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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-18-09, 07:34 PM   #1
rdtompki
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Pot Belly - Cause and Effect?

I'm a mini-Clyde who needs to loose 25 lbs. to get down to 185 or so at which time I'll tender my resignation from this forum. I've always been one to add weight all over so an extra 20+ lbs or so doesn't sound an alarm as when the weight goes to one place, for example, the belly.

I've made an alarming observation regarding older male cyclists and I'd like some feedback. Namely, there seems to be a fair occurrence of a pot belly among older (late 50's + I would guess) male cyclists who look otherwise very fit. Now since I'm in my early 60's I'm wondering if I have reason to be concerned about the anatomic results that will be produced by this otherwise excellent means of recreation.

What's the deal? Are these individuals whose body type just naturally holds onto fat in that one locations despite thousand of miles of cycling or is there something about cycling that creates this phenomenon?
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Old 04-18-09, 07:38 PM   #2
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The belly is the most common place for men to store weight. Nothing to do with cycling. Though, if you want to reduce the appearance of a belly when you're a bit overweight, adding solid core exercises to your routines will help. But it only helps a little, generally if you fat, you fat.
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Old 04-18-09, 09:01 PM   #3
Jerry in So IL
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There is NO such ting as a "mini Clyde"!

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Old 04-18-09, 09:06 PM   #4
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Fat is fat. The pot belly has nothing to do with cycling. It has to do with caloric excess. The men you see are consuming more calories than they burn and the calories go to their bellies. Combine that with the fact that many cyclists ONLY cycle with no sort of resistance training, and you end up with pot bellies. Busy lifestyles, families, jobs, all take time away from the saddle. Less saddle time and a slower metabolism = fat gain.
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Old 04-18-09, 09:09 PM   #5
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Something else is that a lot of those guys, you wouldn't notice the pot belly if they weren't in tight biking clothes. Standing upright, wearing a suit, hides a lot of bodily imperfection.

They didn't necessarily gain weight to get to that point, they may have lost down to that point, and may still be losing, for that matter.
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Old 04-18-09, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
I'm a mini-Clyde who needs to loose 25 lbs. to get down to 185 or so at which time I'll tender my resignation from this forum. I've always been one to add weight all over so an extra 20+ lbs or so doesn't sound an alarm as when the weight goes to one place, for example, the belly.

I've made an alarming observation regarding older male cyclists and I'd like some feedback. Namely, there seems to be a fair occurrence of a pot belly among older (late 50's + I would guess) male cyclists who look otherwise very fit. Now since I'm in my early 60's I'm wondering if I have reason to be concerned about the anatomic results that will be produced by this otherwise excellent means of recreation.

What's the deal? Are these individuals whose body type just naturally holds onto fat in that one locations despite thousand of miles of cycling or is there something about cycling that creates this phenomenon?
Some of this is genetics as well. If you have a family history of diabetes your body shape is going to be more "apple" shaped (where you carry most of your weight around the middle). Plus, like others have mentioned if your primary exercise is cycling other parts of your body will not be exercised enough to provide good tone and or burned off regional body fat.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:28 PM   #7
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You see this on older marathoners too. I am personally in no position to make any claims regarding this, but if you go over to a weightlifting or bodybuilding forum and ask the same question they will respond that belly fat on otherwise fit people doing mostly aerobics is due to an over-reliance on low intensity aerobics, too little muscle mass in the upper body, and not enough anaerobic training.

The cure: do intervals and other lactic acid-heavy type training and pump iron regularly off the bike. And not 20-rep sets, that's just more aerobics.
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Old 04-19-09, 08:13 AM   #8
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It's just nature. The sad reality is that despite all the dubious claims to the contrary, there's nothing anyone can do to reduce fat in any particular part of the body without somehow losing it everywhere else. A middle-aged man will inevitably acquire the name "chicken legs" long before the pot belly goes away.
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Old 04-19-09, 11:03 AM   #9
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I guess you can't fool mother nature. Physique aside, any of these folks riding 30-100 miles are in so much better shape than the population average. The stories on this forum about weight loss and health improvements are inspiring. I travel quite a bit in my business and sitting in an airport terminal offers an opportunity to see a fair cross section of the US populace and the picture ain't pretty.
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