Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Ohio
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Madison, Windsor Dover
    Posts
    940
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Riding for fat loss, not muscle loss

    Vaguely asking, what is the best way to ride for fat loss while still keeping most if not all muscle? Would riding in the lower zones be better for this? I mean, my thinking is that when we ride hard we need to replenish our muscles with the foods that are needed to continue to do so - almost like we put back in what we just rode off, no? Riding with less intensity of course requires less replenishing, however less calories are being burned off. It almost seems like a Catch-22 to me. Is there a way to teach our bodies to use fat as fuel more efficiently? It doesn't sound like fat for fuel would be efficient. I'm sure my lack of knowledge in this subject hinders me. Please help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,734
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd6969 View Post
    Vaguely asking, what is the best way to ride for fat loss while still keeping most if not all muscle? Would riding in the lower zones be better for this? I mean, my thinking is that when we ride hard we need to replenish our muscles with the foods that are needed to continue to do so - almost like we put back in what we just rode off, no? Riding with less intensity of course requires less replenishing, however less calories are being burned off. It almost seems like a Catch-22 to me. Is there a way to teach our bodies to use fat as fuel more efficiently? It doesn't sound like fat for fuel would be efficient. I'm sure my lack of knowledge in this subject hinders me. Please help. Thanks.
    Fat for fuel is very efficient. At low to moderate intensities you will be using mainly fat for fuel. This is the reason that we can ride for many hours even though we cannot absorb calories from food as fast as we are expending them - because we are burning fat we do not completely deplete the glycogen stored in our liver and muscles.

    At very high intensities you will cease burning fat and derive all your fuel from glycogen. You burn more calories in a shorter time this way, but (obviously) you can't keep going as long, and if you try to ride like this all the time you will not be conditioning your metabolism to maximise the extent to which it fuels you directly from fat stores.

    None of this has much to do with muscle loss. Muscle is broken down during exercise, and broken down more by hard exercise. The key here is nutrition and recovery. If you eat properly - ideally getting some protein and carbs inside you immediately after a workout, as well as eating a balanced diet in general - and give yourself enough time to recover, your muscles will be restored and those you are exercising will get stronger. Obviously, the more intense your effort, the longer the recovery your muscles will need to repair themselves. You can probably recover well enough in 24 hours from a moderate intensity ride to be able to ride every day. If you are doing intervals or extended high-tempo rides, you'll need easy days or rest days to recover.
    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.

  3. #3
    some guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    yes sure do
    Posts
    166
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as I know, it's got to do with how much you eat and not how much you work out ( unless you over-train ).
    If you cut your calories drastically then you will lose muscle mass while losing weight. The slower the loss, the better your chances of keeping your fitness and muscle. That's a 10-20% caloric reduction under what you need, INCLUDING the rides.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Ohio
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Madison, Windsor Dover
    Posts
    940
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies! So am I understanding correctly that is it better to ride every day with low to medium intensities to loose the fat? Perhaps a high intensity interval day once a week to work the heart and build some more muscle? Will the body become accustomed to the fat for fuel burning and eventually taper itself off and not burn as much? Thanks for the help.

  5. #5
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,734
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The crucial thing is not your riding strategy, it is that you consume fewer calories than you burn. So whether you ride hard or steady, you need to keep track of how many calories you are burning and make sure you don't eat so much - exercise makes one hungry - that you negate the effect. Personally I favour the longer steady rides for weight control purposes, because I seem to get less ravenous that way and can manage my appetite better. Your mileage might vary. With a power meter you could calculate precisely how many calories you burned on a ride. A rough estimate would be about 30 calories per mile.

    As for mixing in one or two more intense efforts each week, that is certainly a good training strategy, but that's more about fitness than weight loss. Either sort of ride will help with the weight as long as you manage the calories in<calories out equation.
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NoVA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez Sport
    Posts
    1,181
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To sum up what chasm54 said: 1. calories deficit and 2. it's much easier to control your hunger when riding at low or moderate intensity. Whenver I want to loose weight, this approach works wonder for me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Ohio
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Madison, Windsor Dover
    Posts
    940
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies, I am understanding better. However, one thing I am still unclear on - higher intensity rides will burn more calories, but these are calories from stored glycogen rather than stored fat. So, will the fat continue to stay because I am not using it for the fuel source with these harder rides? I'm sure I'm just missing the big picture here and it will click soon....

  8. #8
    muu
    muu is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    227
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I was wrapping my head around trying to figure out heart rate zones for recovery and such, I ran into this:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...-basics-28838/

    Burn fat, save time

    We all have to manage our work-life balance but don’t think that wanting to burn fat means you have to go out for five or six hours on the bike riding in Zone 2. By using HIIT methods (high intensity interval training) you’ll burn far more fat and become a fitter and faster rider into the bargain. Yes, it’s going to hurt but it will do you the power of good and the whole session will take less than an hour.

    Make sure you do a decent 15-minute warm-up and you're ready to go. Depending on your level of fitness you're going to do 4-6 all-out sprints of 30 seconds with 4-5 minutes of easy pedalling. During these all-out efforts expect to see your HR rise to 85-90% of your HR max. Give it all you have right through the 30-second burst. Do these for 6-8 weeks and marvel at the fat you’ve lost. Try it – it really works.

    But don’t think that training hard means you can eat like a pig. Fletcher has a word of warning for those who think they can ignore their diet and just ride to lose weight. “Weight control has to be about diet,” he says. “If you want to lose weight you’d be better off concentrating on what goes in, and concentrating on quality rather than necessarily reducing quantity.” Key session: 5min warm-up and then 4-6 30sec sprints with 4-5min rest.
    The comments on that link someone explains further about EPOC being the thing that actually drives fat burning, which makes sense. I mean, up to now I never really bothered with the easy rides and if the fat burn zones had any merit I should be all fat and no muscles at this point!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,061
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd6969 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I am understanding better. However, one thing I am still unclear on - higher intensity rides will burn more calories, but these are calories from stored glycogen rather than stored fat. So, will the fat continue to stay because I am not using it for the fuel source with these harder rides? I'm sure I'm just missing the big picture here and it will click soon....
    You lose weight when you maintain a caloric deficit, i.e. fewer calories in than out. It doesn't really matter how you achieve that deficit, the result is the same you will lose fat. The advantage of lower intensity is that you can do it for longer with less recovery and the impact on your hunger response is less (personal experience).

    If you want to maintain muscle mass you should probably include some weight training. If you lose a significant amount of weight it's likely your leg muscles will atrophy somewhat because they don't need to lug around as much weight. Weight training would prevent this although it won't make you a faster cyclist.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NoVA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez Sport
    Posts
    1,181
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd6969 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I am understanding better. However, one thing I am still unclear on - higher intensity rides will burn more calories, but these are calories from stored glycogen rather than stored fat. So, will the fat continue to stay because I am not using it for the fuel source with these harder rides? I'm sure I'm just missing the big picture here and it will click soon....
    From what I understand, pure glycogen burning only happens when you are in anaeroabic phase, which one couldn't sustain for longer than several minutes. Cycling is still mostly aerobic and you will burn both glycogen and fat and other stuffs. With high intensity in the aerobic phase, you'll burn more glycogen than fat and eventually deplete the glycogen sooner. With the same amount of riding time, you are prob burn more fat when riding at high intensity even though it is proportionally lower in percentage. For example, low intensity at 500 cal/hr burning 70% fat/30% glycogen will equal to 350 calories from fat; high intensity at 1000/hr burning 40% fat/60% glycogen would equal to 400 calories from fat. Note: this is just a number I made up to illustrate the point. What I found is with high tensity exercise I get extremely hungry afterward and tends to overeat. With lower intensity, eating afterward is optional. Like chasm said, this is not about performance.

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,734
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd6969 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I am understanding better. However, one thing I am still unclear on - higher intensity rides will burn more calories, but these are calories from stored glycogen rather than stored fat. So, will the fat continue to stay because I am not using it for the fuel source with these harder rides? I'm sure I'm just missing the big picture here and it will click soon....
    No. Remember that glycogen stores have to be replaced. So when you next eat some carbs, some of the calories consumed will go to replenishing your glycogen stores instead of being stored as fat. So for weight loss purposes, it doesn't matter if your ride is fuelled entirely from fat stores or partly from fat, partly from glycogen. The net result is the same as long as your calorie intake is similarly restricted.
    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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,061
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
    From what I understand, pure glycogen burning only happens when you are in anaeroabic phase, which one couldn't sustain for longer than several minutes. Cycling is still mostly aerobic and you will burn both glycogen and fat and other stuffs. With high intensity in the aerobic phase, you'll burn more glycogen than fat and eventually deplete the glycogen sooner. With the same amount of riding time, you are prob burn more fat when riding at high intensity even though it is proportionally lower in percentage. For example, low intensity at 500 cal/hr burning 70% fat/30% glycogen will equal to 350 calories from fat; high intensity at 1000/hr burning 40% fat/60% glycogen would equal to 400 calories from fat. Note: this is just a number I made up to illustrate the point.
    No. You've got it all mixed up from your initial assumption that you switch to 100% glycogen only in an anaerobic state. Peak fat burning occurs around 65% of VO2Max which is a reasonable pace but not what one would call intense. Fat oxidation goes to 0 around 85% of VO2Max which is about the intensity used for a 1 hr TT.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Ohio
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Madison, Windsor Dover
    Posts
    940
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I believe I understand now, thanks everyone! This explains why I want to pig out after an hour and half of hundreds of feet of climbing. Many thanks to all for explaining!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Parkville MO
    My Bikes
    2006 Trek Multitrack 7500
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This has been a very informative and helpful topic for me.

    Seriously thank everyone for all the replies.
    My intro and log topic. If you want to get to know me cruise on by.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/introductions/177616-long-past-time-i-made-post-warning-long.html

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •