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  1. #1
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    Out of shape, need some starting pointers.

    Hi there, new guy here. Just signed up but I've been reading for a bit and trying to soak it in.

    I haven't ridden in quite a while and when I did it was on a 20" Vert bike. I just quit smoking (again...I smoked ~6-7 cigs a day) and am trying to get in shape. I'm 5'11 ~140 lbs 28 and, while I'm active at work, I haven't really done any cardio type stuff in a long time. I just got an '07 Trek FX 7.3. Had it adjusted to me and it fits really nice.

    I got it home and took it on ~3 mile ride. I was going relatively hard/fast (until the end...) but I'm just in poor shape. My legs were feeling it pretty bad by the time I got in site of my house again. I felt great after a few minutes of rest and a snack. My back is a bit tight, but I didn't stretch at all (too excited and then tired to think of it). Any tips on the best way to build up my endurance (ride everyday, every other day harder etc.)? My goal is to use this as a commuting bike (~10 miles each way) and even to be able to ride to the other side of Austin (and a little farther; ~30 miles) in a reasonable amount of time, then back the same day. Ultimately, I would like to all but replace my car with it. the sooner the better. A hefty goal, yes, but there's no reason I can't eventually reach it.

    Should i be doing some exercises other than (well, in addition to) riding or just focus on the riding for now? I eat pretty well though I don't always eat enough. Been searching, but most of what I've found has been for losing weight or people trying to improve, but who are already at least fairly fit.

    Sorry if this isn't the best place for my post and thanks for any advice.

    /feeling lame about my fitness level.
    //sorry for length

  2. #2
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Ride hard, rest hard. It will take a couple weeks to recover from your first ever hard ride. Just ride easy, very easy, and you'll be fine.

    Think like an athlete. That's what I've found helps me. Just pare down their numbers a bit. Like, 4 hour easy becomes 1 hour easy for you.

  3. #3
    Cyclo Sapiens babydee's Avatar
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    Keep riding (doing some hard rides, some easy/light rides), eat well and include lots of lean protein and veggies. Stretch your hamstrings out AFTER riding, and do crunches every so often which will both help your back comfort.

    That is good enough a beginning. If you really catch the bug later, there's all sorts of bike training, weights, cross-training stuff you can do. For now, you're off to a great start.

    Ride well!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    AT 28 years old, if you eat correctly and get enough sleep, you should be able to recover quickly. If you want to be a better on the bike vary your rides. Do some fast rides, do some slower distance rides and do a few rides when you climb hills.

    It is hard to say how often as recovery will vary with individuals. Just take it too slow rather than too fast as an injury will set you back.

    Also, at 5'11 and around 140 pounds, you’re thin. I know as I was 5'11 and around 130 pounds. Lift weights to gain muscular size and strength. Stick with basic exercise like squats, bench press, chins, deadlifts, cleans, etc.

  5. #5
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    Well, I wasn't sore this moring so I went for another slower ride and did slightly better. I went the same route, but wasn't nearly as tired afterward. There's a big hill (fairly short, but steep) on the opposite route to my house that I may try to tackle a few times later today if it doesn't rain.

    Yeah, I'm fairly skinny, not a bag of bones, but not exactly muscular either. I work on a goat farm and/or construction during the week, so it is hard for me to get enough down time to recover. I do various weight lifting (medium) a couple times a week right now. I've tried to put on weight but have a very hard time. Getting enough rest is always an issue. That, and making myself sick by force feeding myself (even when trying to ease into it). Not "I'm gonna puke sick", but "Flu-type sick" with fever. I've done better with it since I stopped drinking milk. The problem is that I am not hungry for lunch when I get hot while working. It's really hard for me to get enough healthy calories in.

    So everyday? every other? listen to my body? I generally adapt fairly quickly to new routines.

  6. #6
    Cyclo Sapiens babydee's Avatar
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    Protein shakes/smoothies always help get some calories/protein in, especially when it's hot.

  7. #7
    Healthy and active twobikes's Avatar
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    Be patient and do not overdo your riding. If you hit a wall and cannot ride for a day or two, do not worry about it. You will probably come back stronger than before after you rest up again. Try to think about improvement measured from one year to the next rather than from one month to the next or one week to the next. Do not measure yourself against some other rider, especially not professional. Make sure you enjoy your rides, even if you are going slower than you would like.
    Who am I?
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  8. #8
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    I did the hill a few times this afternoon, but decided to quit before i got to the point of all I could give. Prob rest tomorrow. I tell you, maybe this cycling is exactly what I've needed; I haven't been able to get enough to eat today.

    Apple and banana

    2 whole egg and 2 egg white sandwich (thick whole-grain bread), 1.5 cups brocolli and a handful of spinach.

    Medium hamburger patty on the same bread, 2 carrots more spinach.

    Celery w/ peanut butter and some plain "cheerios"/granola with plain yogurt.

    Big bowl of whole wheat spaghetti w/ tomato & veggie sauce (brocolli and frozen veggies) and a ceaser
    salad.

    Small bowl of spaghetti and a chicken breast

    ...and I'm still hungry.

    I'm craving something greasy (sausage sounds really good). Should I listen when this happens?

    I didn't count calories, but it sure seems like a lot.

    Oh, and a thanks to everyone for there input. Much appreciated

  9. #9
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    I have printed this before. It for all those that say they eat but can not gain any size, this article may make you think different. The reply is from Dr John Berardi whom I think is one of the more knowledgeable guys around. The full article at:

    http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=238app2

    Skinny Bastard Blues
    Q: I'm a skinny guy and I'm getting tired of everyone telling me to just eat more. I eat as much as I can, four to six times per day. How can I eat more if my stomach is about to pop? Any suggestions for me? Am I genetically screwed or something?

    A: So you're hoping I've got some magical supplements up my sleeve that can help you increase your appetite, right? Well, I don't. Despite my searching, I haven't been able to find any nutritional supplements that really work for appetite stimulation.

    When I was younger, I thought I was genetically cursed, too. No matter how hard I worked out and how much I ate, I still didn't get any bigger, so I tried to seek out any supplemental help I could find to increase my appetite, but alas, I never found anything. Instead, I found the true secret in another place, and it wasn't in a supplement or drug bottle!

    Currently, of course, there are drugs out there for the job. The two main clinical appetite stimulants, megestral acetate and dronabinol, are used in AIDS, burn, and cancer patients. Unfortunately they cause mostly fat gain. Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine and serotonin antagonist that increases growth hormone secretion and appetite. This drug works pretty well for weight gain. Anabolic steroids, of course, do a really nice job of increasing appetite, body weight, and muscle mass, but that's no surprise. And there are some new ideas on how to block one of the body's big satiety hormones through the use of CCK (cholecystokinin) antagonists.

    However, let's depart from the drug and supplement discussion and get down to what I think is the true secret. First, you have a screwed up perception of what needs to be done to get bigger. It's written all over your e-mail. You mention that you eat four to six times per day, as if that actually tells me something about your diet and as if you're doing everything you need to do but the genetics are conspiring against you. Well, as long as that attitude persists, you'll always be skinny.
    Remember, it's not the strategy but the result that matters. If four to six meals per day were enough, then you'd be growing. Since you're not, how about changing the strategy by eating a lot more food within those meals? If that doesn't work, how about trying to eat six to eight times per day? Perhaps that won't work and you'll have to skip eating distinct meals altogether — simply eat all day long! Do whatever it takes!

    Sure, I may sound a bit unsympathetic, but trust me in that I'm not at all unsympathetic to your plight; I'm just unsympathetic to your excuses. I've been exactly where you are today and can honestly say that I overcame it with a few simple strategies that I'll detail below.

    When I was 18 years old, I was in the same predicament you are. I tried eating four to six times per day and simply couldn't gain weight, so I sought out the big guys in the gym and asked them what they were doing. Their advice was to eat all the time. Now, "all the time" meant something very different to them than it does to most people. Most people think that eating all the time means three meals a day and then some snacks. Well, to these guys, eating all the time meant literally chewing food all day long! As a result of their tutelage, here's the diet I generated:

    8 AM, Breakfast: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread, and 4 packets of instant oatmeal.

    12 PM, Lunch: 1 pound extra lean ground beef, 1 cup cauliflower, and 2 large baked potatoes.

    4 PM, Evening Meal: 1 pound of extra lean ground beef, 1 cup broccoli, and 2 large baked potatoes.

    8 PM, Post-workout: half pound of pasta (weighed before cooking), 1 cup green beans, and half pound extra lean ground chicken.

    Before bed: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread.

    Also, upon waking each morning I'd mix up a one gallon jug of water and somewhere between five and ten scoops of protein. In addition, I'd open a bag of six cinnamon raisin bagels and put peanut butter on each one. The protein drink and the bagels were to be consumed all day long when an actual meal wasn't being eaten. The motto was: "If I'm not chewing, I'm not growing." As soon as I'd finish each meal, I'd start right away with my protein shake and bagels and continue on them until the next meal. No lie.

    Gluttony? You bet! Did I grow? You bet! On this plan I went from 165 pounds at 8% fat to 210 pounds at 12% fat in about six months. Hurray for newbie gains! That's 34 total pounds of lean mass or about six pounds of lean mass per month.

    Will this plan work for everyone? Probably not as well as it did for me. Does it violate my Massive Eating guidelines? Yes, it does! But my body didn't know it was violating any guidelines. All it knew was that it needed a whole lot of calories to grow bigger and stronger and once I started providing them, I grew like crazy.

    The point of my story is not to give you an exact diet to follow. Nope, my goal is to illustrate just how important it is to push the boundaries of your comfort zone if you're interested in making gains. Quit worrying about being full and just eat more. As you continue to push yourself in terms of how much food you can eat, the body will adapt by becoming more comfortable at these new levels of intake, just like with training.

    Increasing your muscle mass isn't about comfort. In the gym we train until we're uncomfortable and, likewise, if we're interested in getting as big as possible, we should do the same at the table.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdister
    Hi there, new guy here. Just signed up but I've been reading for a bit and trying to soak it in.

    I haven't ridden in quite a while and when I did it was on a 20" Vert bike. I just quit smoking (again...I smoked ~6-7 cigs a day) and am trying to get in shape. I'm 5'11 ~140 lbs 28 and, while I'm active at work, I haven't really done any cardio type stuff in a long time. I just got an '07 Trek FX 7.3. Had it adjusted to me and it fits really nice.

    Sorry if this isn't the best place for my post and thanks for any advice.

    /feeling lame about my fitness level.
    //sorry for length
    From your description, you don't have much if any cardio fitness.

    With that as a given, your worst danger right now is that you are going to work too hard and either get burnt out or hurt.

    For what you want to do, I suggest setting goals of riding for a specific amount of time rather than distance, and have your target be 30 to 60 minutes. In general, you should be working pretty lightly - lightly enough that you are able to talk easily for the vast majority of the time (it's okay for it to spike now and then as long as it isn't for long - no more than about 5% of your ride).

    That sort of approach will give you the best gains in aerobic fitness, and will get you to your goal of being able to ride to work and back.

    There *is* a place for intensity in a workout program, but it's not at the beginning. You should concentrate on establishing your exercise habits for at least a couple of months.
    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
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  11. #11
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    "8 AM, Breakfast: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread, and 4 packets of instant oatmeal.

    12 PM, Lunch: 1 pound extra lean ground beef, 1 cup cauliflower, and 2 large baked potatoes.

    4 PM, Evening Meal: 1 pound of extra lean ground beef, 1 cup broccoli, and 2 large baked potatoes.

    8 PM, Post-workout: half pound of pasta (weighed before cooking), 1 cup green beans, and half pound extra lean ground chicken.

    Before bed: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread.

    ...bagels peanut butter, protein..."

    That makes me sick just thinking about it , but thank you. You wouldn't eat all day with my filthy hands, I barely want to scratch my nose sometimes. I will try to work it in as best I can though.

    I ate like mad today too, but not quite as healthfully (friends birthday and we fried 11 lbs of catfish) And yeah, I took the day off except for a short intense workout on the weigh bench. Going for a slow ride tomorrow as I have the day off work.

    Thanks again to everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to this board before long. I have much to learn.

  12. #12
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    Thoughts on your diet:

    1) You have a ton of protein - probably a lot more than you need.
    2) You are heavily focused on animal protein.
    3) You get a ton of cholesterol. A *ton*. The eggs along give you some 2400 mg, and the ground beef gives you another 500 or so. While dietary cholesterol isn't necessarily bad, the recommended amount is more in the 300 mg/day amount.
    4) Your fat level may be fairly high - the eggs have a lot of fat in them.

    My advice?

    1) Look for other sources of protein - bean and rice are great sources.
    2) Buy yourself a second-hand copy of "south beach diet". It doesn't have enough carbs for an athlete, but it's a decent starting point.
    3) Fruit is great if you can afford it.
    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

  13. #13
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    just curious, were you reading my post #8 or post #11 where I was quoting (I need to use the quote function) an above diet guideline?

    I do generally eat a lot of beans and brown rice. Chick peas, pintos, black, refried (no fat). I usually eat just the white of hard boiled eggs, maybe 10% of them I eat the yolk too. I eat a lot of whole grain breads of various types (buddy is manager at a Bakery) and snack on carrots. I generally only eat fruit first thing in the morning (2-3 pcs).

    There's no way I could follow the diet mentioned in post #9. Just couldn't do it. I can deal with being skinny over hurting my body. I did get some cinnamon raisin bagels to spread peanut butter on though.

    Oh, for those interested, I went for a fairly slow paced ride today and put in right around 7 miles. Going slow/medium seems like the way to go for now. My legs are a bit tight (not bad), but doing great overall. I almost went back out an hour later...

    Hit my weight bench and did some push ups along with my heavy hula hoop (stop laughing, it works) last night. Tomorrow looks like rain, so work will be slow and easy most likely.

  14. #14
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    Sorry that I didn't catch the quoting.

    Your diet sounds pretty good. You might want to pick up a copy of "south beach diet", which is a decent overall introduction.

    With the pretty big caveat that it's a diet for sedentary people. Athletes need a ready supply of carbs before, during, and right after working out.

    Initially, I'd just focus on riding comfortably for a given amount of time rather than focusing on distance. When you start getting up to riding 2 hours at a time or start getting to 30 miles at a pop, come back and talk to us again.

    It sounds like you're doing fine with what you're doing right now.
    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

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