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Weight Loss: Flats or Hills?

Old 08-02-09, 06:40 AM
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Weight Loss: Flats or Hills?

What is more advantageous for losing weight: flats or hills?

Your thoughts...
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Old 08-02-09, 07:28 AM
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I thought weight loss has more to do with the heart rate zone and the time spent in that zone. At a higher intensity workout, the body uses its most immediate store of fuel and at lower intensity the stored fat is used but has to be over an extended period of time. Lower intensity of workout over a longer period of time. This rules out any kind of interval workout.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:30 AM
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My thoughts are a mix of both. Doing nothing but hills while you are heavy will quickly get old and I would bet that you would ride less. Intensity is important but so is saddle time. Ride lots....eat less.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:45 AM
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My thoughts are a mix of both
Correct, there is seldom one type of activity that is somehow "superior" to another. With regard to long-term health, diversity in exercise is considered superior to a single repetitive routine.

Hills, ridden with tempo, and flats ridden with long steady efforts will develop different characteristics of muscles and organs in a way that neither of them can by themselves. There's no single food, or exercise, that is somehow the "best."
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Old 08-02-09, 08:14 AM
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The more riding you do, the more calories you will burn. It doesn't make a difference if it's on hills or not.

Do not, however, trundle along in the "fat burning zone" for short rides. You don't burn more fat at lower intensities, you burn less glycogen. At say 600 cal/hr you may be using 400 cal/hr from fat and 200 from stored glycogen. At 800 cal/hr you would be using 400 cal/hr fat and 400 stored glycogen (numbers are for illustration only, they will differ from person to person). When you deplete your glycogen, it has to be replenished from somwhere. If you don't eat a bunch of carbohydrates after the ride, it gets replenished from stored fat.

The "fat burning zone" is good for burning calories because you can ride for a long time at that level of effort, and that will burn a lot of calories total.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for your insights. I was also under the impression that calorie expenditure, fat or carb, was based on aerobic effort, ie. up to 85% or so is fat, and higher the glycogen kicks in.

EDIT: I should add more context... I've noticed myself losing more weight after hilly/mountainous rides versus flat/rolling terrain. What's stumped me is that my average heart rate has been pretty much the same, steady at 75-80%.

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Old 08-02-09, 05:00 PM
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It's more of a proportion, along the lines of what Ericm979 just said. the absolute number of calories burned from fat is likely to be more with the higher intensity. The heart rate is a rough guide to intensity of exertion, but I have learned that for me, the ambient temperature is a major variable. When I run in hotter temperatures or higher humidity the heart rate is way up to about 90% of predicted max, and I don't feel like I'm killing myself.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:46 AM
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I've always been told that long, slower rides are the keys to losing weight. It has worked for me.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:57 AM
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Its about time in the saddle.
Hills = more calories/minute of riding, but most people tend to burn out pretty quickly on hills.
Flats = less calories/minute, but people can ride for much longer time on flats.
To get in the best shape, you need hills, sprints, intervals, and long steady distance rides.

hills help develop power.
sprints help develop power and anaerobic systems
Intervals help develop power and aerobic systems
Long Steady Distance helps develop the aerobic system and train the muscles to use free fatty acids for energy.
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Old 08-04-09, 12:30 AM
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pop in the granny gear and climb!
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Old 08-04-09, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe_Mo View Post
pop in the granny gear and climb!
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Old 08-04-09, 03:32 PM
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Hills give you more motivation...
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Old 08-04-09, 08:26 PM
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If you ride so slowly as to "utilize fat" only - then you fail to increase your ability to deliver energy to muscles from other metabolites.

My answer was the only one that is totally correct for long term weight loss. Building all energy delivery system is most easily accomplished by changing the intensity and type of exercise.

All the other comments are mostly useless half-thought-out attempts to act smart. And that's too bad.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:18 PM
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The Myth of the Fat Burning Zone
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Old 08-04-09, 09:25 PM
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Yes. Which would you rather do? Go slowly in the "fat burning zone" and burn 500 calories of which 300 are from fat, or ride faster and burn 800 calories of which 400 are from fat?
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Old 08-05-09, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
Correct, there is seldom one type of activity that is somehow "superior" to another. With regard to long-term health, diversity in exercise is considered superior to a single repetitive routine.

Hills, ridden with tempo, and flats ridden with long steady efforts will develop different characteristics of muscles and organs in a way that neither of them can by themselves. There's no single food, or exercise, that is somehow the "best."
Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
Its about time in the saddle.
Hills = more calories/minute of riding, but most people tend to burn out pretty quickly on hills.
Flats = less calories/minute, but people can ride for much longer time on flats.
To get in the best shape, you need hills, sprints, intervals, and long steady distance rides.

hills help develop power.
sprints help develop power and anaerobic systems
Intervals help develop power and aerobic systems
Long Steady Distance helps develop the aerobic system and train the muscles to use free fatty acids for energy.
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
If you ride so slowly as to "utilize fat" only - then you fail to increase your ability to deliver energy to muscles from other metabolites.

My answer was the only one that is totally correct for long term weight loss. Building all energy delivery system is most easily accomplished by changing the intensity and type of exercise.

All the other comments are mostly useless half-thought-out attempts to act smart. And that's too bad.
umm....check again.
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Old 08-05-09, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
The more riding you do, the more calories you will burn. It doesn't make a difference if it's on hills or not.

Do not, however, trundle along in the "fat burning zone" for short rides. You don't burn more fat at lower intensities, you burn less glycogen. At say 600 cal/hr you may be using 400 cal/hr from fat and 200 from stored glycogen. At 800 cal/hr you would be using 400 cal/hr fat and 400 stored glycogen (numbers are for illustration only, they will differ from person to person). When you deplete your glycogen, it has to be replenished from somwhere. If you don't eat a bunch of carbohydrates after the ride, it gets replenished from stored fat.

The "fat burning zone" is good for burning calories because you can ride for a long time at that level of effort, and that will burn a lot of calories total.
Wait so you're saying if I want to lose fat then I SHOULD NOT eat carbohydrates after the ride and it will burn more fat?

You see I've been riding for 4 weeks, averaging 100 miles a week, and lost 14lbs, went from 155 to 141, and been stable at 141 for 5 days now. I usually do 50 miles on weekdays (flats, average 85 rpm, average 158 bpm) and another 50 big one on a weekend day (usually 5-7% climbs, average 40 rpm on big gear, average 162 bpm). Just this past week I started taking post-ride recovery supplements (i.e., Accelerade). I noticed that I haven't lost any weight since then. I still see a lot of fat in my stomach and I want to reach 130lbs. To achieve that should I just stop taking post-ride recovery supplements?
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Old 08-10-09, 01:43 AM
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14 pounds in 4 weeks? jesus christ.

be patient it'll go away. you've burned quite a lot.
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Old 08-10-09, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe_Mo View Post
14 pounds in 4 weeks? jesus christ.

be patient it'll go away. you've burned quite a lot.
As I tend to put weight on in the winter and lose it in the summer, it gets harder if I only do one sport. It's as if my body "adjusts" to the same sport/movement and weight loss gets more difficult every spring/summer. I think this is just normal and most likely why cross-training is so important, other than muscle distribution build.
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