How long 'till you lose it?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by less'go, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    If you don't use it (your bike, everyday or every other day), how long till you lose it (your muscle tone, etc.)?

    Say that during the winter months you go a few weeks without setting butt on your bike (aka "training" for those of you who are a wee bit more technical about these things than I).

    Anyone have an idea of how long it takes for muscle to degenerate? And is it easier to get it back than it was to make it in the first place, or vice-versa?

    Actually did hop back on after a couple weeks off and did 30Km no problem, but I haven't been biking like I was a few months ago.

    How do you get through the winter months roughly intact if you don't do much riding in cold weather and have no room for equipment (rollers, etc.) in your home?

    Just curious,
    Sara
     
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  2. Roche

    Roche New Member

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    Good Question. Obviously it all stems from what level you ride at and do you race and how much youve done since your last break.
    But for me, I raced competitivly from March until August, then took about 5 weeks off the bike. As a break and i was also mentally cracked :( that happens. But after about 3 weeks off i said feckit and started doing gym work and i think i might have done 2 hours on the bike after the 3rd week just to get fresh air. its amazing the way you miss it after a few weeks. But i definitely noticed a difference in my leg muscles. They lost their perfect muscular structure(im not vain!) and they mysteriously grew this stuff on them that i had to comb on a regular basis??
    But id say 4 weeks is enough to notice a difference, and 3 weeks training to get it back to a certain level. even just slow condition riding twice a week is enough to get back into it.
    But if your talking about 3 months off the bike it could take 7 or 8 weeks i reckon. I'm not a sports scientist.....just a cyclist....
     
  3. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    They say that a rest of as little as TWO WEEKS !!!!! can cause a notable loss of form and that it takes x2 as a ratio of time off to time to recoup form .
    Always seems longer don´t it .
     
  4. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    Ya, I can feel it wasting away, I'm trapped at my desk. Must get out this weekend, just bought my first honest-to-goodness cycling shirts. Buying new equipment is good motivation. Just got my water buffalo revised, fresh out of the shop. Tomorrow morning I'm outta here.
     
  5. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    my coach in college said in his experience 3x to recoup.

    i like 2x better, though! ;)
     
  6. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    Yeah I got knocked off my bike by a van on Nov. 30th and today was my first time back on a (new!!) bike. Just did a short 15km ride to try out the new setup, cleats etc (my first roadbike!) but the hills definitely felt longer than they used to.

    It's still dark before and after work so I guess I'm still restricted to weekends. When the clocks finally go forward I'll once agani be out there in the evenings.

    It def depends on how often you ride normally. If you're a daily rider then obviously two weeks off will hurt your form way more than if you're a weekly rider.
     
  7. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    I hear you about when we'll be setting the clocks forward... I started riding in September of last year, and I organized my time so I would work all day (typically at home office on computer), while the kids were in school, then have a babysitter pick them up from school 2-3 times a week. That way around 4:30 I'd take off for a ride, sometimes a long uphill one to the pool, sometimes just running around doing my errands, but on the bike.

    But once it started being night around 5, that was no longer possible. SAy, it's 6 here, and the sun is just setting.... Oh, yes, we'll soon be riding evenings once again!
    Sara
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Maybe it's just me but I find that even a few days without getting on the bike leads to a deterioration in my fitness/muscle profile.

    The difference becomes very noticable if I didn't cycle for a few weeks (say 2-3 weeks.
    I find that I lose most of the progress that I made and it's a case of having to stick to training if I want to stay fit.
    When I was racing competitively we trained 4 days per week (gym, running, cycling).
    However having stopped competing, I find that I still have to work at trying to maintain my fitness.
     
  9. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    From what I've read after about 90 days the extra blood vessels that have formed to feed the muscles begin to be absorbed by the body and deteriorate. I suppose loss of the muscle can't be far behind.
     
  10. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    In the winter months what I would recommend is that you go to the gym and work out those legs 2 to 3 time a week to keep the form and alternate some cardiovascular excercises so it doesn't become mondaine. Living in South Florida we really don't have a winter but just a few cold days that some people don't like to ride in. When I used to live in New York and Virginia in the winter I would go to the gym.
     
  11. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I think it varies a *lot* with the individual, and remember reading about research demonstrating that genetically, some people "get fit" a whole lot faster than others. Being a person who takes very little time to get back in teh swing of things, I would have to agree.
     
  12. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    But I think that might be because muscle profile is always better after exercise. Riding every day probably maintains that 'just been working out' tone!
     
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