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  1. #1
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    goal: 50lbs/100mi

    I decided to post this in the 50+ forum rather than the general forums, hopefully a crowd that might identify with this a bit more.

    I started riding again about 6 weeks ago after at least 15 years of layoff

    I'm 57, 5' 9", and weighing 205. A lot of weight accumulated over the years.

    Back when I rode a lot, my weight hovered 165-170, and at my strongest I was 152.

    I've been riding about 40-50 miles / week since I started again, but have yet to lose a pound. I've lost inches around the middle though.

    So I set a goal that by August 2006, I lose 50 lbs and ride a century. I've been riding about 40-50 miles / week since I started again, but have yet to lose a pound. I've lost inches around the middle though.

    Goals are great motivators, if they're realistic. So my question: is this realistic or nuts. What's been your experience?

  2. #2
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    I see your goals as being right on target.

    As for your weight, that translates to about a pound a week, well within what would be recommended.

    If you ride for a year, I also see the century as well within reason.

    As for you not losing weight yet, I think that shrinking waistline is a very big indicator that you're on the right track. You've been building muscle, which in the end will result in an easier path for you to lose poundage as well.

    I think patience and keeping at it will be the keys to achieving success. Still, I'd also say that you've done great if, after the year, you, let's say, have lost 30 pounds and can only do 50 miles.

    Also, I work best if I hold out a carrot for reaching a goal, whether it be a jersey or a new bike or a night out on the town. Just something to visualize as a reward down the line.

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I agree with Keith. The key to good goals is to have them both optimistic and realistic. In other words, they should be a stretch, but they should be doable. Yours seem to fit these characteristics.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Set monthly goals so that if you miss one goal, you can realistically readjust the others. It might also be more motivating to tell yourself, "I hit my goal 2 of the last 3 months", rather than "I barely missed my quarterly goal". My personal experience has been that when I ride more I eat more and my weight does not come off, even tho' the fitness level is improving; therefore, I have other measures of fitness that I take into consideration. Examples: ride 6 times a week even if the rides are only 45 minutes, no solid food after 7PM for a week, get my resting heartrate down by 2 beats in the next month, get into a smaller waisted pair of pants, body fat % down by 1%, etc.

    Changing habits for the better is the way to sustained weight loss, it is a lifetime pursuit not a 6 month or 1 year experience. Keep working at it, the bike can be a big help.

  5. #5
    Riding a bitsa
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    OK, I"m 5' 8" and have been 220 yet nobody would say I was fat at that weight. I was a serious weightlifter. Then I went sailing and needed a different sort of body so I went down to about 195 - again not much fat. Now I"m back to starting on an endurance theme so my weight is even lower.

    My point is that you shouldn't care about weight but instead about body composition. The *#&#& doctors and their *#&*#& scales have gotten the world all in a 'weight' conscious mode which is silly. Nobody CARES what they weigh really. The care what their body composition is and what they look like.

    If you are serious here, I suggest you get your body composition checked and checked monthly. That will tell you your real progress which probably is better than the scale is telling you. After all, if you lost 50 lbs of fat and gained 50 lbs of muscle, would you complain?

  6. #6
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You can easily do that Century long, long before a year. Simply build towards that goal. Bicycling Magazine has a Century training schedule in this months edition.

    And, yes, you can lose that weight easily. But, as others have said, it is body composition and how you want to look and feel that is really important.

    I lift a lot of weights, so I look different than before. My wife told me today that I look mire "muscular" now (at 65yo) than I ever have.

    Depends on your goals. Some folks don't want any upper body muscles (less weight for racing). I do.

  7. #7
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    thanks everybody for the responses!

    The feedback I'm getting is that the Century ride 8/06 is realistic. I set the target that far in the future because I'm finding that while I have reasonable speed and endurance on the flats, I'm seriously underpowered on hills, and there are a lot of hills in Northern California. So I think the 1 year target is reasonable to develop both my endurance and my hillclimbing ability.

    As far as weight, the feedback I'm getting is that I may be overreaching with the 50lb goal, not because I couldn't do it, but because it may be too low a target weight for my body type and composition. I targeted 155 because as I remember back that was when I felt in best physical shape. When I was below that I felt scrawny and weak. Above that (and I've gone way above that) I've always felt that I was carrying too much weight. And the last 25 pounds have gone to developing a serious paunch.

    I do limited upper body work in the gym 1-2 times / week, I've always found some upper body strength is good for cycling, too much may be inappropriately topheavy.

    Slide suggested getting my body composition checked monthly. I'll be a newbie on this one: I don't have the foggiest idea how to do this or who to go to do this, or how expensive it is to do it. Any help would be appreciated. Would the same people who do this check be able to guide me to an appropriate body weight?

  8. #8
    Jer. 29:11 pcmike's Avatar
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    I've lamented here before how SLOW the weight loss was and received much of the advice and encouragement you have been getting. I started in May and through late July, there just wasn't any loss showing on the scales. I thought my clothes felt better but even doing 100+ miles a week in training and lowering my caloric intake, it didn't seem to be helping and I was getting discouraged.
    I even did 250 miles in four days in the Michigan Tour da U.P. ride and didn't lose a pound.
    But then, just like the folks here said, it kicked in.
    I'm now down eight pounds.
    I really do think all the muscle biking builds slows the weight loss on the scale.
    But changes are taking place. The older we get, the harder it is for the weight to come off, especially if we have yo-yo'ed before. It's like the body decides tow ait and see if we are really serious before it starts shedding pounds.
    Hang in there. Your goal is certainly do-able.
    Weight loss needs to be long term and fitness a life style commitment, day in and day out.
    No matter what.
    It's job 1 for me and will be the rest of my life.
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    Follow me on Twitter @michiganbiking and @michigandermike
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  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    BITS-I was right where you are about 4 years ago. I weighed 220lbs on a 6 ft frame and was able to get almost 50 lbs off in a year. My first century ride came after about a year and it was probably more "mental" than physcially being ready.

    The other posters are correct in that if you're doing it the right way shoot for about 1 lb a week but don't fret with the swings up and down. Over the long haul you'll see it continue to drop. I'd suggest doing a longer ride weekly on a day that you have time-doing at least 50 miles and getting to where 60-65 is "comfortable". You will also want to monitor your calorie intake and not overeat from all the additional exercise. It's all about calories in versus calories out. The natural tendency is thinking you can eat the same amount since you're exercising more. If you're wanting to lose weight you also need to reduce the calories.

    I'm presently down about 55 lbs (my lowest weight since College) and am riding about 600 miles a month (700+ last month). The nice thing is that I can eat basically what I desire and with the additional mileage can burn it off. Fortunately my eating habits have greatly improved over time and "all I want" is a lot less than it was a few years ago.

    What worked for me was making a chart and having a weekly weigh-in. That way you know exactly what your progress is. I still do that when I'm trying to get my weight down for an epic Century ride and it works. What gets measured gets done!!

    Good luck with your quest. It's exactly the right thing to do and the timing is perfect. We're here to encourage and help you anyway we can.

  10. #10
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    that's really encouraging! You did exactly what I'm aiming at. Congratulations, and I hope to be joining you in a year.

    I used to find that the more I rode the less I ate, or at least my appetite and food cravings went down. That's still true. I had become a major league snacker, and I'm still snacking, but I think overall food intake is down even though exercise is up. Yet the lbs are still there, so I may be deluding myself and I'll take a closer look at food intake. I found those little "energy bars" (another thing which wasn't around 20 yrs ago) which are like candy, useful but gotta watch the intake, and not overcompensate.

    I'm doing weekend rides, but right now the length of my weekend rides is not a whole lot greater than my weekday, I'm sure that will change.

    I sure feel a whole lot better though, even after only 6 weeks of riding.

  11. #11
    Riding a bitsa
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle

    I do limited upper body work in the gym 1-2 times / week, I've always found some upper body strength is good for cycling, too much may be inappropriately topheavy.
    You must have been very serious about lifting to get top heavy. I am a shiney newbie to bicycling, but do have some b/g in conditioning and noted that in the TdF, Lance had the best upper body development of all the featured riders. That's by a long shot. Others looked like skels up top. I don't know his routines or philosophy but when I was distance running, thought was moving from upper body strength was a hinderance to the idea that it helped. Again, up to a point.
    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle

    Slide suggested getting my body composition checked monthly. I'll be a newbie on this one: I don't have the foggiest idea how to do this or who to go to do this, or how expensive it is to do it. Any help would be appreciated. Would the same people who do this check be able to guide me to an appropriate body weight?
    Call gyms in your area asking if they measure body fat using calipers. Many think immersion is better, but I'm not sure. I do know that calipers used consistently will be great in telling you of your progress losing body fat. Since you belong to a gym, don't they have this service as part of your membership? IF not, I'm surprised.

  12. #12
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    Slide, as far as body composition, I belong to a low-rent gym, I don't think they offer these services. also I've never used it so much that I ended up top-heavy, I've just seen the suggestion that an ideal cyclist physique would not be really pumped up on the torso.

    I saw an ad in a catalog today for digital scales that claim to do a body composition calculation. I don't know whether they really work, I think I'll post a question in the training/nutrition section of Bike Forums.

    In any event, I'm gratified to hear that my goal seems doable, and I intend to monitor my progress focusing on strength and fitness, not simply numbers on a scale.

    thanks for your suggestions.

  13. #13
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I'll be right there with you with a goal of more like 35 pounds. I'm hoping to do half a century by the end of the year so maybe a century next year is a good goal for me, too. Let us know how you're doing!

  14. #14
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    I saw an ad in a catalog today for digital scales that claim to do a body composition calculation. I don't know whether they really work,
    They will not be very accurate on the exact figure, but will allow for some comparison on changes in BF.

    Also, they are more inaccurate for an "athlete" or someone in shape. They have a "sport model" that is supposedly more accurate for those in shape.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    Slide, as far as body composition, I belong to a low-rent gym, I don't think they offer these services. also I've never used it so much that I ended up top-heavy, I've just seen the suggestion that an ideal cyclist physique would not be really pumped up on the torso.

    I saw an ad in a catalog today for digital scales that claim to do a body composition calculation. I don't know whether they really work, I think I'll post a question in the training/nutrition section of Bike Forums.

    In any event, I'm gratified to hear that my goal seems doable, and I intend to monitor my progress focusing on strength and fitness, not simply numbers on a scale.

    thanks for your suggestions.
    Some scales claim to check b.f. by measuring impedence. All the information I have on this says this is 100% bunkum. I would not trust these devices.

    At least ask at your gym about calipers. The device is inexpensive so it's mostly doing the test consistently to get good comparisons. In fact, if you are married or have someone who you don't have a skin fetish with, buy your own set and DIY. It's easily doable. I'd say DIY solo, but the subconscious may cause you to cheat.

    Here is one link:

    Bodyfat calipers for sale

    Perhaps you can donate these calipers to your gym in return for a lifetime of having someone measure you!

  16. #16
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    I saw an ad in a catalog today for digital scales that claim to do a body composition calculation. I don't know whether they really work, I think I'll post a question in the training/nutrition section of Bike Forums.
    I had a body-fat analysis done about a year ago by the director of the University of Texas Department of Kinesiology Education. He used two different scales, and hand-held model, and a full body scan. Each one gave slightly different numbers but all were within a few percentage points. The director said that he believed the scales to be the most accurate -- and one of the scales did have an "athlete" setting -- though I was no athlete at the time.

    I have a hand-held digital model. You enter your info (age, sex, weight) and then press your thumbs against the metal disks. You can store up to six people and I happen to have six in my family so I had each one enter their info and try it out and the results were exactly what we would have expected. The readings were also in line with the results of the analysis at UT. It was about $40 and I got it here , though it looks like this is a newer model because it stores data for up to eight people.

    I understand you can also get it done at Bally Total Fitness even if you aren't a member. This may be true for other fitness centers in your area.

  17. #17
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide
    At least ask at your gym about calipers. The device is inexpensive so it's mostly doing the test consistently to get good comparisons. In fact, if you are married or have someone who you don't have a skin fetish with, buy your own set and DIY. It's easily doable. I'd say DIY solo, but the subconscious may cause you to cheat.

    Here is one link:

    Bodyfat calipers for sale

    Perhaps you can donate these calipers to your gym in return for a lifetime of having someone measure you!
    I've read that the realiability of the calipers depends on the skill of the person taking the measurements. Assuming the calipers come with some good directions, I see no reason that someone couldn't become proficient at doing his or her own measurements or train someone else. Thanks for the link!

  18. #18
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    I got you beat by a 100 lbs but the weight is comming off. I ride 16 miles a day now. and have lost about 30 t0 40 lbs. but have been at the a platau for a while. What is going on is the fat is turnning into muscle. I have lost 6 inch in girth and can go over overpasses w/o getting in low gear and my average speed has gone up 2 mph since April.

    The 100 miles in doable and the weight loss is also doable. You got to stick with the riding and watch what you eat.

    My goal is a 100 miles next spring.

    Joe
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  19. #19
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    What is going on is the fat is turnning into muscle
    Physiologically impossible. Can't happen.

  20. #20
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    I did it last year at 59. I'm 6'4", and I was pretty proud of having gained "only" two or three pounds a year until I went in for a physical and realized I'd been doing it since the Carter administration. I was pushing 270.
    Through a LOT of exercise--between 6,000 and 10,000 calories a week on the bike, according to a computer program called BalanceLog--and a moderate diet, I went from 268 to 224 in about four months. That's faster than the normal recommendation, but since I was taking in plenty of calories and burning them through exercise, the university clinic that supervised the program (I'm a writer and did it for a story) decided there was no risk of malnutrition and let me do it. My BP dropped from 140/100 to 110/60, and my cholesterol, already low at 169, went to 132. I did several rides in the 50-75 mile range, and full-on century, my first in 12 years, in September.
    The downside: We had a snowy winter (three feet on the ground for three months), and I didn't compensate for the loss of cycling time. I gained back 20 pounds, which I'm picking away at now. But the bottom line of all this is that if you're riding that much and you're not losing weight, you're still taking in too many calories. Ride more or eat less (but a balanced diet), and you'll get there.

  21. #21
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    I'll try the calipers with do-it-yourself mode

    I wonder if they come in XL?

  22. #22
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    to Taylor8, VeloDog, Longhorn, and everyone else who is in on these or similar goals, I offer encouragement and wishes that you all reach your goals, and maybe we can do a periodic checkin over the next 12 months. I'm just getting started (now 7 weeks into riding after 15+ yrs off) so your stories of progress have been extraordinarily informative and inspirational!

  23. #23
    Member steel_knee's Avatar
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    Explain please, I've always believed that and my gym experiences seem to support it.
    Ernie, 04 Dahon Speed TR (mine) and 05 Speed P8 (wife's), Ventura CA

  24. #24
    Riding a bitsa
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    I'll try the calipers with do-it-yourself mode

    I wonder if they come in XL?
    They all do. Keep in mind that you are interested in your comparitive measurements - not your absolute b.f. So it doesn't matter what measure you get as long as you are consistent in how you use the calipers.

    Good luck and be sure to report back. Do NOT be discouraged. I was once so close to 50% that it made no diff. Actually, I was probably over that, but at one point I stopped measuring / weighing myself.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    to Taylor8, VeloDog, Longhorn, and everyone else who is in on these or similar goals, I offer encouragement and wishes that you all reach your goals, and maybe we can do a periodic checkin over the next 12 months. I'm just getting started (now 7 weeks into riding after 15+ yrs off) so your stories of progress have been extraordinarily informative and inspirational!
    The timing of this thread coincidentally coincides with my own blast back to fitness starting tomorrow. I got back from Cabo last week and just decided that it was time. So... after 10 years I'll be riding again... tomorrow. I rebuilt the bikes over the last year and finished up the projects around the ranch so there are no more excuses. I even went to the gym that the wife signed me up for in May - for the first time yesterday.

    Ive done this fitness phoenix thing a couple of times before so I know a little about what I'm in for - aches and discomfort. It really requires lots of humility and sympathy for your body which has been doing just fine getting fat and sloppy. I am just about your age, weight and height and my goals are about the same. I wish you success.

    I am using a plan described in "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman. The basic tennent is eat very little dairy and meat. To compensate, you are to eat LOTS of nutritional unprocessed food. I read the book whist on vacation. I will not stand for being a 100% vegetarian but I can stand being a 95% vegetarian so I will make little tweaks.

    Anyway, I'm feeling good about making the break.

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