Armstrong High Cadence on your low intensity rides

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by youhaditcoming, May 6, 2009.

  1. youhaditcoming

    youhaditcoming New Member

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    Hi, i was checking out the 1993 World's at Oslo on DVD and find out that a 21 years old Armstrong already had an above average high cadence. I used to think that he developed that after his cancer.

    Nowadays my training is at low intensity mainly to lose fat or to keep it at bay and with my new cadence sensor at least I can focus on something else while doing it making the ride much more fun, i would really recommend a cadence sensor to my friends.
     
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  2. RHR38

    RHR38 New Member

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    OK. Nice to know.

    :D
     
  3. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    using low intensity riding as a means of burning fat is a bit of a myth. yes riding at lower intensity does on a percentage basis burn fat preferentially but when you ride at higher intensity you burn much more total calories such that you still end up burning more fat at the end of the day.

    e.g. say at low intensity that 75% of the calories i burn are fat and at higher intensity it is only 50%. but at low intensity for 2hrs i burn 1000 Calories so 750 Cal are burned in fat.. and say at high intensity for 2hrs i burn 2000 Calories so 1000 Cals are burned in fat... so i'm still better off doing the high intensity exercise.

    what you really want is to maximize load (intensity and time).
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    +1 This point still gets lost on a lot of folks.

    The "fat burning zone" is a nice concept to get sedentary folks up off the sofa for a walk without having them fall over with coronaries during 2x20 sessions. But if you're healthy and already riding bikes regularly then ride to train and get more bang for for your buck in terms of burning calories.

    Another reason to ride at decent training intensities is that increased fitness in terms of higher sustainable power means you'll burn more calories per hour for the same perceived exertion as you increase fitness.

    Calories burned per hour are proportional to average power:

    100 watts burns ~360 Calories per hour
    200 watts burns ~720 Calories per hour
    300 watts burns ~1080 Calories per hour

    Raise your sustainable power and you'll burn more calories for each hour you ride, you'll be more likely to raise that sustainable power by training with at least moderate intensity not spinning away in the "fat burning zone".

    You don't have to believe us, google "fat burning zone" and read any of the numerous hits on why this concept is flawed.

    -Dave
     
  5. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack the thread but I'm a believer in the "fat burning zone" myth.

    Speaking from my own experience, higher intensity work leads to burning an overwhelming proportion of glycogen, stored energy that will need to be replaced after the workout. I will experience greater desire to eat after a higher intensity workout than a lower intensity, "fat burning" workout. Sure, I will have burned less total calories after the lower intensity work but I won't feel the strong desire to replace those burned calories either. And weight maintenance/loss is all about running a day-to-day caloric balance/deficit...

    When I do low intensity stuff (<50% FTP) I'm really not concerned with cadence so much. I'll try and keep it above 80rpm, but keeping wattage (intensity) low is my primary concern. My $0.02CAN worth...
     
  6. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i'll shamelessly continue the tangent to say... < 50% FTP is such a low intensity that the rate of adaptation gained from riding that low an intensity is so minimal that that it is not even considered a training zone per se but a zone used to helps illicit recovery... when i'm talking low intensity i'm talking minimally endurance i.e. 55-75% FTP... riding at these intensities is fine you just must do so for much, much longer to get the same fat burning/total calories as higher intensity workout... this is why i say that load is the important thing.. if you have cycling peaks TSS
     
  7. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Preaching to the choir in most respects. I'm quite certain no one is attempting to elicit a training adaptation when riding low intensity for fat burning purposes. Recovery ride - fat burning ride, it's all just semantics of no significant consequence.

    The OP stated his/her rides were of "low intensity" to burn/mitigate fat accumulation. As far I'm aware, there's no universally accepted definition of "low intensity"; it's a relative term and unique to each individual...My low intensity is lower than your low intensity - no big deal...
     
  8. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    ... sounds spiffing. I'll just remember to keep that high intensity going for 4 to 6 hour training rides in the hills. I'll be skinny AND fast in no time [email protected][email protected]!!!

    Maybe the guy/gal likes to take long rides on the bike or doesn't want to go fast.

    Youhaditcoming - The big deal with Armstrong and cadence is that he started to use a higher cadence in the mountains, the theory being that whilst it puts a little more stress on the cardiovascular system it saves the legs a little. Note that during all his big attacks in the Tour's mountain stages, the small gears/fast pedalling ideal always seemed to go out the window as fast as his rivals seemingly went backwards.
     
  9. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i suggest you read, read again, then re-read...

    you missed this (below).. it is in it's own paragraph and the very last thing in the post but... i'll just isolate it, and highlight it so you can't miss it this time..

    ***-->"what you really want is to maximize load (intensity and time)."<--*** ...

    and i say in then next post for people that know power that's TSS..

    ***-->"if you have cycling peaks TSS"<--***

    get it, got it, good... why don't stop trying to be such a smart ass and twisting peoples words and actually just read what they write for once.. some peoples kids.. :p
     
  10. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Why not recommend that they watch the road while pedaling at a comfortable cadence? :)
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I get it, seems as though you may not... ;)

    If you read what the OP put:




    I dont see him mention anywhere that he wants to flog his brains out for an hour or that he's doing this for any other reason than not to gain weight and go out an smell the roses/get some fresh air. He may just like to ride.

    ... and the fact that he just got a cadence sensor somewhat implies that he doesn't have a couple of thousand dollars worth of hi-tech tomfoolery (aka power meter) strapped on his bike. :p

    We don't even know how much time the guy spends on a bike, either. We don't even know that his "definition" or PE of "low intensity" rides are either. For all we know he could be spinning 52x17 around at 100rpm and whilsting Dixie...

    As for the theory behind "burning" more calories when riding harder, that's fine to a point but only if you're taking into account time constraints. Taking Dave's examples:

    200 watts burns ~720 Calories per hour
    300 watts burns ~1080 Calories per hour

    I could stuff several bottles on the bike and go ride all morning at 200 watts. 300 watts, well, that's a challenge and you aint gonna be seeing me ride a couple of hours at that level for a while. The net result is that I've expended more energy riding at 200 watts than I could at 300 and still be feeling pretty fresh for another ride the following day. Funnily enough that's pretty much what I'll be doing - long rides on the weekends and 90 minutes of staring at the garage floor several times a week on the trainer and I know for experience that's the way I lose weight the fastest.

    As Ms Montana sings "You get the best of both worlds..."

    :p
     
  12. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Really...there are still those riders around..

    Now that I want to see my friend...

    but back to the calorie burn...honestly I really do not know why the big fuss...a calorie is a calorie is a calorie...now we want to argue about carb/protein/fat make up of the calories but from personal experience if I intake < outtake I loose weight ... I am really not sure if it is muscle or fat the body burns and I do not believe we can really control what the body will use for energy...this is just my personal experience.
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I used to be able too... Not now though :(
     
  14. Flyer

    Flyer Banned

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    dddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
     
  15. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    oh, man! no, you actually don't get it...

    when i say "maximize TSS" it actually does take into account the time you have to ride and how intense the ride can be... because the shorter the time you have to ride the higher intensity you are able to ride at and if fat burning is your goal the better off you are in the fat burning department as well if you ride more intensely when the duration is shorter..

    for my self if i'm doing 6 hrs i can ride at probably 180-200W for something that long.. but if i only have 1 hr and maximum fat burning is my goal, it would be foolish to ride at that low an intensity.. i'd be much better off riding at threshold since i'm capable of it and i'd burn much more calories and fat at that intensity... the point is that thinking there is a fat burning zone (read intensity) is wrong... you will burn more calories and fat if you look at the time, figure out how intense you can make the ride, make it as intense as you can for the duration.. if you make it as intense as you are capable of for the duration you will be maximizing load/TSS just like i said..

    so no, you didn't get it... hopefully you've got it now...

    it really doesn't matter if the OP's intention is to smell the daisies or not.. if he thinks there is some zone/intensity associated with burning fat he is just dead wrong... you will burn the most fat by riding as intensely as you can for the duration... i.e. maximizing one's TSS or load for that particular ride.. he may or may not be interested in doing that, but that is how he would burn the most calories and fat...
     
  16. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    dS, until such time as you've had your exhaled gases analyzed in a lab to determine what in actuality that you are burning for fuel and at what intensity, all you're doing is guessing/speculating/theorizing/etc. I can only speculate that now, of course, you'll proclaim that you've been lab tested after being called out.

    You've probably seen the lab results I posted on another thread. I know where my best "fat burning zone" is. I also know at what intensity my fat utilization is zero(0). Do you? If you don't, you can't speak for me and what is the most efficient manner for me to burn fat - nor can you speak for anyone else for that matter. FYI, at threshold intensity I'm burning ZERO(0) fat calories. What does that say about your knowledge of the best manner to burn fat with limited time?

    If you've never been analysed in a lab, you should do so asap. I think you'd be suprised at what you don't know.
     
  17. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    I have never neen tested.. but You realize that there is a difference between exersise that would result in the direct use of lipids as fuel vs exersise that would result I'm me losing body fat reguardless of the initial energy souce.. those are two different things. losing weight just depends on a caloric deficit.

    oh, and as for your presumption about me falsifying a reply, especially about testing I may have had.. you obviously don't know me.. I use a common sense aproach to guide my training and think most of the formal testing is a big waste of time and money.. si you are a little off base there in your presumtion
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    As a former competitive bodybuilder I have done it both ways using high intesity short duration efforts and long duration low intensity efforts in order to achieve the goal of being ultra lean lower than 5% measured by hydrostatic weighing at Georgia State University and in most season by calipers or simple pinch tests.

    My beliefs of high intesity relates to my beliefs and experience as observed in my successful pre-contest training and consulting other high level bodybuilders in TEA (Thermic Effect of Activity) and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

    My beliefs of low intesity relates to my beliefs and experience as observed in my successful pre-contest training and consulting other high level bodybuilders.

    I have also witnessed some successfully able to decrease bodyfat with little to no exercise at all by nutrition manipulation by taking the body close to or into ketosis or in other words cycling in and out of ketosis. Not a method I endorse personally.

    What I find personally from high intensity training (HIT) efforts compared to low intensity efforts is that when I walk away from the HIT I will continue to sweat even after a cool shower. I can find my body temperature still running high sometimes up to an hour following training. What that tells me in obeservation is that there is a continued thermic effect and calorie usage well after the activity has stopped. Seems like a good bang for the buck if you have limited training time.

    For those times when I used low intensity efforts with the main goal to conserve as much muscle mass as possible going into a bodybuilding competition I would start early on an empty stomach and go long enough to enter (beyond 30 minutes) the point where the body begins to utilize fat.

    While you can find all kinds of academic papers on the web that will support one idea or the other it basically in my observances over 27 years training with athletes and for myself who sole purpose was to retain muscle mass and get leaner comes down to genetics first, nutrition quality and timing of nutrition and activity. What is important to understand that raising activity levels generally impacts RMR and to me that is what is important. Choose your weapon, be it high intesity or low intensity, but what is more important to me based on my genetics is the type and the timing of the calories ingested.

    I added a link just for fun reading. Notice the last paragraphs just before the references.

    Link 1

    My resume on the subject at the bottom of the page. :)
     
  19. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Disclaimer: I added the resume part in the last post as my twisted sense of humor, but also to show that I have over the years experienced both bulking up and leaning out every year as part of competition, but make no serious claims of being some sort of guru on the subject.

    :)
     
  20. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    +1 to what you and Tony wrote and that is why I find it silly when people talk about fat burning as if they know they are burning fat based upon a particular "zone" they are in. In the end your body does not care about where it gets its energy from and will use whatever is necessary to survive.

    But strictly from a logical and anthropological standpoint it would make sense that if you are doing high intensity work out your body probably thinks you are in a fight or flight situation and will use the energy that burns fastest and easiest first which should be protein based. In a low intensity workout it will probably use other sources of energy that take longer to burn.

    Last I think we should keep in mind is the adaptability of the human body, if you are doing always HIT or low intensity work outs, your body will adjust and burn energy more efficiently. This is why changing the workout and the make up of your diet regularly will produce more changes in your body.

    -js
     
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