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  1. #1
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Working out - am I doing this right?

    Lately I've started doing arm and core workouts to supplement the training that my legs get on the bike, and I'm really enjoying them. But there are a few things I'm not sure I quite understand, and was hoping more knowledgeable forumers could enlighten me.

    I've been doing arms and core workouts every three days, and have noticed a pattern: I feel a sort of "glow" in the evening right after working out and for much of the next day. By the second rest day I feel more or less normal, and may even have a tiny bit of muscle soreness, though not much to speak of.

    Questions:

    1. What is that "glow"? Is that (one might hope) a manifestation of the process of the muscle consuming fat? Is it my metabolism working harder? I also feel like I'm a bit warmer than normal, sort of fearless in the face of cooler fall temperatures. Why is that?

    2. On the second rest day the glow is gone. Is this an indication that I could or should be working out on that day instead of waiting? Instead of working out every three days, am I ready to go to a Mon-Wed-Fri workout schedule?

    3. I'm doing all sorts of core work, but my waistline isn't shrinking. Is this because I'm building up muscle? Do I really need to stop eating donuts?
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    i think what you are describing is the effect of blood rushing to the muscles that were just worked. it's fun to walk outside on a cold day and watch the steam rise from your arms/shoulders after a workout and not feel cold

    reducing waistline is the hardest, it takes time. getting visible ab muscles is even harder and takes discipline. I really like donuts and mcdouble cheeseburgers, so i've opted for happiness over sixpack abs
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Thing is, I feel that way for most of the following day. Is my blood really rushing around for a period of 24 hours following a workout?
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

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    To see your abs you really have to get down to a low body fat %. I am 5'9" \ 154 lbs and do plenty of ab exercises but still have a gut.
    I am in the process of dropping more fat to see if I can finally get my abs to show. The top seems to be peeking through finally.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I think the glow is hormonal. I also notice that mammalian feeling. I can go around in a T-shirt when others bundle up. I always thought it was from riding in chilly temperatures.

    Muscle soreness the 2nd day is normal, called DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness.

    I don't think glow has any meaning, other than that it makes you feel good, which is a good thing and may be meaningful in your personal life, but perhaps not in your athletic life.

    You should be able to work out at least 3 days/week. 5 days is good.

    No donuts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Hormones, eh? You mean, like, working out ups the testosterone levels? Makes you feel like going out and kicking some ash, then grabbing a dame and doing some funny stuff?

    Interesting.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  7. #7
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    No, not testosterone. Might actually lower that. Endorphins, among others.

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    If you cross train you can workout every day of the week. Addiction at its finest!

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you need to rest your muscles for 48 hrs so they can recover and grow. the fat on your waistline will only diminish as you increase your overall metabolism and modify your diet. research both.
    Last edited by rumrunn6; 10-06-10 at 11:51 AM.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    Pat
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    Well, if you want a visible 6 pack, you need to get very thin as in a very low percent body fat. You can have tremendous abdominal muscles. But most guys have a layer of fat over top of them which hides them.

    Also, doing abdominal work will not make your waist thinner. It will merely develop your abdominal muscles - make them stronger and probably a bit bigger.

    Fat deposits on a person follow their own pattern. For most guys, the last really noticeable fat is right on the old tummy. That is the fat that your body will give up absolutely last. You can lose it but it does take very careful management of your diet and for most people, it just is not worth the bother.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    +1 for cross training; do weight training a couple days a week but while you're resting those muscles get in some riding; running and swimming
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  12. #12
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Update: after a month and a half of upper body and core workouts I've lost one belt notch (good) and gained about 5 pounds (not my original intention). So I take it I'm turning some muscle into fat?

    I gave up donuts and chips/crisps this past week, along with some other wheat products, and I feel better for it. That must partly account for my slightly smaller waist. But I'm still 240 pounds, about 60 above my ideal weight of 180. I won't go on a radical diet, because I know I won't be able to sustain it for any length of time and that it would result in a yo-yo effect. But this stubborn pudginess is in my genes, so the battle is tougher for me. Though I got my thyroid checked, and it's normal.

    I probably have to keep better control over portion sizes at meals, I figure.

    Oh, another thing I think is working: My schedule for working out at the beginning was every third day, which I think really worked to ease myself into working out, but lately I've been alternating between every second day and every third day. I think/hope I'm throwing my body a curve ball so it can't get too accustomed to a physical routine. Seems like a good strategy, right?
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    muscle doesn't turn to fat and fat doesn't turn to muscle. stay off the scale and snack on protein (not bars) real food
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Update: after a month and a half of upper body and core workouts I've lost one belt notch (good) and gained about 5 pounds (not my original intention). So I take it I'm turning some muscle into fat?

    I gave up donuts and chips/crisps this past week, along with some other wheat products, and I feel better for it. That must partly account for my slightly smaller waist. But I'm still 240 pounds, about 60 above my ideal weight of 180. I won't go on a radical diet, because I know I won't be able to sustain it for any length of time and that it would result in a yo-yo effect. But this stubborn pudginess is in my genes, so the battle is tougher for me. Though I got my thyroid checked, and it's normal.

    I probably have to keep better control over portion sizes at meals, I figure.
    Your routine sounds good and the results are about right. However, note that you building muscle and strength, but not losing fat. That's OK, I've never been able to do both simply because gym-workouts arent' aerobic enough and long enough to burn off significant amounts of calories.

    What these workouts are doing for you is building strength and endurance allowing you to do longer rides. It won't impact your average-speed much, but will allow you to maintain it longer. That's when the benefits will start kicking in as you'll be able to do 3-5 hour rides at a faster overall-pace than before to really burn up the calories. Then you'll lose some of that blubber.


    BTW - don't overdo it on the arms, unless it's your arms that's limiting you from riding faster.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-18-10 at 04:06 PM.

  15. #15
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    One could make the generalization that calories out is proportional to kwh put into the pedals or other exercise equipment. So you can increase kwh by increasing either watts output or hours of output, or preferably both. I think it's easier for most folks to start going longer and those longer rides also serve to increase strength and thus output watts. Also, most folks can't eat too much while they are riding, so then it's a matter of not overfeeding after the ride or the next day. Danno is saying the same thing with different words, IMO.

    In terms of output, I look for 150 mile or 7000 calorie weeks. Those are pretty good metrics for most folks who are looking to get lighter/faster. Of course it's possible to overeat so that no amount of exercise helps.

    It's normal for people to say that they are turning fat into muscle (or vice versa). Of course that's not what's really happening, but it's not a worthless way to look at it either.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    One could make the generalization that calories out is proportional to kwh put into the pedals or other exercise equipment. So you can increase kwh by increasing either watts output or hours of output, or preferably both. I think it's easier for most folks to start going longer and those longer rides also serve to increase strength and thus output watts. Also, most folks can't eat too much while they are riding, so then it's a matter of not overfeeding after the ride or the next day. Danno is saying the same thing with different words, IMO.
    Yeah, kind of, but in a reverse order. The strength-building comes first, then the longer-rides to burn off the fat comes later. Doing long rides really does nothing for improving strength, if anything, it will decrease it if you don't eat enough during the ride.

    But yea, the idea is to be able to burn off more on those long rides. If he's maxing out at 50-miles due to fatigue, cramping, lack of stamina, then increasing strength in the gym will allow him to go 75-miles and burn off 50% more calories and lose more fat. But it really won't let them do that ride faster. You need to work on the aerobic system for that.

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I dunno, Danno. You know more about it than I. But the fast LD riders I know got faster (like way faster) while riding long distances. A fast woman who was leading a class on riding the 1-day STP many years ago said, "Distance equals strength." I've always remembered that. A buddy of mine who does 20k-30K miles/year got incredibly strong after a few years of that. I used to get pretty strong in the summer, doing a 7-18 hour ride about every other weekend. Of course the folks I've hung out ride their LD as fast as possible rather than as slow as possible . . .

    And of course my experience has been with riders who are already quite fit, many of whom could ride a fast century on any given day with no prep. You may be right about folks who are just starting out. Partly it's just semantics. The mavens always say the TdF will be won by the strongest rider. They don't mean the guy who can squat the most. Heck, The Chicken almost won it.

    Be all that as it may, if someone rides 150+ miles/week, week after week, they're going to get stronger. I've never ridden with anyone who got weaker by doing my rides. Or perhaps I should say, surviving my rides. If they came back, they got stronger. I don't know what happened to those I never saw again.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Thing is, my rides are generally between an hour and an hour and a half. I have neither the time nor the inclination to ride for 3 to 5 hours.

    So am I doomed to being chubby? Is there no fat burning for me? I'd been hoping that building up muscle would help burn calories because muscle takes more calories to maintain. Isn't there some truth in that?
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Thing is, my rides are generally between an hour and an hour and a half. I have neither the time nor the inclination to ride for 3 to 5 hours.

    So am I doomed to being chubby? Is there no fat burning for me? I'd been hoping that building up muscle would help burn calories because muscle takes more calories to maintain. Isn't there some truth in that?
    Yes. And you're not "doomed to being chubby", its just that exercise alone - especially exercise that lasts only 90 minutes per day - isn't going to sort it out for you. What you are doing sounds pretty good to me, and there is no doubt that high-intensity workouts of about an hour will build fitness fast as well as burning calories. But that's just the output sorted. What you take in is what counts, and there's simply no substitute for eating right. Smaller portions, more of your carbs from fruit and green vegetables, you know the sort of thing.

    Personally I have no difficulty with any of that, I eat really well and spend a lot of time on the bike. But the booze does a remarkably efficient job of keeping me about 6 kilos overweight. Each to his own, eh?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Thing is, my rides are generally between an hour and an hour and a half. I have neither the time nor the inclination to ride for 3 to 5 hours.

    So am I doomed to being chubby? Is there no fat burning for me? I'd been hoping that building up muscle would help burn calories because muscle takes more calories to maintain. Isn't there some truth in that?
    AFAIK the jury's still out on that. Conventional wisdom is "yes" but some studies say "no." To burn calories, you gotta put out kwh. Just sitting won't do it. Again, like chasm says, eating less is the real deal.

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    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    am I doomed to being chubby?
    no, you are on the right path. exercise and smaller portions of food. stick with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So am I doomed to being chubby? Is there no fat burning for me? I'd been hoping that building up muscle would help burn calories because muscle takes more calories to maintain. Isn't there some truth in that?
    Don't worry about fat-burning specifically. Concentrate more on calories-in versus calories-out. That's the bottom line. Your body will redistribute and metabolize fat as needed when you've got a calorie-deficit. Just not to much or else you'll be disassembling perfectly good muscle for energy.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bleep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
    i think what you are describing is the effect of blood rushing to the muscles that were just worked. it's fun to walk outside on a cold day and watch the steam rise from your arms/shoulders after a workout and not feel cold
    I think he properly described it, I feel the same thing and the duration can vary, if your still excited then sure. Also you may perceive yourself as glowing but actually your heart rate is normal!

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