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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gotten down to 5"8" 142 pounds and at this point
am still in the process of dialing in where I should be as a cyclist.
Recent diet changes (Low glycemic, limiting alcohol) have enabled
me to reduce bodyfat without affecting to a significant degree
upper body strength. I have noticed, however, off the bike doing
physical tasks I have less reserves. On the bike to this point every
weight loss increment has resulted in vastly improved cycling performance. What factors would you recommend using in determining
at what point to stop losing weight?
 

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I've found that after losing an increment if weight, say 10 pounds or so, it takes a few weeks to get the power back.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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BFI??
I bought a bathroom scale years ago that shows your % of body fat. Don't know how accurate it is 'cause I've never had it checked anywhere else.

I'm your height and weigh almost 30 pounds more than you do but I'm still in terrible shape; not fat but have some extra around the middle.

I'm 61 so I'll be happy when I get to around 160. When my weight goes lower than that I feel weak and don't have much endurance. But obviously I'm not a young racer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am 54, a dedicated cyclist but not a racer. Yet.
 

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I am 54, a dedicated cyclist but not a racer. Yet.
The few times I've been at what I considered ideal racing weight, I wasn't much good at some other physical tasks. At the time, that was fine. I don't know if that applies to you, but my rule was that as long as I (i) was not losing w/kg over 5 and 20 minute efforts (which may mean "not getting slower on known 5 and 20 minute) AND was staying reasonably consistent at 20 minute known flat routes (for "normal" wind and temperature conditions, which was made easier by having a few years worth of files for some of my regular routes), I should keep losing weight. After that, it depended on specific race goals.
 

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Probably best to shoot for and ideal percentage body fat than body weight. With a very low perenctage body fat, keep riding and challenging your riding muscles. They will maintain and grow while your other muscles atrophy.
 

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Pack Fodder.
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I'd see if a local university has a BodPod scanner that is available (usually for a fee) to the public. That is considered pretty much the gold standard for body mapping, and would give you a good idea of your body composition and caloric requirements. Then it's just a matter of adjusting those to meet your goals. There might even be dietician available to help you nail down the rest of it.

Right now I'm on the high side of what the BMI scale says is "normal" for my height (not that it really means anything). I'm probably going to drop 5-10 more pounds and then go in to get scanned to see where I am in terms of body fat. I'm still playing around with weight loss and the results on performance, but I'm not getting paid for riding, and I like to eat a lot of foods that aren't exactly "nutrient dense". At this point in my life, it's about finding a balance between my riding and the rest of my day-to-day existence.
 

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Anphaque II
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I have gotten down to 5"8" 142 pounds and at this point
am still in the process of dialing in where I should be as a cyclist.
Recent diet changes (Low glycemic, limiting alcohol) have enabled
me to reduce bodyfat without affecting to a significant degree
upper body strength. I have noticed, however, off the bike doing
physical tasks I have less reserves. On the bike to this point every
weight loss increment has resulted in vastly improved cycling performance. What factors would you recommend using in determining
at what point to stop losing weight?

What method did you use to make yourself shorter?
 
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I have gotten down to 5"8" 142 pounds and at this point am still in the process of dialing in where I should be as a cyclist. Recent diet changes (Low glycemic, limiting alcohol) have enabled me to reduce bodyfat without affecting to a significant degree upper body strength. I have noticed, however, off the bike doing physical tasks I have less reserves. On the bike to this point every weight loss increment has resulted in vastly improved cycling performance. What factors would you recommend using in determining at what point to stop losing weight?
You're already down to a BMI of 21.6 so you are generally skinny but none of us know what you look like. You talk about upper body strength and that makes me wonder if maybe you aren't doing weights or something else to keep those muscles in place. If you look at professional bike racers they are very thin in the arms and torso. You can't get "really low" in weight without letting some muscles go - if you're a cyclist you need legs and core but not a lot else for road riding.

And like cda 455 I want to know what you did to make yourself shorter.
 

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At 54, are there any concessions you should make with BMI? Do you do impact exercise, resistance and weights etc? Being skinny with dodgy bones is a real bummer for the baby boomers. Being all around healthy is the aim, right?
 

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IME it's very hard to eat for weight loss and eat for competition at the same time. If you're racing you need a lot of carbs and protein and the right kind of carbs. I've gained about 5 pounds since the beginning of spring racing season. I have a couple of weeks off before my next race and will lose a couple of those pounds back again, but not all of them.

You're already at a pretty good racing weight. I would work on building strength before I lost any more unless you have a lot of climbing ahead of you.
 

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The answer might depend on your goals and type of ride you're looking to get better at.

I'm also 5' 8" and when I'm at 142 pounds my very unscientific observation is that I'm at or very close to my best for all 'round performance here in my hilly riding area but I do lose some for flat time trial style riding. I don't actually do time trials but long hard flat pulls on the flats is what I'm referring to. So I think goals and types of ride needs to come into the picture. 150ish seems to be the best balance for me as far as still being pretty good (by my personal standard) on hills but still retaining my best on the flats.

I used to lift weights and have a naturally 'stocky' build thus 142 is very skinny for me so ignore the actual numbers above. It's just to make the point not to communicate actual weights I think would apply to you. Then there's the fact that I'm just going by 'feel' and could be totally wrong all together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By upper body strength I mean cutting the grass. I still have some leftover upper
body muscle from before, it has not reduced to the point that I am deficient in
"non-cycling" functional aspect. Other than core not doing any upper resistance.
Not sure if I would consider 21% skinny at all, however at 140 I find the day
post-ride I simply cannot apply the same calorie restrictions. I will use my power
on the bike as the primary arbiter.
 

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I'll echo that trying to lose weight can make workouts and/or recovery not as good unless your caloric deficit is really small.

As for target weight, just figure out what works and check for too much pudge.
 

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But your real body fat probably isn't 21 if you are athletic. It is really hard to imagine a 5'8" 54 yr old man who weighs 142 pounds being anything but lean unless you have some kind of tiny build. If your bones are small then all the more reason to be careful of ensuring their integrity. ??Cutting potential muscle at 54 seems insane when you are already working against nature that will rob you of muscle in the blink of an eye as we age.
 

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I have gotten down to 5"8" 142 pounds and at this point
am still in the process of dialing in where I should be as a cyclist.
Recent diet changes (Low glycemic, limiting alcohol) have enabled
me to reduce bodyfat without affecting to a significant degree
upper body strength. I have noticed, however, off the bike doing
physical tasks I have less reserves. On the bike to this point every
weight loss increment has resulted in vastly improved cycling performance. What factors would you recommend using in determining
at what point to stop losing weight?

At the point where picking up groceries is difficult. Seriously--if you're racing/aiming for an A event that's one thing, but if you want a more balanced kind of fitness, why starve yourself? In other words, speaking for myself only, my personal goal is the highest FTP that still allows me to pick up my kids and not hurt something. I love cycling. But I also like to do other things and would not want the one hobby to operate to the exclusion of all else.

So here's what I would suggest:
Pick a minimum number of exercises that you think is "healthy" e.g., 3x10 pushups, 10 pull ups, 3x10 squats w good form. Whatever. Bodyweight only. If you get to a point where you can't do those regularly, then you're too weak. Eat more.

If you're training for the Mt. Washington hill climb, ignore the above.
 

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Previous history can be used for determining ideal body weight.

I find that my best athletic performances for various sports over my lifetime (basketball, track and field, racquetball, cycling, and general asthetics) has been about 156-166 pounds (5'10"). BTW, I've always been more of a quick twitch guy.

It's been this way for the last 28 years. For cycling the last few years, I've been approaching that 156 but can't get all the way there (usually 160ish).

This year I've been concentrating more on cyclocross and crits since it gives a good balance of cycling performance and general asthetics. (i.e. I can carry some muscle without much negative impact to racing).

Last year I lost a lot of weight prior to MTB Nationals and so many fellow riders told me "wow, you really look like a cyclist now". :) I raced well but it didn't take long after that to get back to 165. For me, peak leanness and peak fitness are similar: both don't last very long.
 
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