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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-03-07, 12:03 AM   #1
heavyp
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Bonk Training

I could stand to lose a few (several actually) pounds. Anyone hear of "Bon Training?" Does it work? Am I gonna kill myself?

BONK TRAINING
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!!

http://www.wtcycling.com/BonkTraining.html
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Old 07-03-07, 12:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by heavyp
Anyone hear of "Bon Training?"
Bon-bon training is NOT the way to lose weight!



Don't know about this bonk training, but I actually get pretty close to doing it on my typical morning commute... maybe I need to add a few more miles and cut back the intensity to "ignite the blubber"...

do a search... http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-249215.html

Last edited by Phantoj; 07-03-07 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 07-03-07, 10:29 AM   #3
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Exercising before eating breakfast is a pretty standard weight loss technique, isn't it? Does anybody know the significance of the coffee though?

I never eat before my commute, which is 17 minutes, or 15 to the ymca for a free weights workout, and then 15 minutes pedal to work, then eat. I wonder if I just need to add another 15 or 20 minutes to my ride to shed this last 10 pounds.
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Old 07-03-07, 02:26 PM   #4
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3 cups of coffee = 90 mins of a caffine rush thats the only significance I can tell
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Old 07-03-07, 02:37 PM   #5
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So eat a 200 calorie breakfast and go burn 400 more calories. I don't get this.
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Old 07-03-07, 03:18 PM   #6
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I'm no expert obviously, but it looks like the rationale is that since you've tapped your glycogen overnight, you're running on empty, and your body is ready to go right at the fat reserves. Hence greater fat loss.
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Old 07-03-07, 05:38 PM   #7
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Yeah but you have 2000 calories or so of glycogen available to you. You burn mostly fat at night, almost all fat actually. Your blood glucose is lower, but not that much is it?
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Old 07-03-07, 07:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shubox
3 cups of coffee = 90 mins of a caffine rush thats the only significance I can tell
Numerous studies have already shown that caffeine produces a glycogen-sparing effect; most likely due to raising glucagon levels and increasing lypolysis.

CP Tips - Caffeine
JAP - Effect of different protocols of caffeine intake on metabolism and endurance performance
JAP - Effect of a divided caffeine dose on endurance cycling performance,
JAP - Performance and metabolic responses to a high caffeine dose during prolonged exercise (cycling endurance increased +51%)
AJCN - Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals

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Old 07-04-07, 05:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by heavyp
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!!
I think Chris Boardman used a similar method to lose weight.
There are a number of factors to consider, it's not necessarily the best solution or one that works every day for every rider . Personally I've tried it and had to call a halt to the ride as I've been about to collapse.
My experience of weight loss is that there is no quick fix. Count the calories consumed and those burnt in training and aim for a total reduction of 3500 per week - that equates to 1lb.
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Old 07-04-07, 07:00 AM   #10
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Bicycling magazine was at one time a magazine with unbridled humorous and satirical standards. Today the magazine is operating with a high degree of political correctedness.

Even if the "Bonk" method was used it reads as satire to me.
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Old 07-04-07, 11:16 AM   #11
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I use something like this all the time. It works great. I have a 200 cal snack about 3:30 pm and start riding about 5:30. I try not to eat or drink for the first two hours. This does two very important things: it makes my body "go get some fat" and it trains me to tolerate varying levels of blood sugar and hydration. Doing this, I become much less sensitive to eating frequency and so forth on long rides. Plus I lose a little weight. On these rides, I start hitting the Cytomax or whatever hard as soon as I feel my performance really start to fall off. And I have a protein-rich recovery drink as soon as I get home and then eat dinner about an hour later.

So if you're bonk training in the morning, be sure not to neglect eating a good breakfast immediately after! BTW, I remember that article, which is what gave me the idea for this practice. Yes, now Bicycling has become too much like Outside (or Inside, which is what it should be called.)
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Old 07-04-07, 11:42 AM   #12
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Complete horses**t. It's just a way to eat less calories and burn more through exercise.
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Old 07-04-07, 12:20 PM   #13
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Yeah, you still have to count calories and make sure you eat less daily than you burn off. If you binge on breakfast and lunch afterwards, it still won't do any good. And the 90-minute limit is about as far as you can go on the low-glycogen idea. Any more and you WILL bonk and there's no benefits to that at all. This bonk-training won't be as effective as real endurance rides of 3-4 hours in terms of how many calories and how much fat you burn off.

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Old 07-04-07, 03:29 PM   #14
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Complete horses**t. It's just a way to eat less calories and burn more through exercise.
Agreed.

While the ratio carbs/fat burned by the muscles can be adjusted it depends almost entirely on exercise intensity. You can very slightly increase the fraction fat burned by adaptation to a reduced carbohydrate diet (but performance will suffer) and by MUSCLE carbohydrate depletion. In the morning your body may have slightly lower LIVER glycogen stores but the muscle glycogen stores will be nearly fully loaded. The muscles are entirely ignorant to the livers carbohydrate status and will burn its normal macronutrient ratios.
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Old 07-04-07, 04:37 PM   #15
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Maybe it has something to do with how fast your body goes into fat burning mode. Like they say your body doesn't really start burning a good amount of fat until 30 minutes into a workout.
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