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Argh...Power gain equals weight gain...

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Argh...Power gain equals weight gain...

Old 06-17-10, 07:37 AM
  #1  
rbart4506
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Argh...Power gain equals weight gain...

I'm always reading on here, and other forums, as guys train and get into race shape they are shedding the pounds....I'm having the opposite problem, I'm gaining...

I started last fall at about 130lbs and was in the 8%-9% BF range, according to my scale...I know not super accurate, but it shows trends...

Now I'm up to 135lbs with the same basic BF...

Power numbers are up I assume, since I didn't have a PT until the spring. I do know that my 15km TT numbers have been improved by over a minute so I have to assume that my 20 minute power numbers are up...Well they are up over the start of the season...

I do however see that my climbing has stayed about the same, I assume because any power gains have been offset by the weight gain...

It's frustrating because I always see people improving their power to weight ratio by losing weight, but what do you do when you have very little weight to lose? I know there's always weight to lose, but for me that means cutting everything almost everything out.

This was something I didn't worry too much about before, but now that I'm trying to squeeze every bit of power out of this middle aged body of mine it's becoming a bit frustrating...

Ok done venting...back to sitting here with the stomach rumbling and avoiding grabbing the snack
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Old 06-17-10, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rbart4506
I started last fall at about 130lbs and was in the 8%-9% BF range, according to my scale...I know not super accurate, but it shows trends...
Personally, I don't believe that they are that accurate even for showing trends. IME they have not been for me.
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Old 06-17-10, 08:14 AM
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my scale says im at 5% before i shower and 4% after i shower. climbing improves with climbing. do more climbing.
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Old 06-17-10, 10:23 AM
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If you kept the same BF% then that's good, you're gaining lean mass and a little fat to keep your body going on long hauls. If you're bottoming out on what you can lose then your only other choice is to increase your power output. Since power is calculated by torque and angular velocity you can either spin faster or push/pull harder (by either getting stronger (larger muscle mass = weight gain) or improving your technique) or preferably both.

Buddy and I made a spreadsheet of weight and power. The example we looked at is a rider at 180lbs and 260W, that's a W/kg of 3.18 (the bottom of Cat5 range on that chart thingie). If the rider wanted to get to 3.67 W/kg, the bottom of the Cat4 range, he could either (a) lose 30lbs or (b) increase power by 40W or (c) lose 10lbs and gain ~25W or some other combination of the two.

Probably too much info but hope it helps.
Disclaimer: I am not a physicist so use at your own risk.
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Old 06-17-10, 10:39 AM
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Those scales are unreliable. I've been on several scales, including some pricey "athlete-model" scales. I'm a good test-case for these scales, as my weight is fairly consistent and I'm fairly lean, but I carry more muscle than typical for my height, resulting in high BMIs despite my lower BF%.

All of these so-called BF scales overpredict my fat, pegging me at 20+%, which is likely near double my actual BF%. It's likely because they're programmed to get most of the BF% as an extrapolation from your actual weight, and the fancy electronic estimator only accounts for a small percent of that BF estimate.

I challenged two of these scales as well repeatedly by doing long 5-6 hr bike rides, where I'll lose 6-7 lbs in water even while hydrating on the ride. These scales fail to even pick this up, and their "body hydration %" (which is the same electronics as the BF%) can never catch this water loss, often pegging me with MORE body water after the ride. Ridiculous.

5lbs of added leg/glute muscle from cycling should give you way more of a power gain than would be offset by the small weight gain.
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Old 06-17-10, 10:40 AM
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Performance gains are way more important than maintaining a certain weight. Eat your snack.
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Old 06-17-10, 11:12 AM
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but when you are on flat ground, that's more power to overcome drag
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Old 06-17-10, 11:56 AM
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I found that 2x20's improved my climbing more than climbing did.
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Old 06-17-10, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Personally, I don't believe that they are that accurate even for showing trends. IME they have not been for me.
Fair enough, according to the mirror test and pants test the BF is staying about the same
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Old 06-17-10, 01:05 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by agarose2000
5lbs of added leg/glute muscle from cycling should give you way more of a power gain than would be offset by the small weight gain.
Depends on your goals. If it's match sprints, then yeah, muscle mass might help. If it's endurance cycling (road racing), the extra muscle is likely to have very little benefit, if any. Cycling isn't a strength problem, it's an endurance problem.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:24 PM
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If you just started riding last fall, its inevitable that you're going to put on a lot of muscle weight on your legs. With that comes power, obviously. Don't sweat it for now.
Originally Posted by rbart4506
I'm always reading on here, and other forums, as guys train and get into race shape they are shedding the pounds....I'm having the opposite problem, I'm gaining...

I started last fall at about 130lbs and was in the 8%-9% BF range, according to my scale...I know not super accurate, but it shows trends...

Now I'm up to 135lbs with the same basic BF...

Power numbers are up I assume, since I didn't have a PT until the spring. I do know that my 15km TT numbers have been improved by over a minute so I have to assume that my 20 minute power numbers are up...Well they are up over the start of the season...

I do however see that my climbing has stayed about the same, I assume because any power gains have been offset by the weight gain...

It's frustrating because I always see people improving their power to weight ratio by losing weight, but what do you do when you have very little weight to lose? I know there's always weight to lose, but for me that means cutting everything almost everything out.

This was something I didn't worry too much about before, but now that I'm trying to squeeze every bit of power out of this middle aged body of mine it's becoming a bit frustrating...

Ok done venting...back to sitting here with the stomach rumbling and avoiding grabbing the snack
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Old 06-17-10, 01:29 PM
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If you're gaining weight, and your W/KG is going up then fine. If you want to measure bf%, then get calipers and measure the same way every week or two. That shows trends...
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Old 06-17-10, 01:41 PM
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go take a dump and you'll be back to 130?

Are you weighing yourself at the same time every day (ideally in the morning?) Your body weight can fluctuate like crazy throughout the day.
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Old 06-17-10, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
If you just started riding last fall, its inevitable that you're going to put on a lot of muscle weight on your legs. With that comes power, obviously. Don't sweat it for now.
Been riding for a while now...13 years or so...But only for fitness before and weight control...

Since about mid-July of last year I really started focusing more on training with the goal of racing this year, which I'm doing....Not very well I might add, but I'm doing it...

Now really sweating it, but when you are already a lightweight the only real way to increase your W/kg is to work like heII...
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Old 06-17-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rbart4506
I'm always reading on here, and other forums, as guys train and get into race shape they are shedding the pounds....I'm having the opposite problem, I'm gaining...

I started last fall at about 130lbs and was in the 8%-9% BF range, according to my scale...I know not super accurate, but it shows trends...

Now I'm up to 135lbs with the same basic BF...

Power numbers are up I assume, since I didn't have a PT until the spring. I do know that my 15km TT numbers have been improved by over a minute so I have to assume that my 20 minute power numbers are up...Well they are up over the start of the season...

I do however see that my climbing has stayed about the same, I assume because any power gains have been offset by the weight gain...

It's frustrating because I always see people improving their power to weight ratio by losing weight, but what do you do when you have very little weight to lose? I know there's always weight to lose, but for me that means cutting everything almost everything out.

This was something I didn't worry too much about before, but now that I'm trying to squeeze every bit of power out of this middle aged body of mine it's becoming a bit frustrating...

Ok done venting...back to sitting here with the stomach rumbling and avoiding grabbing the snack
Those BF measurements are total BS.

But it's absolutely true, muscle is more dense than fat.

But if you're truly gaining weight by adding muscle and therefore gaining weight, your uphill performance should not degrade because of that weight gain. You're putting on funcitoning muscle, not dead weight. Just my opinion. You need to look for a better excuse!
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Old 06-17-10, 06:40 PM
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I also started to train more seriously at the end of last year (was just burning calories before), and I gained about 10lbs in just a couple of months. I'm pretty certain it all went to the legs, because: A) my waist stayed the same, and B) I sure as hell wasn't doing better with bench presses.

The weight gain accompanied significant increase in speed (I still suck, though), so it was definitely not a negative outcome.
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Old 06-17-10, 09:03 PM
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Would climbing be the best way to gain muscle in the legs?
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Old 06-18-10, 07:46 AM
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Lots of climbing should improve your climbing ability, but that's all. You can produce a similar load on the legs with just a slight grade, choosing a bigger gear that forces you to lower your cadence down into the 75-85 rpm range. Without the steep grade, however, you don't quite the same effect. Real climbing brings out any lack of smoothness in your pedal stroke, that pedaling slight grades doesn't.

I'd only worry about climbing if the routes you ride involve a lot of climbing. My regular 50-mile route included a 10-mile mountain climb and plenty of hills. I rode that route at least 100 times a year for more for seven years. I just moved further from the mountains, here in the Denver area (Thornton) and the roads are ridiculousy flat - even fewer hills than the Kansas City area, where I lived for 22 years. On these flat roads, a little extra weight is no big deal.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 06-18-10 at 01:29 PM.
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