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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Beginning in March, I started an exercise program and eating more healthily and dropped 28 pounds. Just a couple of months ago, I started mountain biking as one of my activities to get me trimmed down and healthy and to stay healthy.

I've got about 20 more pound to go, and I am wondering if anyone has any advice for some exercise programs that would help with mountain biking (besides just riding). Currently, I've been doing a lot on the eliptical and stationary bikes, and some strength training, mostly squats, back press, pushups, leg lifts and crunches.

Any suggestions of what else I could do and how to step up my program a bit?
 

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Rocklion said:
Beginning in March, I started an exercise program and eating more healthily and dropped 28 pounds. Just a couple of months ago, I started mountain biking as one of my activities to get me trimmed down and healthy and to stay healthy.

I've got about 20 more pound to go, and I am wondering if anyone has any advice for some exercise programs that would help with mountain biking (besides just riding). Currently, I've been doing a lot on the eliptical and stationary bikes, and some strength training, mostly squats, back press, pushups, leg lifts and crunches.

Any suggestions of what else I could do and how to step up my program a bit?
28 pounds since March?? Thats awesome man!! I need inspirational stories like this to motivate me. I'm 30lbs over weight. I eat like a hog, especially at night is when Im weak. I personally cant offer you anymore advice, cuz I obviously need some myself. Just wanted to let ya know that hopefully your story will change my life too. :thumbsup:
 

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Try to do cardio either right after wieght training. or in morning before eating to tap into fat.
I like to save my weight training for later in the day when fully fueled with food.
Body weight exercises will get you fit faster, and burn more calories than weights, but once over 15 reps gets easy, you must add some iron. Any exercise where your body moves through space. Dips, push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, squats, swimming, ect,
Ever hear of the 20 rep squat program? Anyone who's tried it will tell you, it works. Just ask Arnold.
Instead of just bustin out 30 reps of an exercise quick, do 8-12 reps nice and controlled. Fast up, slow down, vise verse or slow both up and down and mix it up.
Squats, dead lifts and chin-ups will drain you down and build you up like no other exercises.
When it comes to weight training, take off a week every 6-8 weeks to keep your progress steady, but keep the cardio going.
I just did a couple of posts on the general forum under "cutting weight" a few days ago, you might want to check out for diet ideas and tips.
As far as mtb training, find some hills, repeat. Do some days light and long on empty to cut fat, and do some days pushing hard, fully fueled, and keep under 1 hour to build strenght.
Oh and BTW, your progress is admirable, keep up the good work.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Look for ways to sneak more exercise into your day.

I do a lot of my commuting and errands on a bike, for example.

Don't discount running, if your joints are healthy.
 

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Letting riding worry about your legs and cardio. For off the bike excerise, as has already be mentioned, focus on strengthening your core. I cannnot tell you how key that is.
 

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I lost 50 over the past few years (before mountain biking). Granted, I'm younger (19) so it was probably easier for me than for most. But what I found to be helpful was to get in a rhythm. I make a point of doing some form of exercise every day, as well as eating healthy. Then, when I would skip a day of exercising or eat poorly, I would feel like crap. That feeling forced me to eat better and exercise, and I've become a much happier person since I made the change.
 

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Wow, 28# is just awesome! You are on the right track. I can tell you that your diet is probably the most vital part to any weight loss program. It is harder to maintain than performing the actual workouts.

theMeat has alot of good points worth looking into. Body weight exercises are the best for staying fit. I am not going to go into much detail on the actual exercises but I will suggest some frequency issues.

For now I would say to try to do your workouts about every other day. So, M/W/F and then take Sa/Su off. Your body needs lots of rest when you start training. In any case, you should also be doing cardio at least 3-4 times a week and your goal should be anywhere from 30-60 minutes. You mentioned using an eliptical. This is great if it has a heart rate monitor on it because you can figure out what your max heart rate is and then calculate your percentages off of that. You can then add this to your training by training at different percentage levels on different days or mixing intervals into it.

Lastly, when doing your exercise, I suggest a total body work out as this will allow you to hit everything. But don't get caught up on all the little exercises. Focus on multi-joint exercises. The basics, squats, bench press or pushups, chinups or lat pull downs and dead lifts/stiff legged dead lifts. These all involve large muscle groups. All the little crap like tricep extensions, leg extensions are for fine tuning the muscles or target exercises. For now focus on the big picture.

When doing your workouts, try to set up the exercises in a push/pull configuration. So, if you start with squats, then go to bench press, then to a back exercise. In other words, push the weight, pull the weight, push the weight. Try to set it up as a circuit with minimal rest between exercises. Your goal should be to move as quickly from one to the next as possible. This will help to keep your hear rate up (cardio) as well as allow for one muscle group to get a slight rest when you move on to the next. You will find that your workouts go much quicker and your goal should be to eventually go through the circuit you set up about 3 times. You should be able to do about 2 exercises per body part in each circuit before taking a brief rest and then starting again. When I train clients, I can usually get through 3 rotations in less than 45 minutes provided they understand the exercises and we can get on the equipment at the gym.

With that in mind, if you are working out in a gym and you know your next exercise is to be a lat pull down but someone is on the machine, instead of waiting for your turn, grab a dumbbell and dow a row with it. This will still hit the lats and allow you to keep moving through your circuit.

Hope this helps some. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you have any questions or want some exercise ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1spd - Great suggestions. I'm taking notes.

For the most part, I don't really have to start out from ground zero. I think I've got a pretty good base going. Was just looking for some advice on maybe taking it to the next level and also targeting specific areas. One thing in particular I'm concerned about is my endurance. At this point, I can bike for maybe 45 minutes up to an hour and then I'm just flat out of gas. I actually had to push my bike out of the woods this last weekend because I just couldn't go any further. I had zero energy. Kind of embarrassing.

But to kind of give more of a synopsis of what I do. Monday through Friday I do 30 minutes of cardio, eliptical or stationary bike. I'll sometimes throw in a mountain bike ride throughout the week. On Tuesdays, I usually do 30 minutes eliptical and 20 minutes stationary. Same for on Saturdays. My Tuesdays and Saturdays are also weight days where I do squats, lat pull, pushups, leg lifts and crunches. All the other days I also do pushups, leg lifts and crunches. Sunday is usually my rest day. Usually on Saturdays I also try to throw in a hike, mountain bike ride or a swim. Something fun.

I definitely know diet is the key. Found that over the last month. I've only lost about three pounds over the last month and a lot of it has to do with diet. Still learning as I go.

And Dadstoy. Get out and get cracking man. I used to eat like a hog too and at the time it felt good, but man it feels so much better being in shape. This all happened on March 1 when I turned 35. Hit that age and it suddenly hit me, I'm not a young guy anymore. I've got a three year old daughter and a son on the way in three weeks. I want them to be able to enjoy the things I did as a kid and that was the outdoors. So, I started hitting the gym. Pounds started falling off and it just kept inspiring me. On top of it, it's been fun. Got into mountain biking, which I've never tried before and getting some into kayaking.

I'm healthy now and enjoying life.
 

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Well, you are on your way! I would make sure that you add a rest day in there somewhere in the middle of it all. Over training is all to easy to fall into. Your body will thank you and you will be able to continue losing those pounds.

As for endurance, try to add in some intervals. I am going through this myself. I am a fairly fast rider but the question is for how long. Riding a single speed, I can't just down shift when I start getting tired. I am forced to either slow to a crawl to get my heart rate under control or flat out stop if I have gone too hard. I have recently added some interval training into my week (I have a spin bike in the basement-an actual spin bike from the gym I belong to that I bought from them for $250 when they got new ones). You can add intervals into your cardio workouts on both the stationary and elliptical. Simply increase your intensity/speed for 1 minute, then slow it down for 1 minute. Repeat this process for 10 reps. This will help to make you stronger and boost your cardio levels. Of course the more time you spend out on the bike will also help to increase your endurance. You need to get a good solid base in there and that only comes from hours on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The suggestion about hitting the hills is a good one. There's a nice hill next to my house that's on the road, but it might be a good one for some interval training.
 

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Rocklion said:
1spd - Great suggestions. I'm taking notes.

For the most part, I don't really have to start out from ground zero. I think I've got a pretty good base going. Was just looking for some advice on maybe taking it to the next level and also targeting specific areas. One thing in particular I'm concerned about is my endurance. At this point, I can bike for maybe 45 minutes up to an hour and then I'm just flat out of gas. I actually had to push my bike out of the woods this last weekend because I just couldn't go any further. I had zero energy. Kind of embarrassing.
Bonking to the extent that you have to push your bike home may not be an aerobic capacity issue. It sounds more like a low-calorie bonk to me.

Take a snack with you when you go for a ride. If you feel like you're getting ready to bonk, eat. New riders can't always tell when that's coming, which is not really a big deal if you're riding alone. Just sit down and eat, drink some water, and keep going when you're ready. Are you drinking water during your ride? I tend to go through about one bottle per hour (a little less than half a liter.)

If you'd like to be able to ride your bike for longer, take it down a notch for now. The terrain doesn't always give you a choice, but try to ride at a pace that lets you carry on a simple conversation and breathe through your nose. Learning to blow a snot rocket may be beneficial. :) Supposedly, we burn fat more efficiently working out in the aerobic zone.

You'll be shocked at how little speed you give up. For me the difference between a cruising pace and a race pace tends to be about two shifts, in the flats. On the climbs, it's another story - they're my office. :D

Others have suggested doing more structured intervals, which certainly sounds contradictory to my view. I don't think they're mutually exclusive, though. A lot of the point of intervals is the recovery, and it sounds like you're not letting yourself recover. It's also a shorter workout than going for a full-length ride, and you can even do them during a mainly mellow ride. I kinda wish I'd been doing that myself over the winter - I started the season with my top end AWOL. D'oh!
 

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I was kinda in the same boat. When my daughter turned about 3, after a day of trying to keep up at the playground, was like WOW, she's getting faster and stronger and I'm getting older and slower. The next day when I woke in pain, I knew it was time to start doin something. That has snowballed into a bit of an obsesion and, aside from having to buy a new wardrobe, feel it was 1 of the best changes I ever made.
1spd has some great ideas, and certainly put some good advice out there but would like to add that, a total body work out routine is great for a newbie, or someone who hasn't done that type routine in a while, but a split routine will allow you to focus all your energy available for that day on a few given body parts. So lets say,
Monday you do back. When you do back your also doing biceps because when you PULL the weight to exercise your back, you use your biceps, so concentrate on those 2 groups for that day.
Wednesday you do chest. When you PUSH the weight to exercise chest, you also do shoulders and triceps so concentrate on that group that day. ect.
So on Wednesday you can use a different set of muscles that are not sore or still recovering from Monday.
I think the push, pull concept is a sound 1 but more concentated, as in, when doing push on chest with bench press, then do pull on chest with flys in that same work out, on a given day.
Core, calf, and forearm muscles, recuperate, and plateau faster, so it's a good idea to do a different form of core exercise with each and every work out.
Also think it's worth mentioning that the biggest muscle group is your legs and will naturaly boost your testosterone allowing you to push yourself harder, and should be the basis of any routine. IMO you should have a day just for legs and do some at the begining of each work out. i.e. some form of squat.
Push yoursef a little harder with either more reps, more curcuits, or more weight, or less rest in between each exercise each week.
Everyone has an off day, but if you feel like your not getting stronger, it's either you hit a plateau, so change routine, or your over training and should take a week off.
Change your routine every 6-8 weeks at the most to help avoid plateaus.
For building endorence, while doing any routine or cardio, try to get your heart rate as high as you can to be able to keep it there for 45-60 minutes. To go longer once in a while is cool but in general anything longer than an hour when it comes to building muscle is counter productive.
Always warm up before, and stretch after to maximize efforts and avoid injury.
For anyone looking for a great example of a split routine, check out Lee Hayward's website and look for his 12 week program. It's free.
 
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