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Science Stuff You Should Learn

posted on December 20, 2021

In the world of health, strength, and fitness there are numerous confusing terms. As one who has spent 20 years in this industry I blame myself, and those in my profession for this confusion. I and we must do a better job communicating science. Today I want to give you some basic terms, acronyms, and phrases that may help you.


  1. EPOC- EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. It’s a very simple concept, that I will try to explain in easy terms. Imagine if I asked you to meet me at the parking garage. If you walked to 300 yards and I sprinted there when you arrived I’ll still be breathing heavy. We would have done the same amount of work (work is defined by displacement, so we both are equal in these terms), yet I am still winded. My body is still trying to overcome the changes in energy systems, yours is chillin. This is EPOC in real terms.
  2. Basil Metabolic Rate- This is how many calories your body burns by just sustaining life. There are a multitude of BMR calculators online. Age, sex, bodyweight, conditioning levels, and many other factors will affect this. Good rule of thumb if you are active then add a zero to the end of your bodyweight, and that’s a decent starting number.
  3. HRV-Heart Rate Variability. With the proliferation of smart watches I have seen a lot more people checking their HRV. In basic terms this is the time consistency of the time between heart beats. Think of it like this a good HRV is if your HR was 60 beats per minute and your heart beaten at 1.00 seconds then 2.00 seconds and continued this way for 60 seconds. Rule of thumb if your HRV is good then you are ready to train hard!
  4. RPE- Rate of Perceived Exertion. RPE was originally developed as a score of 6-20. The idea was 6 meant rest and heart rate would be at 60 BPM, whereas 20 meant full go, h and HR would be closer to 200. Now in lifting this isn’t even close to correct. RPE scale is now an easy 1-10 scale. The idea is 10 being as hard as you can do an activity and 1 being little to no work. The issue as I see it is that RPE is too subjective. IMO it should be looked at in the context of the training as well as using our next phrase, Velocity Based Training.
  5. VBT- Velocity Based Training. VBT is simple as it looks at fatigue as how much velocity drops on a given movement. With VBT There are a ton of rules of thumb as to how to use it. Yet, IMO VBT should be tied to RPE so that lifters can better use both of these ideas in their training.
  6. “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk” Shaq. How does this pertain to strength and fitness? It doesn’t, yet it does. My man Ethan just told me I need to work this phrase into today’s blog, and any chance to use this quote is good for me. I will add that a closer reading of this phrase means, come into your session today with a positive attitude and prepared to not just fake it, but to work HARD.


Happiest of Holidays and a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!

Todd Hamer




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