T Nation

Does Steady State Have an EPOC Effect Like Sprinting?


So I just finished a bulk a couple months ago; I got to 231 lbs. Prior to this during the summer of 2010 it I was at 187, @10.5-11% bf. I would run 2-3 times per week for a half hour or so, roughly 3 miles at a time. I maintained around 2900 calories per day, roughly 100g carbs. I'm cutting now, and I'm back to about 2800 calories per day, with around 50 net carbs on my conditioning days (days I used to do steady state on). I don't do the steady state on those conditioning days, I do sprinting/plyos/tabatas/complex type work. I don't do any steady state cardio at all.

I gradually cut the calories down to where they are now, and have gotten to about 219 lbs. But what I'm finding now is that I'm not really going any lower...I'm still 32 lbs. heavier, and literally everything is the same in my life as it was last August when I was 187. The only difference is the lack of steady state. All I can think of is that there's some sort of EPOC effect with steady state, and that in addition to greater caloric expenditure for steady state when compared with sprinting/tabatas/etc., is that there's also an EPOC effect that matches that of sprinting/tabatas.



High intensity yes, low intensity probably no where near as much. Most likely your weight set point has increased, meaning that it takes less calories for you to maintain that new weight than it did for you to get up to it. For instance I can maintain my bodyweight at around 212 on less food than it took for me to get up to 200 or so lbs.

I feel like you can kinda "feel" epoc after a workout too. I can't explain it but it's like it just takes a few hours for you to feel "normal" after a workout where you maintained a very high heart rate, like heavy supersets/circuit training or intervals.


You're placing too much emphasis on excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

It is simply a matter of caloric expenditure being greater during steady state exercise. Interval training works through completely different physiological mechanisms for the potent adaptations from this type of training.

The physiological data on EPOC shows minimal elevations in caloric expenditure.

The 'feeling' post exhaustive exercise is probably associated with other physiological mechanisms, i.e. hormonal stimulation, parasympathetic/sympathetic alterations.

Interesting area of physiology (EPOC), but one that gets beaten up far too much on these boards.

Happy training (and posting people, too much angst/bullshit/you're wrong nonsense going on lately).


Nothing wrong with steady state.

Worked for hundreds of BB'ers before now and will continue to do so.