How much do you weigh?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Eric, Feb 8, 2003.

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  1. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Americans being overweight and getting worse:

    http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=983550

    This got me thinking… I haven't ever done any BMI calculations on myself, but according to some of
    the web calculators, my 5' 11" frame is considered obese at 220 pounds. I know that that can't
    really be the case, since my leg muscles are at least twice the size of most non-cyclists and I lift
    weights, but I know I'm carrying more fat than most cyclists I see around here. Some background: I
    stopped riding after college, ate, drank and smoked for about 12 years (I'm 34), and 2 years ago I
    started riding and getting in shape again. I did about 2000 miles in 2001 and 2800 last year. I went
    from about 270 to 215, and seem to have hit a plateau. Since the weather got cold, I'm back up to
    220 and holding (same as last year). I'm OK with that, but I would like to be a little lighter
    overall. I don't have the discipline to count every calorie I take in. I did it for a while, and it
    becomes very boring and tough to continue. I'm well aware of the weight loss methods that work (IE:
    input less than you output), and I still pay attention to what I'm eating, not just to the point I
    did when I was really loosing weight. I just want to get rid of the rest of the spare tire.

    That being said, I know that many of the bikers around here are college students, and many are fast
    enough to compete professionally. I'm not really at that level, never will be. Most of the commuters
    are the same, and I suspect that many of them are also vegetarians as well. But still, that is the
    only body shape reference I have. So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not?
    Most web site calculators are telling me I should weigh about 180, but I can't really believe that
    is realistic, unless I give up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 8 Feb 2003 07:05:52 -0800, [email protected] (Eric) wrote:

    >Should I weigh less or not? Most web site calculators are telling me I should weigh about 180, but
    >I can't really believe that is realistic, unless I give up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks
    >in advance.

    The web site calculators speak with forked tongue - apparently at 6'1" and 185 I was overweight (but
    at the itme I too was lifting weights, and cycling every day, and doing two circuit classes a week).
    My body fat percentage was under 15% and still is.

    So my $0.02 is go to your gym and get a body fat reading (and make sure the operator asks you about
    your diet and exercise regime first, since this informs the reading). That will be far more
    accurate. If you're below 25% I really wouldn't worry at all.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  3. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Eric" wrote:

    > So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not?

    If you want to be a better cyclist, probably yes. Hauling 220 pounds up the hils is a lot of work.
    Boxers typically have a lot more muscle mass than cyclists. Muhammad Ali was 6' 3" and his ideal
    fighting weight was about
    210. So even by boxing standards, I would say you are on the heavy side. Sorry, but you did ask. ;-)

    Art Harris
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Americans being
    overweight and
    > getting worse:
    >
    > http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=983550
    >
    > This got me thinking. I haven't ever done any BMI
    calculations on
    > myself, but according to some of the web calculators, my
    5' 11" frame
    > is considered obese at 220 pounds. I know that that can't
    really be
    > the case, since my leg muscles are at least twice the size
    of most
    > non-cyclists and I lift weights, but I know I'm carrying
    more fat than
    > most cyclists I see around here. Some background: I
    stopped riding
    > after college, ate, drank and smoked for about 12 years
    (I'm 34), and
    > 2 years ago I started riding and getting in shape again. I
    did about
    > 2000 miles in 2001 and 2800 last year. I went from about
    270 to 215,
    > and seem to have hit a plateau. Since the weather got
    cold, I'm back
    > up to 220 and holding (same as last year). I'm OK with
    that, but I
    > would like to be a little lighter overall. I don't have
    the discipline
    > to count every calorie I take in. I did it for a while,
    and it becomes
    > very boring and tough to continue. I'm well aware of the
    weight loss
    > methods that work (IE: input less than you output), and I
    still pay
    > attention to what I'm eating, not just to the point I did
    when I was
    > really loosing weight. I just want to get rid of the rest
    of the spare
    > tire.
    >
    > That being said, I know that many of the bikers around
    here are
    > college students, and many are fast enough to compete
    professionally.
    > I'm not really at that level, never will be. Most of the
    commuters are
    > the same, and I suspect that many of them are also
    vegetarians as
    > well. But still, that is the only body shape reference I
    have. So, I'm
    > asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not?
    Most web
    > site calculators are telling me I should weigh about 180,
    but I can't
    > really believe that is realistic, unless I give up muscle
    mass (or
    > chop off an arm). Thanks in advance.

    First, unless you're particularly muscular, you probably should weigh around 180, or less. However,
    those numbers are somewhat arbitrary, or at least based on societal norms, which aren't necessarily
    based on fit people. The real concern is your body fat percentage. You could easily go to a gym and
    have this tested, but my guess is that if you're over 200, you can probably still grab handfuls of
    the stuff. You know the old "if you can pinch an inch" rule of thumb? Well, just use that. If you
    can see and feel fat on your body, you're still too fat.

    Second, you don't really have to count calories if you just pay attention to *what* you're eating.
    Most avid cyclists burn enough calories that if they eat a basically healthy diet, keeping weight
    off isn't a problem. A really good approach to take is to eat as if you're diabetic, even if you
    aren't. But don't beat yourself up too much about it. You're way better off trying to make small,
    permanent improvements in your diet all the time, rather than try a totally new diet, which is
    likely to fail.

    You've done an amazing job already. Rather than look for the next magic bullet, work on the little
    tweaks to your lifestyle, which, over time, will really add up.

    Matt O.
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 08 Feb 2003 20:07:28 GMT, "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >You know the old "if you can pinch an inch" rule of thumb? Well, just use that.

    Hostage to fortune here in terms of double-entendres, but: either I'm doing it wrong or it's
    meaningless. I have low body fat (well-defined musculature and genuine six-pack) but can still
    "pinch an inch"

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  6. Bob

    Bob Guest

    How much did you weigh at 21 yrs old? If you were not over weight then, then that should be your
    weight now. I lost 40 lbs and I'm back to the wieght I was at 21. My therory is that a 21 year old a
    male stops growing as this age and his skeletal frame is as it's maximum size so that should be your
    wieght. I've had many male freinds say it can't be done for a man over 30, but I say BS because I
    did it and I feel great! I feel like I'm 21 agian.

    "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Americans being overweight and getting worse:
    >
    > http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=983550
    >
    > This got me thinking. I haven't ever done any BMI calculations on myself, but according to some of
    > the web calculators, my 5' 11" frame is considered obese at 220 pounds. I know that that can't
    > really be the case, since my leg muscles are at least twice the size of most non-cyclists and I
    > lift weights, but I know I'm carrying more fat than most cyclists I see around here. Some
    > background: I stopped riding after college, ate, drank and smoked for about 12 years (I'm 34), and
    > 2 years ago I started riding and getting in shape again. I did about 2000 miles in 2001 and 2800
    > last year. I went from about 270 to 215, and seem to have hit a plateau. Since the weather got
    > cold, I'm back up to 220 and holding (same as last year). I'm OK with that, but I would like to be
    > a little lighter overall. I don't have the discipline to count every calorie I take in. I did it
    > for a while, and it becomes very boring and tough to continue. I'm well aware of the weight loss
    > methods that work (IE: input less than you output), and I still pay attention to what I'm eating,
    > not just to the point I did when I was really loosing weight. I just want to get rid of the rest
    > of the spare tire.
    >
    > That being said, I know that many of the bikers around here are college students, and many are
    > fast enough to compete professionally. I'm not really at that level, never will be. Most of the
    > commuters are the same, and I suspect that many of them are also vegetarians as well. But still,
    > that is the only body shape reference I have. So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I
    > weigh less or not? Most web site calculators are telling me I should weigh about 180, but I can't
    > really believe that is realistic, unless I give up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks in
    > advance.
     
  7. [email protected] (Eric) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not? Most web site calculators are
    > telling me I should weigh about 180, but I can't really believe that is realistic, unless I give
    > up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks in advance.
    >

    I like the old way that said you were your perfect weight when you graduated from high school. I was
    135 and I am now 142 so obviously I am on that slippery slope (also 62 years old so I know it is all
    downhill).
     
  8. Eric wrote:
    >
    > That being said, I know that many of the bikers around here are college students, and many are
    > fast enough to compete professionally. I'm not really at that level, never will be. Most of the
    > commuters are the same, and I suspect that many of them are also vegetarians as well.

    I don't fit your assumptions. I'm in my mid-50s, and while I'm faster than most people I ride with,
    I certainly don't think of myself as racing material. I am a bike commuter, but I'm a dedicated
    carnivore.

    My body mass index generally varies from about 25 to 26 (summer to winter), which puts me either
    high-normal or low-overweight, depending who's counting. I was 10 to 15 pounds lighter at age 18,
    and quite lean indeed. For example, at that time I wouldn't float in fresh water. However, the
    calculator still rates that weight as "normal." My record max weight was 20 pounds over that high
    school weight.

    And, to motivate you: When I'm at BMI=25, it feels _way_ easier to climb hills.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  9. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The web site calculators speak with forked tongue - apparently at 6'1" and 185 I was overweight
    > (but at the itme I too was lifting weights, and cycling every day, and doing two circuit classes a
    > week). My body fat percentage was under 15% and still is.
    >
    > So my $0.02 is go to your gym and get a body fat reading (and make sure the operator asks you
    > about your diet and exercise regime first, since this informs the reading). That will be far more
    > accurate. If you're below 25% I really wouldn't worry at all.
    >
    > Guy

    Guy,

    You're right about BMI being inaccurate. You can be classified as "obese" while actually having a
    low body fat %. You can also be classified as "normal" or even "underweight" while actually have a
    relatively high body fat %. I agree with your advice to get a body fat reading. This is a much
    better indicator of healthy weight than BMI.

    However, I disagree with your statement "If you're below 25% I really wouldn't worry at all". 25% is
    way too high. Especially for males. Men should be under 15%, women under 22%. I, for example, am
    currently at 17% after my winter hibernation, and I consider myself flat out sloppy. I was around
    14% in October and still had quite a bit more fat than I wanted. Luckily, I have above average
    muscle mass, so I carry it fairly well appearance wise.

    BMI is a sham for athletes. It's intended for the hordes of couch potatoes, not those of us who
    enjoy using the body machine.

    Rick
     
  10. You sound a lot like ME...5'8" @220 lbs...

    I don't obsess over the BMI thing (I LOOOVE being male, don't have to have a flat tummy, etc); as
    long as I can sleep well at night, not run out of breath, and ride my daily route (20km, both ways)
    I figure I can eat whatever I want...

    ...funny thing is though; I DON'T overeat when I'm riding. (slows down the pace) As long as I watch
    what I eat over the holidays, my weight doesn't change (much).
     
  11. Gary German

    Gary German Guest

    "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Americans being overweight and getting worse:
    >
    > http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=983550
    >
    > This got me thinking. I haven't ever done any BMI calculations on myself, but according to some of
    > the web calculators, my 5' 11" frame is considered obese at 220 pounds.

    <snip>

    > So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not? Most web site calculators are
    > telling me I should weigh about 180, but I can't really believe that is realistic, unless I give
    > up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks in advance.

    Like the other posters, I recommend you get a body fat analysis. You might be surprised to learn how
    much fat you're still carrying.

    With regards to getting rid of it, assuming you're exercising reasonable portion control you should
    look at what you eat, and try to identify "problem foods". For some guys, it's beer and chips. For
    others it's hamburgers or steaks or cake. For me, it's cookies (chocolate chip, specifically). I've
    found it best to limit myself to one bag per month...otherwise, I just can't resist. Giving them up
    completely is too radical (and, would make life not worth living!). But, limiting them to once a
    month helps control my intake.

    GG
     
  12. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 08 Feb 2003 23:51:41 GMT, "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >How much did you weigh at 21 yrs old? If you were not over weight then, then that should be your
    >weight now.

    I've grown nearly 2" in height and put on 4" round the chest since then!

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  13. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:30:07 GMT, "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I disagree with your statement "If you're below 25% I really wouldn't worry at all". 25% is way too
    >high. Especially for males. Men should be under 15%, women under 22%.

    It depends whose figures you look at and what you mean by worry :) 25% is the upper end of the
    acceptable range according to some charts, or the bottom of the fatbastard range according to
    others. Either way it's not a cause for worry, but you should be aware that you certainly don't want
    to go any higher.

    Some places say that the normal range goes from 17% to 20% - 20% is probably more conservative, I
    guess. Depending on age, of course. Those of us who are in the sub-15% range are almost invariably
    placed in the "athletic" class in the various charts.

    >I, for example, am currently at 17% after my winter hibernation, and I consider myself flat out
    >sloppy. I was around 14% in October and still had quite a bit more fat than I wanted.

    But that's not quite the same as the generality of the population. 17% is perfectly acceptable for
    most people, and certainly not dangerous. 20% is perfectly acceptable. But let's not argue about the
    numbersm, as a quick Google shows that these vary from place to place (diet sites use higher figures
    than fitness sites, for example). Either way the person who takes the measurement should have
    accurate figures and recommendations.

    Bottom line: we agree - get the body fat measured and use that as a guide.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  14. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Well, that's why I'm asking. I really don't want to bother with being as fit as Muhammad Ali at his
    peak. I don't have the time or patience to work out that much, and I think that food is more than
    something to keep me alive. I ride a touring frame, use Shimano components, and I'm more intrested
    in the joy of riding than being able to keep up with Lance Armstrong.

    I guess what I'm asking is simply, am I some sort of freak because I ride for the fun of doing it?
    Am I the only one out there who doesn't really care if it takes me a 1/2 hour to climb a 10% grade
    for a mile? Am I the only bicyclist left who has hairy legs?

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Eric" wrote:
    >
    > > So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not?
    >
    > If you want to be a better cyclist, probably yes. Hauling 220 pounds up the hils is a lot of work.
    > Boxers typically have a lot more muscle mass than cyclists. Muhammad Ali was 6' 3" and his ideal
    > fighting weight was about
    > 210. So even by boxing standards, I would say you are on the heavy side. Sorry, but you did ask.
    > ;-)
    >
    > Art Harris
     
  15. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 9 Feb 2003 06:57:55 -0800, [email protected] (Eric) wrote:

    >Am I the only bicyclist left who has hairy legs?

    Shhhh! You'll wake Fabrizzio!

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  16. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I notice I tend to eat more during the week than on weekends, and in the summer it is much easier to
    not eat. Some of this seems to be weather related, but I think that some is more because I'm in the
    house/office more. If I'm outside, riding or skiing, I can't really eat much more than a frozen
    powerbar every few hours.

    Thanks for the advice.

    > Like the other posters, I recommend you get a body fat analysis. You might be surprised to learn
    > how much fat you're still carrying.
    >
    > With regards to getting rid of it, assuming you're exercising reasonable portion control you
    > should look at what you eat, and try to identify "problem foods". For some guys, it's beer and
    > chips. For others it's hamburgers or steaks or cake. For me, it's cookies (chocolate chip,
    > specifically). I've found it best to limit myself to one bag per month...otherwise, I just can't
    > resist. Giving them up completely is too radical (and, would make life not worth living!). But,
    > limiting them to once a month helps control my intake.
    >
    > GG
     
  17. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Eric" wrote:

    > I ride a touring frame, use Shimano components, and I'm more intrested in the joy of riding than
    > being able to keep up with Lance Armstrong.
    >
    > I guess what I'm asking is simply, am I some sort of freak because I ride for the fun of doing it?
    > Am I the only one out there who doesn't really care if it takes me a 1/2 hour to climb a 10% grade
    > for a mile? Am I the only bicyclist left who has hairy legs?

    No, you're not the only one. In fact, I find it refreshing that you can express your cycling
    interests in that way. I encounter too many middle-aged weekend warriors pushing themselves to
    exhaustion trying to "improve" or get faster. Cycling for fitness CAN be fun; it doesn't have to be
    all about suffering and competition. The type of riding required for general fitness is very
    different than that required for competition.

    In your first post you indicated that you'd like to lose a little more weight. That's probably true
    for all of us. Regular cycling will certainly help. And losing a few pounds will make you a better
    cyclist (which will make you want to ride more). My approach is to make sure riding is fun, not a
    chore. That's kept me riding for 25+ years.

    Art (6' 3" 195 lbs) Harris
     
  18. "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Bottom line: we agree - get the body fat measured and use that as a guide.
    >

    Actually I did this just last week and it was a good measure for future comparisons although I was
    a little confused and haven't understood quite how the measurement goes. This was in a fitness
    center. First my instructor said there was two different means of measuring from the scale. One
    was for normal persons and one was for athletes. He said he'd do both just to give me more
    material to compare with next time we do this. Maybe in six months or so. It was cheap anyways,
    just under ten dollars.

    OK so on the athletics scale I had 10% bodyfat. On the normal scale I had 18% bodyfat. We finished
    it off with the tweesers. On the legs I had 12mm ( bikers legs, right) On the tummy 32mm and the
    breasts were 22 mm. This added up I think to something like 22% bodyfat.

    So now I'm all confused. I like that first count of 10% but he tried explaining this with the fact
    that the scales really didn't know what was above the legs since they send signals from one foot
    to another. Having slim legs then would give a lower reading. Oh well I have comparison material
    now and if I can just get rid of another 22mmm on the belly I can leave some on my chest for the
    ladies to grab.

    --
    Replace the dots to reply

    Perre
     
  19. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Gary German" <[email protected]_NOSPAM_.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Americans being overweight and getting worse:
    > >
    > > http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=983550
    > >
    > > This got me thinking. I haven't ever done any BMI calculations on myself, but according to some
    > > of the web calculators, my 5' 11" frame is considered obese at 220 pounds.
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > > So, I'm asking the group for feedback. Should I weigh less or not? Most web site calculators
    > > are telling me I should weigh about 180, but I can't really believe that is realistic, unless I
    > > give up muscle mass (or chop off an arm). Thanks in advance.
    >
    > Like the other posters, I recommend you get a body fat analysis. You
    might
    > be surprised to learn how much fat you're still carrying.
    >
    > With regards to getting rid of it, assuming you're exercising reasonable portion control you
    > should look at what you eat, and try to identify "problem foods". For some guys, it's beer and
    > chips. For others it's hamburgers or steaks or cake. For me, it's cookies (chocolate chip,
    > specifically). I've found it best to limit myself to one bag per month...otherwise, I just can't
    > resist. Giving them up completely is too radical (and, would make life not worth living!). But,
    > limiting them to once a month helps control my intake.

    The best way to avoid those things is to avoid them at the grocery store. If you don't have it in
    the pantry, you're not likely to eat it.

    Robin Hubert
     
  20. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Per Elmsäter wrote:

    > OK so on the athletics scale I had 10% bodyfat. On the normal scale I had 18% bodyfat. We finished
    > it off with the tweesers. On the legs I had 12mm ( bikers legs, right) On the tummy 32mm and the
    > breasts were 22 mm. This added up I think to something like 22% bodyfat.
    >
    > So now I'm all confused.

    Just to confuse you some more, here is another calculation method from the YMCA:

    Men's %Fat = (-98.42 + 4.15*waist - .082*weight)/weight

    (waist in inches, measured at the navel, weight in pounds)

    This is supposed to be pretty accurate.

    And the reason for the "athlete" vs. "normal" setting on the scale: someone who has been doing
    aerobic training for years has a higher blood volume than an untrained person.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
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