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OK- I am 18 years old, 6'2, 170 pounds with 7% BF. I have been watching what I eat (avoiding sugar, high fat foods, not eating till full, etc), lifting weights (with a program set up by a trainer to help me with cycling, and to lose fat), and riding. Just to make it clear, I'm not restricting calories, or starving myself. I've heard that as you get closer to 0% BF, it gets harder to lose fat. My goal is to get down to 4% BF for my season. Is this a realitic goal, or am I pushing too hard? Also, is this a level of body fat that is sustainable is the long run? I'm not sure what the typical pro racers body composition/weight looks like, but since this is my goal, I figure that I should be working towards it. I don't have much weight to lose, but I would like to be a little lighter.
Any other ideas or thoughts would be cool.
Thanks
 

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Seems a bit low to me.

Tour de France racers can get down into the 4-5 percent range during the later stages of the race. However, at that level, the immune system can get out of whack and the risk of infections (bronchitis, etc.) goes up significantly. Also, you lose a bit of "cushioning" for your internal organs. A more sustainable (and healthy) level is around 10 percent (give or take).

At your age, I wouldn't necessarily work on losing weight, but rather concentrate on training and nutrition. You still have a few years of body development left, so I wouldn't skimp on diet.

As for the pros, you seem to be somewhere in the George Hincapie/Miguel Indurain neighborhood. Not featherweight, but can/could sure get up and down the mountains.
 

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I am 6'1"-6'2" and once was down under 160. That was with no muscle at all, and a lot of miles in the legs.

A reasonable minimum weight for you is probably 160-165. Where are you getting your current BF% number? It could be off by 1-2%, therefore discussing it relative to lots of other people becomes less relevant.

Don't worry so much about the pros. Unless you are trying to become one, they are a different breed and how they live may not apply to me and you.

Silas
 

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Dunno about that weight...

At 170 pounds, nc has about 12 pounds of body fat (presuming the 7 percent estimate is correct). To get to 160-165, he'd undoubtedly need to lose some lean mass, which wouldn't be a hot idea.

Of course, there's always LA who had that kind of weight loss, but cancer and chemo seem like a terrible way to lose it.
 

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The Right Wing
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Re-direct your training

nc-rider said:
OK- I am 18 years old, 6'2, 170 pounds with 7% BF. I have been watching what I eat (avoiding sugar, high fat foods, not eating till full, etc), lifting weights (with a program set up by a trainer to help me with cycling, and to lose fat), and riding. Just to make it clear, I'm not restricting calories, or starving myself. I've heard that as you get closer to 0% BF, it gets harder to lose fat. My goal is to get down to 4% BF for my season. Is this a realitic goal, or am I pushing too hard? Also, is this a level of body fat that is sustainable is the long run? I'm not sure what the typical pro racers body composition/weight looks like, but since this is my goal, I figure that I should be working towards it. I don't have much weight to lose, but I would like to be a little lighter.
Any other ideas or thoughts would be cool.
Thanks
Hold your weight and BF right where it is. It is perfect for March. Jan would kill for your numbers in March. Focus focus focus on power at threshold for the next two months (2 x 20 min. at T'hold power twice a week) 3-4 hours light on Sunday. In april add sprint specific drills such as sprints (duh) and short full power hill repeats (always fun!). Keep you diet steady and healthy as you ramp up the training and your BF will adjust slightly, maybe go down 1 to 2%, but this is not that important, even at the Div.3 pro level, if that is what you are shooting for, after you learn some racing ;-) Remember power-to-weight is the key, and power is 50% of that equation.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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nc-rider said:
OK- I am 18 years old, 6'2, 170 pounds with 7% BF. I have been watching what I eat (avoiding sugar, high fat foods, not eating till full, etc), lifting weights (with a program set up by a trainer to help me with cycling, and to lose fat), and riding. Just to make it clear, I'm not restricting calories, or starving myself. I've heard that as you get closer to 0% BF, it gets harder to lose fat. My goal is to get down to 4% BF for my season. Is this a realitic goal, or am I pushing too hard? Also, is this a level of body fat that is sustainable is the long run? I'm not sure what the typical pro racers body composition/weight looks like, but since this is my goal, I figure that I should be working towards it. I don't have much weight to lose, but I would like to be a little lighter.
Any other ideas or thoughts would be cool.
Thanks
You say that you aim for 4% for your season, but what are you aiming for in your season? It's okay to have as little fat as that for a short period but it leaves you susceptible for infections when you keep it that low and infections are something you definitely don't want to happen in the peak of your season. When you are going from 7% to 4% BF you WILL lose lean body mass as well. I think you'd best keep it at 7% or even maybe GAIN a little. At 18 years you should be focusing more on tactics and pacing yourself and real endurance than %BF, there's a lot more to be gained there.
 

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Watch when you get too low

When I was younger and unemployed I was hitting about 200 miles of riding and 60 miles of running every week. After about 5 months I was hitting PRs at everything and cleaning up. That was at about 7%BF. A few months latter I went to 4.5% and it was all over. I felt terrible. I fattend up a bit and my performance returned. Just a little bit of personal observations.
 

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good nutrition

do NOT sacrifice proper nutrition for BF reduction. sounds like you are keeping things well balanced, but take a good vitamin if you are not already. it is possible to be healthy and thriving with 4% or less BF, look at bodybuilders etc. However, reducing your fat to that level, and still thriving(not just subsisting) requires knowledge, preparation, and time. the TDF guys only get to 4% after 2 weeks of racing everyday, and it is not their goal to spend the season at that level.



jeff262 said:
When I was younger and unemployed I was hitting about 200 miles of riding and 60 miles of running every week. After about 5 months I was hitting PRs at everything and cleaning up. That was at about 7%BF. A few months latter I went to 4.5% and it was all over. I felt terrible. I fattend up a bit and my performance returned. Just a little bit of personal observations.
 

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nc-rider said:
OK- I am 18 years old, 6'2, 170 pounds with 7% BF. I have been watching what I eat (avoiding sugar, high fat foods, not eating till full, etc), lifting weights (with a program set up by a trainer to help me with cycling, and to lose fat), and riding. Just to make it clear, I'm not restricting calories, or starving myself. I've heard that as you get closer to 0% BF, it gets harder to lose fat. My goal is to get down to 4% BF for my season. Is this a realitic goal, or am I pushing too hard? Also, is this a level of body fat that is sustainable is the long run? I'm not sure what the typical pro racers body composition/weight looks like, but since this is my goal, I figure that I should be working towards it. I don't have much weight to lose, but I would like to be a little lighter.
Any other ideas or thoughts would be cool.
Thanks
I've been as low as 5.1% BF. Truthfully I think the difference between 7% (where I am now) and 5% is minimal. Its a whole 3.4lbs. I think at 4% BF is unrealistic and you would be pushing your body too hard. And to hold the 4%BF is going to take A LOT of dedicatoin and determination, in which in my oppinion, is not worth it.
 
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