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  1. #1
    Redefining Negative Space LeonardLawrence's Avatar
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    Obese Triathelete

    I remember seeing this guy on TV several years ago. I have been searching for info on this guy to post on this board and I found this article by accident.

    Fit & Fat

    By Foster Klug
    Associated Press

    Here are some numbers on Dave Alexander, triathlete.

    - Finished 276 triathlons in 37 countries in 17 years.

    - Swam 9.6 miles, cycled 448 miles, ran 104.8 miles in a recent super-triathlon in eastern Hungary. His time, he says with perfect recall, was 85 hours, 46 minutes, 38 seconds.

    Those are pretty remarkable numbers. But Alexander has a few more: He's 55 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 260 pounds heavy.

    "I am fat," he says. "I was born a big boy, and I'm always going to be big. But I'm healthy."

    Alexander's silver hair is thinning. His bright blue eyes are going bad. His barrel stomach is getting bigger. Other triathletes often mistake him for a race organizer.

    "I'm a great bar bet," he says with a laugh. "I don't look like I can walk across the street, let alone run a triathlon."

    Alexander, who lives in Phoenix, attributes his great shape - corroborated by his doctor and others - to plain doggedness. He sometimes completes two triathlons in a week. He sleeps about 4 1/2 hours a night so he can put in long hours of training and work at the oil company he co-owns.

    Experts say he's just what the world needs: Someone who doesn't let weight get in the way of physical fitness.

    A surprising number of people are both fit and obese, says Steven Blair, a scientist at The Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research in Dallas and senior editor of the 1996 Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health.

    Blair recently conducted a study of obese men at the institute and found that 45 percent had no more than one of the major risk factors for an early death - smoking, poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, history of heart disease. These men, despite their obesity, had no increased mortality rate.

    "Most people see an obese person walking down the street and they think, 'This guy's a time bomb.' It's not necessarily so," Blair says.

    Dave Alexander is an extreme illustration. While technically extremely obese, his body performs at the highest levels. Obesity is usually measured by the Body Mass Index, which is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A person - man or woman - with a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight; obesity occurs at BMI 30 and higher.

    Alexander's BMI is 40.

    "Here's a guy that when you see his build and body, you say, 'How can he do this?'" says Andy Dzurinko, director of Arizona's Council on Health and Physical Fitness. "But he not only does it, he does it consistently. Inside that body mass, he's incredibly fit."

    "Dave is one in a million," says Dr. Craig M. Phelps, Alexander's doctor for 15 years.

    "And I say that statistically," Phelps adds. "I haven't known of anyone his size who can do the swimming, the running, the cycling at the ultra-distances Dave competes at."

    Alexander, interviewed in his office, surrounded by the antique maps he collects, is wary of being called a role model.

    He knows his training schedule (in a week he'll usually swim 5 miles, run 30 and cycle 200) could kill another 260-pound, 55-yearold man.

    "You don't tell someone 100 pounds overweight to go out and run triathlons," he says. "I'm unusual in the amount of exercise I'm capable of."

    Phelps also urges anyone overweight to consult a physician before starting an exercise program.

    "People Dave's size need to exercise," he says. "But they need a gradual, four- or five-year horizon, instead of getting things going in a month or two."

    Alexander didn't exercise at all until 1983, when some friends dared him to do a triathlon to lose weight.

    "I was 38 years old, and these guys questioned my male ego," he says. "I did it, and the bug bit me."

    Countless marathons and 276 triathlons later, Alexander has become a sports ambassador. Several times a year he folds his bicycle into a compact suitcase and flies overseas to race.

    Blair urges a society obsessed with thinness to remember that almost half the obese men in his study were physically fit.

    "People like Dave Alexander can be fat and still be healthy," Blair says. "I am confident that there are many obese people out there who are eating a healthy diet, who exercise regularly, who don't smoke, but who are still fat. I say lay off these people."

    For his part, Alexander marvels at his current renown. He's been featured in documentaries, supermarket tabloids and once even as a pinup - for the month of June in a calendar put out by the weekly Phoenix New Times.

    "I don't care what people say about me," he says, "as long as it inspires them to go out and exercise."

    http://www.beezodogsplace.com/Pages/...FitandFat.html
    TIPS, It's not just a government program. It is a way of life.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Great read, thanks for posting.

    I'm just trying to figure out how many calories he must be taking in to stay that big with all that exercise.
    2006 Trek Pilot 1.0
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  3. #3
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Good article, especially for those of us who are adipose challenged and approaching seniority. I can't help but wonder, how much faster and farther I might ride were I smaller though.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  4. #4
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Holy cow. I want to know what kind of shoes he uses to run in. If his knee can take that, then I need to buy some.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
    Great read, thanks for posting.

    I'm just trying to figure out how many calories he must be taking in to stay that big with all that exercise.
    I'd say his body is accustomed to the work load and is very very efficient, thus a little caloric intake will go a long way. He's an extreme example, but as the doctor says, he's one in million.

    I see this all the time to a lesser degree with long distance cyclists. Line up at a double century, you'll see lots of guys there in their 40's & 50's with a nice gut going.

    I'm curious about his heart, I bet that thing is as big as a horse.
    just being

  6. #6
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Great article. You should post in the tri forum. It really is crazy that he stays that big when he trains those distances. He must eat like crazy.

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Couple of stories! Our company had a health fair expo type thingy. One of the tables was set up as a BMI exhibit. I had my BMI measured with a hand held type unit. It read at 30%. The rep said I should seek medical attention cause I was borderline obese. I'm now 245, back then 220 and training with major climbs. The guy behind me giggled as he measured at 10 %. He knew I was a roadie and part time MTB'er. He was an MTB'er. There was a group of about 5 guys that were serious riders according to themselves. The guy asked if I wanted to mtb with hiom someday. Sure, I met him at the bootm of the mtn. He had a lightweight MTB. Went so far as having the paint stripped for weight savings. Was a nice lite rig. I had a stock Trek 8000.

    The course was a 5 mile loop. 2 1/2 serious climb, then down. We started off then within 1 mile, he was out of sight....behind me! I waited at the top for about 10 minutes. My best was 26 minutes on the climb. He showed up and wa shocked. He said he had a bad day so we'd go back next week. No problem. I did the loop 3 times ,2 or 3 times a week. Most riders are happy to complete one loop. Hard core racers will do 2 or 3 loops.

    We went back the next week. He said before the ride not to wait for him cause he wouldn't wait for me. No problem. I completed the loop and waited about 20 minutes for him! None of the other riders wanted to ride with me after that!

    Second story, after I had gained about 5 pounds, I figured I was still in good shape at 225. Famil;y still said I ws too skinny. I did a ride in San Diego, the Alpine Challenge. 6500 ft in 72 miles. Easy compared to a none of the rides I had done several times.

    I ran into aguy that looks like the guy in the OP. SHort raound looking guy. I was pulling up onhim in the hills. I thought to myself," I got this guy fo sho!" after passing one of the guys I used as a rabbit in training rides. I knew I was having a good day.

    The guy saw me coming up and put the pedal to the metal. He started to pull away and all I could do was watch. I thought for sure he was a sitting duck but he sure tore me a new one!

    But the first time was by a woman about the same build as the guy in the picture. It was a 7% one mile climb on the Rosarito/Mexico ride. She dropped me like a hot potato! That's when I learned not to underestimate anyone!

  8. #8
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Went so far as having the paint stripped for weight savings.
    reminds me of that "you might be a Fred if..." thread.

    That's pretty outrageous though. I'm pretty sure I lose enough hair every day (I'm balding, not bald) to make up for the savings of stripping the paint.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
    That's pretty outrageous though. I'm pretty sure I lose enough hair every day (I'm balding, not bald) to make up for the savings of stripping the paint.

  10. #10
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    Thanks. That makes me feel better.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardLawrence View Post
    I remember seeing this guy on TV several years ago. I have been searching for info on this guy to post on this board and I found this article by accident.
    The question that remains unanswered is if this fellow is overweight because of his muscle mass or because he's carrying a lot of fat. The BMI measurement tells us nothing in this case.

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    This is him!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Is that a Softride?
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Looks like it.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  15. #15
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    Is that a Softride?
    It looks like it.

    I'm surprised he doesn't snap that thing in half just sitting on it. I think the weight limit given by the manufacturer is something like 225 (I guess it depends on the model)

  16. #16
    Redefining Negative Space LeonardLawrence's Avatar
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    From Softride's site: Rocket Beams are designed for people 200lb or under. Softride does not recommend the Rocket for people over 200lb. Classic Beam: Classic Beams are recommended for people up to 240lb.
    http://www.softride.com/bikes/faq.html
    TIPS, It's not just a government program. It is a way of life.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    BMI is crap. May any doctor who relies on it get chased by Jonah Lomu in a really bad mood.

  18. #18
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Remember, that's likely a lawyer limit rather than an engineers limit
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  19. #19
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Remember, that's likely a lawyer limit rather than an engineers limit
    definitely. But, still, I imagine any failure due to a heavy rider would be pretty heinous. I imagine carbon fiber splinters lodged in my sensitive areas.

  20. #20
    Inebriated Ninja Hatters BMonei's Avatar
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    Needs some facial hair to truly bring the Mountain Man Triathlete out.

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