Getting skinny

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Carrera, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    size doesn't matter. Lance is bulkier than guys like bettini and he climbed away from them with ease. Robbie is not a big guy, neither are a lot of the other sprinters Freire, Bennati...Its about twitch fibres. A lot of climbers don't look like rasmussen either.

    In general being as lean and as skinny (ugly) as possible is a good thing as long as you can maintain your power. That means no fat, a lot of ribs poking out and very scrawny arms.
     


  2. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    My ideal is weird. I'd like to be a solid 200 pounds of ultra fit lightning on wheels. I'd like to be a damned good cyclist but also look a bit like a track-runner.
    I'd like to look a bit like Stallone but able to perform well on the bike too.
    I don't aspire to race as I'm too old at 42 but I enjoy cycling more than gyming. In fact I just bought a really nice Claud Butler road bike after thieves stole my Carrera and wrecked it (I have recovered it and will rebuild).

     
  3. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    That's kind of my take also. I'd rather be a super fit 200 lb guy with a fair amount of muscle, be able to squat my bodyweight for 50 reps, be able to do a 5K run in 18 minutes, be able to do a 40K time trial in just under an hour and have 19" biceps! That's not too much to ask is it?! :) Then there are the other factors of fitness, such as blood pressure of 115/75, low cholesterol, low triglicerides, etc., etc.

    These days I'd much rather be built like a Frank Zane or a Francis Benfatto (http://clay_b865.tripod.com/BenfattoFrancis/FBenfatto0011.jpg) than any of the pro bodybuilders of today. In fact I think that bodybuilding has taken a very wrong turn and it's turned me off to it quite a bit.
     
  4. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

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    Can't add any more than has already been said. Stay out of the gym. If you have long cold winters, then run and do light weight high rep exercises.

    Of the many responses, I like Doctor Morbius' the best. Many of us enjoy riding. Many of us have hit the gym once or twice .. many of us used to like being big and muscular, then we discovered cycling and wish to be the best we can be at it (short of racing). This is the quandry. Not surprisingly, I too have been in the gym. I topped out at 275 but folks said it was all muscle :rolleyes:.

    Long story short, stay out of the gym and ride more. It will take a relatively long time to lose all your definition and related bulk (if that's what you want to do). I'd focus on being a fit all-rounder. These days, I am happy with where I am; I climb reasonably well. People still love drafting behind me (something about extra wide shoulders) and I go fairly fast and can do for a fairly long time; I don't push big gears all day as I learned to spin the 39-14/15 fast. I love the spirited ride, but do not race and have no desire whatsoever; I set goals and just basically look forward to the next ride and the next meal ..

    You'll get there.

    I have more muscles/less fat than the average non-cycling joe. I dwarf the average scrawny cyclist, but I can do well on climbs. And I'm basically a svelte Magnus Backstedt (he's 6' 4" and 200-205; I'm an inch shorter and anywhere from 10 - 15 lbs lighter).

    Unless racing is in your future, then just go with the flow and focus on overall health *echo* and fitness. Even if racing is in the cards, I imagine not every racer can be everything. That's why there are distinct differences between "climbers" and "sprinters;" then you have your all-rounders like Hincapie, Voigt, Pardnos who are "normal" sized (save for the 2006 rendition of Hincapie who looked like he needed to be fed).
     
  5. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    It's a fact, if we're talking about any serious volume of endurance training. Most studies I've seen seem to see a downturn in testosterone at around ~8hours / wk. If you're riding 3 hours a day every day, or even most days, then you're just riding too much given your goals in the sport as I understand them.

    Endurance cycling is a potent catabolic force. If you're not cool with that, you may want to attenuate your training volume somewhat. But don't panic; nothing's going to happen overnight, especially if you're naturally on the muscular side.
     
  6. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    I think it's somewhere around 90+ minutes in a session that cortisol kicks in and squashes testosterone. GH goes up sometimes though. But to keep it relative, a rider who trains 20 hours a week and has more testosterone after all that compared to another person who trains as much will probably have an advantage.

    Sean Kelly had some interesting rules about no sex before races, thinking it would keep his testosterone levels higher. It was something like no sex for 7 days before a race, and when you figured in his racing schedule he pretty much went without sex for most of the season...

    Yeah, but he won bike races!
     
  7. rayhuang

    rayhuang New Member

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    I want to gain upper body muscle mass this fall and winter and combine that with bike riding. I have already started to bug a friedn who used to do that for a training regimen to start with.

    As for the weight on the bike, thats got me concerned as well. Just 20 minutes riding with a group on TUesday already got the fires burning. I wanted to put the hammer down to show-em what i got, but I dont have anything anymore lol But I know what you guys are saying, you want to be right there on the sprints, the climbs and the long hammerfests.

    Theres some very good thinkers in this thread already. I wonder about my ability to time trial again at a high level, regardless of muscle mass and weight. When i was 19 or 20 I broke the hour in the 40k in three tries (my first try was already a 1:03). My third try was just under, like 58 and my fourth try (slightly hungover of all things) was a sub 55 minute. The record holder on this course was as I recall in his 40's (he seemed old to me then and now look at me). I think my goal for 2007 will be to do a time trial and try to beat the hour.

    I wonder if extra weight hurts as much in time trialing? As I recall time trialing was at least 50% mental anyways. Very fit people just quit peddling because it hurt too much!!
     
  8. meandmybike

    meandmybike New Member

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    Swim, bike, run?

    The shorter distance triathlon guys have pretty muscular upper bodies. Maybe not what you once had but a lot more meat than your typical cyclist.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    That is wrong. I am sure you would be a good cyclist, there is a guy who rides around here who like you was once a bodybuilder. He weighed about 125kg's I think and has trained hard for a few years and has got himself down to 90kg's. He perfectly fits your "dream" description of where you want to be. He has a rediculously powerful sprint and he can climb fairly well too, rather large biceps too:p . Not that they help him ride at all though.

    At 42 years old I reckon after three or four years of hard training with a powermeter you will be kicking arse and looking very fit.
     
  10. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    You know, I ceased all weight-training a few weeks go. This was because I simply don't have time to cycle and weight train simultaneously. Training now consists of very long rides down to my river boat where I dismount and set to work painting and messing with the engine.
    Prior to that I was training with a sprinter (a runner). This guy has no upper body size and doesn't weigh much but his squat is about level with myself. Of course, in his sport squats are part of the overall training.
    Where am I going with all of this? Well, I wasn't talking about bodybuilding per se as I left that behind now and, besides, I concluded the ladies simply don't like guys who have arms sticking out from their lats. I guess I was talking about the notion of being a decent cyclist but also having a good physique with enough muscle to look athletic. So, that means some upper body training such as chins and bench presses (probably slightly higher reps). No really heavy weights.
    I was wondering, then, just how negatively that would affect my cycling. As I said, I'm now climbing on slants at about 16 mph and my speed wavers round 19 - 23 mph.
    I recall Eddy Merkcx once told Lance Armstong that his main problem was he had gotten too much upper body mass from his days as a Triathlete but then when Lance got cancer, Merkcx commented there was a big change. All the mass had gone and Lance had improved amazingly.
    My problem is I think I want to have my cake and eat it.

     
  11. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I have no option but to ride 3 hours a day. I'm not a car driver. My boat is also located very far from where I live on a farm where the mooring is cheap. Even today, I'll have to make that cycle ride down there and uphill all the way back.
    I often end up racing as well since I get dudes challenging me as I ride back and forth.
    I did ask my doctor about my sex drive being somewhat lower. This could be down to age (42), alcohol, coffee or maybe a lot of endurance training. However, my doctor simply told me exercise increases testosterone and not to worry.
    The thing is, though, when I was in my teens, my sex drive was awesome. That's the time testosterone first makes it's appearance and I think all guys remember how things are in the teen years.

     
  12. li0scc0

    li0scc0 New Member

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    Thor is 6'0 and 178 pounds
    Boonen is 6'4 and about 178 pounds
     
  13. ebola

    ebola New Member

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    is one likely to be able to avoid the catabloic/cortisol effects through more shorter sessions ?

    I'm hitting the 8-10hours /week mentioned as being catabolic, but rarely exceed 90mins in a single session.
    My riding is usually extended commutes + lunch hour, various permutations such as (45+45), (30+50+30), (30 + 60) etc minutes per day typically.

    Some of that time will be rowing machine rather than cycling. (e.g. gym session after work then cycle home)
    my goal is the elusive balance mentioned elsewhere on this thread, not any extreme. Should i stick to 8hours of cardio max..
     
  14. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    There is a lot of me in this thread. I'm a 45 year old cross trainer doing (in order of importance) Cycling, Weights, Yoga, Combat, Boxing and Running. So where do I start.

    CYCLING: Love it and its my best cardio workout and it has little effect on my injurys. Yeh, if you aren't into winning national titles, then a couple of kilos somewhere else on your body isn't going to hurt.
    WEIGHTS: I switched from pure weight lifting to what I'd call functional strength, this been the creation of useable strength. I do roughly 2 sessions of light weight high reps to 1 session of normal weights. Also I tack on spot exercies after a session of something else (like boxing), for example wrist exercises or lower back, wherever I am currently weakest.
    YOGA: I suck at yoga and thats why its important that I do it. To have a fully functional body, you need to have all functions working. Consists of Balance, Flexibility and a different type of strength to weights. I have to say that the mental attitude in yoga has definently helped my riding.
    COMBAT: Kinda part way between yoga and boxing. Includes cooridination which is as bad as my spelling.
    BOXING: The upper body equivilent of running. Hit pads not people.
    RUNNING: The sporting passion of my youth, until my knees f***ed in my mid thirtys. A bit better now days, so I run once a week. I different kind of leg workout to cycling.

    To me the key word above is "functional" - "functional strength", "functional fitness", "functional mind set".

    In regards to the comment about female taste in males, different females have different tastes in males. Genetics still contibute to their decisions and they look for a combination of things including the ability to provide, the ability to protect, however your personality is way up there. Having confidence (as distinct from ego) for example is something that is often appreciated.

    Anyway Carrera, its your choice, but you could always tone down the weights instead of simply dropping them.
     
  15. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I'm sorry Mike'sbytes, but higher reps with lighter weights is exactly the opposite type of training for functional strength or functional hypertrophy. Not trying to pick on you or anything but just pointing it out.

    Check out this PDF on functional hypertrophy by Todd Wilson...
    http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles/functionalhypertrophy.pdf

    Wilson is a strength and conditioning coach for basketball. He's a regular poster over at my other home www.drsquat.com. The article will help to explain the differences between the different rep schemes.
     
  16. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I sometimes train very hard on the bike. Yesterday was one of those days. In did an enormous climb and stayed standing out of the seat for quite some time. Pulse rate was soaring.
    I do quite a lot of hard cycling but I do notice my libido is now very low. If it's not my fondness for coffee and a bit too much alcohol, than it could well be the cycling.


     
  17. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Well, you've certainly got enough training volume there to make lots of progress as a cyclist. It's also more than enough to cause a slightly lower level of testosterone, and a good deal of catabolism. Being huge is simply inconsistent with riding 3 hours a day, unless you're taking some really serious exogenous androgens. You makes your choices, you takes your chances.

    FWIW, a blood panel including T levels is usually available retail at Qwest diagnostics and the like for about $75. If your doctor didn't order the test, and you're not experimenting with any PEDs at home, these tests are usually a waste of time. However, if it will put your mind at ease to see that your T levels are still normal (which they probably are), maybe it's worth it to you?

    I just wanted to point out that the "Tour de Bike Lane" shenanigans that many rec riders participate in is nothing compared to any cat 5 office park crit. If you want to race, pay your entry fee and get a number to pin on. If you want to ride your bike to your boat, ride your bike to your boat. Who cares what some nimrod sharing the bike lane with you "challenges"? Do the workout you need to do. When you were serious about weights, did you change your workouts to impress other athletes?
     
  18. tyler1212

    tyler1212 New Member

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    It happens Carrera, I too once lived in the land of the large. I weighed 225 lb. at around 7-8% fat, and I'm 6'4. After a devastating injury to my shoulder which I cannot have surgically repaired due to my employment situation, I have sadly gone from curling 145 to about half of that. So what to do with all that muscle? I definitely didn't want to turn into a 225lb. slob. I was eating quite a bit before my injury and had a tenacious appetite, so I had to fight the constant craving to eat 5ooo calories a day. I turned to cycling to satisfy my obsession with excercise. I wanted to turn into a lean, mean, lycra-wearing machine! I started on a stationary because my shoulder was so damaged that I couldn't even rest my hand on the bar of stationary bike! After many months I was able to move over to my roadie which I owned before my injury. I now weigh a lean 200 lbs. and am a self-proclaimed crank-head. Just so you get an idea of how much it sucked, my biceps was 18 inches solid before the injury, its lowest point was somewhere around 12, and now has gone back to about 15 with a constant effort on my behalf to rehabilitate it. Rehabilitation which includes, boxing, push-ups, overhand pull-ups, biceps curls, rows, and of course CYCLING!!
    Sidenote: my sexdrive is the same, but all this cardio makes it a breeze. It has increased my sex-cadence considerably!
     
  19. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I guess I still want to do some upper body training, although my instinct tells me it will cost me. The point about this thread is the idea of being fit and looking good but, as we know, cycling performance isn't related to looking good.
    At any rate, my cycling performance needs work, I think. Fitness is still a bit suspect. My speed on the flat is kind of average (20 mph to 27 mph). Climbing is strong and steady but maybe could be faster. My goal is to hopefully improve all of this but I want to tone my upper body too and find a way to build just a little healthy muscle without crippling my cycling performance.
    Another thing is my pulse. I notice it's only about 60 beats a minute - pretty average yet I do a lot of hard cycling and hill climbing where my pulse climbs high.
    I need to think this through, I think. I certainly don't want to be a bodybuilder again but I do want to look good in my lycra and maybe pull a few girls, if you get my drift. :p I seem to have my fingers in two pies.
     
  20. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I think we need better definitions of what a Manly Man is....is it just looks? :confused: - if so The Incredible Hulk really rates or is it to do with character - aggressive etc or better qualities that that and looks that are healthier in the long run - which means slimmer?
     
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