Hard training for fatties question

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Fruitbat, May 20, 2004.

  1. Fruitbat

    Fruitbat New Member

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    I'm 205 lbs and 35. I used to race quite often up until about 7 years ago (I weighed about 165lbs during my racing years). Every year since, I start "making a comeback" in May which normally lasts about 2 months.

    So, at the moment (4 weeks into my latest comeback), I go out training with my plumpish, middle age body but with a racers brain. Although I intend to go slowly, I end up pushing my pulse up above 170 and treating every hill like KOM and every straight like a time trial. It's just how I used to train.

    A friend said that to burn fat (my current intention), I should keep my pulse down around 130bpm. If I did that for 2 hours I'd be bored out of my mind!

    My burning question is; will I get slimmer or will I just get muscly (or niether)?

    Cheers

    F.

    p.s. er, forgot to mention, I do about five 90 minute rides a week. All hard (but fun!)
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    I just lost 70kg.

    Lots of cardio work, 120 min a day plus light fast weights and 1 hour walking. I am 55, my target zone is 115-135 bpm, low end for walking high end for bike and rowing.

    No dairy food, 400g meat a week, very few carbs, but not too much fruit.

    Now training on the road for weight loss won't work, do it at home or in a gym, it just takes comitment. Keep the road riding for your lighter skinny rides later when you can enjoy them.

    cheers
    George
     
  3. Fruitbat

    Fruitbat New Member

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    Thanks George

    But not quite what I mean. I won't do any other type of exercise. I intend to lose weight so I can race again. Cycling is the end not the means (although it's also the means). My brother spent a year getting rid of 30lbs by going to the gym 5 times a week. He's still crap on a bike and I want to be cat 3/4 racing by September (last races of season)

    If I burn 1000 calories in every ride without increasing my food intake, my body will change, it's inevitable. But in what way if I continue doing mostly hard rides?
     
  4. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    OK, buy a good mag trainer, HR monitor and bike computer,

    Set it up to do 90rpm, HR at a steady 135 for one hour, rest for half an hour, then one hour again, 7 days a week!

    Doing it hard will just convert fat to muscle, my hospital would NOT let me build any muscle until my BMI was under 25. Now at a BMI of 23, I am faster and stronger and lighter than I have ever been, so is my bike.

    cheers
    George
     
  5. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I suppose I have a similar predicament. I used to cycle very keenly in my twenties and was really thin. However, my normal weight about 3 months ago was around 200 lbs (a result of weight-training for several years).
    Now I'm back into cycling again, I find that I can lose muscle very easily while the fat clings on. Therefore, I decided to keep up with some of my work in the gym (although using far less weight) and I'm attempting to lose excess fat more gradually.
    I guess I need to be about 180 for the moment so I'm eating lots of tuna fish, protein drinks, fruit and bananas e.t.c. I try and eat my carbs in the morning or before a ride. I do my best to include some low intensity fat-burning cycle rides but most of my work on the bike is fairly intense, the same as you.
    So far I've lost quite a bit of muscle but, sure, my weight is dropping as my body adapts to the aerobic work. I suppose the main thing is I don't have to struggle quite so hard lugging my former bodyweight up hills so I can feel the difference. I hope that eventually I'll lose a greater percentage of fat round my waist where it's unwanted.
    Tuna fish is certainly useful, anyhow, as it's so low in fat but high in protein.
    If only I didn't yearn so much for pizza, though!!






     
  6. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Now that is simply not true.
    If you get your heart rate up for a constant period of time on a regular occation AND your energy input is less than your enrgy output you WILL loose weight.

    Too your question.... There is a school of thought that says the best fat burning HR is between 130 - 150 bpm (Not adjusted for age) and this has been proven to be true. HOWEVER, if you train at a higher HR for the same period of time you will loose more fat. Sound like double talk or contradictory? it does really but....the logic is that you continue to burn fat after you stop excersising for a period of time. The harder you excersise the longer that period is. Now im not a "First Hand" expert on this, this is just what I have read in Gym mags ect. If someone who has a qualification in this area can enhance this it would be good :)
     
  7. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Fixey: No quals here, but I agree with you. Training at higher intensity and HRs will definately burn more total calories in a given amount of time, since you're doing more work riding faster. Also, I've read that our anaerobic metabolism is much less efficient than the aerobic. If you don't refuel with enough carbs, and continue to eat sufficient protein, the calories required to replace your glycogen stores have to come from body fat.

    Believe the reason you often hear low intensity touted for weight loss is that most people beginning training will be able only to do low intensity mileage on a daily basis. For ex-racers who can already tolerate higher intensity work and recover from it, I don't see why this theory would apply.
     
  8. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Carrera,

    I have the same situation when I diet. I tend to lose muscle before fat! :mad: I hate that. Not only that but every time I would cut back on the food intake I would feel weak and the workouts would suffer.

    I was hoping the cycling (currently 8 - 10 hours per week except for a recovery week every 4th week) would melt off the weight but I've actually gained about 22 pounds! I don't get it. My Cousin is a personal trainer with a degree in exercise physiology and all the certs and crap and he's baffled too.

    The good news is my pant size is the same and not larger. More good news is I got out a tape measure and my arms are 1.5 inches larger than they were a year ago. My thighs have grown about the same. I'm currently sporting as much muscle as I did 20 some years ago when I was seriously into lifting. Since April I bumped my weight training up from 2 sets per bodypart to 3 sets. That's per bodypart and not per exercise! The only thing I can think is that I must be classified as a fast gainer and am made up of predominately white twitch fiber, thus making a mere 2 - 3 sets per bodypart plenty. I even gain muscle doing endurace cycling.

    Looks like I'll never be a competitive cyclist but at least the extra muscle weight will help burn fat calories in the long run. That's good because I'm not willing to give up the pizza! :D Some things just aren't worth the sacrifice.
     
  9. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Sometimes the body doesn't follow the plan you have in mind and, to be honest, I'm breaking a few rules at the moment. By that I mean a cyclist shouldn't do any upper body weight-training apart from toning. Lance Armstrong, for example, only does lower body weight work since he doesn't want to carry extra weight - a logical course of action.
    However, in my case I find that I've been losing more muscle than fat. I weigh far less at the present time but my waist taped just under 37 inches. In the past I carried far more muscle, was far stronger in the gym, yet my waist was about 35 inches or less. So, yes, it would seem I've mostly been losing muscle now that I weight-train as auxiliary work, placing emphasis on cycling.
    Therefore, I decided to bend the rules and do more gym work to discourage excessive muscle loss since I don't want to get puffy with too much muscle loss. Whereas in the past I'd do set after set of various exercises, I now opt to train the whole body but don't do many sets. It's tough because I choose to do my weight work after a hard cycle ride. I also only weight train about 2 times a week.
    The positive side is my cycling performance has improved, despite the obvious muscle loss and my strength level is probably about 70% of my bodybuilding days (ample to power a bike). Fitness has improved considerably and I have far more energy.
    I guess my goal now is to eliminate all the excess fat, hang on to a sensible degree of muscle (getting down to at least 180 pounds) and improve cycling performance. I'm hoping it will even out over the weeks.
    One tip somebody gave me once that seems to work, however, is that it's good to eat a really good breakfast in the morning and then eat far less as the day continues. For some reason, it seems that eating a really good breakfast supplies the body with bags of energy and fuel while boosting the metabolisn for fat-burning. I've found that I burned more fat this way since my body had more energy for productive training.
    As for pizza, it's always very tempting.



     
  10. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    You really nead to qualify this by adding "Road Cyclist". Although not 100% accepted, most trackies (sprint based anyhow) do upper body work.
     
  11. rapid524

    rapid524 New Member

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    Is widely accepted that lower intensity exercise burns fat. By lower intensity, I mean 60-70% of your max heart rate. Anything above that burns glycogen which is stored in the liver.

    Obviously this is a very simple explanation to a complex physiological process. The bottom line is though, if you want to burn fat you have to slow down.
     
  12. Paul DeVries

    Paul DeVries New Member

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    The key issue here is that you want to lose weight and particularly fat. Although it is true that you burn more calories in your hard workouts, you need to consider the folowing:
    1. Low intensity workouts begin to burn fat immediately and continue to burn fat through the workout
    2. High intensity workouts burn your blood glycogen stores and then your muscle glycogen. Some fat is burned, but not as efficiently and not as the fuel of choice in the harder workouts
    3. You are way more prone to injury and overtraining issues and burnout doing the hard workouts than doing the easier lower heart rate workouts. Even in peak training shape leading up to race season, it is typical to be only doing 2-3 hard workouts per week. More does not get you to peak form when you need it, it again just leaves your body continually in a repair mode.

    I lost 25 pounds and 4% body fat in 9 months by doing NOTHING but low intensity (55-65% hr) workouts on an indoor trainer watching movies (like 1.5 hours a day 6 days a week). After 9 months - started working in high intensity workouts, hill climbs, etc, and now am placing in top 5 of cat 3 races......SO IT CAN BE DONE!!
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    A lot of the advice posted here is worthwhile and very informative.

    I don't want to get bogged down in discussions about what HR
    is best for burning fat or what power output = weightloss.
    It is too easy to get blinded by science and there are plenty of theories that contradict each other, out there.

    My advice to you is to get in slow steady (deep) rides.
    If you can afford the time, I think you need to get out for more quality rides rather than confining yourself to 90mins x5 times per week.
    If you could schedule longer rides (2-3 hrs) perhaps 3 times per week - this would help.

    Initially, instead of concentrating on losing weight per your weighing scales, I would instead concentrate on how much your body dimensions are changing as you train ie waist measurements.
    As you begin to train, you should find your clothes beginning to become more loose.
    This is a sure sign that your regime is working.
    Also start looking at your diet - try to cut back your food intake.
    Keep a healthy blend of protein, carbs and fat : cut out alcohol
    and stay away from desserts etc.
    Weight loss is difficult and at times very frustrating but in the long run you can get there.
     
  14. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Agreed. According to heart rate training authority Sally Edwards, you will burn more total calories by doing 3 rides of 2.5 hours per ride than you will by doing 5 rides of 1.5 hours per ride, even though the weekly total is still the same 7.5 hours.
     
  15. belfast-biker

    belfast-biker New Member

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    What is the no dairy food based on? Why would I want to avoid skimmed milk for instance?
     
  16. mingcat9

    mingcat9 New Member

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    I can relate to fruit bat's predictament (nice name). I also get bored riding slower. Try riding in an area that's new or different.
    At first, my quiet suburban neighborhood was lots of fun with a lot of roundabouts and turns. And because it's not your typical ride, you'll need to watch for cars, or whatever, and that might slow the pace a little. good luck!:)
     
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