Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive just figured out some tricks to help myself shed a few unwanted lbs. been hanging out at around 180/ 5'10" ~12% fat for a long time.
Im getting lower. more like 175 ~8%. granted, this is according to one of those scale things and I am speaking of rough averages over the course of days.
to be clear, im not interested in starving off muscle. I would like to be as lean as I should healthfully be without getting weaker. Ive done enough of that. I lifted weights for many years and still have a reasonable ammount of muscle left but dont relish the idea of looking like a T-Rex.
I am nowhere near too thin, but if Im going to put any energy or thought into getting leaner I would much rather have a definable goal rather than just getting my jollies off every new vein that pops out.
Body builders get down to what, 2-3%?
what should cyclists get down to? I guesse we need some as fuel, right?
thougts?
 

·
Topeak-Ergon Racing
Joined
·
708 Posts
I've been slowly...I mean over the course of 4 years...losing wieght, getting faster and feeling stronger. I started at about 165 and am now at 145 (5'9"). I use one of those inaccurate body fat scales like you and it usually reads at 3-5% depending mostly on hydration. I'd say as long as you are feeling healthy, feeling strong, do not have any preexisting health conditions that may come into play, then work your butt off and balance the caloric intake & output. Do not try to lose more than 1lb a week.

Eddie O
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
rryyddeerr said:
Ive just figured out some tricks to help myself shed a few unwanted lbs. been hanging out at around 180/ 5'10" ~12% fat for a long time.
Im getting lower. more like 175 ~8%. granted, this is according to one of those scale things and I am speaking of rough averages over the course of days.
to be clear, im not interested in starving off muscle. I would like to be as lean as I should healthfully be without getting weaker. Ive done enough of that. I lifted weights for many years and still have a reasonable ammount of muscle left but dont relish the idea of looking like a T-Rex.
I am nowhere near too thin, but if Im going to put any energy or thought into getting leaner I would much rather have a definable goal rather than just getting my jollies off every new vein that pops out.
Body builders get down to what, 2-3%?
what should cyclists get down to? I guesse we need some as fuel, right?
thougts?
BMI is body mass index, or weight in kg / (height in meters squared). Nothing to do with percentage bodyfat, which you are discussing.

Show me an athlete with 2-3% bodyfat (accurately measured, by underwater weighing/ specific gravity, in a lab) and I'll show you someone who's extremely sick or close to death. Fat acts as a cushion between organs, an insulation against temperature extremes, a hormonal regulator, and many other functions, and is rather necessary.

Most non-laboratory standard measurements for bodyfat (such as electrical impedance scales, or calipers) are inaccurate at best. The scales in particular are affected by hydration status, as water is present in greater amounts in lean tissue than in fat, and this is the principle on which these scales attempt to estimate bodyfat.

If you want to be as fast as humanly possible on a bike, you will end up looking like a T-Rex, sad to say. Extra muscle that doesn't add to forward propulsion (like upper body bulk) is just extra weight to carry uphill, just like fat. If you want to be fit without sacrificing too much muscle mass, you'll give up something on the climbs (all things being equal). If you have good vascularity and feel strong and healthy, and have no visible extra subcutaneous fat, then bodyfat percentage is really a non-issue.

Your bike doesn't care how ripped you look, it's all about power-to-weight ratio. Weight is weight, whether fat or muscle, if it's not leg muscle helping you apply power to the pedals. My advice would be to use the scale as a relative measure (looking more at fluctuations from your baseline readings than treating any number as an absolute measure of bodyfat, because it isn't), and focusing on overall weight, speed and power on the bike, and subjective measures like how your clothes fit, appearance, etc. Keep doing some upper body work to maintain strength and some muscle (upper body strength is needed for MTB, at least more than road cycling).

Edit: the above advice to lose no more than 1-2 lbs. per week is important- any more and it will likely be fluid loss (or muscle) and not mainly fat, as well as being more difficult to sustain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
I am 5-11 probably 185 lbs

Four things

you are to thin if it hurts to sit. Happened after a hospital stay at 155 lbs.

BMI is not great Long body short legs I am just about obese?? You can see my ribs??

When you get your metabolism, hydration and body weight all working together Your weight should change up and down according to what you are doing eating a bit more or more exercise (things are in balance).

The number on the scale does not really matter health does
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
jeffscott said:
BMI is not great Long body short legs I am just about obese?? You can see my ribs??

When you get your metabolism, hydration and body weight all working together Your weight should change up and down according to what you are doing eating a bit more or more exercise (things are in balance).

The number on the scale does not really matter health does
Good points- BMI is a great way to look at populations (for actuarial tables, statistical analyses), not so much individuals, especially athletes. At 5'9.5" and 172 lbs, I am borderline overweight by BMI, but not by true bodyfat or health measures, as I'm currently as fit as I've been in my life.

Health and performance are the two best indicators of training progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
slightly OT but in relation to this thread,

I've really been working on eating much better quality foods and such this year and have made good headway in my attempt at weight loss.

History - Started back riding 3 years ago @ 187lbs 5'-6.5"
Now - Still 5'-6.5" but @ 147 - 150 lbs.

The difficulty I find is that I always feel hungry. I eat healthy snacks like fruit and vegies every couple of hours but I almost always have that hungry feeling.

Is that just a normal thing for someone really active? I ride 4-6 days a week averaging a little over 100 miles per week. I race Sport 30-39.

I'm thin, have plenty of energy, stay well hydrated at all times, I'm...just REALLY hungry...

I've always had a big appetite, heck, I could eat a chinese resturant out of business. I just feel I can't allow myself to get full because it takes too many calories to do it.

Basically the question is "What does that mean?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Are you still loosing weight.

Do you want to level off.

I have found that I am hungry but actually fill satisfied with less found than before (higher weight less active).

Sounds to me like your just about perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
The difficulty I find is that I always feel hungry. I eat healthy snacks like fruit and vegies every couple of hours but I almost always have that hungry feeling.

I've always had a big appetite, heck, I could eat a chinese resturant out of business. I just feel I can't allow myself to get full because it takes too many calories to do it.

Basically the question is "What does that mean?"
__________________________________

Do you get enough protein?

Fruits, veggies + Chinese food don't fuel for long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
mtbikegirl69 said:
The difficulty I find is that I always feel hungry. I eat healthy snacks like fruit and vegies every couple of hours but I almost always have that hungry feeling.

I've always had a big appetite, heck, I could eat a chinese resturant out of business. I just feel I can't allow myself to get full because it takes too many calories to do it.

Basically the question is "What does that mean?"
__________________________________

Do you get enough protein?

Fruits, veggies + Chinese food don't fuel for long.
I eat quite a bit of grilled chicken and fish. I take it pretty easy on the red meat but still have some on occasion.

Oh, and I seldom eat chinese anymore. Maybe once every 3 or so weeks...maybe.

I believe I get enough protein. I have some form of meat once or twice a day. Usually Tuna or chicken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
jeffscott said:
Are you still loosing weight.

Do you want to level off.

I have found that I am hungry but actually fill satisfied with less found than before (higher weight less active).

Sounds to me like your just about perfect.
Not so much anymore. I believe I've hit a plateau. I stayed at around 156 forever until I took soft drinks totally out of my diet and upped the fiber intake. After about 3 weeks the extra weight I wanted to lose just sort of fell off.

I'm happy with my weight. I could be more fit but I'm in pretty good shape, maybe better than I've ever been.

Just wondering if my constant hunger is all a result of my activity level. I don't feel weak or tired. Just hungry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
tommyrod74 said:
Show me an athlete with 2-3% bodyfat (accurately measured, by underwater weighing/ specific gravity, in a lab) and I'll show you someone who's extremely sick or close to death.
Michael Rasmussen seems to be doing OK

I read once that most elite level climbers are in the <5% bodyfat range.
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
kbiker3111 said:
Michael Rasmussen seems to be doing OK

I read once that most elite level climbers are in the <5% bodyfat range.
Just for reference, the American Dietetic Association recommends that men have 15-18% body fat and women have 20-25% body fat. They state further that healthy male athletes might be as low as 5-12% body fat, and healthy female athletes could be as low as 12-20%., and that there is little evidence of further performance benefits when male athletes drop under 8% and women drop under 14% bodyfat.

The minimum percent bodyfat considered safe and acceptable for good health is 5% for males and 12% for females.

5% is very different from 2%. Negative physiological changes occur when bodyfat levels are too low. Too low body fat can actually impair your physical health and performance. Men and women need a certain amount of body fat to insulate vital organs, regulate body temperature, ensure proper immune function, and ensure adequate production of sex hormones.

Have you measured Rasmussen? You can't tell his bodyfat percentage just by looking at him in bib shorts on television, you know... and anyway, aren't elite cyclists prone to catching frequent colds and other illnesses when near peak form?
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Dave Moore said:
Just wondering if my constant hunger is all a result of my activity level. I don't feel weak or tired. Just hungry.
Yep, just your activity level. If you're hungry, eat. Watch out for overeating, a sign of possible overtraining or lack of sleep (body trying to compensate for low energy levels by upping intake).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I'm 6' and only weigh 145 :D I'm 21 and have had these specs since I was 15. I feel like my strength to weight ratio is quite high. Performance wise, would I do well to put on some weight or is it better to stick to your "natural" build? If so, would it need to be through specialized strength training? Healthwise, I feel I am fine.

CW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
tommyrod74 said:
Just for reference, the American Dietetic Association recommends that men have 15-18% body fat and women have 20-25% body fat. They state further that healthy male athletes might be as low as 5-12% body fat, and healthy female athletes could be as low as 12-20%., and that there is little evidence of further performance benefits when male athletes drop under 8% and women drop under 14% bodyfat.

The minimum percent bodyfat considered safe and acceptable for good health is 5% for males and 12% for females.

5% is very different from 2%. Negative physiological changes occur when bodyfat levels are too low. Too low body fat can actually impair your physical health and performance. Men and women need a certain amount of body fat to insulate vital organs, regulate body temperature, ensure proper immune function, and ensure adequate production of sex hormones.

Have you measured Rasmussen? You can't tell his bodyfat percentage just by looking at him in bib shorts on television, you know... and anyway, aren't elite cyclists prone to catching frequent colds and other illnesses when near peak form?
My point was that a lot of exceptional cyclists are at or below the 'recommended' level. This is the XC racing and training forum, where people are trying to reach high levels in cross country racing. Sacrifices are made, occasionally, even at an amateur level.

Anyway, who listens to general recommendations made my national institutions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
Well just for perspective, I'm 6'2" and I weigh around 175lbs. I drink about 1-2 soft drinks a month, eat mainly whole wheat pasta and pasta sauce (containig minced chicken, steamed veggies and whatever the sauce has in) other than that I like bagels w/ PB, or cream cheese and/or jam or cinnamon raisin w/ butter and oatmeal raisin cookies - bananas and whey shakes of course. If I eat other stuff it's normally out and I don't eat from fast food places.

I think I'm at a pretty good weight, but would strill like to break the 180 plateau and stay there. My weight can fluctuate anywhere from 178 all the way down to 169 (lowest I hit the other day), but base is around 175. I need to start some weight trainig to build up some upper body strength and maybe some legs to "tweak" them a bit that the riding avg 10+ hours a week doesn't do, avg 100+ miles a week.

As for constantly hungry it's most likely from being so active - 6 days a week is really pushing your system to keep up w/ enough fuel. It might sound stupid, but... do you chew your food well? It's sposed to be the signal that lets your body know it's being fed. Also sometimes what appears to be hunger is actually thirst. Try eating some sweet potatoes/pie for lunch sometime and see if that doesn't hold you over better - they're very low in the GI, yet taste great and provide good fuel.
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
kbiker3111 said:
My point was that a lot of exceptional cyclists are at or below the 'recommended' level. This is the XC racing and training forum, where people are trying to reach high levels in cross country racing. Sacrifices are made, occasionally, even at an amateur level.

Anyway, who listens to general recommendations made my national institutions?
And my point was that while lower body weight (assuming identical power output) is going to help you be faster, lower body fat (at least below 8% or so, which is still very low) probably won't provide any added benefit. So why risk the aforementioned problems when the real issue is overall weight, not just percentage body fat? The original question had to do with lowering body fat without losing muscle mass (even upper body), didn't it?

Ignoring general recommendations made by national institutions is fine, it's your body and it's probably not "average". But in this case the recommendation is a range of body fat, and takes into account everyone (INCLUDING highly trained athletes). You can do whatever you want, it's your body, but good luck getting that body fat percentage much below a TRUE 6-8% (keep in mind that we're talking not just subcutaneous fat, but also visceral fat stores, which can't be measured easily), you'll likely get sick and interrupt your training well before you see that level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
carsonwick said:
I'm 6' and only weigh 145 :D I'm 21 and have had these specs since I was 15. I feel like my strength to weight ratio is quite high. Performance wise, would I do well to put on some weight or is it better to stick to your "natural" build? If so, would it need to be through specialized strength training? Healthwise, I feel I am fine.

CW
Just a hunch but as you get older you shouldn't have any trouble "filling out" I was what a lot of people called excessively thin until I got closer to and over 30. Just beware of office jobs. I got pretty sedentary for several years and the weight gain was then too much...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
Really, well I haven't been that "lucky", I have to work to stay at my 175+/- and I'm 36 & 6'2". I weighed around 155 when I was 16 and was at least 6'. Maybe it's my diet and not eating like a pig and/or my amount of exercise. FYI I was in-active for about 6 years, but cut back on what I ate and stayed the same weight.

Dave Moore said:
Just a hunch but as you get older you shouldn't have any trouble "filling out" I was what a lot of people called excessively thin until I got closer to and over 30. Just beware of office jobs. I got pretty sedentary for several years and the weight gain was then too much...
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
LyNx said:
Really, well I haven't been that "lucky", I have to work to stay at my 175+/- and I'm 36 & 6'2". I weighed around 155 when I was 16 and was at least 6'. Maybe it's my diet and not eating like a pig and/or my amount of exercise. FYI I was in-active for about 6 years, but cut back on what I ate and stayed the same weight.
Yeah, that's another good point to remember- a lot of people want to be able to cut down on a certain category of nutrient (like fats, or carbohydrates, or whatever) to lose weight, because that's mentally simpler than watching calories or portion sizes. However, the truth is that it really is as simple (and as complex) as energy (caloric) intake vs. expenditure.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top