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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 07-01-14, 12:01 PM   #1
gman214
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UPDATED: Weight Update and Riding Question...Countdown to 100

Went to the nutritionist office this morning and I've lost a total of 88 lbs so far! Need to lose 13 lbs to break 300!!! I haven't seen under 300 in 20 years or so!!!!!!!

Before each ride I do 3 to 5 minutes of stretching exercises. I get on the bike and immediately try 80+ rpms. It seems I'm lumbering even struggling some. But after about 3 miles, my energy returns and I can do another 4 to 5 miles without struggling.

Am I pushing too fast to get to 80+ rpms? How should I warmup?

UPDATED: I'm counting down to 100 lbs weight loss. Now 8 lbs to 100, 9 lbs to under 300 lbs!!!

Last edited by gman214; 07-07-14 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:42 PM   #2
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Try not stretching and ride a gentle 2 miles as a warmup. Just cruising along in a low gear at your natural cadence. Then if you want to work on cadence by all means do so. I'm thinking your not warming up easy enough.

Big congratulations on your weight loss!
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Old 07-01-14, 12:49 PM   #3
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First off ... congrats ... that's fantastic!

For me personally, I don't stretch before a ride. If I did, I'd do dynamic stretching rather than static (many believe static stretching before exercise causes injury, and believe you should only do static stretching after exercise). If I'm feeling tight after a ride, then I'll do some statis stretching.

As far as RPMs, if you're lumbering it would seem to me (not knowing what gear you're in) that you're in too big of a gear (and if it takes three miles for you to feel better it would support my theory). When I start out, I start in a gear that allows me to spin easily for the first five minutes. I do that so that my legs have time to warm up. Yeah, it feels like you're not doing anything, but at that point of my ride, I'm not out to set the world on fire. I'm out to warm myself up so that I can ride faster after that. My commutes start slow, in an easy gear. I make sure I'm comfortable in the saddle, have a drink, etc, all while spinning.

Remember, your bike has gears and the gears are there to serve you. Trying to spin a big gear too early is not using the gears to your advantage. Start in an easy gear, spin up to 80 rpm or more, if you're bouncing in the saddle, shift to a bigger gear while maintaining 80 rpm. Get your legs warmed up, then you can try to push a big gear.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:08 PM   #4
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I thought warming up on the bike was stretching?

congrats on your weight loss!
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Old 07-01-14, 08:20 PM   #5
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Ditto on no static stretching before riding. I run at 6:30am and do dynamic stretching then roll into my tempo run slowly. Zero injuries. I'm not up to full cadence for 10 minutes or so, maybe longer.

Look at some of the dynamic stretching videos on youtube, pick some exercises that make sense to you. You'll get off to a better, safer start.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:14 PM   #6
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+1 on the static stretching. It has actually been shown to provide no benefit when done prior to exercise. Dynamic stretching is another matter and can be beneficial when done right.

Hitting 80rpm straight away is no problem. As others have pointed at, you should warm up first before you go hard. Spinning at 80rpm is fine, and you can continue at 80rpm once you're warmed up, just in a harder gear with more effort. It takes me around 10min to properly warm up to go hard in winter, which we're in now down south. In summer, I can get away with 5min or so, but still 10min is better. I notice the warmup much more when on rollers, where the first 5min or so is a real chore and you feel like just getting off and doing something else. After that, things just get easier.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:49 PM   #7
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Congrats on the continued weight loss!
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Old 07-01-14, 09:55 PM   #8
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Yep 88 is great :-).......

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Old 07-02-14, 02:12 AM   #9
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Congrats on the weight loss !!
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Old 07-02-14, 03:11 AM   #10
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+1 on no static stretching and not pushing too hard to start. Additionally, a lot of us don't feel warmed up until we are out for 3 or 4 miles at least, so ou are tracking a common experience. I listen to what my HR and breathing is telling me during that warm up period especially. Spinning at 80 RPM is a good cadence - you shouldn't feel like you have to push hard on the pedals. Spinning up to 90, having to push a little, after a warm up is even better.

Addendum: congratulations on the weight loss.
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Old 07-02-14, 12:30 PM   #11
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Thanks y'all...GREAT to have support!!! I'll look at of those videos too!
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Old 07-02-14, 12:46 PM   #12
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That’s awesome gman, keep up the momentum and you’ll be under 300 pounds in no time! You must feel so much better already at 88 pounds lighter.

By the time I lost 40 pounds, I felt like a teenager again! I only started out at 210 pounds (but I’m only 5’ 7”) and just several weeks ago I dropped to a low of 163.2 pounds (a weight I hadn’t been since I was 19 years old), so that was thrilling for me.

As for stretching, I haven’t found any need to stretch before or after riding and neither has my friend. However, we realize that it normally takes us several minutes to warm up, so we don’t usually push quite as hard for the first mile or so, which allows major arteries to open up a bit.

But on April 27[SUP]th[/SUP] of this year, we had both left our backpacks and lighting at his house and had ridden to my Aunt’s house (his mother-in-law’s house, he married my cousin, but she’s not into bicycling). As dusk was coming upon us that evening, we deemed it best to make it an “all out sprint” over the 2.484 miles to his house so cars could still see us with the existing though dimming natural lighting. We were peaking at 28 and 29 MPH on some of the flats that had no traffic lights or stop signs and though we were stopped by 2 traffic lights over that distance, we still managed to traverse the distance in a time of 7:02, yielding an average speed of 21.2 MPH, which was our fastest average speed ever. We had never gone at it like that before, which was totally fun for both of us.

The absolute best I had ever achieved over that same route previously when riding solo was 20.1 MPH (again stopped by the same two traffic lights) and I thought I’d never top that. 18.6 MPH was my fastest prior to that, but I was stopped by 3 traffic lights and I wasn’t accelerating hard, just reaching high cruise speeds. But throw in some equally matched competition with constant hard accelerations and pushes to higher peak flat ground speeds and you’d be surprised what you can accomplish over a relatively short distance via an “all out sprint”. We’re looking forward to doing that “all out sprint” again, but hopefully we’ll miss all traffic lights (or perhaps miss all but one traffic light). Also, net time we need to warm up prior to commencing the “all out sprint” over that distance to see what absolute maximum average speed we can yield. In any case, it’ll be fun.
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Old 07-02-14, 01:58 PM   #13
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I add my congrats to the other's. Good work!

I too lost a bunch of weight (~200 lbs) and it has changed my life. I would suggest just skipping the stretching exercises unless you really like doing them and just ride slowly and vary the pace for a while till you get the energy boost and just go!
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Old 07-02-14, 09:02 PM   #14
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Thanks Gnosis! You guys were rolling! I do feel a lot better...can't wait to get under 300! REALLY EXCITED!!
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Old 07-11-14, 11:51 AM   #15
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I am also doing my countdown to 300 and about the same location you are. This morn I was 307ish. i had to change my normal route out of my neighborhood because I wasn't warmed up enough. Being a 300+ guy like me, you know slight inclines make us work and I have one about 30 seconds into my ride if going the old way. Now, I take a different route where it takes me a good 5 min before I have to hit the incline and i must say doing this makes my overall ride more enjoyable. Cadence is about making it easier and more efficient but I personally don't find anything easy about riding at a higher cadence. As someone else posted, it's good to find your natural cadence which for me is around 65 rmp and I just use my gears to keep the same resistance on my knees because if I gear to aggressively, my knees let me know and I have to switch gears or end up taking 2-3 days off from riding. However, i do spin much faster at inclines now so that is nice and I quickly recover because I am spinning at a higher RPM. However, if I try to always spin at a higher RPM, it's not a fun ride, I can't ride as long and I am sore and tired at the end. And I think riding longer at your natural cadence is going to be better than trying to maintain a higher fitness level of cadence and not going as far. I suspect more weight loss is going to come from riding longer. But I have only rode 288 miles and giving you what I have learned and what is working for me.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:45 PM   #16
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I definitely feel better after 3-8 minutes of riding. Stretching first isn't really necessary. Though stopping after you're warmed up almost certainly has a benefit.

Of course, if you're doing a 60-90 minute yoga routine before cycling, that's entirely different.
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Old 07-11-14, 10:53 PM   #17
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Thanks Salreus! It feels great to be within a few pounds of 300! I've found my natural Cadence to be 72 rpms. I do push into the 80s at times. My goal this summer is to ride longer too. I do 7 miles each ride, up from 5 miles I was doing in May. Good Luck!
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