Forum home Mountain biking forum Health, fitness & training

Which cycling for optimal weight loss

TimesLikeTheseTimesLikeThese Posts: 304
Hi all,
I've just started exercising for the first time in years and have a lot of weight to lose, so whats best to prioritise - distance cycling or short interval training?

I'm starting to think I should change from interval to distance.
If so, what sort of distance and frequency should I be aiming for?

I've done a couple of 20mile runs this week as well as 3-4 days of 30-45min intervals on the exercise bike.

I've also changed my diet completely and started weights - so that side is taken care of.

So ... concentrate on increasing the distance and the number of times I'm out on a real bike?

Thanks for any advice...


  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    If it's the first time in years, then any exercise will do the trick. Seriously, walking regularly would be enough to get you started. Weight loss is all about calories in vs calories out. If you eat the same and just move more, you will lose weight.

    The important thing with exercise is to not get in a rut. Mix distance and interval work. Distance work will buld endurance allowing you to work out longer (hence burn more fat). Interval work burns more calories in less time, but if you can only go for 20 minutes, then you're not going to get very far. It is very important to do both :)
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    I'd just keep it varied and enjoyable, you'd have to be incredibly motivated to stick with just interval training for along period. A fat burning zone is a bit of a myth, it's more of a sweet spot where you're maximising the proportion (not quantity) of fat you're using, at higher intensity you could actually be using more calories from fat but in order to keep up the intensity your body needs to use proportionately more carbs.
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Sounds like you've got it pretty well covered. The biggest problem with cycling is that poor weather can put you off. Using an exercise bike takes away that excuse.

    To make sustained weight loss keep at it, slow consistent weight loss is better than a lot off quickly. Don't forget to have rest days to allow your body to recover. Also note that very high intensity exercise isn't always the best for general fitness or weight loss as it can stress your body too much.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • Thanks all.

    Ditch Witch - you are right walking was enough to get me started. I actually started 4 weeks ago from being unable to walk for 5 mins without having to stop soaked in sweat and with my peak flow dropping from 500 to 220 due to having very strangely suddenly developing asthma last year and being given an inhaler. So I got medical clearance, changed my diet and walked for 2 weeks. Third week I was on the exercise bike for 15 mins a day. 4th week I started weight training, and on the bike I did 4x 30-45 min intervals AND went out on my old Mountainbike for a 20mile run. 3 days later I did it again and knocked 40minutes off my first time.

    So according to my electronic pulse bodyfat % scales I've allegedly lost 1 stone of fat and gained 1/2 a stone in muscle in the last 4 weeks. I suppose I should really say that 4 weeks ago I was 21stone, 6ft and 53% bodyfat

    Oh and peak flow has jumped from 500 to 640!

    Stumpyjon - I think what you have said has struck a particular chord in that I should take advantage of the good weather and just get out there! ;)

    But what sort of distances should I be aiming for on a daily basis?
    Do I just try and knock off time on the 20 mile trip or aim towards 50miles a day?

    Thanks again...
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Again, the importance should be on variety.

    Don't just aim to go faster every day or longer every day. Your body will very soon get used to that. In order to maximise weight loss, you need to shakeup your routine.

    So, one day, go for speed. (say, mon and wed)
    Another day, go for intervals (tues and thurs)
    Yet another, go for a long slow ride (usually best at weekends).
    If you're commuting, then have friday as a recovery ride, short and easy.

    Get at least one rest day a week, preferably too.

    Too much too soon will lead to injury and burnout.

    You look like you're really serious about this so start looking at sport nutrition as well.
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • I would probably say my main sport in the past has been weight training. So whilst I understand the importance of protein and ensure that I get all my essential proteins and balance them throughout the day with added timed protein shakes, it would be fair to say I know very little about carbohydrates role in endurance training such as cycling.
    So yes, thats an area of research I am going to have to embark upon.

    At the moment I'm just balancing high protein, high fibre, low gi in an average 1800cal/day diet over 4-6 small meals/day.
Sign In or Register to comment.