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  1. #1
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Weight gain from weight lifting?

    I've been lifting in the gym since early November. I continue to ride, averaging 150-200 miles weekly during this mild winter. I always gain weight in the off season, and this year is no different. I went from a low of 162lbs or so in October to 170-172 lbs now (5'11"). Those weight numbers are fairly close to those of L. Armstrong. I have a medium to large frame (my racing weight of 160-165 is much heavier than some 5'11" pros who can be as light as 140 or so). But I doubt I could ever ride competitively below 160. When I was younger whenever I tried to get below 165 I actually seemed to get slower.

    Over the past month or so I've been focusing on eating less and trying to lose those pounds. But while I appear to be trimmer and fitter, my body weight has plateaued pretty hard @ 170 or so. A fair bit of this does appear to be muscle gain. I'm not working my upper body much (pushups and some curls) - and hitting the legs as hard as I dare with my chronic low back pelvic issues.

    I'm sure once the weather warms up and my riding hits that 200-300 miles per week level the 5-8lbs I want to shed will slowly melt away. Has anyone else experienced this apparent increase in body weight from muscle build up during off season gym sessions? I'm actually climbing BETTER @ 170 now than I was @ 162 in October - same hills, bigger gears. Feeling pretty good too. Which makes me hopeful that once I get down to fighting weight (hopefully under 165) I'll be good to go.

  2. #2
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    It probably would be best if you had a bodyfat analysis done. Get a body fat comp with calipers or with a bioimpedence device. If you belong to a gym, they should be able to offer these options up for you... usually for free too. Then just have it done again every 6 weeks or so to make sure you're still on track.

    Koffee

  3. #3
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    I have a body fat scale that reads 14-16% and when I'm down to my lightest weight it's more like 12-13% (and I LOOK leaner than that in my estimation). I'm 48 years old - so these body fat content numbers would tend to be higher than they would be for somebody 10-20 years younger I suppose.

    How accurate is that? Doesn't matter. I'm training as hard as I can. And I'll get as lean as I possibly can. You work with what nature gives you. Hoping to get down to 10% or so on that scale by summer. I understand that these Tanita scales tend to give you readings that are 2% higher than a full-bore pro body fat content analysis. But it is what it is I suppose.

    I am a believer in the mirror/belt indicator theory, i.e. if you look leaner in the mirror and your belt closes another notch tighter - you're getting there. Not scientific but it does seem to work : ).

    In the meantime, I wonder how many of my non-cycling buddies my age are under 15% body fat? That's more what it's about for me. The racing/fitness is sort of a path to the larger goal of physical/mental health.

  4. #4
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    I understand that these Tanita scales tend to give you readings that are 2% higher than a full-bore pro body fat content analysis.
    If they were consistently over by 2%, Tanita would just set them to read out 2% lower. No, I don't think that the scale readout is directly correlated with the value determined by skin pinch calipers.

    I'll let you know, I'll be going in for a pinch soon -- my Tanita is reading 24% but the mirror tells me I have the same padding as I did when my bf hit about 20% last year.

    Koffee's point was that the only way to know if your weight gain is muscle/lean mass or fat is to compare apples to apples.

    Assuming that the Tanita is consistent if not accurate, 12% bf at 162 vs. 15% at 170 indicates a gain of about a pound of LBM, so yeah, you could be gaining muscle.

    (In general, a body puts on fat and muscle at the same time (in a condition of excess calories), and takes off fat and muscle at the same time (in a condition of deficient calories). This is why body builders do bulk and cut cycles instead of trying to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously, which is impossible after a short period of "newbie gains".)

  5. #5
    SCUL pilot Fixie Hawkegirl's Avatar
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    Muscle is really heavy. If you're gaining muscle, you can expect to gain some weight with it. I think it's like 3 x heavier then fat.

    If you're "looking" right to yourself, if you're healthy, if you're feeling good, ditch the scale.

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    The bottom line for me isn't how I look in the mirror. It's how I feel on the bike. In training I regularly do 2-3 mile climbs. But NOT in competitive riding. The longest climbs in those rides/races tend to be a mile in length - and the racing studs go up them HARD. VERY hard. So it's more about being a power climber than a pure climber. In which case being 5 lbs heavier - with greater strength - is probably going to work better. We'll see I suppose. Last year I did get thin @ 160 or so - but the snot level was never quite there. But I was coming back after a 5 year layoff from riding at all and I lost 48 lbs. to get down to 160. This year I only need to lose 10 lbs to get there - and I have 8000+ base miles under my belt. HUGE difference of course.

    The last couple of fast group rides I did (not frequent in mid winter) I felt fine. Like my old racing self. No problems hanging tough with the racing dudes. And I seem to be doing my regular training climbs on some days comfortably in slightly higher gears. I FEEL good on the bike, particularly climbing, particularly for February. But the real test will come in Spring when the Cat 2/3 boys are out driving the train @ 30-35mph. Then we'll see.


    God help me -I do love this ****.

  7. #7
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    i suppose that the weight curve is a bell-shaped one. i always want to get as light as possible, but wonder if i would gain some more power if i added a few pounds.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  8. #8
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    I've had the experience of strength training, having my clothes fit looser, and staying the same weight or going up.

    I read this great little fact in Prevention magazine a month or so ago:

    a pound of muscle is the size of a tangerine while a pound of fat is the size of a grapefruit.

  9. #9
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Also keep in mind your body tends to store a little bit more fat in the wintertime as a "survival" mechanism.....if your bodyfat percentage is the same as last fall, then obviously you've been very religious with the diet and you've packed on some muscle .
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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