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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe someone could shed some light on this subject for me. I have been cycling for over 3 years now and have only lost 10lbs(currently 220lbs), which I think the weight lose is a combination of my better eating habits combined with cycling. I recently consulted a personal trainer about my lack of weight lose for the amount of time I put into cycling(at least 30 miles a day, 4 days a week, and a 60-70 mile ride every Saturday). I have asked a couple people that ride more than I do and all I hear is ride more to lose more. I wouldn't consider the mile I put in to be what some call "junk miles", but I have been doing intervals for about 6 months now. I do notice a difference in how easy it is to ride faster for longer after doing intervals, but at what point is to much riding for little to no return in weight loss?
The personal trainer said that cycling is a great cardio exercise and definately helps tone your lower body, but is not great as sole weight lose tool. He said that if you cycle regularly for more than an hour you may be hindering your weight loss by training your body to burn energy more efficiently(endurance) and not wasting it. He made the analogy that it's like taking two equal size cars, one with a big V8, and the other with a fuel sipping inline 4. Gasoline representing fat, you would want your body to be to become a big heathy V8 that burns more gasoline(fat).
I honestly don't know if this makes sense, but he then said drop down to 2 days a week and suppliment weight training for the remainder of the days I would normally ride. Is there any truth to his statement? Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
 

· The Dropped 1
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I can't answer your specific question, but for me personally I've found I can keep my weight down (and drop it) with weight training. I don't take time away from riding to lift, though.

But, 2 days a week at lunch I lift weights. I just recently added in legs for strength for racing later this year (it's kind of like my "winter" right now).

Riding and eating healthy alone doesn't seem to do much for me weight-wise, cause I think my body type just retains fat and doesn't gain muscle easily. So, with lots of riding and a bit of weight lifting I feel it balances everything out so I've got lean muscle, and a decent cardio engine.

I'm probably around a V6 :D

If nothing else, try it for 6-8 weeks and see what happens. I still wouldn't give up 3-4 days on the bike for weights, but 1-2 days a week if you do 45 ~ minute sessions might help out.
 

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outtashapeguy said:
Is there any truth to his statement? Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
I've never seen anything to suggest that endurance training would lower your metabolism, which would be the only thing I can think of that would make you more "efficient". Any kind of true weight loss always comes down to burning more calories than you consume. If you replace an amount of cycling time with weight lifting time, you are almost certainly going to be burning less calories during that time. On the other hand, if you lift intensely enough that you add muscle mass, you're metabolism will increase so you'll burn a bit more just existing.
 

· Anti-Hero
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Muscle is very metabolically active, so if you can put more on, you'll end up burning more calories doing everything that you do. The best would be If you can add in some weight training and still maintain the same riding volume. Riding still burns calories no matter what, so I wouldn't cut it back too much.
 

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outtashapeguy said:
...... Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
That's just one way to look at it.

I think you should do some weight training since it is a load bearing exercise and will help maintain your bone density.

Like one other poster said, that doesn't mean you should cut back on your riding.

The other big issue is calories consumed. Calories consumed must be less than calories burned to lose weight. You have to be very prudent in doing this though. There are articles from good sources online about losing weigh while training. We all have to do it after winter!
 

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First of all, unless you are planning on entering weight class restricted events, I would suggest paying less attention to your weight and more on your body composition, that is, body fat percentage. This can be measured through more or less accurate methods, or simply estimated by your waist size or even more simply by looking at your stomach in the mirror. In particular, I would conjecture that your body fat percentage has dropped markedly despite only losing 10lbs.

Next comes the question of whether to do weighlifting. Most people associate this with gaining muscle, in other words, weight gain, but you can gain strength (maximal strength of strength endurance) without gaining muscle or weight if you train correctly. I don't see how gaining muscle weight will reduce your weight, and even if your weight gain is mostly muscle, you will gain fat as well. I don't see how an improvement in neuro-muscular strength (that is, learning a skill) will help you lose weight either.

I think what you were advised to do is to very much increase the intensity of your conditioning sessions. In other words, spend much more time doing intense intervals and repeats, etc. This may help you lose weight, even though you ride less, your body is burning more calories after the workout due to its intensity.

Finally, everyone is different. Personally, I almost always gain weight when I lift weights, no matter how I do it. I gained about 3kg (I'm pretty sure it was mostly muscle) this Winter despite avoiding sets for hypertrophy. When cycling, I lose weight if I ride about 120 miles/week and as I get to about 200 I start gaining weight again. The reason is that at about 120 I can still watch my diet very carefully while when over 200 I start having to eat indiscriminately all the time otherwise I get sick. However, I am fitter and climb better when riding over 200 miles a week despite weighing more. When I tried riding 300 miles/week I would lose weight again but my body would break down and I would have to back off.

So, I would suggest you try different things and see how your body reacts. I believe that most trainers agree that the worst thing is doing the same type of workout all the time.

-ilan
 

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Some numbers

outtashapeguy said:
I have been cycling for over 3 years now and have only lost 10lbs(currently 220lbs), which I think the weight lose is a combination of my better eating habits combined with cycling.

he then said drop down to 2 days a week and suppliment weight training for the remainder of the days I would normally ride. Is there any truth to his statement? Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
Doing some simple math, if you lost 10 lbs of fat over 3 years, then you were running a daily calorie deficit of about 30 calories. IOW, given the amount of time you have to exercise, you need to eat less to lose weight. If you ran a 500 calorie per day deficit, you'd have lost MUCH more weight.

Gym guys will nearly always tell you that you should do THEIR thing rather than your thing. If you lift weights "just as hard" as you ride the bike, then you won't lose any more weight. The gym rat argument of "having more muscle so you'll burn more calories when at rest" is essentially specious, because the amount of muscle you add will be quite small in comparison to what you already have. You cand do what he says, and if you eat less, you'll lose more weight. Otherwise, no change likely.
 

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"Maybe someone could shed some light on this subject for me. I have been cycling for over 3 years now and have only lost 10lbs"

Solution: You eat too much and you ride too easy. (mostly #1)
 

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outtashapeguy said:
The personal trainer said that cycling is a great cardio exercise and definately helps tone your lower body, but is not great as sole weight lose tool. He said that if you cycle regularly for more than an hour you may be hindering your weight loss by training your body to burn energy more efficiently(endurance) and not wasting it. He made the analogy that it's like taking two equal size cars, one with a big V8, and the other with a fuel sipping inline 4. Gasoline representing fat, you would want your body to be to become a big heathy V8 that burns more gasoline(fat).
I honestly don't know if this makes sense, but he then said drop down to 2 days a week and suppliment weight training for the remainder of the days I would normally ride. Is there any truth to his statement? Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
Your personal trainer is a goose. The differences in gross efficiency between riders is minimal. And the changes in gross efficiency you are capable of making through training are probably even smaller.

As has been said already, it is simply a matter of thermodynamics.

If weight loss is the primary aim, then it is simply a matter of:
- riding as hard as you can sustainably do so for the time/days/weeks/months you have available to train
- eating fewer calories than you burn but not too many less as you still need fuel to train.

If you really want to nail down the numbers on what you are burning, then you'll need a power meter, or do all your riding in a lab with a gas exchange analyser fitted :)
 

· Cpark
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I'd definately suggest adding some weight training, maybe 2 to 3 times a week.
I can't speak for everyone but I shed some extra weight by doing 5 to 7 sets of squats and dead lift (superset) and 5 to 7 sets of leg extension/curl (superset).
I did keep high reps (25 reps+) for each set.
 

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The way to lose weight is caloric restriction plus exercise. One without the other, and the body tends to compensate and hold onto those fat stores.

Another tactic: Sleep more! Turn off the f'ing TV, turn off the phone, get off the interwebs, and get into bed. Read a book if you can't fall asleep. Extra sleep allows your body to better tolerate the caloric deficit. You might even feel more alert and productive at work.

I should heed my own advice.
 

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Alex_Simmons/RST said:
If you really want to nail down the numbers on what you are burning, then you'll need a power meter, or do all your riding in a lab with a gas exchange analyser fitted :)
But if you want to nail down caloric surplus or deficit, all you need is a reasonably accurate scale.
 

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outtashapeguy said:
Maybe someone could shed some light on this subject for me. I have been cycling for over 3 years now and have only lost 10lbs(currently 220lbs), which I think the weight lose is a combination of my better eating habits combined with cycling. I recently consulted a personal trainer about my lack of weight lose for the amount of time I put into cycling(at least 30 miles a day, 4 days a week, and a 60-70 mile ride every Saturday). I have asked a couple people that ride more than I do and all I hear is ride more to lose more. I wouldn't consider the mile I put in to be what some call "junk miles", but I have been doing intervals for about 6 months now. I do notice a difference in how easy it is to ride faster for longer after doing intervals, but at what point is to much riding for little to no return in weight loss?
The personal trainer said that cycling is a great cardio exercise and definately helps tone your lower body, but is not great as sole weight lose tool. He said that if you cycle regularly for more than an hour you may be hindering your weight loss by training your body to burn energy more efficiently(endurance) and not wasting it. He made the analogy that it's like taking two equal size cars, one with a big V8, and the other with a fuel sipping inline 4. Gasoline representing fat, you would want your body to be to become a big heathy V8 that burns more gasoline(fat).
I honestly don't know if this makes sense, but he then said drop down to 2 days a week and suppliment weight training for the remainder of the days I would normally ride. Is there any truth to his statement? Can in fact riding to long be hindering my weight loss?
what is your body fat? athlete or non athlete readings?

if you are riding 4 days a week 30+ miles- what are you stuffing in your face daily? 15 bagels? riding 30 miles you should be eating less.

try eating apples after rides to fill you up.

bring only 1 bottle mixed drink, the other water.

quit drinking beer.

give up pop.

cut calories to 2500.

QUIT EATING 2 HOURS B4 BEDTIME.

switch to ATKINS for 3 months.
 

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It sounds like you are on the bike for 180 miles per week which means something like 10-12 hours a week depending on how fast you ride.
That is considered by most as a standard amount of time to get very fit unless you are doing very low effort time in the saddle. Sounds like you work plenty hard if you do intervals with your moderate riding.

As noted, you are likely consuming calories at a level that is maintaining your weight..

From my own experience of working out, weights, and riding 10+ hours a week, I did not start to cut weight until I started monitoring my eating habits and making changes.

Agree that weights help, but diet intake is critical.
 

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Weight lifting is not the best way for weight loss. If you become bored with riding than weight lifting is better than sitting on the couch. For those who say you can weight lift and not gain muscle, they are mostly wrong. Strength increases are caused by increased PCSA and/or increased motor unit activation. Typically neural activation improves followed by hypertrophy. Doing core resistance training would be wise to be more comfortable in the saddle.

An hour spent riding hard will likely burn more calories than an hour in the weight room. Also, don't pay attention to your personal trainer. Fire him actually.

Agree with most of the other posts. Diet is likely the limiting factor.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Gym guys will nearly always tell you that you should do THEIR thing rather than your thing. If you lift weights "just as hard" as you ride the bike, then you won't lose any more weight. The gym rat argument of "having more muscle so you'll burn more calories when at rest" is essentially specious, because the amount of muscle you add will be quite small in comparison to what you already have.
There has been a strong reaction against "excessive cardio" among gym people. For example, there is Crossfit http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html which is some kind of extension of US football mentality of fitness. In fact, they have a definition of fitness on their website http://www.crossfit.com/cf-download/CFJ-trial.pdf
which is essentially a rant inspired by reading an article that said that the winner of the Ironman was the fittest person in the world which drove them nuts, they don't think you're fit unless you can do 20 pullups. Similarly, if you ride a bicycle or do any workout "easy" then you're wasting your time. By serendipity, the Tabata study came out just at the right time stating that 4 minutes a day is sufficient to get aerobic conditioning, so they base all their conditoning on this one workout (never mind that the study is probably wrong). There are strength and conditioning programs that are not based on quasi-religious adherence to the founder's idiosyncratic principles, the best one seems to be Ross Enamait who has written excellent books http://www.rosstraining.com/

-ilan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My eating habits seem fairly balanced(under 2500 calories a day). Maybe the Newcastles have something to do with it?:idea: I have a 2 year old, so maybe stress and sleep are the other factor. I fortunately didn't hire this guy, was just consulting him for free advise. I appreciate all the advise from the above posts. I will try to add maybe three days of strength training to see what happens. My problem is that I usually end up bulking up to about 240lb if I start to "really" weight train. We will see.
Thanks everyone.
 

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outtashapeguy said:
My eating habits seem fairly balanced(under 2500 calories a day). Maybe the Newcastles have something to do with it?:idea:
Beer is my vice, as well.

From personal experience, one can still lose weight without completely giving up beer, but cutting down the amount is an obvious, tangible way of cutting calories.
 
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