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Thread: Fighting weight

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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Fighting weight

    From a road forum thread about knowing when you're at the right cycling weight (started by patentcad, of course). I thought it was worth sharing:

    "the trick is to keep losing weight until your friends and family ask you if you've been sick. then you know you're within 10 pounds. if they start whispering to each other, wondering if you've got cancer or aids, you're within 5. when they actually do an intervention, you're at race weight." - Slowman (Dan Empfield)
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    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Last year I went on a hard core weight loss program. It involved some monitoring of my food intake, but mostly it was doing not less than three hard rides each week. I lost 35 lbs. Since then I've been able to maintain the lost weight, but losing the additional 15 lbs I have to lose to be within my recommended BMI weight is proving difficult.
    To some degree, PCAD is correct. A loss of 35 lbs prompted a number of comments from co-workers. Most were complimentary, but a couple asked if I was sick, one thought I had the big C.
    One thing is for certain. This year I am approximately 1 MPH faster than last year. Where I used to barely hang on to 18 MPH average pace lines, now I ride with 19 MPH groups with no difficulty. I attribute at least half of that increase, if not all of it, to the weight loss.
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    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    I did not set out to lose weight when I started riding, but it has been a huge bonus. I'm down about 30 lbs. in the last year and now weigh the same as I did in college. People definitely notice, particularly if they haven't seen me for a while. If anybody thinks I look sickly, they've been too diplomatic to say so.

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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    People definitely notice, particularly if they haven't seen me for a while.
    People notice I've lost weight, but I haven't lost enough to make anyone worry about me. Still working on it.
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    Pizza, fried chicken, Soda, chips, dips, ya i am fighting weight and losing the battle. I ride three 50 + mile rides a week and stay between 187 and 192. Woops, have to brush the triple chocolate cake crumbs off the key board. Maybe i should add more miles.

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    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    What you really should be tracking % body fat and not weight. Losing muscle mass and bone is not such a good idea and particularly not for the 50+ set since it is real hard for us to get it back.
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

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    I've gained 2 lbs this cycling season. I was hoping it was muscle mass. It's not my waistline that's for sure. I'm on a 2000 calorie diet and I watch it like a hawk.

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    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Now that summer is here I really fighting hard but losing the battle. Seems that ice cream sandwiches and fudgsicles are always in the freezer. For some reason they're never around during the cooler months. Wonder why?
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    Quote Originally Posted by akohekohe View Post
    What you really should be tracking % body fat and not weight. Losing muscle mass and bone is not such a good idea and particularly not for the 50+ set since it is real hard for us to get it back.
    X2! I'm 5'10" and weigh 185 lbs. Most BMI indexes would say I'm overweight but my body fat is very lean because I've been lifting weights for over 25 years, I have a lot of muscle.

    I admit the extra mass doesn't help when riding with riders in the 150 to 165 lb range but I enjoy the gym as much as I do the bike. I just have to find the right balance and enjoy the best of both worlds.

    This is from a photo shoot with Michael Schulz last October. I'm actually about 5 pounds lighter now but the BMI would claim I'm overweight.

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    Last edited by Sgt. Spillco; 06-16-10 at 10:58 AM.

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    I prepped for yesterdays ride my having a scone and coffee for b-fast followed by a burger with fries for lunch and a huge chocolate milkshake for dessert. I woke up after my calorie induced nap and waddled out for a 15 mile ride. It was really quite embarrassing. I mean somebody called the area 51 people and reported that a UFO had landed and that "the blob" was on the loose and where was Steve McQueen when you needed him? I swear on a stack of Cannondales, no more sweets until I've lost 1 or 2 lbs or at least until the next ride for pie!

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    The gold standard for pro cyclists is 2 pounds per inch. Chris Horner, Team RadioShack, who won this year in the mountains of Spain and beat the Basque climbers in the Tour of Basque is - Height, 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in). Weight, 63.5 kg (140 lb; 10.00 st) . If Pcad asks Johann Bruyneel about his weight instead of his mother, he will get a different answer.
    Last edited by Hermes; 06-16-10 at 10:00 AM.

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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    The gold standard for pro cyclists is 2 pounds per inch. Chris Horner, Team RadioShack, who won this year in the mountains of Spain and beat the Basque climbers in the Tour of Basque is - Height, 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in). Weight, 63.5 kg (140 lb; 10.00 st) . If Pcad asks Johann Bruyneel about his weight, he will get a different answer.
    Any chance the "gold standard" for 57 yr old Cat 4 riders is 2.54 pounds per inch?

    Does it look like I'm at fighting weight?
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    Dead center, all dressed up and no where to go after 52 miles!
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    Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 06-16-10 at 10:12 AM.
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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Any chance the "gold standard" for 57 yr old Cat 4 riders is 2.54 pounds per inch?
    61 cat 4 at 2.37 pounds per inch. Hell, this is our forum, we can make it anything we want. Let's use yours. As I posted those statistics, I was thinking about health and weight. I find many pro athletes, when in peak condition for their sport, are statistically unhealthy. Certainly, NFL linemen at 300 plus are way out of the norm. I thought about which sport requires the athlete to be in top physical shape and may also be very healthy. As painful as this is to say, I think it is the decathlete. One needs speed, upper and lower body strength and endurance plus great coordination to do all ten events well.

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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    As painful as this is to say, I think it is the decathlete. One needs speed, upper and lower body strength and endurance plus great coordination to do all ten events well.
    Thanks Hermes, I admire you insight. I also admire your 2.37 lb/in ratio.
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    When my maternal grandmother (a world class chef) was alive if I lost weight she'd say "What you don't like my food anymore?" I guess I'm more of the old Seven Eleven school. Ride hard and long, then find a Dairy Queen and scarf up the most ridiculous Blizzard you can get them to make.

    Several decades ago, I was riding an annual event that had some serious climbing. It was not unusual to have 1/3 or more of the participants walk the steepest part of the hardest climb. I was one such person the first year. Before the next event I lost 25 pounds and climbed the hardest part with relative ease. It was almost like the first year I was carrying a Schwinn Varsity on my back as I tried to make my way up the mountain. Not much fun it was. These days I'm still carrying a bit more weight than I want, but better off than I used to be. I know I could be at an "ideal" weight and still not be a really good climber. I've got a pretty explosive sprint, but climbing just isn't going to ever be my strong suit. If anything, my strong suit is that I'm still riding a bike thousands of miles each year, and that's good enough for me.
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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=NOS88;10970818]When my maternal grandmother (a world class chef) was alive if I lost weight she'd say "What you don't like my food anymore?" I guess I'm more of the old Seven Eleven school. Ride hard and long, then find a Dairy Queen and scarf up the most ridiculous Blizzard you can get them to make.

    Several decades ago, I was riding an annual event that had some serious climbing. It was not unusual to have 1/3 or more of the participants walk the steepest part of the hardest climb. I was one such person the first year. Before the next event
    I lost 25 pounds and climbed the hardest part with relative ease. It was almost like the first year I was carrying a Schwinn Varsity on my back as I tried to make my way up the mountain. Not much fun it was. These days I'm still carrying a bit more weight than I want, but better off than I used to be. I know I could be at an "ideal" weight and still not be a really good climber. I've got a pretty explosive sprint, but climbing just isn't going to ever be my strong suit. If anything, my strong suit is that I'm still riding a bike thousands of miles each year, and that's good enough for me.[/QUOTE]

    A couple of subtle comments...25 pound corresponds to about 30 watts of sustainable threshold power. If your threshold is 200 watts that is approximately a 15% improvement +/- in climbing speed. Some cyclists excel at higher sustained efforts with a lot of torque such as climbing or time trialing while others excel at shorter duration efforts with higher cadence and less torque such as sprinting or matching accelerations in a criterium. The interesting point is that there are muscle fibers that can support either sprinting or climbing and can morph either way depending on the training. That is why track sprinters do not do any sustained efforts and very little climbing. So for those who will never be great climbers, they can always be better climbers by losing weight and doing more climbing.

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    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Back in the early 90's I got down to 148 lbs (5'11") - people commented I looked like a cancer patient with a tan - pcad is right!
    I found that unsustainable for me. I can sustain 165 (2.3 lb/in) with effort - I was there about 15 months ago but two bad winters set me back (I broke my collar bone last December). As of this AM I was 176lbs (2.47 lb/in) and preparing to do the Whiteface uphill race. I sure wish I was back at 2.3 but I have lost 10lbs since the beginning of April.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Spillco View Post
    X2! I'm 5'10" and weigh 185 lbs. Most BMI indexes would say I'm overweight but my body fat is very lean because I've been lifting weights for over 25 years, I have a lot of muscle.

    I admit the extra mass doesn't help when riding with riders in the 150 to 165 lb range but I enjoy the gym as much as I do the bike. I just have to find the right balance and enjoy the best of both worlds.
    I enjoy lifting weights also. Since cycling is a seasonal sport here, I reserve lifting for the winter months. This helps me not get burned out on either sport. Last winter I did a lot of heavy deadlifts and squatting. I think it has helped cycling, especially climbing. Last October when I stopped riding, I was about 141 lbs (5'4"). I went up to the low 150s by March. I'm now down to 140 again. And, yeah, BMI doesn't work for lifters.

    BTW in the early 80s before I began to lift and was running marathons, I weighed in the low 120s. But I really don't think I have that much more BF now than then. I know I'm a lot stronger now. I don't have any measurements tho.
    Last edited by chinarider; 06-16-10 at 11:33 AM.
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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I thought about which sport requires the athlete to be in top physical shape and may also be very healthy. As painful as this is to say, I think it is the decathlete. One needs speed, upper and lower body strength and endurance plus great coordination to do all ten events well.
    In the thread about other sports, I mentioned gymnasts. I think the above qualities apply to them as well.
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    I've always had trouble "bulking up". Lifetime stringbean. Anybody else?
    How about a truncated string bean: 5' 3" and around 105 pounds most of my life. I do some strength exercises but will never be much beyond two dimensional. But that's why I'm a runner and not a competetive cyclist.

    The gold standard for pro cyclists is 2 pounds per inch.
    I wish!
    Last edited by rnorris; 06-16-10 at 02:25 PM.

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    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    This thread is just wrong.

    I rode 50 miles just now (actually it took a few hours, my average speed isn't quite that high) and as I was pedaling back I stopped by the Starbucks and got a venti mocha Java chip Frappachino. Probably 800 calories of pure bliss. Maybe more. I don't care. I ride to eat. More mileage = more calories without having to order new clothing.

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    had my suit pants altered but just having the waist and seat done doesn't change the fact that the pants in general are too baggy now. I hate this suit and I'm just gonna chuck it after Saturday.
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    A couple of years ago, I figured fighting weight for me should be around 165. Last summer, I hovered around 162 and liked it. I'm within a pound or so at this point. So I'll say 164 and 6'2" or 2.22 lbs/in at this point. Wife, mother, and daughter are all giving me grief. I've mentioned this before, but my wife says I look like I just escaped from a concentration camp. I am riding better than I did last year, except that ambient temp./dew point/heat index down here in central Louisiana are noticeable. My physician up in northwest Arkansas, an uppity, Cervelo-riding, snotty-nosed, young punk road cyclist, told me I could tell the wife that I'm not too skinny. I told her. It made no difference.

    At 2 lbs/in, I could turn sideways, stick out my tongue, and look like a zipper. I'll probably try to stay in the low 160s.

    I loved the quote from Slowman.

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