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  1. #1
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    Quickest Routine for Achieving Bike-Fitness for a ******?

    I got a bike about 3 weeks ago. Its a Giant OCR-3. I quit driving. I like my bike alot. I ride it everyday.

    The problem is that I am an out of shape ******. I was in shape about a year ago, bodybuilding style. Mile in 7 minutes, which was decent for a guy at 235 pounds that primarily lifted weights. A year later I'm 6'2", and the muscular frame is still there, but I'm a fat ass 300 pounds.

    The first week on the bike, I'd conk out on the first hill I encountered, and Atlanta doesn't have very steep hills. I can go for about 5 miles now, around town, before I get totally winded/cramped. Which is a marked improvement, believe me. I've even trimmed down noticeably in the last three weeks.

    But what I'm wondering is, what is the best combination of training to build my endurance? I ride for about 30 minutes to an hour each day. If I were to take this seriously, which I have always been good at in training (just less good in keeping up with it after 6 months) and want to get in good bike-riding shape, what is the best routine for me?

    I'm wondering just how much squats will help? I am thinking of squatting twice a week: once for reps (10-12), and once for weight (1-5 or so). I figure this will help alot by building up my delapidated quads. Other than that, I'm figuring on riding around town for an hour a day or so. I think in a month or two, I'll be in ship shape to bike wherever I want around town without showing up drenched.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Here's the thing: This isn't a race. If you really want to get into solid condition, it takes TIME. Seriously, long slow distance is the prescription. Meaning, ride at a fairly low aerobic state and build up the miles for at least a few months. You didn't gain 70 pounds overnight, you're not going to lose it overnight. Don't burn yourself out.

    Watch your diet. Eat as cleanly as possible without killing yourself.

    Weight train. If you want, get back in the gym and lift some weights.

    RELAX. Seriously. Moderation is the key, or you'll continue the cyle of yo-yoing.
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  3. #3
    Pat
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    The thing that helped my cycling was cycling. Also losing weight doesn't hurt in climbing hills.

    I have tried weight lifting but it really did not help my cycling. It helped other things but not the cycling. Cycling tends to involve high spin (extremely high reps) with very low resistance and it is generally aerobic and not anaerobic.

    When I was weight lifting, I had much better aerobic capacity from my cycling then anyone else in the gym. Nothing I did really would get me breathing hard. I went out and rode with some professional body builders (competitive at the national level) and I had no trouble dropping them and I am just a fast recreational cyclist.

    Don't get me wrong. I am not denigrating weight lifting. It is a superb way to maintain decent muscle strength through most of the body especially with a limited time frame. I also have a fair amount of respect for body builders. They train hard and have to know their stuff to do well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jukt's Avatar
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    Try it and let us know.
    Lemond Poprad
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  5. #5
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Best tip, start on a mountain bike, not a roadie.

    I was there too. I started by riding a two miles a day...then once that got easy I made it three miles a day (that one mile was a mild uphill). Eventually I started riding home each other day (8 miles). After a while I was in very good shape...anyone who on a mountain bike can maintain 18mph for an 8 mile run is in pretty decent shape. That took me nearly 7 months to get to, but man was it worth it.

    I'm on my 10th month now...doing pretty good, I can almost pull off a metric century at an average of 12-14mph.

    BUT...my gains were also alongside a healthy diet (not counting calories...just staying away from ounneeded fat and cholesterol, and avoiding processed food as much as possible), and I also had rather low blood pressure for a guy that was about 80lbs overweight. Here I am sitting at 40lbs over, and feeling pretty darn good.

    The tip is to do what you feel comfortable with. Don't push yourself to the limits...that could do more harm than good. Just give yourself a little push each day. Like for my commutes, I was being totally anal and timing it to the second...my goal was ten seconds less each time. Now for an 8 mile ride ten seconds seems miniscule..but that means at 8 miles every other day, is a minute in about half a month. But since your starting out...go for distance, and take it easy...avoid harsh uphills as much as possible, walk them if you can, and make sure to carry PLENTY of water, and to have a healthy balanced diet, this part is crucial, and get a solid 8 hours of rest a night...your only going to get what you put into this...so might as well make every mile on that bike do as much for you as possible.

    Good luck man!

  6. #6
    Roadie otoman's Avatar
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    I agree with what the previous posters have said. But I would like to emphasize the part about limiting calories. You can't do the weightlifter thing of eating more because you are working out more. Small breakfast, small lunch and a normal dinner. You can even throw in a small desert every now and then. Keep up the regular exercise like you are, and the pounds will melt away. You will be surprised out how fast the first few pounds come off. I lost 30 pounds doing that. I actually ate no breakfast at all (except a glass of OJ and a coffee), a snack sized lunch with as few carbs as possible (eating carbs at lunch not only makes me sleepy, but I get hungry in the late afternoon when my blood sugar bottoms out), and a normal dinner with the occaisional desert. NO SNACKING. Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    4 rides out of 5 should be easy to moderate. Cyclists call it building a base. The more miles you can do the better as long as you take it easy.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=catatonic.anyone who on a mountain bike can maintain 18mph for an 8 mile run is in pretty decent shape. That took me nearly 7 months to get to, but man was it worth it.[/QUOTE]


    That is killer catatonic. I can go for 14 miles at 14 mph but it is too difficult to go over 15 or 16 mph on my Trek Mtn Bike. You must be a young strappin' dude. Me?... I am just a 50 yr old geeser.

  9. #9
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Heh, i'm 25 years old, 220lbs, 5ft 8. I'm just stubborn as hell and pretty much relentless as far as goals. I actually overtrained two weeks ago, but am close to recovered now.

    I was riding my 8 miles home with my boss trying to keep up....didn't happen....me vs a triathlete on an ultra-lite tri bike...I was able to hold 22-23, and bonked when I got off the main road...then saturday i pulled 60 miles, then sunday pulled another 40...monday morning i was late for work so I was hauling like I had a screming banshee after me...monday evening, my right knee starts hurting like mad. Doctor said it was just from overworking it and to lay off for a while...so I havent been going near as fast as usual. Sucks too, I wanted to work on my climbing, so I could do one of the local hell rides

    Oh well, knee first, hellride later

  10. #10
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    Cat, does the group at the Bicycle Outfitter still do their weekend rides? If so hook up with then thay will get you in shape.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Hmm, I havent heard of them, I'm pretty much a loner out here..I just know some of the guys that go to the local shop and a few guys at work. Where do these guys run out of, it might be worth a try

  12. #12
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    I started cycling last spring after a long lay off and 40 extra lbs-the weight was gone in about 3 or 4 months but it has been in just the last 6 weeks or so that the base miles have kicked in. I can now hammer a bit(for me) and it is great and well worth the wait, don't rush it, they recomend 1,000 base miles before any hard training.

  13. #13
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    I disagree with the point about Atlanta hills. The first part of my ride is through a hilly neighborhood and it is despressing and down right frustrating. But once I am done with that is about seven or eight miles of flat to rolling roads with heavy road traffic. The traffic is nothing since that section is where I can get it into a nice gear and pedal at a good pace. That is where I start to feel like I am doing something good for my body. In all my research, riding that needs to be done for weight loss is aerobic as opposed to anerobic. Which basically means a good long ride of greater than 20 minutes where you can still carry on a conversation with yourself. This does not mean that you do not try to go fast. It means that you should be shooting for a cadence of less than 90. Something more like 60 to 70 might be fine to start with. That is what tourers normally ride at for 8 to 10 hours at a time. What you want is time on the bike and a decent distance. A two hour ride around you driveway will not do it. A two hour ride where you cover 15 to 25 miles is more like it. Notice the wide variation in the distance. It will take a while to get you into riding and a decent average speed might be much less then 10 miles and hour when you first start out. But after a while an average of 13 to 15 will be more than adequate to do some major weight loss. I admit that is a bit slow for the speed demons but you are after endurance. If you want to do a speed ride once in a while go ahead and try it. Maybe you can even try to do a ride all in the big front chainwheel? It might help me on the hills. Because of time limitations though I am going to add to my regiman a 30 minute or so exercise bike routine every morning before I go to work. With a wife and two kids I can only ride once or twice during the week and a bit on the weekends for something like 50 miles a week. In order to jump start my weight loss I need more time in the saddle.

  14. #14
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    I think the best thing to do to get into bike riding shape is to ride your bike a lot. I've been riding regularly for only a couple of months, and trust me, the distances will come. When my wife and I got serious about it, 5 miles while keeping track of time was a challenge. Since then we've done our first organized metric century and the only real challenge to a 30 mile ride is finding the time. The miles will come.
    One thing I noticed you said was that you aren't good at sticking to training over time. So don't train to ride, just ride. Enjoy the ride. Push the distance up by 10% each week. Put on an inexpensive computer so you can track it. So if you are starting at 5 miles, go 5.5 next week. Then 6, then 6.6, then 7.35, then 8, then 9..you get the idea. Pretty soon you'll be at 30 miles burning a thousand calories. Once you're there, you will want to work on increasing your speed just so you can get more distance in the amount of time you have available, so you bump up the cadence and roll. Whatever you do, if you like the bike, don't make it like going to the gym. Keep it enjoyable, but track it.
    Tom

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Oak Park Biker's Avatar
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    Climbing worked for me. I went from 205 pounds down to 155 in about a year from cycling primarily in the mountains. I found one route that is fairly difficult and went fairly hard until almost throwing up. Initially, I would lay over the handle bars and wait until I did not see stars anymore. Now, I fly up the climbs. It takes practice and determination and you will continue to improve as you lose weight. I have been cylcing for 18 months and it is still getting better. Before cycling, I had been a runner for about 20 years and there is no comparison between the two.

    I think that training and consistency is the key. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CycleFreakLS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunkologist
    what is the best combination of training to build my endurance?
    Make sure you climb everything in your 55-9 ...
    .
    .
    .
    OK ... I'm sorry I couldn't resist.

    Endurance? Spin spin spin. Don't muscle the bike. Don't use brute strength to move it; use spinning power to move it. Get a cyclometer with cadence. Try to keep a cadence of 90 or higher. The terrain and weather will affect your speed, but the cadence (we're talking relatively flat ground here) will allow you to maintain a steady output.

    30 minutes at a steady 90 rpm might be tough at first. Then it won't be. 45 min will then be easy and so on. I'm sure the top riders here can spin at 90-105 for 2 hrs ... easily.

    On the hills, spin as much as you can. Stay seated until you need a change of position, then stand. Again, don't muscle the bike. I can climb most hills here in southern CA in a 39-21 (standard 53/39 12-25 combo). But who cares what I use or what anybody else uses? If you need a triple, get one. If you can climb with a 53/39 12-27, then use that. Just do NOT put too much pressure through your knees or you'll regret it later.

    Enjoy your rides.
    Best.

  17. #17
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    I've been where you are. I used to ride a lot and then between work and 2 children, I chunked out- a full 40 lbs worth. If you're goal is to loose weight- burning calories by just ridding a lot will do wonders. If you want to get faster- I'd really recommend picking up book like "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride" by Chris Carmichael. I have a bunch of training books. A lot of them assume you have endless time and no other obligations. They are also not that user friendly.

    For example- you really need to have active rest days in your schedule where you're not pushing it really hard and giving your muscles a change to repair and build after the load you put on them in the prior days. As you get more fit- it will take a higher load to create that adaptation in your muscles. If you just hammer every day at 80% of your max heart rate at some point you'll stop improving and actually start getting slower as your muscles get broken down.

    That book is a really good first start. It's pretty cheap too- Amazon is showing it for $11.17 tonight.

    Make sure you're having fun too. If you can find a local riding club to start meeting people to ride with- that will keep you motivated. If it's just a fitness grind- you'll probably quit doing it at some point. I rode nearly 80 miles of single track last last Friday and Saturday with some buddies and then raced on Sunday. I wouldn't have done any of that if it weren't for the social factors.

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