What is a glycogen depletion workout and how can it help you get that lean, sculpted body so many people are desperately looking for, but often fail to achieve?
First of all, you need to understand what glycogen is and what function it performs in your body. After that, we’ll look at why glycogen depletion is important if you want to build lean muscle mass and tone your body. Lastly, you will learn what the best type of workout is to create a glycogen deficit.
What is glycogen?
Most of the carbohydrates you eat are converted into glucose (a type of sugar) by your body. This glucose is your body’s main source of fuel. It is burned to provide the energy necessary for muscle contraction and many other important functions.
Any glucose that isn’t used for energy is stored as a fuel reserve in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen.
Glycogen is just one of the main energy reserves of your body. The other is body fat. Any carbs you eat which aren’t used directly for energy or stored as glycogen, are stored in your body as fat. As a matter of fact, all excess calories you eat are stored, whether they be from carbs, protein or fat, are stored by you body as fat. However, glycogen is your body’s preferred energy source during exercise.
What is a glycogen depletion workout and why should you care?
Simply put, a glycogen depletion workout is a training session which exhausts the supply of glycogen in your body’s muscles. Why would you want to do this? Shouldn’t we be trying to burn fat instead of glycogen? There are two main reasons:
- The carbohydrates you eat after your workout will be used to replenish your muscle’s glycogen reserves instead of being stored as body fat.
- The more glycogen is depleted during your workout, the more calories you will burn after training. This is due to the increased energy needed to repair your muscles after a workout and the resulting boost in your metabolism.
Best workout for glycogen depletion
So, what is the best type of workout to deplete your muscles glycogen for body toning and lean muscle mass? If you think it’s cardio, you’re wrong. The best way is actually high volume resistance training with short rest periods between sets.
The high muscle fatigue training using moderate weights (as taught in Old School New Body) is one of the most efficient ways to deplete the glycogen in your muscles. First of all it gives the carbohydrates you eat a better place to go (instead of storing them as fat).
Secondly, this type of workout causes small micro-tears in you muscle fibers. These need to be repaired after your workout. Studies have indicated that your body burns fat to provide the energy needed to repair muscle tissue.
The moderate weight/high fatigue F4X exercises taught in the Old School New Body system effectively cause glycogen depletion and controlled micro-tears
As an added benefit, this type of training also stimulates your body to produce growth hormone, which is considered to be the primary anti-aging hormone and plays a vital role in keeping your body fit and healthy.