I could stand to lose a few (several actually) pounds. Anyone hear of "Bon Training?" Does it work? Am I gonna kill myself?
It's morning. Give your fat a kiss good-bye and get to work.
(an excerpt from the September 2002 Bicycling magazine)
If you're normal, well adjusted and sentient, you have to ask why any cyclist would submit himself to "bonk training." It's the ultimate in hair-shirt riding. You wake up in the morning, drink two cups of coffee without putting anything else in your stomach, then go for a 60-90 minute ride. The answer: To lose weight. FAST.
Andy Pruitt, clinical director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, has seen plenty of clclists shed their guts with bonk training. "If I have a patient who's trying to lose weight- cyclist or not- I have him ride 20-30 minutes before breakfast on a stationary bike at about 60 percent of max heart rate," says Pruitt. "This ignites your fat-burning metabolism, and it stays lit during the day." If you have an extra 5-10 pounds to lose, empty-stomach exercise first thing in the morning is ideal, he says.
Bonk training works, according to Pruitt, because there's no readily available fuel source for your muscles (there's very little glycogen in the bloodstream when you wake up), so your body has to seek out fuel...stored fat. To get the full effect, you have to maintain an endurance pace; you should be able to converse without panting.
The name of this weight-loss comes from the idea that the training mimics the conditions that lead to the scourge of cyclists- bonking. In fact, true bonking is a danger.
"If you ride like this longer than 90 minutes, your body starts breaking down muscle and protein in organs," says Liz Applegate, sports nutritionist at the University of California-Davis, cyclist and author of Eat Smart, Play Hard. "Then you're not just losing fat, you're weakening your body."
Laura Gabrels Metcalf
HOW TO BONK TRAIN
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!!