I can hardly believe I'm actually concerned about this but...

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by wackydeirdre, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    I was very overweight for many years. I began cycling to help get off the excess pounds and tone up a bit. I now am a 42 yr old 5'8" female weighing 140 lbs. and am getting, believe it or not, too skinny. I eat plenty and don't really want to put on weight as it will go to my belly, hips and butt. My upper body however, is very trim. Particularly my arms, face, neck and chest ( with exception of a certain area which is, thank goodness, proportionate ). I'd like to firm up the afore mentioned spots but am not really certain how. Once I do that, I'm going to have to do something so as not to get any thinner. I want to be all around toned but don't want to look like a man. I really enjoy cycling and don't want to give that up, if anything, I want to train harder and get into racing. Any ideas?
     
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  2. wilmar13

    wilmar13 New Member

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    You will get more responses if you post this in the training forum.
     
  3. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    Find a local gym and start weight training and keep bicycling. A good circuit weight class will do wonders!
     
  4. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    Find a coach for the racing, and training if you can afford the expense. A good one can also hook you up with the INDIVIDUAL nutritional information, and training perameters you'll need. Ask around the LBS for recommendations. If that's not possibible, try keeping a log of what you eat (make it good food, you know what that means) and then see if you're getting enough calories. If you're losing too much weight you're not only not eating enough, or often enough (try eating smaller at least 4-6 times a day) to maintain your weight, but not enough to increase your performance to the next level. Check your weight in the morning every day, and compare that with your log and you can find a calorie level that will allow you to maintain your weight. You can find plenty of information on calorie requirements, meal planning etc.. at the library or bookstore if you don't opt for a coach. Check with your doctor also before you really ramp up your training. Remember that your body is going to go through a lot of changes as you increase your aerobic training.:)

    Good luck
     
  5. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks wilmar13 !:) Will do.
     
  6. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Weight isn't the problem. I have been checking it daily and am steadily 140 lbs. It may sound like a lot of weight but I am 5'8". The thing is, my size keeps decreasing. I have reduced from a size 6 to a size 4 since I my original post. I unfortunately cannot afford a personal trainer as I am divorced and have 5 children to support so that isn't an option. I guess I'll keep on keepin' on and go to the doctor to see if she is concerned by it. I do wish I could afford a personal trainer though since I'd like to be more firm in some areas than I am at present. I'll take it though, It beats the heck out of morbid obesity! Thanks!
     
  7. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks! I've been wanting to join a gym for some time but haven't yet since I never seemed to have time. I don't have time to cycle either but do anyhow. I suppose I'll have to make time for a gym the way I make time to cycle.
     
  8. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    You might want to take a look into the physiological effects of endurance training, because it sorta sounds like your body is adapting to it pretty well(believe it or not). So... you may wish to modify your training and racing goals if it's contrary to your overall fitness and appearance goals. If you want to add muscle mass, you are going to have to add strength training to your routine, you can target specific areas that way. The physiques of endurance athletes (long distance runners, cyclists, triathletes etc...) are usually very lean (and "skinny muscled looking" for lack of a better term) compared to athletes who specialize in other types of sports because strength training is usually not performed "during the season", in fact, it's discouraged. Strength training can be incorporated later in the "off-season." Look up fast-twitch vs slow twitch muscle fibres etc... You can find lots of books on effective training methods no matter what your goals are.
     
  9. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks for your input. I feel a lot better knowing I actually look the way I should. I had a feeling about it but am glad to have some confirmation from someone knowledgeable on the subject. I do wonder why I don't have more muscle tone in the backs of my thighs and buttocks though. Is it common for a cyclist to be lean in those areas yet not as toned as in other areas of the body? I'm beginning to challenge myself attempting higher gears and cadence in more up hill areas and feeling the burn in the rear of my thighs but wonder what to do to firm up my buttocks short of pilates. I really enjoy cycling, it's the only time during the day when the only things I concentrate on are my breathing, oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, children who might possibly dart into the street, my cadence and speed. I would like to be able to get a full body work out during my rides. I also am curious about how I will know when I am ready for racing. The competition and company would be good for me. I presently cycle around the neighborhood for the most part. The highway is too dangerous to attempt alone but I think would be fine in groups. I presently cycle between 18 and 20 mph with my cadence between 80 and 130.
     
  10. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

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    You're ready for racing whenever you decide, most races run numerous catagories so you won't be racing with the Pros and catagory 1 and 2 riders. I'ts a good idea to start riding with the local club(s) first to get used to riding in a group. Lots of clubs put on weekend and "twilight" races, so usually that's a great place to start. Join the USCF, and get racing, that'll explain the catagories, and most races require at least a single day membership and it's cheaper to buy the annual licence if you plan on racing more than a few times. When you race you'll be "elbow to elbow" and "wheel to wheel" with other riders at speeds that will amaze you, and you have to be comfortable (mostly;) ) and able to hold your line, so the group rides will help you do that. Most good bike shops have rides and clubs.

    The most important thing you can do to get ready to race is make sure you have a good aerobic base, so that means that you need to spend lots of hours (and hours and hours;) ) riding at what might seem a lower effort than you might think. If you know your max heart rate, you should be at about 70-80% of that for most of the ride. Believe it or not, it's usually easier to get people to ride their "harder" workouts than their "easier" ones. If you don't know your max heart rate you can "estimate" it by taking 220 minus your age. That could be a little low based on the riding your doing. Plan on at least one long ride a week in that "Zone." How long? You need to decide based on your current level, but probably at least 2.5 to 3, but kinda feel that out based on how you feel and your current fitness level, it's better to start slow and work up. Then have a "Recovery ride" the next day at about 60-70% of that for maybe an hour. You won't feel all beat-up after these rides, and that's good because you're trying to train your body to be more efficient working progressively harder and for much longer periods of time. You can start to add hills and drills once you have your "base" built up. Total body workouts are not for bike racers, sorry. Lance made a quote the other day about not being able to build a rock wall on his property in Texas 'cause he might add muscles he "didn't need.:rolleyes: " We're not lance, but there's a point, small one, in that. You do need to work your "core" though. Maybe get an exercise ball and do some crunches, back extensions, and wall lunges. The lunges will help firm the rear-end. Do plenty of passive stretching too.
    How many days a week, and how many hours do you want to ride, er get away from the world and kids? How competitive do you want to get? It's very addicting once you get started.
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    First, congrats on losing the weight. It takes a lot of discipline and organization to get on the bike everyday, especially with 5 kids! As to the body that you are developing from cycling only, it is quite normal and predictable. Cycling doesn't produce large muscles, even in the legs and buttocks. And, cycling produces no muscles in the upper body. That's because of the nature of the muscular activity in cycling. Cycling involves very high reps and very low resistance. Even when you're going 18-20 mph, your legs are putting very little force on the pedals. The weight of your legs alone are probably producing 20+ pounds. A little push on the downstroke will easily raise that to 40-50 pounds. That's enough weight on the cranks to go 18-20 mph if your cadence is high enough (e.g., 100). The upper body is virtually dormant, just providing stability so that your hips aren't moving around on the saddle. Cycling alone will make you extremely fit and lean, but may not produce the sculpting you are looking for, especially in the upper body. For that, you should supplement cycling with some muscle specific exercises. If you want tone, do low weights and high reps. If you want shape, do high weights and low reps. You might want to check out the Russian Kettlebells for upper body workouts. BTW, I don't attach much significance to weight. Rather, I measure body fat %. This is not to be confused with the body mass index, which is just a height/weight formula. I mean the percentage of body fat that is measured with calipers or electrical impulse devices that actually measure your body fat.

    As to racing, the first thing you need to learn to do is to stay with the group in front. Otherwise, you are really on an organized training ride. You are probably now riding at a relatively steady pace and power output. Staying with the group in front requires that you survive the surges and the climbs, when your power output goes up significantly for anywhere from 2-10 minutes. It's very hard to learn to do that riding alone. Try to find out where and when some strong riders in your area ride their training rides. If you can, ride with them. At a minimum, hook up with a group of strong riders on the weekends. Stay with the group in front as long as possible. You'll get dropped initially, but eventually you should be able to stay with them. When you can stay with the group in front, you're ready to race.
     
  12. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    It is possible that you are already doing too much. Give your body time to recover from exercise, by having days when you don't cycle or cycle very gently. Learning to take it easy can be harder than learning to push yourself. If you want to race then you will have to accept that you may end up looking like Paula Radcliffe, not like a man, just very skinny.
     
  13. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks for the very nicely thought out reply. I have developed muscle tone in my arms and calves but nothing that can be seen unless I am flexing them. I am guessing this was what you were refering to. Please don't get me wrong, I don't want to look like a body builder. I've just come such a long way in a short time that flab really bothers me. I would be happier if my butt were more firm but oh well, I guess I should be happy with what I've got at the age of 42! As for the remainder of your letter, it was very informative and will help me a great deal. Thank you!
     
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