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  1. #1
    N_C
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    Can someone who is not over weight explain this to me?

    I am over weight. I have no doubt that those that are not over weight are probably in better shape then me. Even non-cyclists, & maybe even smokers who are not over weight with exception of the lungs. I am talking on the basis of physical ability & mobility. It takes more energy & effort to move more weight then not.

    So why do the non-cyclists who barely have an ounce of fat on them think I am in better shape then they are? I bet if they got on a bike they'd kick my ass & out ride me. They think the opposite.

    A friend of mine is a cyclist & not at all over weight & does not smoke. I asked him if he was doing the club century this weekend. He stated no because he is not in shape for it. I walked away thinking, why? I'm way over weight compared to him & I'm riding it. I have ridden a little over 700 miles for the year so far, which includes a solo century I rode 2 weeks ago. The club century will be my second in 2 weeks time. Even if he has ridden less miles then me how can he not be in shape or ready for the century?

    I do not understand this. Why do those who are not over weight think they are in worse shape then me? I ride slower because I am over weight, but I finish every ride I start unless there is a mechanical problem with the bike. Is it because I might have more "heart" then some of these people? I don't let my weight stop me from riding?

    Can a non-over weight person shed some light on this? Those who are over weight can also comment too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Thinner does not always mean a person is in better shape than someone heavier. I am a thin person and I know riders who are overweight that can outride me any day. Just because you might have a few pounds you could lose does not mean that you are not in as good of shape as someone thinner.

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    I well remember my first couple of weeks in basic training, way back in '64. Lots of young, athletic-looking lads absolutely dying during our pre-breakfast run and simple PT.
    Just because someone appears to be "thin" does not mean they are in shape.

    Likewise, look at a lot of pro football players, the lineman-type guys. These guys would be classed as "overweight" by most medical scales, but you wouldn't want to get in their way....

    Of course, the price of moving all that weight around is usually severe problems later in life.

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    N_C
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    Ok I am starting to get the idea that less weight does not equate better shape physically. Thank you. I am losing the weight. Cycling plays a big roll in that. I am 34 years old, 5' 11", large frame & 300 pounds. Most of my weight is above the waist. Because I ride a recumbent my legs are very strong. I bet about 1/4 of my weight is the muscle in my legs, my quads especially, the rest is above.

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Those of whom you speed have not developed any endurance in their muscles... While they may look better than you, their Cardio Vascular system is not used to doing "work" in the manner you describe. Therefore you are in better CV shape than they are, while they have a better "shape" than you.

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    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    The basic answer is pretty simple really.........
    It's all about "conditioning" for the sport or activity at hand.

    Cycling will tax your body in certain way,swimming will tax your
    body in other different ways. it's all in what you train for or are
    used to doing. I'm a Clydesdale but can out do many of my
    friend that are thinner on bikes because I've built up the wind
    and leg muscles along with good cadio support.

    It's as I said....
    It's all in what you train ,or have your body do over and over as
    work, for. I know guys that can take a 3 ft tree down with an ax
    before I can even get my chainsaw started. They run a tree service
    so they do this all the time. That's the whole point. Tune your body
    to what it is you want /need to do.

  7. #7
    Dai Baka! Brate's Avatar
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    6'3" 201 pounds 26 yrs old when I started riding a few months ago I figured "nah I can nail this easy bring it on...." haa right nearly killed myself. Few months later and its another story.. but im still not as good as my eyedoctor who I ride with, he is twice my age 250ish pounds and he rides circles around me.
    Vas Corp Por!

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Your friend probably is in shape to do the century, but not at the level he wants to do it in.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    It's all conditioning. I've been on both sides of the issue, currently losing weight.

    I've got a friend that's a mountain biker, he's short, like maybe 5-6, and goes at the most 145. I'm not quite 5-10 and about 195, and I beat his ass on the road. he can tear me up on a sprint or a climb, but at the end of a 30 mile ride (that's what I've got him worked up to) he's doing nothing but drafting.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  10. #10
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Well, my physical shape has not changed much, but I am in much better cardiovascular shape than last year. Cycling would be a heck of a lot easier if I was thinner, but that is no excuse for not training. Even plenty of thin, in shape people don't have the guts to do a race or century if they don't think they cannot compete in the top 20. Some people would rather not bother if they think they might be embarassed. I personally have no problem if I finish last, as long as I finish.

  11. #11
    N_C
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    Thanks for the comments & answers. Keep them coming if you wish.

    I think the issue with my friend is me doesn't want to get dropped by the group. Which never bothers me. I always get dropped. I do not mind riding a club ride by myself. In part because of my weight I can not move as fast for a sustained period & probably in part because I ride a recumbent, not nearly as fast on hills. But in a head wind on the flats I catch up with the group all the time if the distance apart is not that far. I also pass the group on a down hill as well if I happen to be with them.

    On the longer club rides there are certain stopping points in the towns the ride passes through. So I know they will wait for me. We do not have to stop so I may even keep going through a few of the towns with out stopping to see how long I can stay ahead. If I can stay ahead all the way to the next town I'll wait for the group there. On occasion there are riders who are slower then me, so every now & then I am not tail end charlie.

  12. #12
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    Pick up the book by Sally Edwards- "Fit But Fat". It probably will help explain quite a bit.

    Koffee

  13. #13
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Wife and I both did our first century last month, me on road bike and her on a 'bent. We had a couple hours worth of tire troubles early in the ride, and at one point between 70-80 miles we were last, but we were passing people in the last 10 miles and didn't finish last.

    Now look at your situation another way. When you've been riding to lose the weight, and get down closer to the level of body mass that these guys are, think about how much better shape you'll be in than they are.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  14. #14
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    Ok I am starting to get the idea that less weight does not equate better shape physically. Thank you. I am losing the weight. Cycling plays a big roll in that. I am 34 years old, 5' 11", large frame & 300 pounds. Most of my weight is above the waist. Because I ride a recumbent my legs are very strong. I bet about 1/4 of my weight is the muscle in my legs, my quads especially, the rest is above.

    You have to understand the implications of being twice as heavy as other people.

    Just walking around you do a lot more work than most skinny people. If you asked some skinny 150 lb kid to walk around carrying 150 lbs of potatoes in a backpack, they couldn't do it for long. So every time you walk anywhere, or climb stairs, you get a good cardiovascular workout, and your legs must be huge to carry that weight.

    Now, if you try to run, or climb several flights of stairs, or ride uphill, your weight puts you at a huge disadvantage and lots of skinny people will be able to outperform you even without being in particularily good shape. But get on a bike where your weight is supported, and stick to a flat course, and all the work you do every day just moving that heavy body around will pay off and you can do very well. And on the downhill, you rule.

  15. #15
    'Fraid I can't do that Robbie59's Avatar
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    Most of the guys I've known who had to have triple or quadruple bypasses were actually thin (or at least slender).

  16. #16
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    I'm 30-40 lbs overweight, and I know for a fact that I am in better shape than some thinner people. And worse than others.

    NC, if you ride even half as much as you post on here, you're probably doing alright.

  17. #17
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    Overweight here. I rode home with a thin coworker who wasn't in too bad a shape but hadn't been riding much for a while. I made every effort to go slow. The next day she told all our coworkers I nearly killed her. I think she was embarrassed. I am beginning to notice that I'm passing a lot more people on my rides and nearly all of them are a lot thinner than me. Maybe it helps that I don't smoke.

  18. #18
    Senior Member FLBandit's Avatar
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    I've always been slightly overweight (OK, OK, I was very overweight for awhile). However, I'm still able to do whatever I want, be it ride a century, or 20 mile hikes. I guess the 12 years of construction work had some benefit! I've just decided I'll always have a bit of a "pudge".
    I wanna ride!
    '90ish Giant Perigee

  19. #19
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I guess there would be many reasons. I've seen where women with a high BMI live longer then men with a really low BMI. Not sure that Overweight = Fat. For example I suppose you can be "overwieght" by the age/sex/weight charts, but have a low BMI.

    Conditioning is important. Most century plans, entail that you do several hundred miles over a month or 2 before actually doing the century.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper
    I guess there would be many reasons. I've seen where women with a high BMI live longer then men with a really low BMI. Not sure that Overweight = Fat. For example I suppose you can be "overwieght" by the age/sex/weight charts, but have a low BMI.

    Conditioning is important. Most century plans, entail that you do several hundred miles over a month or 2 before actually doing the century.
    BMI is a crook of guano. BMI does NOT consider lean muscle mass. Large, muscular folks are considered obese when you use BMI. My endroconoligist confirmed this fact. She prefers to measure fat content with BMI to make her diagnoses and recommendation.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    I'm not overweight, although I used to be, somewhat, but not very.

    People who are not overweight are not used to being slow or last, and it bothers them. For you, finishing the ride is quite an accomplishment. For your thinner friend, finishing last just will not do.

    I think your attitude is great because you are not afraid to go for it. Fear of being last is no way to live.

  22. #22
    Tossed some weight Redrom's Avatar
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    I agree that it's a matter of attitude and state of mind. I'm a former clydesdale, and just recently crossed into my ideal weight range. Previously, I had a determination that pushed me to do long 40 mile rides weekly, and now I'm just as content to do a 30 mile or 15 mile ride.

  23. #23
    998
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    I'm not overweight and I think I'm in better shape than you. There, feel better?

  24. #24
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    You are in perfect shape... a perfectly round shape. J/K

    Anyway, "shape" can be defined in several ways.

    You also have to separate out:
    health -> Such as heart, cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density... etc..
    cardiovasular -> Oxygen transfer efficiency and duration
    muscle tone -> Body fat percentage
    Strength -> Muscle power
    Mental stamina -> Ability to push oneself

    Thin people are not always in shape in all the categories, and fat people aren't always out of shape in all the categories. You probably have better cardio, strength, and mental stamina than some of your skinny counterparts. However, they are just thinner, or have less body fat. Remember, bodybuilders are usually not considered "healthy" even though they are strong and lean. A great athlete will have all of the above categories. You should strive for all of them, to at least the level your own personal genetics allow.
    2008 Cannondale System Six
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    60% of the time, it works everytime.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    I do not understand this. Why do those who are not over weight think they are in worse shape then me? I ride slower because I am over weight, but I finish every ride I start unless there is a mechanical problem with the bike. Is it because I might have more "heart" then some of these people? I don't let my weight stop me from riding?
    It's all in the attitude and frame of mind. "In shape" like "BMI" is a relative assessment and in reality, is worthless. Overall fitness might be summarized by combining numerous measurements:

    - weight to height (BMI probably least significant factor)
    - body-fat percentage
    - lean-muscle mass percentage
    - resting-HR, AT, VO2-max relative to max-HR
    - recovery-rate from max-HR to some lower percentage
    - max-strength of muscles relative to their size
    - muscle-efficiency (oxygen-consumed for power-output)
    - continuous power-output at various time-intervals 3,5,10,20-minutes
    - muscle/glycogen recovery between events
    - etc.

    Comparing a comprehensive list like this between people would be a better indicator of "fitness" or "shape" and even then their performances will vary depending upon the event. Centuries are easy, just eat often (250-300 cal/hr), drink lots, and go at a slow enough pace to not bonk and anyone and everyone can complete a century with minimal training. Centuries tax your energy-delivery system while staying far, far away from the limits of your muscular and aerobic systems. So big "overweight" people aren't at any more of a disadvantage in long endurance events as "underweight" folks. If anything, the thin people may not have that much of energy stores and may not be able to go as far before bonking.

    On the other hand, performance in other areas such as hill-climbing, average time-trial speed, sprints will be affected differently by weight and body-fat percentage. Two people with identical height and weights of 175lbs may perform completely differently based upon their body-composition and "fitness". A super-lean 175lb 5% body-fat well-trained athlete will completely kick-@ss over someone else of the same BMI but with 20% body-fat and no training. Or conversely, a big 180lb well-trained person with 10% body-fat will walk away from a 150lb untrained person with 20% body-fat in just about all areas of performance.

    And the biggest factor in cycling is mental; learning tactics and strategies to maximize performance given your body and equipment. Due to the physics of wind-drag, speed & power, you can do a lot with drafting, learning to spin easy gears to conserve your muscles and not fatigue them. Being able to pace yourself for the course and maintaining proper nutrition. I've known people that have have come out of the gym looking like Greek gods, but on the bike, they just can't cut it. They go all out as fast as they can for any ride, be it a 5-mile stroll to the market or a century. Of course on the century, they're riding back in the broom-wagon by 50-miles...
    Last edited by Mothra; 07-14-06 at 04:17 PM.

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