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  1. #1
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    so my trainer wants me to quit commuting by bike...

    started with a personal trainer. great program so far, really good results weight-loss-wise, but one fly in the ointment:

    he wants me to give up bike commuting.

    I normally do 26m RT, about 2 hours total in nice weather and 2.5 in the winter. 5k miles last year

    he says that there are two main reasons
    1) my body has gotten "used to it" and so it doesn't deliver as much benefit as it used to
    2) it's pretty much a legs-only exercise and is "moderate" exercise compared to jumping on a treadmill

    well, he is OK if I do cycling in short, energetic bursts of 20-30m, but not the 2-2.5 hours.

    I think he may have a point, because I certainly can't go all-out the whole time. I push pretty hard on the way into work but take a more leisurely pace on the way home. so it is not as intense as doing something in short bursts, but hardly a cakewalk. still, I thought moderate-intensity exercise was good for weight loss?
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  2. #2
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    I am not a trainer but with the lack of education of some trainers, it allows me to give my two cents and sound smart!

    I wouldnt give up commuting. Any movement is buring calories. What works best for me is to commute to work three days a week, hit the gym for cardio on those three days during lunch (my work has a gym in it) and the other two days I drive in and do some weight lifting and a little cardio. Weekends I usually hit the bike for longer rides.

  3. #3
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    Shouldn't it be the other way around? slower to work, faster coming home? That way your able to get to your nice home and have a good shower =D.
    Two wheels carry the soul...
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    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    One does not need a trainer to lose weight. Intake less calories than you burn and the weight will drop. My commute is as important to my mind as it is to my body.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastRod View Post
    Shouldn't it be the other way around? slower to work, faster coming home? That way your able to get to your nice home and have a good shower =D.
    everyone says that, but I find the opposite to be the case. first thing in the morning I'm fresh and it's light outside. end of the day, I'm tired and it's dark. I dare not go as fast when it's dark.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  6. #6
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    If I had a trainer telling me that, I'd find a new trainer. If his routine is working for you, keep doing it. But why stop doing something you enjoy that isn't going to negatively affect weight loss? While your daily commute may no longer be as beneficial as it once was, that doesn't make it a negative. I'd keep doing it as well as whatever else he has you doing. No reason to give up one.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  7. #7
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Does your trainer want you to stop riding completely or just the number of days or miles you ride? It sounds like your trainer has you on a HIIT program. What is the goal that both of you decided on?

    Even though I haven't commuted for a while (Started a new job),when I rode I did it because I enjoyed it. The Cardio or fitness was just a bonus. What is the timetable they gave you for your body to no longer be used to it? When does your trainer plan on changing up the program they started you on so you don't get used to it and keep making progress?

    Making drastic changes is hard. Most trainers that I know try to work with or around what you currently do to make it more of a lifestyle choice. If you eat cheesecake everyday (Yum!), then I would suggest only 3-4 times a week to start and then gradually down to 1-2 times a week.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Well, there is something to be said for trying interval training for health benefits (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0311123639.htm). It may be hard to do high intensity intervals a day or two a week and keep up five day a week commuting. It sounds like a recipe for overtraining yourself. I tried interval training with a personal trainer and didn't like it. But who would.

  9. #9
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    The same sort of trainer who expects his customers to drive to work and wander around the parking lot for 15 minutes to find a space close to the front door?

    I'd find a new trainer pronto. The things that emerge out of this is that you are establishing a habit that will likely stay with your whilever you work and are able to commute. That habit in turn will help you maintain your weight loss -- I couold almost guarantee that when you stop your training program, you will gain weight again unless you are doing something like commuting. You're also helping yourself by avoiding the frustrations of traffic gridlock, and if you are into it, saving fuel, money and (ugggh!) the environment.

    I can't help but think this is a strategy by your current trainer to hook you permanently on to his books by having you drop a worthwhile physical activity so you gaiin weight.

    And yes, low to moderate exercise, based on heart rate zones, will help you lose and/or maintain weight, and particularly over the distance and time you are doing. Perhaphs you might consider dropping the intensity on the way into work, but if you're having fun, it's no big deal.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    i went to yoga class. they said "we practice yoga without shoes on". I said "I'm not taking off my shoes". end of discussion, and class was fine.

    same thing for you. tell him you can do whatever workout he wants, but you are not giving up the commute. if he can't handle it, or keeps bringing it up, get a new trainer. nothing personal, it just didn't work out.

    congrats on the progress you have made so far.

  11. #11
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    It may be right that all that relTively low-intensity exercise may make it a bit harder to preserve (or even put on) muscle as you lose weight. So purely for weight loss and body recomposition, he may have a point.
    But all the evidence is that the hard part is keeping it off, not losing it. And studies of the few who do keep it off suggest that lots And lots of exercise (like an hour a day) is a common habit of those who succeed.

    So I'd tend to agree: get a new trainer; this guy is short-sighted. Keep your calorie deficit moderate, don't overtrain with lots of intervals etc given your volume, and lift heavy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    If he can't work that into your training, get someone who can.

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCbiker View Post
    One does not need a trainer to lose weight. Intake less calories than you burn and the weight will drop. My commute is as important to my mind as it is to my body.
    Keep commuting...you are not over training.
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  14. #14
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    Ignore or drop the trainer, as others have said.

    Now, if you want to add some kick to the commute, start adding intervals a couple times a week. Don't just pin your ears back and try to pedal sorta kinda faster one way. Instead, sprint as hard as you can for periods of 15 seconds to 5 minutes. Spin lightly, then repeat 2-4 times. Cruise easily the rest of the commute, and on off days.

    If your PT can give you some core and upper body workouts, it might be worth your while to keep him. Not for cycling, but for whatever other reasons you want to train.

  15. #15
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    Sounds like your current trainer is a non-cyclist and he probably knows that he is unqualified to setup a cycling routine that fits into his concept of what you need to accomplish your (or his) true goals. I too suggest finding a new trainer with cycling experience that can setup a program including interval training, climbing, and distance workouts.

    I attended spin classes in Santa Monica one summer where the instructor would constantly state that riding a "real" bike in a "real" world environment was "a waste of time" and that only spinning indoors had "true" fitness benefits. The funny thing is, I had to ride almost 50 miles each way to attend his classes, where he and most of his other clients would arrive by car. I continued to take the spin classes throughout the summer because there was a great set of really steep and challenging stairs to run very close by and the gym was a convienent place to stash a set of running shoes, and there were several great restaurants on the Promenade, but the instructor was unqualified to participate in my overall training. He also eventually ruined my interest in spin classes because of his arrogance and single-mindedness. Choosing a personal trainer is like choosing a doctor. If he doesn't take the time to understand what your needs are he's just pocketing your money to massage his own ego.
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

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  16. #16
    Week Day Commuter.
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    Your trainer is an idiot, i would find one that knows what he's talking about.
    Chuck

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  17. #17
    Who has a good sense of humor for going along with my little April Fool Gag (The Admin) Mr. Markets's Avatar
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    running beats the crap out of your knees. bike to any form of running? nah...

  18. #18
    Senior Member rykard's Avatar
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    variety is the spice of life - if you do on;ly 1 type of exercise it can be detrimental - you nee to mix it up. Try to get your trainer to explain why they want you to stop...
    Cheers,
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  19. #19
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    some trainers get very locked into their methodology of how someone should train.. There is no one size fits all when it comes to training.. what are your specific goals.. I know losing weight is one of them, but what are the others..

    I would keep the commute at tempo speed and throw in 4-5 - one minute intervals at 90+% max hr to start.. Once you get used to that, throw in more intervals or increase the length of the interval.. If you have a HR monitor it is good to see what you HR is during your intervals..

  20. #20
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    everyone says that, but I find the opposite to be the case. first thing in the morning I'm freshen, and it's light outside. end of the day, I'm tired and it's dark. I dare not go as fast when it's dark.
    O ok then, I assumed u were leaving around the afternoon and not when it was dark. I guess it's understandable. I just prefer the afternoon cause it's hotter which means your sweat more =]. Hope you keep riding.

    Cheers,
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  21. #21
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    In my opinion... seems like most trainers really suck. After talking with one of the best trainers I had when I lived in Seattle, the criteria to be a trainer is a joke. Like buying a degree or certification online.

    For me, a GREAT trainers is: someone who pushes me, someone who tailors the workout toward my body and what I can do, someone who will listen, someone who knows how fat people work, someone who pushes me more and gets in my face when I am lazy, someone who knows nutrition like a back of their hand, someone who has dieitican skills and someone who has cooking skills.

    Just my two cents. And to find someone that has the above is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Maybe you could talk with your trainer and try to get to the bottom of his objections . Is it because he's afraid you're not spending enough time "in the zone" when doing this? Or is it because he thinks it takes time and energy away from his prescribed exercise program ? I wonder if some trainers just go with what they know and prefer , over what works for you, specifically .

  23. #23
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I normally do 26m RT, about 2 hours total in nice weather and 2.5 in the winter. 5k miles last year

    he says that there are two main reasons
    1) my body has gotten "used to it" and so it doesn't deliver as much benefit as it used to
    2) it's pretty much a legs-only exercise and is "moderate" exercise compared to jumping on a treadmill

    well, he is OK if I do cycling in short, energetic bursts of 20-30m, but not the 2-2.5 hours.
    Just to stay healthy your body really doesn't need any intensive exercise. Walking, or cycling, at a low speed suffices, if done regularly.

    That you want to get even fitter, and lose weight is a different thing. Find a trainer who is willing to accept you have already covered your basic fitness demands, but want to progress from there.

    Apart from that, cycling is not just a thing for the legs, it is a very good kind of aerobic training.

  24. #24
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    amen ij!

  25. #25
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I have much to learn about training but one thing I do know is how quickly one adapts to a training routine. To generalize, It seems that I have about a 6 week period that any new routine shows benefits. Week one is a learning / anti-injury phase. Weeks 2-4 I show solid gains. Week 5 very small increases. Week 6 flat line. At 55 years old my recovery time is longer than a 30 year old so just adding exercise volume isn't the best approach. I've been thinking on a seasonal approach now. Fall is for all around strength. Winter is for weightloss. Spring is for cardio/endurance. Summer is for fun. (ie bicycle as much as I can.) I try to do a little of everything all the time but for for me gaining strength while losing weight eludes me. I'm mainly wanting to keep it interesting. I'm not training for an event.

    To continue on my possibly pointless post. It seems to me that the vast majority of trainers are strength orientated. I guess I differentiate between trainers and fitness instructors. I only go to the local Y so my sample size is limited. At the Y fitness instructors don't lift or at least extremely rarely. Trainers only do warmup levels of aerobics. It seems to work for them though. Left to my own devices, I wouldn't lift and do 75-85% Max Heartrate elipticals everyday. My fitness would flatline, I'd become bored and start coming up with excuses.
















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