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Old 08-21-09, 01:52 AM   #1
SaveTheRock
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Losing weight BMXing

Hey guys,
I'm usually a road and mtb rider, but a resent job/life change has put me in a small city in Japan for a while. I am 5'9" and usually about 185 pounds. Usually I am not fat but have a pretty solid build from my "hardcore" military days. I gained about 15lbs in my divorce, thank you military for never keeping me home, and I'm trying to shed it in a more fun way than running and fasting.

I've changed my diet and need to add more activity in my life and I was considering buying a BMX bike. I thought about this cause I was riding around on a friend's son's bike and worked up a bit of a sweat trying to do some tricks I can do on my mtb. Have any of you guys ever used BMXing to lose weight, or lost weight BMXing? Would you guys suggest active "street" riding as a decent work out?

Honestly its this, or I buy a set of rollers. This city isn't really good for road riding, and it's a bit of a drive to the trails. Thanks in advance for your time and opinions,
-Jason
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Old 08-21-09, 04:35 AM   #2
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I've lost a few lbs digging jumps, riding, and racing. Nothing significant, mainly just put on muscle in places I didn't have before. You pretty much forget that you need food because you are caught up in fun-ness. Hahaha.
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Old 08-21-09, 06:25 AM   #3
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The key to all weight loss is your calorie balance, and that pretty much always start with your diet. I commute to work by bike, which allow me to use up about 30% more cals/day than otherwise. Still, if I were to get a pizza for lunch or a big chocolate cupcake with my afternoon coffee I'd be basically back to square one in terms of energy balance.
What I'd suggest for you is that you get yourself one of those heart rate monitors that looks like a wristwatch. It'll tell you how many cals BMX riding lets you use up, and whether it can be actually useful for weight loss or merely just fun for the moment.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:24 AM   #4
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The solution to weight loss is to bike more while eating less (or at least the same).

As a rule of thumb, the average 150-lb cyclist riding steadily for one hour at 12 mph will burn off approximately 450 calories.

BMX being mostly short distance sprinting or trials, may not be the ideal riding style to promote weight loss. Distance riding, riding to work and elsewhere instead of driving, etc. may be a better option. For these, you may be better off with a mountain, hybrid, or road bike.
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Old 08-21-09, 08:17 AM   #5
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I ride both MTB and BMX
I just cruise around longer on the trails with my MTB
When I ride my BMX I find myself Sprinting,riding faster and doing different jumps etc.
I have better results with my BMX.Because you are having so much fun you do not realise you are getting great workout
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Old 08-21-09, 10:20 AM   #6
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I definitely get a work out on my road and mountain bike, but I set distance and time goals and push myself pretty hard. Unfortunately, here, there are no long roads or technical trails, at least not in riding distance. Just lots of traffic and stop lights. I see what you guys mean though about BMXing being more like weight lifting than cardio, It makes sense. I just thought after working up a nice sweat tooling around that it may have some fun "healthy" potential. I just purchased a bike and a helmet off Danscomp and should get it a week or so. I figure its not unhealthy and maybe paired up with some ***shivering*** running, it will be an enjoyable way to keep myself active and not bored, cause that's when I eat and drink more.

On the food intake side. I have changed my eating lifestye to a more responsible one. I just write down what I eat and set calorie goals for the days and weeks. Nothing too nazi, just trying to set up some accountability for myself. I think I will buy a heart rate monitor like Dabac suggested.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
...As a rule of thumb, the average 150-lb cyclist riding steadily for one hour at 12 mph will burn off approximately 450 calories.
Really? According to my HRM I used up 908 cals in this morning's one-hour commute. That's at about a 15 MPH average and 170 lbs.

Doe this mean that I have to get a job closer to home, ride slower and/or get a better bike?
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Old 08-24-09, 03:49 AM   #8
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.... I just thought after working up a nice sweat tooling around that it may have some fun "healthy" potential.....
Pretty much ANY physical activity that gets your heart going has a health potential. Some are more effective than others, and then there's the question of how hard you push yourself while doing them. BMX might not top the scale, but it'll still be a good thing.

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.......On the food intake side. I have changed my eating lifestye to a more responsible one. I just write down what I eat and set calorie goals for the days and weeks.
That really ought to help you, with the high-cal foodstuffs that we have oh so easily available today it's so easy to overeat.
I'd recommend a set of kitchen scales as well, to help you keep track of amounts and serving sizes. Here's a link that you might find interesting.

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........ I think I will buy a heart rate monitor like Dabac suggested.
The good thing about those(from a weight loss perspective) is that they make it much harder for people to fool themselves.
There are plenty of people who've started a "healthier lifestyle" and then given up on account of it not working. The "not working" can in many cases be traced back to them using a minor amount of exercise as an excuse for another helping or even a whole new meal.
With a HRM you can really get some perspective on what kind of treat you've "earned" by a certain amount of activity.
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Old 08-24-09, 09:32 AM   #9
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This city isn't really good for road riding, and it's a bit of a drive to the trails.
A bit of a pedal to the trails, surely.
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Old 08-26-09, 10:27 AM   #10
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As stated above, theres abslutely no magic to losing weight. Its all basically math.

One could lose weight faster from walking than BMXing. In order to lose a pound you have to burn more calories throught the day, than what your easting.

Very simple...

So in other word, figure out your caloric expenditure throughout the day, than eat less calories than what u need. By doing this you are producing a caloric deficit, and therefor will start to lose weight.

Its that simple...

Good luck..

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Old 08-28-09, 04:30 AM   #11
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Im not asking how to lose weight or for some magic weight loss formula, chomish (But thank you for reiterating something that everyone trying to lose weight should know!). I asked "Have any of you guys ever used BMXing to lose weight?". I know about caloric intake and expenditure and the importance of aerobic exercise in weight loss. My question, I guess, was one more of personal preference and personal experience and probably should of been worded differently:

Does anyone use BMX riding as their exercise of choice?

Could BMX riding be considered an aerobic exercise?

Dabac answered the second question with the suggestion of getting a heart rate monitor, which I ordered offline a couple days ago. I'm guessing, from what others said though, that it might be more anaerobic.

I know I can record everything I eat in a excel doc and do the math and lower my caloric intake till I lose weight. Or run 5 miles a day and eat what ever I want, like I used to in the service, to increase my caloric expenditure. But I'm just trying to find a fun mix I will actually want to continue after I drop what I want. And asking if anyone has tried to go this route. As for now, I bought a BMX bike for fun (stolen sinner), a fluid trainer for my road bike for aerobic exercise, and a HR monitor. As I said before, Ive been "counting calories". I have already lost a few pounds in the past two weeks. Hooray me, specially because my cuts have been realistic ones I can definitely stick with. I also stopped eating dinner so late which I heard is not good.

Thanks to everyone who has put in their advice, knowledge, or opinions so far.
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Old 08-28-09, 06:43 AM   #12
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..Does anyone use BMX riding as their exercise of choice?
Not me. To me BMX = plenty of falls, and I'm too chicken for that.

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..Could BMX riding be considered an aerobic exercise?... I'm guessing, from what others said though, that it might be more anaerobic..
That would ultimately be down to your riding style, but all things considered BMX tends to be more of a coast-sprint-coast-sprint kinda thing than a regular slog. So yeah, a strong anaerobic element.

This by itself can actually be a good thing, many people who feel that they aren't seeing any improvement in their fitness have turned complacent in their training. They pick a level of discomfort and then they stay there for the duration of the session. Having an anaerobic element in your training regime can certainly help your aerobic performance as well.

But if you're talking pure calorie burn, then the extended grind at a fairly even effort level is the better option.
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Old 08-28-09, 08:22 AM   #13
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Depending which style of bmxing you choose, it might be hard to lose weight on just bmx itself. Are there any race tracks there? That'd be a good way, especially doing sprints to practice for a race.
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