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  1. #1
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    Losing weight...

    So I've been able to increase my weekend riding as of late which has resulted in my losing weight again. So while I can safely say that most of my weight loss is because of the extra miles the question is is my "power to weigh ratio" going to be better because of this situation.

    I readilly admit my noob to all this but at some point I was wondering if my continued weight loss was counterproductive.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

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    As long as your power produced isn't going down then your power to weight ratio is going up. Losing weight can really only be detrimental to p/w ratio when you get down to around 10% BFand below. Once you're in that range if you're not careful you can start losing lots of muscle instead of fat.

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    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    I guess I measure "power" with some sort of machine. I'm at 15% body fat so I guess I'm safe but I have no real means of measure power output and the like.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

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    here is a site to estimate how much power you are producing. Top top pros will produced +-500 watts for around an hour as a reference point, and have a power to weight ratio of 6 or 7 watts per kilogram.

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

  5. #5
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Time yourself on some reference rides - a nice familiar hill circuit - and you'll soon see if your power:weight ratio is changing. To limit catabolism (the loss of muscle as well as fat), make sure there's adequate protein in your diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfncycling
    Top top pros will produced +-500 watts for around an hour as a reference point, and have a power to weight ratio of 6 or 7 watts per kilogram.
    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
    I hate to nitpick, but, according the below site, ten of the best hour record achievements have "only" generated wattages of 400 to 485 (Merckx), with most being around the 460 mark.


    http://www.bikecult.com/bikecultbook...cordsHour.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by jslopez
    I guess I measure "power" with some sort of machine. I'm at 15% body fat so I guess I'm safe but I have no real means of measure power output and the like.
    There are power meters available, but I think they're kinda pricey
    http://www.scientific-coaching.com/i...sub=srmsystems

    If you're incorporating some hard miles in your rides, which will give the muscles in your legs a bit of a wrokout, and you're not losing weight too quickly, you should be maintaining leg strength/muscle mass whilst losing the blubber. Therefore, your power to weight ratio should be increasing.

  8. #8
    Pat
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    Well, losing weight and power to weight ratio depend on what you are losing.

    The problem with many people is when they lose weight, they are losing mainly muscle. They restrict their calories severely so the body is starved for carbohydrates and the body rips up proteins (muscle) to make more carbos.

    Another thing is sedentary people tend to lose mainly muscle mass when dieting. I think the human body just loves to horde fat.

    The trick is to eat enough carbohydrates whilst losing weight to meet the requirements so you do not lose muscle mass. That is tricky. Too little carbo and you lose muscle, too much and you don't lose weight.

    Also, intense exercise tends to burn carbohydrates and little fat. Less intense exercise will burn fat. Generally, this is at the lower end of one's aerobic zone. It is ok to go out and pound also. In my experience, I seem to lose weight best with less intense riding and going longer distances.

    But if you lose the fat and keep the muscle, your power to weight ratio should improve dramatically. The area you will see the most improvement on is climbs. On flat stretches, even pretty chubby riders can crank out impressive speeds if they are fit. Their extra pretty much comes into play on the climbs and on acceleration (but usually on a ride you are not doing much of this so if things are flat, it does not come into play).

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    I remember reading that Indurain could put out 560 watts, the numbers on that site are probably lower because of altitudes used for the hour record is my guess.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    The problem with many people is when they lose weight, they are losing mainly muscle. They restrict their calories severely so the body is starved for carbohydrates and the body rips up proteins (muscle) to make more carbos.
    Assuming a normal human, that's innacurate (unless we've evolved since I graduated medical school).

    Your body stores fat so that it can use fat during times of starvation (unfortunately, we've evolved so that we don't have to worry about when we're going to eat next unlike most other 'wild' animals). Your body knows that fat is worth 9 kcal/gram (ethanol is 6, protein 4, carbs 4) so it would make sense that fat is used for storing energy for times if starvation).

    Your heart and brain can and does use ketones from fat metabolism as energy (unlike anything else in your body).

    Your body wastes muscle as a last resort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    The trick is to eat enough carbohydrates whilst losing weight to meet the requirements so you do not lose muscle mass. That is tricky. Too little carbo and you lose muscle, too much and you don't lose weight.
    So how do we figure out exactly how much carbs we need so that we can 1. lose weight, 2. gain muscle, 3. increase endurance, and is there anything else I've forgotten?

    Allie

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