Starting out...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ohheyitsandrew, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. ohheyitsandrew

    ohheyitsandrew New Member

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    Hey everyone. First off, I want to tell you a bit about myself, and background. I'm 21, 6-0, and tipping the scales at 235lbs, right now. I ride a Trek 4300, i'm assuming you know what it is, so I won't go on with details.

    I just got into cycling about 1.5 months ago, and I am looking for pointers, tips, and advice for training, and getting ready for spring time/summer time riding.

    I obviously need to cut alot of weight. I believe i'm taking the right steps to get there too. Here's my typical diet: 2 Eggs for breakfast, OJ. Green tea, and a small bag of chips for lunch at work. Then a choice of lean Beef or Chicken, with a genorous portion of veggies, and rice. Thats typically what I eat in a day. I have cut out soda, and carbonated drinks. I'm not in college anymore, but I still live in a college town, Beer is plentiful (which is why I weigh 235). I have cut down considerably with the beer and liqour. Down to about 4 drinks a week.

    My training as of right now consists of all indoor training, since I live in Iowa, and it's already gotten really cold up here to ride in the morning before I go to work. I hydrate, hydrate, hydrate at work. I get off work, and I don't eat until i'm off of my bike. I ride for 1 hour every other day, and on days between anywhere from 30-45minutes, to rest muscles. I cruise at about 90-95RPM, no clips. I'm not looking to build muscle, I want to drop weight, and I figured high rev, low drag would be the best way to do that. Sustaining a long period of riding and getting cardio up. I don't have a computer yet to accuratlely say how fast i'm going.

    So yeah, I think that about covers it. If you guys have any opinions on things I can tweak, or just some general pointers for a big guy like myself to cut weight faster, those would be appreciated. I used to play Linebacker in football. I have a really good amount of muscle under all of this. I feel if I get to 190-195, that would be my perfect riding weight. Thoughts?
     
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  2. curby

    curby New Member

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    just a quick thought, an hour a day doesnt sound like overdoing it. i remember 2 yrs ago when an hour workout left me feeling like i needed a complete rest day the next day, but if weight loss is your main goal i'm thinking longer workouts might be the way...

    also i'd worry about you getting enough nutrition... if nothing else minerals and vitamins. green leafy vegetables?


    all's'miles

    curby
     
  3. ohheyitsandrew

    ohheyitsandrew New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I take a multi-vitamin every day, and my veggies I eat at night are alot of frozen california mix, or straight broccolli. I like salads but I tend to overdo it on the dressing alot so I shy away from salads as much as I can, unless I go out to eat.

    Does it sound like im on the right track?
     
  4. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    Your perfect riding weight is probably more like 170, but 190 is a good near term goal.

    My advice: you currently spend somewhere around 5 hrs/wk on the bike (guessing a bit). That's not very much, so you need to maximize what you get. I would recommend 3 workouts of about 1.5+ hrs each, working very hard (and axe the in between days --- or better yet go up to 4-5 hard workouts a week). Do something like this: 10 mins slow ramping warmup, 40 mins hard, 5 mins rest, 40 mins hard. (The 5 minutes is a mental rest mainly.) By the end of the workout you should be dusted so you feel it the next day too. If you do this, a big guy like you should burn about 1500 calories in the 95 mins (and your metabolism will stay a bit higher all the time).

    On the food front, you may find you have to eat a bit more carbs or you will feel tired. In that case replace some meat with some pasta/rice/etc.

    Last thing: working out indoors all the time will get really really boring, so I'd recommend getting outside any time you can to break the monotony. When you do you will find you can easily do much harder workouts.
     
  5. millzebub

    millzebub New Member

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    I have been riding for a little over a year and started in a similar situation to you. I am 36, 6'0 and when I started I was about 225lbs. I am just now dipping below 200, still 30lbs above my ultimate goal. I think you can definitely reach your goals but it may take a while. That being said, I have not been watching my diet that well during this time, so you may have faster results than me:)

    as far as training goes, I think you will get results with an hour every other day. However, I would think at least 5 days a week would speed up the process. I do two 2.5-3 hour rides on the weekends and ride the trainer during the week. I think if you could get some long rides in, you would be burning plenty of calories with the diet you posted.

    Good luck!!
    John
     
  6. RelevantAaron

    RelevantAaron New Member

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    I'm not in the "do more" crowd, but I think you can get a lot more out of your training time by including intervals, etc. I don't do a lot (okay lately zero) indoor training, but a lot of people swear by sinpervals DVDs,
     
  7. ohheyitsandrew

    ohheyitsandrew New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I say 190 would be my ideal weight because, I feel thats my natural weight. When I cut weight when I played football, I got sick, and felt really weak under 190. Plus I enjoy being a little bit bigger. I have alot of muscle under all of this. :)

    I thought I mentioned I eat rice with my meals at night, maybe I forgot it. But I do get alot of that in my system.

    As non-enjoyable indoor riding is, it is unbearably cold for me to ride here in Iowa. I'm not a cold weather guy by any means. Plus I ride after work, which is pitch black by the time I get off, and that's a whole different story, because I would have to get a light, etc. I will tough it out until Spring, i'm hoping. Thanks for everything!
     
  8. ohheyitsandrew

    ohheyitsandrew New Member

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    Thanks alot!

    I think i'm getting the general gist that I need to ride longer. Any comment on my RPMs? High RPM for a longer time would be best? Correct? I'm currently averaging 90-95RPM for about an hour.
     
  9. ohheyitsandrew

    ohheyitsandrew New Member

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    What do you mean by intervals?
     
  10. jakedouglas

    jakedouglas New Member

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    I'm in a similar boat. I'm 6' @ 205lbs. What I have found is that alcohol holds me back ever step of the way until I have just a week ago managed to do away with it completely. One drink leads to another, leads to snacking on shitty food, laying in bed instead of getting up and hopping on my bike etc. At many points my caloric intake from alcohol exceeded that of food. I don't know if your pattern is similar but it sounds like it is.

    Chips and dressing will not do you much good unfortunately. In a college town yes, this is way better than beer and burgers, but you really need to find some healthy stuff. I happen to work at a natural foods distributor so this comes easy for me, but the grocery store has plenty of stuff.

    Packing myself at breakfast is key for me. A typical breakfast is a bowl of healthy cereal (whole bran, granola etc) or oatmeal, with nonfat milk. Raisin muffin with peanut butter. Low fat yogurt. A cup of green tea, vitamins. This large breakfast gives me healthy energy that can last sometimes up to 4-5 hours before I feel hungry again. I've read all over the place that studies find people who eat a good breakfast are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

    Learn to recognize where your calories are sneaking in. Its very easy to put enough dressing on a salad that has more calories than 3 slices of pizza. And that a decent pizza isn't all that bad for you! Similar to you I'd imagine, I don't really care for salad without dressing. So I just try to get my veggies in other places.

    I also had to stop the undereat until I'm so hungry I eat too much thing. The result is the same as if I hadn't tried, except it ruined my day. Basically I just make sure I don't eat when I'm not hungry. I eat as much as I feel like I need to, and then I ride more.

    I remember when I first got on the bike about 6 months ago I could barely get out of bed for days after. I kept it up, just riding short distances to work and around town. Now I can ride ~2 hours every day with good amounts of climbing and I feel alright.

    Ditch the booze and ride as much as you can. Soon you'll be hooked =)
    -Jake
     
  11. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    On the salad thing - I gave up salad dressing years ago when I learned how many calories it has.

    I put vinegar on my salad now. I actually prefer that to salad dressing. Give it a try.
     
  12. millzebub

    millzebub New Member

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    I think that 90-95rpm is good. I believe the higher rpm works the cardiovascular system more, which I'm not sure translates into more calories burned. You will gain more endurance though.

    Lower rpms are good for gaining strength although you may have to do very low cadence in a very hard gear to experience serious muscle growth. I try to stay around 85-90rpm which suits me. I think anything above 75rpm is probably fine.

    When I started riding I only cared about losing weight and of course burning calories. As I got more into it I started to get more interested in my performance over the weight loss, which happily happened anyway

    :) They are linked however, especially with climbing ability. So I have developed a double motivation. The more I train the more weight I lose and the faster I become on the climbs.

    If you don't have a powermeter on your indoor trainer you might want to invest in a heartrate monitor. It can help you to focus on different levels of training, which burn calories at different rates. I have a cateye version which works pretty well. It also displays calories burned.(not sure how accurately though)

    You asked about intervals, which are very popular on these forums, and for good reason! These are blocks of time spent training at a certain intensity. I like to do 2x20s which are 2 20 minute efforts at a pretty hard sustained level. Lots of people do others at shorter durations with higher efforts and longer durations with less effort. Generally, the shorter the interval, the harder the effort. You usually have a 5min break in between intervals, which can be stopping or just easy spinning. The shorter intervals will probably have a lot shorter break in between intervals. Anyway, if you do a search for interval training you will find a lot of related threads.

    I think to get the most out of your short training time, you do need to be able to gauge your intensity level somehow. Whether that is a powermeter, heart rate monitor or a stop watch :D

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  13. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    holy crap man.... i eat more than that in a day an i'm 5'7 and 125lbs (down for a max of 150).. a bag of chip for lunch? if i ate a bag of chips for lunch and tried to do a workout after work i would pass out... i'm serious .. either that or i would end up sick after a short period of time.

    do you feellike you have enough energy to do your evening workout on that diet? you have to remember that it's a blancing act. you need to balance calorie reduction with energy to do a good workout.. if you cut too much calories you impare your ability to do exercise, which is counter productive at the end of the day. the other thing is that you want to balance you food intake during the day... i find that if you concentrate food intake to one time during the day and starve yourself at other times you don't lose weight as fast as if you just kinda top up your reserves all day long... learn not to stuff yourself. eat until you are full and stop, you don't have to finish everything now, you can eat it later if you are hungry again... but don't starve yourself during the day that's a big mistake... you are teaching your body to store food away (as fat) for times when it will be depleated.. if your body knows that food is adequate food is around then it will just burn it as it needs it rather that storing it away.

    typical weekday for me:
    10am breakfast - bagel w peanut butter and jam + some fruit juice + vitamins
    1pm lunch - chilli + roll + choc milk maybe salad or some days similar to dinner
    3-4pm small snack or lunch left overs
    ~6-7 pm workout
    8-9pm dinner - rice/pasta + some meat + veg + fruit juice

    typical weekend ride for me:
    9am ride (breakfast is 2 granola bars on the road)
    12pm lunch - 2x eggs + bagel + juice
    3pm small snack + juice
    7pm dinner - rice/pasta + some meat + veg + fruit juice
    10pm snack + juice

    i think your workout are fine at every other day and at about 1 hour. it really sucks doing long workouts inside.. i wouldn't do anything more that 1.5hrs in a session inside. if you can get outside on the weekends for at least a min. 2hr sessions that would be very helpful. but inside i would keep it short and sweet. you are more than likely lacking intensity and interval training will give you that plus it will allow you to concentrate for a set amount of time rather than just turning the pedals over for the length of the workout.

    since you are just starting out i would start with 4 times a week (e.g. tue, weds, sat, sun):
    60mins total time... with 15min warm up, a10min interval, 10min recovery then another 10min interval, then 15min cooldown.

    do this for a few weeks and then start adding in 1x20min with same warm up and cool down twice a week... when you get comfortable with doing the 20min workout graduate to 2x20mins twice a week with keeping the 2x10mins workouts the other days

    the rpms are not a good measure of how much work you are doing... power (rpms x torque (i.e. how hard you are pressing the pedals)) for the duration is what you should be looking at. without a power meter you can use speed as a surrogate for power (some indoor trainer even have a chart that will tell you how much power for a given speed on that trainer). so what you want to do is maintain a certain speed on the trainer (won't mesh necessarily with you outdoor speed) at a comfortable cadence (85-95rpms is not bad... you figure out what works best for you) for the duration of the interval... remeber you want to maximise the power/speed for the longest time so don't go and blast your 1st interval and die or not even complete the second one. you want to pace yourself so that you the TWO intervals ave is at the right intensity... will take a little while to figure out how hard to go... start out conservatively and edge the intensity up if you can do more... also for these workouts, this time of the year you don't want to be going out and doing 100% of what you are capable of doing you want to do 85-90% of what you are capable of doing... you will get amost the same addapations from 85-90% as you would if you were doing 100% and it doesn't hurt nearly as much... a kinda dull pain rather than having your legs screeming out for you to stop.

    [edit] **important** probaly the biggest factor to your success in training indoors is proper cooling... i.e. the biggest, baddest industrial fan you can find and opening up a window to let that cold air in.. i start with a shirt on through my warm up and remove it as i start my 1st interval.. without proper cooling you just won't be able to do the workout at a very high intensity i.e. anywhere close to what you can do outdoors.
     
  14. rwinthenorth

    rwinthenorth New Member

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    I'm 6'-1" 169lbs. and definately feel this is a good riding weight. You might find as you lose the weight, you'll want to keep losing. Being lighter is easier on the body and gives you more energy during the day.This also saves on upgrading to lighter components:D .

    Note on the diet: Like other posters I'd recommend a breakfast with whole grains and fruit. Ditch the chips at lunch in favor of fruit and PB&J. I eat 1 cup of yogurt with granola a few minutes before my workouts for energy on the bike and eat a light dinner. FWIW, using a small plate will decrease your portions at dinner. Calories in vs. calories out. Just don't short change your body before working out.
     
  15. kslim

    kslim New Member

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    Hi there ohheyitsandrew,

    You've (probably inadvertantly) picked one of the big questions with this one. The whole area of weight loss and exercise (and to a somewhat lesser extent - diet) can be quite complex, and there have been many studies trying to determine the holy grail of "ideal diet and exercise program for weight loss". You've probably noticed all the different diets and advice out there - which is usually a good sign that the definitive answer is yet to be defined.

    A few broad points - many of which have been covered by previous posters.

    Exercise : Greater duration is better, with at least 30-40 minutes minimum duration, and 60 minutes plus being ideal. Preferably 5 days a week. If it is a choice between duration or intensity - when it comes to weight loss, studies seem to favour duration, with moderate intensity. Longer duration with vigourous intensity is probably better, but is probably not a realistic starting point.

    The question about cadence (rpm's) can not be answered without knowing more about the actual workload (ie resistance), but as a generalisation - probably better to keep to a high cadence with less resistance (and longer duration of exercise).

    With weight loss, the importance of "incidental exercise" can not be overstated. Get any exercise you can off the bike as well. Climbing the stairs at work, walking to the shop etc. You'll burn up more calories walking to the shop than riding. Unfortunately from the weight loss perspective, bikes are quite efficient converters of expended energy.

    Diet : Simply put - fewer calories, but spread evenly throughout the day. Try not to skip meals, try to have a balanced diet. All diets seem to work in the end, so don't get too hung up on protein or carbs initially. If you are training for a specific goal, this advice would be different. Try to remove "excess calories". Drop the OJ and have a piece of fruit instead. Lose the chips and have a baked potato (fried food has extra fat, which is more calory dense). If you are having a lot of rice, you may need to reduce your portion size at dinner time. Consider doing up a diet diary and talking to a health professional about it. You may be surprised where the calories can sneak in. Bear in mind though, that there is a 20-30% variation between calculated energy requirements and expenditure based on textbooks and real life numbers. Some people are simply more "efficient" utilisers of energy (and unfortunately put on weight more easily)

    You sound motivated (the most important thing). You have set yourself a reasonable goal (I usually advise 10% body wt to start with).

    I would consider increasing your total exercise time, and try to increase incidental exercise. Have a close look at the diet (diet accounts for about 80% of weight loss). Try to keep it fun.
     
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