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  1. #1
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Conditioning/weight question

    I've been puzzled by my weight gain/loss issues for the past year or so. I'm 5'11", and my weight generally varies between 165 and 175lbs. I've been training fairly hard for some time now, lifting weights in the gym, etc. I ride lots of miles (over 10K annually) and I don't really stop in the winter. When I look in the mirror right now I look very trim, but still my weight is a rather substantial 174lbs. Not bad for January, but odd considering how trim I look. I have an uphill TT in early May. I'd like to be 165 by then. I'm starting to wonder if that's even possible. A few questions:

    • I do lift weights in the winter, but minimal with my upper body. I'm wondering if I should knock that upper body weight lifting (light benching, curls) all together and increase the core work (abs).

    • I hit the lower body weights as hard as I can (bad lower back, right knee).

    • A little over a year ago I bottomed out @ about 163lbs, but since then I've never been able to get back to that lower body weight.

    Is it possible that the hard riding/weight lifting in the winter has added some muscle mass that I've permanently added 3-5 lbs? That's what I'm thinking. I'm actually climbing better at the heavier weight, so go figure. I look so trim @ 174lbs that it makes me think I'm built more like a football cornerback than a climbing cyclist. It wouldn't be hard for me to get up to 185-190 lbs if I hit the upper body weights hard, and I wouldn't be fat at all. But my goal is to be <165lbs and to stay strong.

    I also wonder how much of this has to do with advancing towards 50 years old? I do think your body holds onto weight harder as you age. I hadn't weighed myself in a few months (it's getting too depressing). Besides, I still ride as hard as I can and watch what I eat regardless, so it's not like it's going to change much knowing I'm 5 lbs. heavier than I'd like to be.

    The good news is that if I look this trim @ 174 if can really get down to 165lbs and stay strong I should be climbing better than I ever have. We'll find out I suppose. Has anyone else had this experience where they felt stronger and looked/felt fit but couldn't get down to the lighter body weight they had achieved in the past?

  2. #2
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    I'm lifting weights 3x/week on my trainingpeaks.com plan, and FWIW the only upper body they prescribe is seated row, crunches, and lat pulldown. If you're spending too much time on upper body you might just be building muscle mass that you have to lug up climbs. But I'm just trusting Friel on this one...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  3. #3
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    We are all different of course but my weight rarely fluctuates more than 3-5 lbs from 'in season' to 'off season'. I'm like you in the sense that I really don't have an off season, I ride or go to gym all year long. I do see a 3-4% gain in BF% in the 'off season' though and honestly I'm more concerned about that number than my actual weight.

  4. #4
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    My upper body work consists of 3 x 10 reps with a 100lb barbell, 3 x 10 reps with a 30lb curling bar and 4 x 20 pushups (pushups in between ab exercises). I would guess the leg weights/cycling are adding much more substantial muscle mass than that light upper body work.

  5. #5
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    I ended November at right around 180 and holding steady from a day to day basis (6'2"). I tried everything I could to drop weight. Finally, I just had to suck it up and take very careful measure of portion size. I found myself eating 1 sandwich instead of two at lunch, or a 6" sub instead of footlong. One helping of dinner only. Fruit for snacks between meals. Whatever that did for me, it worked.

    Right now I'm weighing 170ish and now eating like a horse to maintain weight. Portion size did the trick for me.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  6. #6
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    No upper body work for me...

    Years of bodybuilding hijinks left me with still some excess weight up top. I know lots of folks just work legs and core. Most of the leg work is either very high rep, or explosive power/plyometric type work.

  7. #7
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    patentcad, you should really be shooting for this:

    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  8. #8
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    patentcad, you should really be shooting for this:

    I'm printing that out and taping it to the Frigelator (that's what my daughter called our Fridge when she was 3).

  9. #9
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    I guess one way to know for sure would be to get your body fat percentage tested using hydrostatic weighing. If your bfp is under 10% there's obviously not a whole lot of room left to work in the fat reduction department.

    --Steve

  10. #10
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    'Bodybuilding hijinks' ?

    That does sound like a gay porno movie. Just sayin'.

  11. #11
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    I'm printing that out and taping it to the Frigelator (that's what my daughter called our Fridge when she was 3).
    I've come to refer to these images as "botto bait."
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  12. #12
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    When I look in the mirror right now I look very trim, but still my weight is a rather substantial 174lbs. Not bad for January, but odd considering how trim I look. I have an uphill TT in early May. I'd like to be 165 by then. I'm starting to wonder if that's even possible.
    The general rule of thumb regarding weight loss is this - you can generally lose about 1-2/week safely. In other words, you can generally lose 1-2 pounds/week without also losing significant muscle mass. Of course, everyone is a bit different and this amount will vary with total weight of the rider. My point is that you can now do the math (be conservative), and tell if you can make a certain weight by a certain time.

    If you look/feel lean (your pants are lose, etc), you are most likely gaining muscle though.

  13. #13
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    I'm printing that out and taping it to the Frigelator (that's what my daughter called our Fridge when she was 3).
    I've come to refer to these images as "botto bait."

  14. #14
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    AJ told me that he lost all of his upper body muscle by going on loooong easy rides with an empty stomach. When you begin to feel weak after a bit, eat a 4:1 ratio of carbs/protein.

    He lost like 50 lbs of muscle doing this, so I'm giving it a try.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator
    Dear Cypress,

    You have received an infraction at Bike Forums.

  15. #15
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Don't forget, it's winter....body will add a few pounds of fat, that usually easily sheds come April/May.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    AJ told me that he lost all of his upper body muscle by going on loooong easy rides with an empty stomach. When you begin to feel weak after a bit, eat a 4:1 ratio of carbs/protein.

    He lost like 50 lbs of muscle doing this, so I'm giving it a try.
    AJ Foyt?

  17. #17
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    AJ Foyt?

    Smith.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator
    Dear Cypress,

    You have received an infraction at Bike Forums.

  18. #18
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    I guess one way to know for sure would be to get your body fat percentage tested using hydrostatic weighing. If your bfp is under 10% there's obviously not a whole lot of room left to work in the fat reduction department.

    --Steve
    BFP is the really the only number I ever care about. For example in Nov my BFP was 10-11% and I was at 147lbss. Today my weight is the same and I'm my BFP is 8-9%. This tells me I've swaped fat for muscle, by April I hoe to be back at my peak weight and BFP which is 145lbs and 7-8% BFP.

  19. #19
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i'm the opposite of most of you guys. my struggle is to gain weight. in fact, if i don't pay attention to eating enough i'll easily slip into dangeriously slim territory.

  20. #20
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Gee I wish I had that problem....since I like to eat.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  21. #21
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i'm the opposite of most of you guys. my struggle is to gain weight. in fact, if i don't pay attention to eating enough i'll easily slip into dangeriously slim territory.
    If I had his phone number I'd dispatch Euro to kill you immediately. Not being able to gain weight does not qualify as a 'struggle' unless you have terminal cancer.

  22. #22
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    If you're very lean, and your goal is to climb the best you can, I'd quit lifting for your upper body (not including core work). If you've lost the fat and want to weigh less you've got to lose it somewhere, and big pec's are not doing much to propel you down the road.

    For a lot of us, who aren't that lean, I think upper body resistence training actually helps because we can get leaner from the metabolic effect of more muscle.

    And one big reason its harder to lose weight as you age, is that you lose muscle mass, and therefore decrease your calorie demand. Resistence training helps reverse that.

  23. #23
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i'm the opposite of most of you guys. my struggle is to gain weight. in fact, if i don't pay attention to eating enough i'll easily slip into dangeriously slim territory.
    Never post to this forum again or I'll hunt you down and kill you

    Patentcad, it's likely you're shifting fat to muscle if you're doing gym work. Weight will stay static but you're moving things from useless to good mass. I usually do an 8-12 week weight (legs) cycle before I knock off and just do core work.

    Hard for me to keep the weight off, I like to eat and drink, and have a slow metabolism (did a recent BMR test to confirm). What I've taken to doing is on my lighter and recovery weeks I do the whole food log thing, weighing and logging what I eat. I found that by having to be really aware of the consequences of say, a scone, I steer to better/lighter fare and can drop weight fairly easily. On the heavier training weeks I just eat.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

  24. #24
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    If I had his phone number I'd dispatch Euro to kill you immediately. Not being able to gain weight does not qualify as a 'struggle' unless you have terminal cancer.
    haha. i always get this kind of response when i tell people this.

    i'm actually around 12-15 lbs below what is considered "light" for my height. at 5'11 and 133lbs, i'm definitely a liteweight. in fact, over the holidays i dropped from around 140 to my current weight unexpectedaly. i just didn't visit a scale for a few weeks, and was surprised at what i saw. and before anyone says i'm not eating enough, here is what i consume on an average day:

    breakfast: breakfast bar, bagel, banana, 6oz mixed fruit, granola w\ yogurt, coffee.
    snack: v8 juice, 1 cup mixed nuts
    lunch: turkey sandwich, vegtables.
    late afternoon snack: fig newtons, clif bar
    dinner: pasta w\ chicken, vegtables, salad, bread
    dessert: ice cream, beer, or whatever.

    during the racing season, i supplement with a protein shake, which adds another 20g protein and 350 cals. and a serving of endurox after rides. even with all that i barely maintain my 'underweight' status. it's kinda crazy, actually.

  25. #25
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Are you 17 years old? I remember back when I was 17 years old, I could eat an entire pizza and not gain weight.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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