Does glycogen depletion make you fitter?
What does “survival of the fittest” mean exactly and is it even relevant in these times? Well, read on!
Survival of the fittest is as relevant today as it was when sabre-toothed tigers roamed free. The fastest way to become “the fittest” starts with how well you get rid of and refuel your sugar stores AKA glycogen, in your muscles through exercise. Why? There are no more tigers hanging around the corner.
Well, the new breed of sabre-toothed tigers are called “disease”. When we are not fit, we succumb to these silent predators.
Life is too easy, food is plentiful, efficient transport means we don’t have to move, advanced medicine slow down disease progression but do not increase quality of life.
Do we want to make medicine our food and hospitals our bedrooms? Do we want surgery to look good? No, we say. So, let’s get that glycogen depleting so that you don’t just survive but thrive.
What is Glycogen?
Glycogen is the storage form of sugar. It is stored in your liver and muscles.
Glycogen is required to fuel energy production, for instance when working out. If you don’t have enough sugar in your blood, the sugar stores in your liver are broken down and released into your bloodstream. Fat is broken down to sugar after liver stores are gone.
What is glycogen depletion?
Glycogen depletion is the holy grail of exercise. When it occurs, the process of “upgrading” us, begins, because it activates a series of survival pathways that have laid dormant because of our lifestyles.
Glycogen depletes at verifying rates. If you do slow/medium endurance exercise, it will take about 45-50 mins. If you do higher intensity sessions e.g. spinning or circuits, it will take 30 mins or so. Or you can do a type of exercise called “SupraMaximal” exercise which acts like a pressure cooker to burn your glycogen, where it matters most (thighs), within a few seconds.
This “rapid glycogen depletion” signals “Panic, I am out of energy” which jump starts survival pathways that change your physiology so that you are able to cope with the same stress better next time and have a higher chance of survival.
Why thighs? Because they are the biggest stores of sugar in your body and they like to keep this source of fuel at the ready in case you have to run away fast. After the depletion has happened, they need to re-fuel and this takes a close co-operation between insulin, the hormone responsible for moving sugar into muscle, and insulin receptors that are the gates that either let sugar in or not. The more you do a CAR.O.L bike session, the more lubricated these gates become and the less sugar and insulin hang around in your bloodstream.
It’s all about the science behind CAR.O.L, the amazing AI inside.
How is Glycogen Depleted During a CAR.O.L Bike Workout?
CAR.O.L ensures that you reach SupraMaximal power in every ride. Because this level of power is higher that anything you have done before, your demand for energy, oxygen, power is immense. Within 20 seconds of the first sprint, CAR.O.L depletes your glycogen stores in your thighs. The body perceives a threat and quickly sends out a vast army of molecular soldiers who over 6-8 weeks build a giant fortress = an upgraded you.
Do You Need Glycogen to Enhance Your Performance?
It is true that you need glycogen to fuel any activity. But you also need good supply of oxygen, strong heart that pumps out more oxygenated blood per beat and more flexible arteries that can ease the rate of blood flow to where it is needed. All of these increase in strength as you work with CAR.O.L because all of these are needed for your survival.
How Is CAR.O.L More Effective than a Medium Intensity Workout?
Because of the personalised intensity and ride structure, you trigger all the molecular reactions needed within two, 20-second sprints. Anything more is wasteful. Therefore CAR.O.L is the minimum effective dose of exercise.
The results speak for themselves - in ACE’s peer-reviewed study on traditional medium intensity exercise vs. CAR.O.L, participants who used CAR.O.L three times a week reduced their risk of metabolic disease by up to 62%, while those undertaking 30 mins of cardio, five days a week, only reduced their risk of metabolic disease by 27%.
Isn’t this stress on the body dangerous?
Chronic stress is very dangerous – yes. If you are constantly pounding away on treadmills or you live in a state of high anxiety, you will have high levels of cortisol. CAR.O.L’s stress is not chronic, it is short-lived and temporary. It is “positive” stress, the kind that upgrades you.
How Do I Get Started with CAR.O.L?
When you first begin working out with CAR.O.L, you will undertake three “calibration rides”, during which CAR.O.L will measure multiple metrics and determine the exact resistance that will ensure you hit SupraMaximal power in every ride. Each ride is recalibrated so that as you get fitter, the resistance automatically increases, if you are struggling, she will ease up or if you are where you need to be, there will be no change. Every stage of the protocol is automatically administered. You just pedal and breathe!
There are eight different CAR.O.L workouts you can choose from, depending on your preferred time investment and fitness goals. Our lead workout replicates the one used by scientists, and provides, in five steps lasting less than nine minutes, the ultimate SupraMaximal workout for the best results in the shortest time.