimates examine your recent activity and sleep patterns as well as your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and body temperature to determine how well rested you are and whether or not you’re ready for a challenge.

**I am not affiliated with any of the above brands and do not receive any compensation for these recommendations

Today’s top hits I’m loving this month!

Beyoncé powers Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” right into spot number one on this month’s ‘Top Tracks I’m Loving’. These two Houston favorites collabing on this remix have rocketed this track to the top of all the charts. And of course we have Drake sliding into our playlist with the Tik Tok track of the moment, “Toosie Slide”. But the hits with Drake don’t stop there. The long awaited collab with Fivio Foreign & Sosa Greek makes its way onto Drake’s latest mixtape and onto our playlist! 

Rounding out our playlist we’ve got new tracks from Steve Aoki, Kygo and Dua Lipa. These are fun tracks to dance to like no one’s watching. And after you’re done with your cardio dance sesh, wind down with new tracks from Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, and Childish Gambino.  

Track List

Carter Hall Recipes Coming Soon!

We are working diligently on a page redesign and all new clean eating recipes. Sign up for our newsletter to the first to know the date of the relaunch! Relaunch is tentatively scheduled for Labor Day 2020.

More Recipes from Carter Hall Coming Soon!

Hey all! We are diligently working on a site redesign to launch all new clean eating recipes! Sign up for the newsletter to be the first to find out the date of the relaunch. We are tentatively scheduled for relaunch Labor Day 2020!

Today’s top hits I’m loving this month!

Chances are you are practicing social distancing and spending time at home, netflix and lounging. After a pretty long hiatus, I have the first #soundlab playlist of the year. I know the anticipation for this playlist might have equaled to what we felt waiting for Jay Electronica to drop his solo album – c’mon, it was nothing like that! After a decade, Jay Electronica drops his album right when we need to focus on something else and he doesn’t disappoint. The best part of this album is that Hov is on almost every track – even Jay Elec says himself, “…my debut album featuring Hov man this is highway robbery.” 

Joining the playlist we have a new single from Future featuring Drake; their collabs are always fire and with “Life is Good,” they did not disappoint. Roddy Ricch jumps on the playlist as the one to beat with his runaway hit “The Box,” which Vulture named as rap’s first viral hit of 2020.

Rounding out the playlist we have new singles from Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and a surprise single from Teyana Taylor featuring the elusive Ms. Lauryn Hill. This playlist is fire and hopefully it provides you with the soundtrack to lounge in and practice that social distancing.

Track List

Boosting Immunity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease to be a pandemic. Naturally, people are beginning to look at their current way of living to ascertain what they can do to prevent contracting the disease. One of the common questions being asked is, “Can I boost my immune system?” This is definitely a natural response to a disease that can destroy lives, especially those with compromised immune systems. Before you head out and stockpile cases of orange juice and bottles of vitamin C and zinc supplements, it will be important to take action from a place of sound empirical knowledge versus misinformation and panic. 

The Immune Response

The immune system functions to protect you from environmental agents such as microbes or chemicals, thereby preserving the integrity of the body (1). Basically, it exists to prevent or limit infection (2) by distinguishing between healthy cells and cells that are damaged due to infection or cellular damage by non-infectious agents (e.g., sunburn or cancer). The immune system can also receive signals from cells that are infected by microbes such as viruses and bacteria. Once the immune system receives the signal from the damaged cells and responds by initiating an immune response by releasing numerous fighter cells which come from precursors in the bone marrow.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases defines immune tolerance as the prevention of an immune response against a particular antigen; when tolerance is lost, disorders like autoimmune disease or food allergy may occur (3)The strength of our immune system is largely driven by non-heritable influences such as cumulative influence of environmental exposure (4) – in other words, how exposed were you to germs over the course of your lifetime. Although there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the boost it needs!

Dispelling Misinformation

Sometimes your immune system fails and you find yourself susceptible to disease-causing microorganisms. You begin to think of all the ways you can boost your immune system to help stave off serious infection. Thoughts such as these may run through your mind: Should I start taking more vitamin C or other supplements? What foods should I start eating to strengthen my immune response? What other lifestyle changes should I make to intervene in this immune response and give myself a fighting chance to prevent or decrease my time being sick? 

Recently we’ve seen a surge of panic buying at the grocery store -stock piling everything including toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bottled water. The spread of misinformation is causing many to react out of fear and anxiety instead of reacting from a solid knowledge base. Below are a few general guidelines based on empirical evidence to help you boost your immune system to give you a fighting chance!

Eat a Balanced Diet and Skip Megadosing Vitamins

You may be thinking that the best way to boost your immune system to ward off the coronavirus is to start megadosing vitamin C. Megavitamin therapy is defined as the consumption or injection of vitamins in doses well beyond the current Recommended Dietary Allowance and often well above the Tolerable Intake level. 

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has several functions including acting as an antioxidant, helping to defend cells from free radicals and helping the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease. Vitamin C also helps to activate many enzymatic reactions in the body involved in the synthesis of collagen, carnitine and norepinephrine. 

Megadosing vitamin C would seem like a novel approach to boosting your immune system against COVID-19 . The effectiveness of vitamin C in regular doses of up to 1 g per day for cold prevention and treatment appears to only reduce the duration of cold symptoms by about 3% to 13% in adults. Ingestion of high doses (1-2 g per day_ of vitamin C has not been shown to prevent the common cold or reduce its symptoms. Vitamin C doesn’t ward off the common cold, and there is even less evidence that they grant immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Support your immune system the healthy way by fueling your body with nutrient dense meals. Plant based meals are packed with phytonutrients which are natural chemicals produced by plants. Phytonutrients possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help support a healthy human body. Phytonutrients may also enhance immunity and intercellular communication, repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. By incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables on your plate you can boost the phytonutrient value of your meal. 

Well, what about zinc? 

If you’re like most people, you take a zinc lozenge the minute you feel a cold coming on. Clinical research has provided mixed data on the effectiveness of zinc supplements on preventing or reducing the common cold. Currently, there is no concrete evidence on what the most effective dose or treatment would be when using zinc to combat the common cold. Furthermore, taking large amounts of zinc is toxic and can cause copper deficiency, anemia and damage to the nervous system. Again, you should be able to get the recommended daily amount of zinc from your diet.

Final Thoughts

Minimizing stress and getting adequate sleep will be essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. A sleep deprived and stressed immune system has a difficult time fighting infection. Current studies indicate that individuals who obtain inadequate sleep are more likely to get sick when exposed to viruses. In fact, the immune response to the influenza virus vaccine was diminished after six days of restricted sleep. Furthermore, there is also evidence for an enhanced susceptibility to the common cold with poor sleep efficiency (5). The CDC recommends getting seven or more hours of sleep per night. Additionally, when we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off infection is reduced (6). Stress limits your body’s lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help fight infection. 

The Cleveland Clinic states, “High stress levels also can cause depression and anxiety, leading to high levels of inflammation. In the long-term, sustained, high levels of inflammation point to an overworked, over-tired immune system that can’t properly protect you.” 

Managing both physical and physiological stress will help decrease stress’ influence on your immune function. While this is most certainly a stressful time, find moments to decompress through meditation, yoga, journaling, or doing whatever activity brings you joy! 


Be Mindful – Up Your Food Safety Game to Prevent Contracting the Coronavirus

Best Practices: Food Safety During Coronavirus Outbreak

With concerns of coronavirus on high alert, you may be spending less time outdoors and more time inside where you feel safe. Unless you have stock in GrubHub or Postmates, I would assume you are cooking a bit more than usual while at home – let’s talk later on how it took a threat of an outbreak to get you to cook more at home! Shopping at the grocery store then preparing, cooking and storing meals at home will require you to be more mindful so that you can protect yourself from the Coronavirus threat and prevent illness. 

Business as Usual in the Produce Section

Heading to the grocery store to stock up on pantry staples and refrigerator must haves? Many people are rightfully concerned about contracting the Coronavirus from fresh fruits and vegetables out in the open, potentially handled – and put back – by dozens of shoppers. And trust me, I love the Whole Foods salad and hot bar more than most. 

While there is no evidence that the Coronavirus can be spread by food, theoretically someone who has the virus could cough on a tomato or handle the cucumbers with hands that have been catching sneezes all day. Then you come along with your healthy self and choose that tomato and cucumber to take home for your dinner salad. Theoretically, you could handle the infected foods before prepping them and pick up the virus. 

Unfortunately the question of supermarket safety has not fully been addressed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In general, it will be important to follow common sense food safety guidelines even though Coronavirus is not thought to be food borne as any person-to-person contact by infected individuals can allow for exposure.

Does this mean I can’t buy fresh produce or utilize the hot/cold bar in my grocery store?

No, not at all. However, this is definitely the time to exercise some additional precaution when shopping at grocery stores such as wiping down your cart or basket and bringing your own produce bags to store fresh fruits and vegetables in. When using the salad bar or hot food section of your local grocery store, use hand sanitizer directly after touching tongs, spoons or other serving utensils – and remember to keep you hands away from your face. I know my local Whole Foods has placed hand sanitizer at the ends of each station to help prevent the potential spread of the virus.  It is important to note that if there is anyone in your family who is especially at risk for contracting the virus – the elderly, the young or those with a weakened immune system (e.g., leukemia) – you may want to purchase produce that is prepackaged and wrapped already just for extra precaution.

Food Safety Guidelines to Remember

Great, you’ve made it home and now have safely unpacked your groceries. Since you have endeavored to dust off that set of pots and pans and cook more at home, you’ll have to revisit proper food safety guidelines in preparing, cooking and storage. 

The USDA encourages individuals to follow four basic guidelines to keep food safe.

  • Clean— Always wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Remember to disinfect surfaces often.
  • Separate— Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash the cutting board, knife, and countertops with hot, soapy water.
  • Cook— Cook to proper temperatures, checking with a food thermometer.
  • Chill— Refrigerate promptly. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).

How long do those leftovers last?

This seems to be the age old question. The general rule is to use most cooked leftovers within three to four days, being sure to reheat 165’F before eating. Click the link below to download a guide to view the storage times of prepared, refrigerated and frozen foods. The USDA suggests that these storage times will help keep refrigerated (40 °F) food from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Remember freezing at 0 °F or below (not 32 °F) keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended freezer storage times are for quality only. 

Safe Food Storage Guidelines

Final Thoughts

It is important to not panic during this time or jump to conclusions. Look to the USDA, the FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO) and your state and local officials for any additional precautions you need to take. When in doubt, remember to follow common sense food safety procedures such as washing your hands before and after handling food, chances are, you’ll be okay.


Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (Post workout after burn)



Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of discussion between clients as to whether they are achieving a state of exercise post oxygen consumption or EPOC after their workouts or not.  I decided that this well sought after state of EPOC needed some further explanation so you can understand how it is achieved after your workouts.  Promise me that after you read this article, you won’t set out to eat whatever you want after your workout.

Before we can get into what occurs after your workout, let’s discuss your workout itself, starting with the difference between steady state aerobic training and resistance or strength training.

Steady state aerobic training applies to training that focuses on a consistent, low to moderate rate of work for an extended period of time.  Steady state training is effective cardiorespiratory exercise but it can take awhile to achieve desired results.  Conversely, high intensity interval training includes repeated bouts of short to moderate duration exercise completed at an intensities which are performed at anaerobic levels greater than your threshold.  In other words, you ‘go hard’ for a specific duration of time and then have a short recovery.  Think of a sprint in cycling— for 30 seconds  you are going as fast as you can and then you recover, only to perform another shortly after.  With steady state, instead of taking a 45 minute spin class, you would be on a spin bike at the gym, pedaling at the same consistent moderate speed for 45 minutes.  Lastly, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines resistance training as any exercise that causes the muscles to contract as a response to external resistance with the goal of increasing strength, tone, mass and/or endurance.

Now that we’ve throughly covered the different types of exercise, we can get back to the concept of EPOC.  What is EPOC?

Exercise post oxygen consumption or EPOC refers to the calories expended above resting values after exercise.  Essentially, it represents the increased amount of oxygen above resting level that the body is utilizing to return itself back to its pre-exercise state.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find exact research which states how long EPOC will last post workout; however, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours for the body to recover to its resting state.  This wide range of time brings us to how intensity and duration of exercise affects the state (duration) of EPOC.  In general, higher exercise intensities with longer durations produce higher degrees of EPOC; however, research has shown that intensity has a greater impact on EPOC than duration (1).

Essentially the greater your intensity during exercise, the greater degree of EPOC.


So we’ve nailed down that intensity accounts for a much larger percentage of the total variance in EPOC then does duration, but which out of the three types of exercise are most effective at achieving greater states of EPOC.

Current research hypothesized that out of the three types of exercise, steady state aerobic training, interval training and resistance training, it’d be resistance training that would have the greatest effect on EPOC.  Researchers found that when total caloric expenditure and rate of caloric expenditure were controlled for, a high volume resistance training session or a high intensity intermittent aerobic training session created greater post exercise energy expenditure.  In this study increases in EPOC were found for up to 21 hours post resistance training or interment interval aerobic training.



So now that we know how to achieve the greatest state of EPOC, let’s quickly zero in on high intensity interval training (HIIT).  So if you are going to take a HIIT class which type of class will have a greater response of EPOC.  Yet, another study conducted aimed to conclude whether circuit training or speed interval training had a greater impact on EPOC.   The results of this study indicated that speed interval training (i.e., running on a self propelled treadmill, alternating  30 of sprinting with 30 seconds of rest), is a more effective way of maximizing caloric expenditure than circuit based HIIT (2).  However, it should be noted that both speed interval and circuit based HIIT are more effective at increase caloric expenditure than steady state exercise.

There’s the story on EPOC and how to achieve your greatest caloric expenditure post exercise.   I know how much we love to watch television while walking on the treadmill; however, I implore you to switch it up and take a spin class or circuit training class to achieve more effective results.

Now get out there Rockstars and live your best life!

1. Greer, B. K., Sirithienthad, P., Moffatt, R. J., Marcello, R. T., & Panton, L. B. (2015). EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 86(2), 190-195. doi:10.1080/02701367.2014.999190
2. Janot, J. M., Schleppenbach, L., Ezer, A., Gronemus, S., Widenski, K., & Braun, S. (2017). Effects Of Speed- And Circuit-based High-intensity Interval Training Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49, 1063. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000519922.83058.a1