What will make me slimmer? Zone 3 or zone 4 training?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by SpecializedMok, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. SpecializedMok

    SpecializedMok New Member

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    Hey all,

    What would make me slim down more? Training in zone 3 (aerobic) or zone 4 (anerobic)? I'm not sure if I provided enough info but I can if necessary..
     
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  2. mattyb

    mattyb New Member

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    The more power you produce, the more kj you will burn per hour.
    The balance is being able to go long enough to burn enough kj.

    If you only have 30mins, then ride you ass off. If you have 4 hours, then zone 2 will be more than enough to burn off some pies.
     
  3. SpecializedMok

    SpecializedMok New Member

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    Ok so let's say I do 2 hour rides then if I could hold the entire duration at zone 4 heartrate then that would be best to slim down right?
     
  4. Sid Nitzerglobi

    Sid Nitzerglobi New Member

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    From what I've read on the subject (which could be wrong), an aerobic pace (zones 2/3) will be more conducive to fat burning than an anaerobic one (zone 4/5). Not that you won't burn fat in zones 4 and 5, it's just harder to burn for the total effort put in.
     
  5. jollyrogers

    jollyrogers New Member

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    Consuming fewer calories (and more nutrients) will do more to promote weight loss than any training that you do. Levels 4 and 5 are still primarily fueled by aerobic metabolism.
     
  6. SpecializedMok

    SpecializedMok New Member

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    Ok so assuming I am consuming few calories which would best serve my purpose to get slimmer? Zone 3 or 4?
     
  7. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner!

    Control over the amount of energy that goes in (food consumption) versus the energy you expend (exercise) will be far and away more beneficial/effective to your efforts to slim down. Keep your exercise in the aerobic zone where your energy source will be primarily fat.
     
  8. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    I find that if I go really hard/long on a given day, I have trouble not eating a lot for about 24 hrs afterward, which makes it hard to lose weight. If I stick to shorter rides (say <2hrs) this doesn't happen and it's easier to lose weight. Whether it's L3/L4 or whatever doesn't matter so much.
     
  9. Enriss

    Enriss New Member

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    It seems to me like it's almost more important that you stay in the aerobic zone because of how much more energy you can burn there, rather than the balance of fat/glycogen as a fuel source. Considering the idea of caloric balance, intake - output = deficit which results in weightloss, so if you can do exercise that burns lots of calories, you'll lose more weight.

    If your aerobic efforts aren't burning any more calories than you could burn in anaerobic efforts(which really just means you should go for longer/more intense but still aerobic efforts), I don't see why you shouldn't do the anaerobic efforts.

    Edit: Maybe I should clarify that I understand that lower intensity efforts take a higher percentage of their energy from fat, but even if the body does burn lots of glycogen, I was under the impression that the body could replenish glycogen stores from fat stores. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm certainly not an expert.
     
  10. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Fat stores do not replenish glycogen.
    Harder exercise that burns more glycogen will cause a greater appetite response as the body desires (cravings) to replace those empty stores. This situation creates a scenario ripe for binge eating - which isn't very conducive to weight loss.

    Stay primarily aerobic, control your eating, and you will definitely slim down. The equation is not complicated, but it takes discipline.
     
  11. DancenMacabre

    DancenMacabre New Member

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    Getting thinner, whether you are a cyclist, runner, swimmer, etc, all comes down to a simple equation. That clearly being: calories in vs. calories burned/used.

    Keep that balance negative consistently and over time, and voila, weight loss. The opposite is true when the balance is positive (meaning calories in > calories burned/used).

    My own experience with training at different levels and hunger/appetite seems to be that anything L5/L6 appears to suppress my appetite, L4 doesn't increase or decrease my appetite, it stays consistent, and finally, long L3 or lower rides, definitely stimulate my appetite.

    I've got a wholly unscientific theory on why and my idea is that L5/L6 might result in the release of such significant quantities of stress-related hormones, in response to the demands of that training, that the end result is to suppress appetite...temporarily if nothing else.

    Again, that's purely anecdotal and unscientific, so I'm sure there's a science based answer out there.
     
  12. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    It's almost impossible to do any thing else but stay aerobic on a longer ride.

    Glycogen will still be the primary fuel substrate utilised at just about all intensities.

    It's about the overall energy balance over the medium-term. Mostly that's about practicing the art of fork control. Unless you are doing some serious volume riding, or long stage racing where it can be difficult to eat enough.
     
  13. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    I have to differ here on a few points; first a long ride can easily include anaerobic efforts. Second, the body stores about 2000 calories of glycogen in the liver and muscles a long ride may burn 4-5 thousand calories so if you aren't adding glucose then the body has to switch to burning only stored fat, this is an unpleasant feeling often referred to hitting the wall or bonking.

    To the OP the great majority of your calories burned throughout the week are burned while your not cycling, most of the day everyday you are in the so called "fat burning zone" so you can train in whatever zone you want the calories burned are the important number not the source. If you really need to slim down count calories in and out. You should always have a net consumption of calories, a zero balance would be crazy dangerous and I've read from multiple sources that 1200 net calories is the bare minimum one should consume.

    A pound of body weight is 3500 calories so if your weight is stable you need to decrease your net intake(or increase your usage) by 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week. By far the best way to do this is to eliminate high calorie low nutrition foods and keep track of everything you put in your mouth.
     
  14. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Alex, I fully understand that this is the best you can do where agreeing with me is concerned, so I'll take what I can get. Thanks:D.

    The bolded statement, however, I disagree with as I have seen enough lab tests other than my own to know that at relatively low intensities fat burning provides the bulk of the energy utilized. Yes, glycogen is burned but its contribution to total calories expended is not greater than that from stored fat. An individual's muscle composition (% type I vs. type II) is a critical component of this aspect (fat:glycogen burning) as well.
     
  15. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Yes but as a proportion of the total energy output, 99+% will be from aerobic metabolism on long rides.

    Then eat along the way. Not doing so on very long rides is just dumb. If you don't then you'll simply be forced to go slower.

    Even so, up to that point the body has still primarily used glycogen as fuel. I am not saying exclusively, it will use both. The harder you go, the greater the reliance on glycogen, but even at quite low intensities (e.g. rest and recovery levels) it's still about 50:50.

    Here, this chart might provide some assistance with understanding this:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. jollyrogers

    jollyrogers New Member

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    How long do you have to train? Ride as hard as you can, as long as you can, and still be recovered enough to ride the next time you are able.

    If you have 1h15m or less, ride Level 4
    1h15m-3h, ride tempo
    >3h, ride L2
     
  17. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Thanks for that image it illustrates my point perfectly! Your body uses carbohydrates and fat, with carbs being proportional to effort. What I pointed out is that glycogen is one of the carbohydrates the other is glucose.

    Saturday I am doing a ride that will take, hopefully, less than 12 hours but certainly more than 10. Knowing that this will burn about 10,000 calories I have to assume that the primary source of energy expended will not be roughly 2000 calories of glycogen but the many thousands of calories I consume before and during the event.
     
  18. SpecializedMok

    SpecializedMok New Member

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    I do about 1h15m-3h. Tempo is what? Zone 3 (aerobic)?
     
  19. Enriss

    Enriss New Member

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    Man, I wish I could hold 300 or so watts for 10 hours.
     
  20. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Facetiousness is cool, heh, heh.

    FWIW though, per my lab test I burn 18cal/minute at only 220w. Doing the math, that works out to ~1100cal/hr. These numbers don't even take into account the 'slow component' aspect...
     
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