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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Abs of Aluminum, Titanium, or Steel?

    Okay, I'm fed up. Literally. I'm sick and tired of looking like I'm pregnant or I've swallowed a bowling ball. I'm tired of saying, "I'm in shape. Round is a shape."

    Here's what I want to accomplish in 2006 -- I want to return to a respectable waistline. I want a flat tummy.

    Since I started cycling in July, I fairly quickly dropped about 17 pounds, and then tapered off. Now I bounce back and forth around 250 pounds. I'm 5'10" tall (with steely blue eyes, distinguished salt and pepper hair, and I like long walks on the beach, or staying home and sharing a video -- wait -- I think that's for another website. Sorry. Where was I?).

    Oh yeah -- I want to lose the belly. I'd like to hear from those who've been there, done that. What do I have to do? I want abs of steel. Or even aluminum.

    Tell me what to do. I belong (but rarely go) to a gym. I prepare my own food, and have cut WAY back on the junk food. (I do like pie, however.)

    Tell me what to do.
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  2. #2
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    This may not be a popular answer here G, but from reading your post above, the first advice would be to learn to ENJOY putting on a few pounds during this time of year. This is not to say go crazy and fall apart -- which I know that you're not doing anyway from reading your posts. They say that weight swings are not healthy -- which I agree with for non-active, sedentary people that just diet up and down alone. Just my very humble opinion. My own weight swings up to 20 pounds or more per year. I feel great at both weights -- and I enjoy both weights for what they are, and I enjoy reaching both of them both up and down.

    Don't be fooled by the extreme ripped, muscular bodies on the covers of many magazines. They are at this stage for only very short periods of time and arrange photo shoots around those times. It doesn't take very much sub. fat to smooth things over. Those veins and well-defined muscle separations are gone sometimes within a week. Then, they just look "big" -- but not defined.

    As with everything, there are exceptions -- and some do keep themselves at a very low % of body fat throughout the year. But genetics along with an iron-clad will is still required.

    As for abs, you already have a great six pack of abs. Everyone reading this does as well. Ripped abs are a matter of body fat % -- plain and simple. There are only a very few people at our age that can maintain a visible six-pack throughout the year. A little more can diet down and get definition for a longer periods of time. The rest of us can get down there for short periods of time. You could too -- but you will feel weak from the effort. It feels very drawn out at times to have a very low % of bf.

    As I said, just my thoughts. Enjoy the winter weight gain -- just keep it in check and keep active. I'll bet my bottom dollar that you'll weigh less this summer than you did last summer (watch and see).

    P.S. I had gotten up to 300 pounds in 1999 (long story). Here's a transformation pic:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by oldcrank; 12-16-05 at 10:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    DG

    In the past 4 years I've lost ~30 pounds combination of bike and gym. I'm at the gym 2 hours each 3 times a week. 1 hour in the weight room and one in cardio. I haven't cut back on eating much if any and I will have a glass of wine with dinner and a beer or cocktail when I want. I'm 6' and 230 pounds now. I could loose more, but my stomac is fairly flat.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One set of body muscles that do not get exercised greatly on a bike are the Abs. So forget cycling to get them into shape. That is going to be situps, crunchers etc. What cycling will help though is the rest of the body. You want a slimline torso, go to a Gym for a few sessions- get an exercise programme worked out and stick to it- Then there is diet. Everyone will tell you that diet will help a great deal in this aspect of training, but I do not believe it.Eating more correctly with exercise will though. Only one thing for it- more biking amd less pies but more protein. Don't think I'll bother-

    By the way- I may be a light weight but if I put on 10lbs over my normal weight- I feel it. Mind you if I lose 5 lbs from my normaal weight- all I feel is hungry.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Tell me what to do.
    Gary,

    We can all make recommendations, but it's really up to you to figure out what will work for you. We're all different, each of us with our own challenges and limitations. Here's my own story, and my progress so far. It's a bit longwinded, but maybe it helps.

    Before I got to my exercise and nutrition stage, in August of 2003, I was 52, cratered back (degenerative discs), longtime hardcore cigar smoker, 5' 11", 195 lbs (10 pounds overweight, by my best guess). My blood pressure (which was always seriously low in my youth) was marginally high, and my doctor was suggesting drugs for it. My arms have always been in great shape from the machine shop maintainence work I do, but it strains my back to the very absolute limits (I always knew that whatever exercise I did would have to be zero additional work for my back). My bad sinuses and frequent bronchitis had reached the point where it had to be called emphysema; in August 2003, I quit the cigars.

    By November 2003, I had gained 25 lbs and weighed 220 (you just dont realize how many calories that nicotine burns). Most was plainly on my pregnant-looking belly. I knew exercise needed to happen; I also knew that my back made for limited exercise options. I bought a recumbent stationary bike.

    For me, there is nothing on this planet more boring than a stationary bike, and I never put in as many hours on it as I should have. Of course, I did do enough to do some cardio good, and without the cigars, my emphysema disappeared, but after almost a year (September 2004), I still weighed 215 and was a FOG, by anyone's definition.

    In September 2004, I was online researching for structured exercise bike routines which might help me put in more hours on my stationary bike, when I found real recumbent bicycles. September 10th, I bought one, and away I went.

    I also bought a video from the University of Michigan Medical School Spine Unit called Health Abs and Back. I knew from earlier back physical therapy that this was the kind of exercise I needed to strengthen my trunk and improve my back. It also gives me a non-cycling workout, which seems to be important if you really want to get fit. I haven't tried any other non-cycling exercise, and unless I have back surgery, probably won't.

    I lost 10 lbs quickly, but that was all. One thing I learned early was that if I spent too much time sprinting and pushing myself, I rode fewer miles (and fewer hours) overall. Knowing that I needed the miles and hours for weight loss, I scaled back the sprinting. I kept to a brisk pace, but not enough to strain or exhaust myself to the point of riding less. But, even after I increased my riding miles to around 100 miles a week, I didn't lose weight. That made me start doing nutritional research, and for someone who had zero knowledge of nutrition, that was pretty eye opening. I still don't count calories, but on the other hand, no prepared food which has hydrogenated anything on its list of ingredients, gets put in my cupboard. No ice cream, lots of fruit, vegetables, and granola, I do eat healthier.

    I'm riding 5000 miles this year, and my weight seems to have stabilized (since August) at 191. That's probably still 10 lbs or so over what I should weigh (and it's still excess belly), but hey, most of the belly is gone and I feel so good, I ain't gonna worry about that 10 pounds. My blood pressure has been 114 over 70 the last several times I've checked it. The doctor does my annual blood work, then never calls back (that's the result you want after blood work.........lol).

    What is the point of this overly longwinded story (what can I say; this is a rare lazy day and I have nothing else to do)? It's this: Many of us never had the potential to be body beautiful, and at our ages, even fewer of us do now. But, we can still get in the best shape of our lives. Other training on top of the cycling will most certainly help with your weight and shape goals, and eating well cannot be overemphasized. And mostly, keep tinkering to find what works for you. You can do it!!!!!

    Here I am at 54, and 191 lbs. They'll almost certainly have to surgically remove that smile.
    Last edited by Bud Bent; 12-17-05 at 11:44 AM.
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  6. #6
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Gary,
    Everyone above speaks sense. Nothing to add. An inner voice says go for health first, appearance will probably take care of itself well enough. My 88 year old grandpa used to laugh and say he no longer cared what it looked like as long as it still worked. I'm also reminded of photos of Coast Guard survival swimmers who seemed to have all the muscle definition of a harbor seal but were (obviously) incredibly fit.

    Being single, like yourself, I can understand other impulses to flatten out those abs. OldCrank is right though....those damned fitness mag covers, like women's magazine covers, put a lot of **** in people's heads about what should be normal and expected. While admiring our rippling abs, a mature woman our age would probably wonder what was wrong with us mentally as we sat there zoned out and snappish from the extreme diet regimen to get there. And we probably wouldn't have the strength to knock of that weekend 60 miler.

    Gradual slimming down to whatever natural point we arrive at is inevitable with good eating and lotsa miles driven by the joy/exuberance of being alive and active-- not by slavishily wanting to look like an airbrushed model.

    I think its that fully alive, goin' for it feeling for life that you have that makes us attractive to others-- more so than rippling body parts. Jeez, DeeGee, why do you think we elected you mascot here?!
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Here's what helped me. I'm 6 feet and was able to go from 220 lbs to 170 lbs. in about 18 mos. What finally clicked for me was something I read in Carmichael's book 7 weeks to a perfect ride-or something like that. Here it is:

    It's simply calories in versus calories out.

    Wouldn't you know it took a "formula" for me (the engineer) for it to finally click. So what do you have to do?

    1-You have to want to lose weight-sounds like you're there.
    2-Determine how many calories you need to take in every day for long term weight loss and stay below it.
    3-You have to write down the calories you eat. You can get a really cheap book-or probably find on the internet the calories for different foods. Write down everything you eat. Even a banana is about 80 calories!
    4-Increase your calorie output by increasing the number of rides and/or the duration of the rides-and avod the trap of eating more aftewards!
    5-Weigh yourself at the same time every day, make a chart and record your progress. I actually put together a simple line graph on an excel spreadsheet and recorded my weight on the graph every Saturday morning. It looked a little like a roller coaster as it had it's ups and downs but the general direction was downward!

    Eat the foods you like to eat-just eat less (except for french fries, pork rinds, etc). You will binge if you deprive yourself of foods you really like. I cannot give up my Chocolate Creme-filled Oreos and allow myself 2 a day!! I eat them slowly and enjoy every nibble!!

    It takes about 2 weeks to "fight through" the reduced calorie intake. After that it comes much easier from a hunger perspective. For some, it works better to eat more frequently but just eat smaller amounts overall.

    If it's any consolation I still work at my weight-especially during the winter time. It's normal for your body to want more food but you really don't have to have it. I allow myself a little more this time of the year (like blackberry cobbler) just to help me mentally as much as anything. I simply go back to the calories in versus calories out formula when I need to give it extra attention though.

    Good luck-you can do it. Just find some system that works for you and stick with it. If you need for us to help support you along the way just let us know. We're hear to help!!

  8. #8
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    First step.......take BIG garbage bag to refridgerator, open door wide, thro EVERYTHING in the big white monster into Garbage bag no more white potatos , white bread, icecream OF ANY KIND

  9. #9
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Abs of lard here.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  10. #10
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Then again, like Mardi Gras before the Big Fast...do some normal Holiday eating through Christmas because we are all human ....then square away the kitchen Dec. 26.

    Or, consider the big morale boost and grand send-off for your New Style of eating (whatever diet regimen you decide on) will have if you break through the barrier (whatever) during the Holidays.

    You have 5 minutes to choose.

    **Dnvr has his indoor training support group....maybe a TrimThoseAbs by EatingRight and TighteningUp Group...call ourselves the Morning Crunchers or something.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  11. #11
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    Ride on the drops into the wind.

  12. #12
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    I'd like to add a few things to jppe's post.

    The basic premise of jppe's post is correct: fewer calories in than burned results in lower body weight. What needs to be added is that your body burns sugars/fats/muscle in different proportions that vary with the intensity of the activity. Very intense workouts burn the "premium" fuels (sugars and muscle) while less intense workout can better access fat stores. The bottom line is that if you want to lose a lot of fat you will have to put in long hours at relaxed pace; the process cannot be hurried. Search for some of Dannoxyz's posts in the Training and Nutrition forum for more details.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  13. #13
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Hills are the trick.
    In 2003 I was stuck at 210 pounds. I was unemployed and rode 5-6 days a week. I started riding 25 miles a day. That included 5 really tough miles of hills. By the end of the summer I was down to 185 pounds and was riding 40 miles a day. That included 20 miles of hills that were not nearly as tough as they were when I started.
    I've managed to keep it off. Remember, hills are your friend.
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    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    **Dnvr has his indoor training support group....maybe a TrimThoseAbs by EatingRight and TighteningUp Group...call ourselves the Morning Crunchers or something.
    I would be pleased to set up a small Yahoo group where we could all post our weekly "weigh-ins."

    I am disgusted as my weight has popped up two pounds this am, and I vow to get it down. This time of year, combined with the very cold temps (6th coldest December in history in Denver so far) has got me down.

    And, those abs are there, you just have to be able to see them!

    If interested, let me know, It is a very simple procedure to set up the group.

    After all, we "geezers," "old farts," and "coots" have to take care of ourselves.

  15. #15
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    I'd like to add a few things to jppe's post.

    The basic premise of jppe's post is correct: fewer calories in than burned results in lower body weight. What needs to be added is that your body burns sugars/fats/muscle in different proportions that vary with the intensity of the activity. Very intense workouts burn the "premium" fuels (sugars and muscle) while less intense workout can better access fat stores. The bottom line is that if you want to lose a lot of fat you will have to put in long hours at relaxed pace; the process cannot be hurried. Search for some of Dannoxyz's posts in the Training and Nutrition forum for more details.
    Not everyone agrees with this:

    http://exercise.about.com/cs/cardiow.../aa022601a.htm

    The Ugly Truth

    The body does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat when involved in lower intensity cardio exercise. BUT, at higher intensities, you burn a greater number of overall calories which is what you should be concerned about when trying to lose weight. The chart below details the fat calories expended by a 130-pound woman during cardio exercise:

    Low Intensity - 60-65% MHR High Intensity - 80-85% MHR
    Total Calories Expended per min. 4.86 6.86
    Fat Calories expended per min. 2.43 2.7
    Total Calories expended in 30 min. 146 206
    Total Fat calories expended in 30 min. 73 82
    Percentage of fat calories burned 50% 39.85%



    From The 24/5 Complete Personal Training Manual, 24 Hour Fitness, 2000

    In this example, the woman burns more total calories and more fat calories at a higher intensity. This is not to say that low intensity exercise doesn't have it's place. In fact, endurance workouts should be a staple of a complete fitness program. Read on to figure out how to structure your cardio program.

  16. #16
    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    Gary,

    I agree with jppe: You'll never loose weight if you don't figure calories in versus calories out.

    Since March, I've lost 70 pounds (as of today). I ride 4-6 times a week and ride for 1-2 hours each time. Also go to the gym twice a week for upper body workouts. What has helped immensely is a computer program called FitDay. (www.fitday.com). It allows you to easily track calories and exercise, your weight and a whole bunch of other statistics. I take the optimistic view - underneath the fat is a six pack of abs (can women have a six pack?) plus a body that looks like the models - it's just that at my age I'll never see it - however, next time around, I'm coming back skinny and beautiful.

    Good luck to you in 2006 - keep us posted on your progress.

    Susan

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

  17. #17
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    70 pounds since March.......with character like that, you're beautiful on the inside where those abs of steel hide, and a heck of a lot closer to those models than not. Congrats on gumption and dedication.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookinUp
    Gary,

    I agree with jppe: You'll never loose weight if you don't figure calories in versus calories out.

    Since March, I've lost 70 pounds (as of today). I ride 4-6 times a week and ride for 1-2 hours each time. Also go to the gym twice a week for upper body workouts. What has helped immensely is a computer program called FitDay. (www.fitday.com). It allows you to easily track calories and exercise, your weight and a whole bunch of other statistics. I take the optimistic view - underneath the fat is a six pack of abs (can women have a six pack?) plus a body that looks like the models - it's just that at my age I'll never see it - however, next time around, I'm coming back skinny and beautiful.

    Good luck to you in 2006 - keep us posted on your progress.

    Susan
    Congratulations. That's really an achievement to be proud of and an inspiration to many!

  19. #19
    jcm
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    I couldn't agree more with Oldcrank. We even look alike although he's a bit ahead of me in the bulk/fitness dept.

    I used to room with a very dedicated body-builder back in the day. It's true. They do not look "like that" all the time.

    You appear to be about my age. I reduced my gut (and, fixed my aching back) by simple and few leg lifts. No full length extensions (partial is fine w/ knees slightly bent) and NO old fashioned sit-ups. Too hard on the lower back and previously crushed tail bone. Many trainers no longer recommend them for those of us in advanced stages of decay.

    Started at 20 x 3 sets. Now at 40 x 3 sets. I'll stay there. It works. I don't fixate on being ripped cuz it don't matter. I just want to fit into my jeans again and now I do. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Stv
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    Time to be blunt, Gary.

    Sir, you need to lose 75 lbs., ASAP, period.

    FORGET the "six pack" abs, just lose the "24 pack" case of beer around your waist,..... first.

    Cycling by itself will NOT increase your abdominal fitness to any great degree. Only diet and a focus on abdominal specific exercise will give you any appreciable results. PERIOD !

    Meandering cycle cruises around the block, waving to the neighbours kids and at a leisurely pace will NOT significantly contribute to your weight loss or fitness goals, period. You need a regimented 4 to 5 days of intense cycling per week at 15 to 18 mph or more for 20 to 40 miles at a time. BUY a cycle computer for mileage and with a cadence counter and use it. You MUST supplement intensified cycling with weight training several times per week, also.

    BTW, get off your Frigging computer too and get active at an "intense" level. For starters, SEVERAL times per day, throughout the day, do 25 push-ups, 50 sit-ups or 100 ab crunches each, right in your home office while your computer is booting-up. That's dead-down-time best regained and utilized. Also do 100 leg squats per set while in front of the TV, ....... SEVERAL times a day, every day of the week for WEEKS and MONTHS. This is NOT going to be easy.

    You need to immediately put yourself on 1/2 servings for ALL your meals, NOW. That's right! Food is no longer your comfort ZONE ...... puppy. For the next 6 to 12 months .......food is NOT your friend. Your food preparation needs to be single servings and NO leftovers in the fridge. Freeze leftovers for future meals into single servings.

    You need to replace most of your liquid consumption to a minimum of 50% to 75% of water ONLY. No alcohol either, period. You must increase your dietary fibre content significantly. Vegetables are best and eat NON-sugared, OAT or BRAN bud/flake cereals for breakfast minimal 5 times per week. Drink all the coffee or tea you want, but it must be BLACK, no sugar or cream or milk. No JUNK snacking and NOTHING other than water goes into your face-hole after 7:00 PM..... NOTHING ......... that's the LAW.

    Mid-January, 2005 this year at 5'9'' and 51, I weighed in at 200 lbs. I smoked 50 cigarettes (2-1/2 packs) a day and had a severe alcohol (beer) dependency. I quit both the same day and six weeks later I was 50 lbs. lighter. Admittedly, I lost too much too fast and may be lucky I didn't have a heart attack say my friends now. I since regained 25 lbs. but it's all of the muscle variety. This year, I have cycled nearly 7,000 kilometres and I've logged a dozen Metric Century and 1 US Century ride. I have a small Wal-Mart Weider weight machine and indoor cycle trainer in the basement. Just recently I joined my ride buddy at a local gym and I try to hit the gym with him at 7:00 AM 3 to 5 days per week and I then attend with my wife some evenings and on the weekends.

    My physical transformation to everyone who knew me before are just amazed by the difference in my physical looks and attitude. I lost nearly the equivalent of half a small person in fat and kicked two life threatening vices and am I ever glad their gone.

    Caveat Emptor: Intensified physical activity can create very intense cravings for carbohydrates, simple and complex. These cravings can defeat you, so beware of them and don't give in. NOTE:e.g. two granola nutrition bars and a Gatorade drink during or after a ride can be easily 600 plus calories. That's an an acceptable snack until you realize that a low/medium intensity (12 mph), 1 hour 20 kilometre ride burns about 500 to 600 calories. A neutral calorie loss !!!

    Think of this as your "new" religion and you are now attending the "New Church of Gary".

    Attend to the temple daily, ....... all day long.

    Keep the Faith.

    Stv



    PS.Edit ............. and NO more pie, either. The number of " PI " consumed, is calculated directly into the circumference of your waistline.
    Last edited by Stv; 12-19-05 at 04:26 PM.
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  21. #21
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    "Abs of Aluminum, Titanium, or Steel?"

    I liked your thread title. However, I'd feel more welcome had you included; "Abs of Chamois, Gel or Bar Tape" as well
    Just Peddlin' Around

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