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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    Total Amount of Exercise Important, Not Frequency, Research Shows

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0620132406.htm

    It's just a study, but I was glad to see it. I only exercise 3 times a week, but I generally put in 2.5 hours on the weekdays, and 5 hours on the weekend, for a weekly total of around 10 hours. That's quite a bit more than the 150 minutes per week they're recommending. I'm hoping I don't need to worry so much about not exercising the other 4 days of the week.
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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I don't think that putting my weekly 12-17 hours into one ride is going to have the same training effect as doing it in 5-6 rides.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    You need to understand the parameters of the study and your objectives. They're talking about general health benefits of moderate exercise, not training for peak athletic fitness.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    As a 65 year old clyde, peak athletic fitness is way in the past. I just want to stay healthy and fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    As a 65 year old clyde, peak athletic fitness is way in the past. I just want to stay healthy and fit.
    Well, not really in the past. You might be surprised if you were to push yourself with a goal in mind (not saying that you should, and you already have a stated target of staying healthy and fit). There are many people who are fitter, strong and healthier in their 50s and 60s than when they were in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, thanks to an substantial increase in exercise.

    The issue as I see it is that many people get very bored, very quickly doing something unless they enjoy that activity. Stringing together a 150-minute single session might look all nice and dandy on the surface, but is that going to fit in with other "life pressures"? For many, no. Combine the two of boredom and perceived higher priority life activities, and then... exercising becomes a non-option.

    Breaking it up into smaller packets of time works much better for some.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Breaking it up into smaller packets of time works much better for some.
    Absolutely true. Then there are others, like myself, who find it much easier to set aside 3 hours on Tues and Thurs and 6 hours on Sat. to do what I love. However, I was always worried that maybe I was not getting the full benefit because I only exercised 3 days a week. This study suggests that perhaps I don't need to worry about that.

    I do push myself pretty hard though -- this is today's ride, which is pretty typical for Saturdays: http://app.strava.com/activities/62160078
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  7. #7
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    I don't think that putting my weekly 12-17 hours into one ride is going to have the same training effect as doing it in 5-6 rides.
    Absolutely. It will have a different, though not necessarily lesser, training effect. Still, riding a 400k every weekend isn't that great an idea.

    The OP should understand that one can't get the same intensity mix on a long ride that one can get on a shorter ride. However, a longer ride has a training effect all its own. The OP's current program would lend itself well to long distance training, but not so good for crits and TTs, which are emphasized in current American bike racing.

  8. #8
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    From no exercise per week to 150 minutes per week is indeed a great increase and to be commended as it will result in significant fitness gains. However, they did not study the benefits or optimum frequency for those of us who far exceed the 150 minutes. It would be interesting to extend the study further to see the benefit of - say - 4 or 500 minutes or more of exercise as related to heart disease, stroke, etc. Also interesting would be the effects of varying exercises such as swimming/bicycling/walking/resistance exercises.

    I exercise amongst various modalities (swimming/bicycling/walking/resistance) about 700-800 minutes per week or more, spread over several days. Since I enjoy it so much and do it voluntarily, it is not a burden, and I have been doing this for years. But, I really don't know the "cost/benefit" of this amount of exercise. How much do I gain with an increase from 150 to 700+ minutes? Probably not a whole lot!!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-22-13 at 10:06 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    Absolutely true. Then there are others, like myself, who find it much easier to set aside 3 hours on Tues and Thurs and 6 hours on Sat. to do what I love. However, I was always worried that maybe I was not getting the full benefit because I only exercised 3 days a week. This study suggests that perhaps I don't need to worry about that.

    I do push myself pretty hard though -- this is today's ride, which is pretty typical for Saturdays: http://app.strava.com/activities/62160078
    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    From no exercise per week to 150 minutes per week is indeed a great increase and to be commended as it will result in significant fitness gains. However, they did not study the benefits or optimum frequency for those of us who far exceed the 150 minutes. It would be interesting to extend the study further to see the benefit of - say - 4 or 500 minutes or more of exercise as related to heart disease, stroke, etc. Also interesting would be the effects of varying exercises such as swimming/bicycling/walking/resistance exercises.

    I exercise amongst various modalities (swimming/bicycling/walking/resistance) about 700-800 minutes per week or more, spread over several days. Since I enjoy it so much and do it voluntarily, it is not a burden, and I have been doing this for years. But, I really don't know the "cost/benefit" of this amount of exercise. How much do I gain with an increase from 150 to 700+ minutes? Probably not a whole lot!!
    The way to determine the benefits is to keep records that establish a base, and track data from test at regular interval to see what improvements have been made.

    But, and this is a big but, the individual has to be motivated to do the testing (which doesn't need to be complicated, but does need discipline) and to keep records. That motivation may come from wanting to race, or to improve medical outcomes.

    More often than not, that takes the pleasure out of the exercise regimen because it becomes a chore, and those people are more than happy to engage in physical exercise and know that it's maintaining their fitness and health.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The way to determine the benefits is to keep records that establish a base, and track data from test at regular interval to see what improvements have been made.

    But, and this is a big but, the individual has to be motivated to do the testing (which doesn't need to be complicated, but does need discipline) and to keep records. That motivation may come from wanting to race, or to improve medical outcomes.

    More often than not, that takes the pleasure out of the exercise regimen because it becomes a chore, and those people are more than happy to engage in physical exercise and know that it's maintaining their fitness and health.
    True for me. But I was thinking of a university study with randomization, controls and the like - over a period of time. My observation is that most studies of folks in their 70's and 80's+ are of the "up to 150 minutes" type and they don't even consider the possibility of one in their 70's and 80's+ doing more intense/frequent activities. Someday I will have to do a google and see what I find. But not this am - I need to go for a walk as it is past 5:30 am and I have to be in Colorado Springs by 9:15 with my singing group to sing to a church for an hour.

    Also, perhaps the goal one might have in their middle to late 70's, 80's+ is to maintain, not make gains, although that would be nice!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-23-13 at 05:47 AM.
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  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    True for me. But I was thinking of a university study with randomization, controls and the like - over a period of time. My observation is that most studies of folks in their 70's and 80's+ are of the "up to 150 minutes" type and they don't even consider the possibility of one in their 70's and 80's+ doing more intense/frequent activities. Someday I will have to do a google and see what I find. But not this am - I need to go for a walk as it is past 5:30 am and I have to be in Colorado Springs by 9:15 with my singing group to sing to a church for an hour.

    Also, perhaps the goal one might have in their middle to late 70's, 80's+ is to maintain, not make gains, although that would be nice!
    Yet there are many examples of older people taking up bodybuilding, or whatever, quite late in life and making considerable gains, contrary to the conventional wisdom about falling testosterone, increasing fat and so on.

    And even if one focuses on maintenance, the results can be spectacularly impressive. Last week I met a lifelong bike racer who told me he had competed in a 25 mile/40 km time trial the previous day. I asked him how he had done and said "not very well, I only managed a 64 (minutes). Of course, I am 75 now... ."
    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
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My father is in his early 70s. He's been a cyclists pretty much all his life, has done quite a bit of riding, and has ridden some fairly lengthy distances (he did his first 300K just a few years ago). But last year he logged the most km he has ever ridden in a year. And he's not just doddling along smelling the roses. My impression is that his speed has improved in the past few years ...a few years ago, I could drop him quite easily, now I have trouble keeping up with him.

  13. #13
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Two extremes

    1. The person who has done litle or no exercise up to his/her 70's or so. This person can show remarkable improvement, percentage-wise, by starting an exercise program - even a moderate one.

    2. The individual who has maintained top fitness for many years prior to his/her 70's or so. It will be difficult for this person to show significant improvement as he is at or near the top in fitness.

    Me? I fall somewhere between the two, probably skewed a bit towards the person with more fitness.

    One of the problems is the body can deteriorate a bit and get in one's way. I.e., my Achilles Tendon this past 1.5 years has made walking - up until the last couple of months or so - almost an impossibility. My back discs breaking down, requiring a fusion, etc., etc.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-23-13 at 07:05 AM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    The longer the ride, the more deprivation. The body is screaming for nutrition and the muscles get over used. Body temps may soar and skin friction on the saddle goes way up. Tell that to a newbie.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    As a 65 year old clyde, peak athletic fitness is way in the past. I just want to stay healthy and fit.
    Peak over your lifetime, yes. In this case we're talking about peak at a given time. I'm 60 and work toward the peak I can achieve at this age. When I'm 65, I'll be working toward the peak I can achieve then, health and circumstances permitting.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Body temps may soar and skin friction on the saddle goes way up.
    ?????

    If your body temp is soaring while riding, you might want to see a Dr.

    And if you're experiencing skin friction on the saddle, you might want to try wearing shorts.

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