Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bogotá, Colombia
    My Bikes
    2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic
    Posts
    602
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Bonk Training: Does it really work?

    Does "bonk training" really work for losing fat? Or is it just another urban legend or diet industry marketing hype?

    I tried to google the subject but couldn't find any serious information about it anywhere.

    Ricardo

  2. #2
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Jersey
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006
    Posts
    5,979
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I bonked two weeks ago on a 30 mile ride. I could barely stand when I got home and was shaking violently. I lost 8.8 pounds that week. But, I DO NOT recommend it. I was messed up for days.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No it doesn't work because not being able to ride for 2-3 days afterwards really limits how many calories you can burn off in a week. And you end up eating up a lot of muscle at the same time. Eventually you hit a plateau where you're so fatigued all the time with lack of energy that you just don't want to get out and ride. Mentally you'll be drained and weary and you just want to sit around watching TV and munching on chips. Not good for weight-loss either.

    A better plan is to have a system where you can get out and ride day after day over and over again. Meaning close to full-recovery every single day. This allows to increase fitness at the fastest rate and burn the most calories/hr possible. You need to structure your diet and training in a way that allows this kind of riding in order to lose fat and KEEP IT OFF. )

  4. #4
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    My Bikes
    Mecian
    Posts
    2,744
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the term bonk is seriously mis-used on this forum. Bonk is not simply getting tired. Bonk is a serious depletion of you body's energy stores, primarily glycogen. Depletion to the point of near collapse, not feeling very tired. When you bonk, you can barley turn the pedals, even walking is difficult. Low gear seem too tall of gear. You weave. You are a near to total shutdown as you can be. Eating a few energy bars or gels does not relieve a true bonk, it takes hours to even start to get back to feeling OK, days to fully recover. That's bonk! I see now way you can train like that. However, you can train yourself to better mobilize fat stores by riding at the edge of glycogen depletion. That's one of the basis of a ketogenic diet, and why it takes people days to weeks to adapt to a ketogentic diet. It takes time to get the enzymatic pathways fully built up to use fat. You still will not be able to work out at a very high level, but you can do OK. I used to run 4-6 miles daily on a ketogenic diet, but it had to be relatively slow.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
    The 4 Rs to save the planet

    "Toes"

  5. #5
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Northern CA
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    I think the term bonk is seriously mis-used on this forum. Bonk is not simply getting tired. Bonk is a serious depletion of you body's energy stores, primarily glycogen. Depletion to the point of near collapse, not feeling very tired. ...
    I will go along with that. If someone is "bonking" regularly, either they are not really bonking or they're incredibly stupid. It is not a bonk when you feel tired after a hard effort or got dropped by your faster riding buddies -- that is just lack of training.

    Anyway, bonk training sounds like a pretty dumb and unsustainable idea. I have never heard of it especially not by the 'diet industry'. Where did you hear about it (specifically?).
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    However, you can train yourself to better mobilize fat stores by riding at the edge of glycogen depletion. That's one of the basis of a ketogenic diet, and why it takes people days to weeks to adapt to a ketogentic diet. It takes time to get the enzymatic pathways fully built up to use fat. You still will not be able to work out at a very high level, but you can do OK. I used to run 4-6 miles daily on a ketogenic diet, but it had to be relatively slow.
    yeah, due to the maximum rates of lipolysis and fatty-acid uptake, there's only so many calories/hr you can generate this way. It's certainly is one way to lose weight, but yeah, you're certainly not gonna be moving very fast. Still faster than bonking though...

  7. #7
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Jersey
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006
    Posts
    5,979
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    No it doesn't work because not being able to ride for 2-3 days afterwards really limits how many calories you can burn off in a week. And you end up eating up a lot of muscle at the same time. Eventually you hit a plateau where you're so fatigued all the time with lack of energy that you just don't want to get out and ride. Mentally you'll be drained and weary and you just want to sit around watching TV and munching on chips. Not good for weight-loss either.

    A better plan is to have a system where you can get out and ride day after day over and over again. Meaning close to full-recovery every single day. This allows to increase fitness at the fastest rate and burn the most calories/hr possible. You need to structure your diet and training in a way that allows this kind of riding in order to lose fat and KEEP IT OFF. )
    Exactly.

    I can't imagine bonking even once a week. I bonked on Saturday and even by Friday, my legs were very weak. Anything beyond an easy pace and my legs just gave out. I was exhausted even walking up stairs.

    I feel pretty much back to normal now. But even though I lost 8.8 pounds that week, I put three pounds back on this week!!! I couldn't ride for 4 days at all. And even when I did ride I had to do less mileage than planned at a lower intensity and I just felt blah.

    It is far better to fuel yourself properly and keep increasing your fitness level. If you are fit and getting fitter you can continually push harder and harder, thus increasing the number of calories you burn. By building more muscle you even burn calories at rest.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    SSP
    SSP is offline
    Software for Cyclists SSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Redding, California
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200, Specialized MTB
    Posts
    4,618
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No.
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
    WeightWare.com - Weight Management Software

  9. #9
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    I can't imagine bonking even once a week.
    Yeah, I was figuring he wasn't really understanding the term "bonk" and was referring to near-depletion of glycogen or near-bonk. But even then, that's not a good thing... The damage it does to your body outweighs any benefits you get and it sets you back quite a bit in your training.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    I think the term bonk is seriously mis-used on this forum. Bonk is not simply getting tired. Bonk is a serious depletion of you body's energy stores, primarily glycogen. Depletion to the point of near collapse, not feeling very tired. When you bonk, you can barley turn the pedals, even walking is difficult. Low gear seem too tall of gear. You weave. You are a near to total shutdown as you can be. Eating a few energy bars or gels does not relieve a true bonk, it takes hours to even start to get back to feeling OK, days to fully recover. That's bonk!
    Yep. I haven't bonked in a couple of years, but the last time I did, I was 30 miles into a 40 mile ride without any food. Felt great one minute, 5 minutes later started to slow down. Couldn't figure out why. Got slower and slower. After suffering for about 30 minutes, *finally* figured out what was going on. Stopped, got some sugar to drink. Took 20 minutes before I was ready to get on the bike, and then couldn't ride more than about 12 MPH on the way home.

    That's a bonk. Quick change, huge loss of power, mental confusion. No quick recovery.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  11. #11
    NorCal Climbing Freak
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    872
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bonk training to lose fat? Pretty stupid if you ask me.

    The key to losing fat is pretty easy. Eat less, eat healthy, and ride more.

    There's no reason to subject your body to shock in order to burn calories.

  12. #12
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    My Bikes
    2005 Specialized Roubaix Elite, 2005 Specialized FSR XC Comp, 2008 Blue T16, 2009 Blue RC8, Fetish Cycles Road Bike
    Posts
    3,172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Bonk Training" in terms of weight loss methodology is not a true bonk like most of us think in terms of the long distance, can't stand up effect.

    http://www.wtcycling.com/BonkTraining.html
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  13. #13
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Northern CA
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by that website
    1. Upon waking, drink 2-3 cups of coffee, up to 45 minutes before cycling. Don't eat.
    2. Ride at endurance pace- 60-70% of your max heart rate, or a casual pace that doesn't make you pant when you talk.
    3. Keep it up for 20-90 minutes.
    4. You can do this on consecutive days, but mix in at least one normal breakfast per week.
    5. Eat your typical breakfast as soon as the ride ends.
    6 . Watch the blubber ignite!!
    Well, still sounds pretty stupid to me.

    a) it is not a great idea to do a hard exertion without fuel in your tank (that's asking for a bonk); and
    2) for overall weight loss, the timing of the consumption of calories is not what matters; it's the count of calories relative to what you're burning. This method could really backfire for folks who are tempted to overeat immediately after a hard effort.
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The other half of the equation that's not examined though is food intake. Bonk Training still requires that you eat fewer calories than you take in. If you end up binging after the ride or eat a lot for the remainder of the day, it still won't help with weight loss.

    It appears that due to the limited glycogen availble, you won't be able to ride more than 60-90 minutes without bonking. That's burning off around 700-1100 calories. To lose 1-lb/week, that would require a really restricted calorie-deficit diet. You'll end up chronically fatigued and end up losing muscle. Better to ride 120-180 minutes instead and eat more...


    Here's some interesting papers on caffeine & cycling:
    JAP - Effect of a divided caffeine dose on endurance cycling

    This one seems to show that caffeine without the coffee works better
    JAP - Metabolic and exercise endurance effects of coffee and caffeine ingestion

  15. #15
    NorCal Climbing Freak
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    872
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That plan doesn't seem too out of line. 90 minutes at that pace probably doesn't require too much energy if you've eaten the night before.

    At the same time, it all about calories in calories out, so it shouldn't hurt to have a little something before the ride. Also, as 'nother pointed out, it would seem to leave open the possibility for overeating.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Deep in the Shawnee Forest
    My Bikes
    LeMond - Gunnar
    Posts
    2,786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First misunderstand the slang term "bonk". Then couple the word with a weight-loss routine and then call it bicycle training - and then - assume because some idiot put a goofy idea on a web page it must mean something.

    This thread is wrong on too many levels to respond.

    Hey, anyone think "food rides" work? Is that how body-builders workout?

    Anyone want to discuss glycogen depletion workouts? Do you use them?

  17. #17
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    My Bikes
    Mecian
    Posts
    2,744
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I looked a5t the link, and the suggester of the so called bonk training is Andy Pruitt, who is definitely no hack. I note that his advise is 30 minutes or so first thing AM to induce the fat burning enzyme system. That makes some sense to me. the 60-90 minute ride is unreferenced. I think I may try a low intensity first thing in the morning warm up on the trainer to see how it works.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
    The 4 Rs to save the planet

    "Toes"

  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    I looked a5t the link, and the suggester of the so called bonk training is Andy Pruitt, who is definitely no hack. I note that his advise is 30 minutes or so first thing AM to induce the fat burning enzyme system. That makes some sense to me. the 60-90 minute ride is unreferenced. I think I may try a low intensity first thing in the morning warm up on the trainer to see how it works.
    The entire article is from Bicycling Magazine if that means anything.

  19. #19
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bogotá, Colombia
    My Bikes
    2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic
    Posts
    602
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Guys,
    thanks for your replies. I think most of the people who took the hassle to answer my question had never heard of bonk training. Well, until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't either. Sure bonking is not nice, but the idea is not to bonk but rather to 'almost bonk'. This training appeared first in Bycicling Magazine a few years ago and suggested that since AM hours is the time of day you have the lowest quantities of glycogen, that if you ride at an easy pace, the body will be forced to burn fat cause it doesnt have any carbs to rely on...

    I didn't believe that until I saw a reality show where some obese people tried to lose great amounts of weight and they used this system and shed lots of pounds.

    Ricardo

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Coquitlam
    Posts
    2,538
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo
    I didn't believe that until I saw a reality show where some obese people tried to lose great amounts of weight and they used this system and shed lots of pounds.
    Didnt they also start doing exercise, eating better, and cutting down on portions? Was their weight loss increased by the time of day they ate/exercised or just the fact they were finally burning off more than they took in?
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Deep in the Shawnee Forest
    My Bikes
    LeMond - Gunnar
    Posts
    2,786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cut the crap- already. There is no such thing as "bonk-training" - and if you want go out and ride on an empty stomach - then fine, but it doesn't "speed up" fatty-acid oxidation for energy consumption. (caffeine does a little)

    The only thing good about empty-stomach riding is that it teaches some people to tolerate dips in their blood sugar. By riding a totally empty stomach, it is likely that a riders blood glucose will dip -thus triggering a hormonal response that involves mobilizing adipose tissues for future transport and oxidation.

    The "stupid part" of this thread is the ignorance of the fact that fatty-acid-mobilization increases whether or not fresh glucose from one's diet is present. Any sub-maximal exercise promotes this metabolic activity regardless of stomach contents.

    Depending on the rider's disposition, they may very well be able to have a superior "fat-burning-ride" by snacking on pure carbs before or during the ride. And because they can go longer and harder - the ride results in a larger calorie deficit that an empty stomach ride.

    Exercise intensity and number of slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers available for activity determine the rate of fatty-acid oxidation in any exercising individual. Of course, fat stores need to be available also.


    Food in the stomach has very, very, little to do with it.........

  22. #22
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,398
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Um, it's just taking a ride before breakfast, no big deal really.
    If you can't ride 20 to 90 minutes on an empty stomach....
    OTOH, if you think it's going to make you a new body....


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  23. #23
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    East Coast
    My Bikes
    Trek 1500, Giant XTC SE2, S&M Warpig, KHE Premium Lagger, Trek 800, a couple old Raleighs, an old Road Runner, etc.
    Posts
    454
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Um, it's just taking a ride before breakfast, no big deal really.
    Yeah. Everyone was going crazy for some reason

    I used bonk training all the time back when I trained regularly (ie. summer vacation). Always worked well for me.

  24. #24
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bogotá, Colombia
    My Bikes
    2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic
    Posts
    602
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BloomBikeShop
    I used bonk training all the time back when I trained regularly (ie. summer vacation). Always worked well for me.
    Did you shed pounds? If so, how many pounds? Did you ever REALLY bonked while doing it?

    Thanks,

    Ricardo

  25. #25
    Killing Rabbits
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Cut the crap- already. There is no such thing as "bonk-training" - and if you want go out and ride on an empty stomach - then fine, but it doesn't "speed up" fatty-acid oxidation for energy consumption. (caffeine does a little)

    The "stupid part" of this thread is the ignorance of the fact that fatty-acid-mobilization increases whether or not fresh glucose from one's diet is present. Any sub-maximal exercise promotes this metabolic activity regardless of stomach contents.

    Exercise intensity and number of slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers available for activity determine the rate of fatty-acid oxidation in any exercising individual. Of course, fat stores need to be available also.


    Food in the stomach has very, very, little to do with it.........
    Good stuff.

    Muscle substrate oxidization ratios vary depending on muscle glycogen content not blood or liver glycogen levels (and of course exercise intensity). So you are correct in that food in stomach has nothing to do with fatty acid oxidization but it also extends to “food” in the liver and blood.

    Bonk training typically calls for full body glycogen depletion, a very bad idea. However, one can elicit a similar effect by using up some of the muscle glycogen early in the workout. This can be accomplished by lifting one or two sets of heavy weights or by doing a couple hard efforts at the beginning of an aerobic intensity exercise session. This further enhances the endurance nature of that exercise. It all comes down to muscle fibre type and activation. The pre-fatigued type II fibres will now be harder to activate as they have low glycogen levels but the fatty acid oxidizing type I fibres will be fresh as they are not dependant on carbs. Early morning exercise does NOT have this effect. Muscle glycogen stores will have been almost entirely replenished during sleep and the only organ short of carbs will be the liver, if any.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    The only thing good about empty-stomach riding is that it teaches some people to tolerate dips in their blood sugar. By riding a totally empty stomach, it is likely that a riders blood glucose will dip -thus triggering a hormonal response that involves mobilizing adipose tissues for future transport and oxidation.

    Depending on the rider's disposition, they may very well be able to have a superior "fat-burning-ride" by snacking on pure carbs before or during the ride. And because they can go longer and harder - the ride results in a larger calorie deficit that an empty stomach ride.
    Exactly. The energy depletion model of exercise fatigue is bogus. The “tired” feeling one experiences is due to hypoglycaemia, not due to any shortage of energy in the working muscle. Biopsies of muscles taken from extremely tired athletes still contain HUGE amounts of available energy. It is the central governor (your brain) detecting the low blood sugar, which then reduces fibre recruitment to protect the tissues from permanent damage. Proof of this can be done with electrical stimulation of muscles on fatigued subjects… the muscle can still contract… but the brain won’t tell it to. You can train-your-brain to tolerate lower levels of sugar and still agree to fire the muscle unit; but this is better done with intervals than long bonking sessions.

    So moral of the story, deplete your muscle glycogen; but eat carbs during exercise to keep your blood sugars up, thus “fooling” your brain in to continuing the exercise for much longer periods.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •