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Depletion Workouts | What Are They?

Depletion Workouts | What Are They?
If you are an avid social media user who follows other athletes you might have seen someone talk about how they incorporate a Depletion Workout into their routine. This is a very popular routine amongst competitive bodybuilders, and its main goal is to keep the body active for a short period of time at a very high and constant energy level. The reason for this is to provide you with the maximum results obtainable from your workout by burning the most calories as possible in a short amount of time.

What Is A Depletion Workout?

A depletion workout is exactly as it sounds: you deplete all the energy your body has, using up all of your glycogen and food sources as energy, in turn allowing your body to resort to burning away at fat tissue in order to have energy to complete the workout.
depletion workout
This is one of the best workouts you can do to help burn any fat that we may have on our body. The reason why a depletion workout works so well is because it increases your heart rate to above normal levels, in turn making your body work at a much higher than normal pace in order to finish the workout. By exercising at a higher intensity and keeping an increased heart rate for a prolonged period of time, not only do you end up burning more calories versus a low intensity workout, but you also continue to burn more calories for the next 24 hours or more.

How Do You Perform A Depletion Workout?

I will provide you with an example of one such workout I perform about once a week. You do not need to do this every day since it is very high intensity, and the body needs to recover its expended energy sources to prevent catabolism or muscle loss.

Leg Depletion Workout

Each exercise will involve 1-2 warm up sets with 4-5 working sets at 15-20 repetitions per set.
Warm Up as you wish, I usually stretch and walk the stair master for about 10 minutes to get my blood flowing in my legs and prevent cramping.
You will begin this by performing 1 set of the following exercises for the repetition range listed as follows:
Leg Press: 15-20 reps
Leg Curls: 15-20 reps
Calf Raises: 15-20 reps
Leg Extensions: 15-20 reps
Seated Leg Curls: 15-20 reps
Squats: 15-20 reps
Lying Leg Curls: 15-20 reps
Standing Calf Raises: 15-20 reps
2-3 minute rest
Repeat that routine for a total of 4 more times. Try to also move from one exercise to the next exercise as fast as possible whilst resting for no longer than 2 minutes between exercises. It does not have to be in this exact order as this is just an example, you may make any adjustments as you may find needed. 

Take-Home Message

This is a very high intensity workout and since it will result in a greater calorie burn, it is very important to stay hydrated during and after the workout, as well as it is to eat an healthy meal following this workout that contains both protein (chicken, beef, eggs, tofu) and carbohydrates (rice, legumes, lentils, pasta).
depletion workout
I also recommend stretching both before and after a workout such as this to help prevent any muscle cramps and release any tension that might have came about from this workout. Give it a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you wish to try a depletion workout for a different muscle group, just remake the workout with other exercise in a similar structure with the high rep range and very low resting time. Remember, you want to keep your heart rate as high as possible for the entire workout. Hope you enjoy and have a great time trying out this routine!

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Logan Berman

Logan Berman

Writer and expert

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