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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 11-12-13, 08:47 AM   #1
kimokimo
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Training tips...fitness and weight loss

I weigh 270 and have been commuting an avg of 20 miles a day, four days a week, at about 90% heart rate, for the past year.

I asked in the commuting forum and will repeat it here... Which is better, long and hard effort other moderate with intervals?

I'm doing paleo diet by the way. Losing about 4 lbs a week.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:05 AM   #2
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I subscribe to the ... make the hard rides HARD and the easy rides STUPID EASY. You need recovery days to let your body adapt.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:12 AM   #3
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Hard enough to benefit cardio-wise, not so hard that it stops being fun. For me, as I've gotten more fit, harder has become fun.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:24 AM   #4
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for me i typically had 2 hammer fests with 2 easier days at 70-80% max perceived effort for intended distance. i tended to use those easy rides as a day before a very hard effort or kinda a recovery day. for me anything easier i get too bored. then of course the hard days are time trials or hard group rides.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:12 AM   #5
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Personally I'd think 4 days a week at 90% heart rate was way too much. The body needs at least a little time to recover, or you're not getting the gains you're working for. Recently I've been doing around 4 rides per week, sometimes five, and I tend to do two moderate rides and two heavy rides, possibly with one really heavy ride.

Say what you want about Strava, but I really like the way I can use segments as a sort of interval training. I'll often choose two or three segments on a ride and sprint them out, falling back to my target heart rate for the riding in between these segments. Or I'll use my really hard-charging ride day and make an attempt to set a new PR for the segment I define for the entire course.

Btw, to the OP, grats on the weight loss. I know how hard it is to average 4 lbs/week of weight loss over a long period of time. I averaged 4.5 lbs/week for 6 1/2 months when I was in my prime weight-loss phase, and it was grueling, punishing. Just about ground my knees into stubble, and I was positively fascist about my food intake. I would watch the Biggest Loser and see guys doing 10+lbs/week for weeks on end and just shake my head with wonder.

By the way, one of the keys on that show is that they don't lose it all through cardio done with the legs. By doing so much weight lifting, they get all their muscles involved. If I'd started lifting weights far sooner into my weight loss, I could have lost a lot more in that time. You can only lose so much using your legs and diet. Use your whole body on that diet and you'll lose more.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:15 AM   #6
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4 rides a week at LT is too much stress on the body. Is each of these rides 20 miles? How do you know your real max HR?
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Old 11-12-13, 11:33 AM   #7
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At my age my max is supposed to be 160. I can do 150 easily and not reall be breathing hard. I guess I have great capacity. I've even gotten it to 165 on occasion when going hard and then back off.

I take it easy on my rides home and stay around 130
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Old 11-12-13, 12:57 PM   #8
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At my age my max is supposed to be 160. I can do 150 easily and not reall be breathing hard. I guess I have great capacity. I've even gotten it to 165 on occasion when going hard and then back off.

I take it easy on my rides home and stay around 130
Don't believe the "220-age" formula for max HR. It's nowhere near accurate. It would predict my max as 165, and I hit 175 routinely on longer hills with nothing like the feeling of hitting maxHR.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:01 PM   #9
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4 pounds of weight loss per week is a lot. That's almost a 3000 calorie a day deficit.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:11 PM   #10
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At my age my max is supposed to be 160. I can do 150 easily and not reall be breathing hard. I guess I have great capacity. I've even gotten it to 165 on occasion when going hard and then back off.

I take it easy on my rides home and stay around 130
Don't believe that 220-age garbage.
I've seem my max go as high as (220-age) + 25

The only way to know what *YOUR* max is would be to go out and test.
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Old 11-12-13, 01:40 PM   #11
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Don't believe that 220-age garbage.
I've seem my max go as high as (220-age) + 25

The only way to know what *YOUR* max is would be to go out and test.
Yeah. I can do 160. On a two hour ride I can spend no more than a minute at that level, so I figure it is pretty much my max. By the formula, it should be 165. Close, but it may be a coincidence. Ten minutes at 150+, almost an hour at right around 140.

Fifty eight, six pounds on the obese side of over weight (If you subscribe to BMI charts, which I do, if only for the sake of argument), and history of heart disease and on beta blockers. YMMV.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:13 PM   #12
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I don't know if this constitutes a real test of my max HR or not, but I've done some relatively short (a few hundred yards) Strava segments where I sprinted all-out, leaving absolutely nothing on the table. The level of effort was definitely my max, such that after 200-300 yards I was starting to slow down somewhat involuntarily, despite doing everything possible to maintain speed. Then I checked my recorded HR for that segment. In my case, it was somewhere in the 170s. Given I'm 44 years old, as it turns out, for me the 220 - age thing was within five bpm of what I could actually do.

Still, for me, if I assume a max HR of 175, 90% of that would be 157.5 bpm. That's insane-level heart rate for me. Sure, I regularly exceed that level for short periods, like when I'm hammering up a climb, but to sustain it over a very long distance is too much. The maximum avg HR I have ever sustained over a relatively flat 25-mile course was 152bpm, and I know flat-out I couldn't do that four times a week, every week.

I realize everyone's different, so who knows, but at least judging from my own experience, I'd say 90% HR four times a week over anything like a moderately long distance is bad juju. The muscular effort required to sustain that would be more than most people could recover from that quickly, and if you don't let your body recover, you end up getting weaker, not stronger.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:45 AM   #13
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Finally found a link to a test that you can perform to get HR zones. This test will give you your "threshold" or what some refer to as their "FTP" HR which you can use to base workouts on.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...threshold-test

The link to the HR Zones in the writeup is broken but can be found at:

http://heartzones.com/_pdf/HZ_zones.pdf

The heartzones site also has tests that you can perform as well as workouts at - http://heartzones.com/resources/

Found this link which has some tables in it

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articl...ew-coggan.aspx

There are a lot of other great resources out there; no go forth test and train. Remember to retest as things change.
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Old 11-13-13, 04:28 PM   #14
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maybe they mentioned this in commute forum, but another factor riding at such high intensity, ie. "fast" is safety, especially with darkness in the evening commute. I have super-bright lights front and rear, but people are distracted even in the daytime, and most especially at night. I'm just praying I can make it to the winter solstice.

personally, all my commuting is done in recovery mode, 40 minutes each way, 5 days/week. but then I'm doing hard intervals on the trainer three days per week and racing on the weekends, so I get plenty of intensity.
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Old 12-28-13, 06:48 PM   #15
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With all this intensity and watching what I eat...I have nearly zero weight loss...what's up with that?
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Old 12-28-13, 06:55 PM   #16
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With all this intensity and watching what I eat...I have nearly zero weight loss...what's up with that?
?? Above you say you are losing 4 pounds a week but now you say you have nearly zero weight loss ... which is it? Or is it both, you lost 4 pounds a week for ?? weeks, but have lost zero for the past ?? weeks? Be more specific as to what is going on.
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Old 12-28-13, 07:28 PM   #17
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I was losing steadily and then zap...nothing, nada, Been that way since shortly after I posted originally. No real change in diet.

Only real change is that I gave blood because my red count was too high...
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Old 12-28-13, 07:30 PM   #18
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By the way, that power chart is way off. Esp in calories. I burn 800 cals an hour on the Street Strider (elliptical you take on the road) and it says I do 2000 on the bike which is way easier?

The 800 number is from a University Study done for Street Strider.
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Old 12-28-13, 08:57 PM   #19
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I think you probably need to mix things up a bit. Are you just commuting 80 miles per week, or are you putting in more volume? 90% HR seems high, but I wonder if it's more doable if you're just commuting 10 miles each way? I really have no idea. I suspect you need to ride hard some days, and take it easy others. Maybe put in some extra volume on weekends.

FWIW, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, although I'm not sure about my HR, because I gave up on my HR monitor last winter. In desperation, I finally figured out how I can get it to work more @80% of the time so I'm trying to use it now. I've actually gained weight this year, after putting in almost 6400 miles, it's my first calendar year of riding. I've really got to work on my diet now. Don't want to do another year like this, also have to get my cholesterol down. Now that I've got my HR monitor working, I'm trying to just do a bunch of easy rides (party because Lipitor did a number on my legs) and I'm having great difficulty keeping my HR < 80% and have any sort of reasonable pace. Before I noticed a problem with my legs with the Lipitor, the best I could do was about 18.5 mph over a 20 mile course (HR unknown, but pretty hard effort). Now that I'm trying to keep my HR low, I'm lucky to average 14 mph for a ride now, and really can't do much better regardless of HR, although my legs are starting to feel better. I wonder if I was overdoing it all year, when I should have been putting in alot of easy rides to go along with the harder rides I was doing?

Not trying to hijack your thread, just think it may be a similar issue. Would love to hear anyones thoughts.
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Old 12-28-13, 09:32 PM   #20
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With all this intensity and watching what I eat...I have nearly zero weight loss...what's up with that?
have you tested your true HR yet?

Sounds like a plateau, switch it up some, on and off the bike. Could take a month to see some results. Or just ride your bike
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Old 12-29-13, 09:29 AM   #21
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Very weird to go from 4 pounds a week (how many weeks was this?) straight to zero with truly no changes in diet. Usually weight loss tapers off before you hit a plateau. Usually plateau simply means a calorie deficit is no longer present. As body loses weight it requires less food to maintain, so one has to cut food further to maintain rate of loss, and/or increase activity (best is add some strength training, muscle burns more calories at rest). 4 pounds a week is a ton, after a large initial loss 1-2 pounds per week is a more realistic target.

But if lost 4 pounds/week for months and then zero, for weeks, and truly haven't changed anything with food/meds, then maybe should speak to your doctor as that is really weird.
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