Forum home Road cycling forum Amateur race

the value of weight loss

poynedexterpoynedexter Posts: 283
edited February 2014 in Amateur race
i'm after some experienced opinon from people who race or tt.

i'm 5'5" and 10st 4lbs and 2014 is about to be my 2nd year at open rr etc. ive moved up from cat 4 to 3 and am planning my winter training. i'm trying to drop some body fat and i reckon there should be 8 lbs or so spare which can go if i put the effort in.

the Q is how much difference should dropping 8 lb make to my racing? is it that big a deal? i'm far from heavy as it is but 8lbs of fat is 5%. in the real world of a 60 mile rr will it make any difference?

and btw i will take about 6-8 weeks to melt this blubber (i'm 3lbs into it as i type)
«13

Posts

  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    It's not going to hurt, equally it's not going to make huge differences! Training more will likely help more.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • i was hoping that it might count at that tricky last 10 mile stage of the race, when having not carried around 8 lb excess up and down hills, i might feel 5% better. i know it wont make me ride faster as such tho.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    edited October 2013
    the Q is how much difference should dropping 8 lb make to my racing? is it that big a deal? i'm far from heavy as it is but 8lbs of fat is 5%. in the real world of a 60 mile rr will it make any difference?
    Yes, it'll make a massive difference. And I'd argue it's the easiest way to improve - but I suppose that partly depends how hard you've already trained.

    I'm pretty much your height but when I was fit for racing I could tell the difference between being 8st 9lbs and 8st 13lbs (55kg and 57kg). The only thing I'd ask is - why stop at losing 8lbs?

    Ruth
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,990
    8lbs is carrying half the weight of your bike round for the whole race. Big difference.
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • BeaconRuth wrote:
    Yes, it'll make a massive difference. And I'd argue it's the easiest way to improve - but I suppose that partly depends how hard you've already trained.

    I'm pretty much you're height but when I was fit for racing I could tell the difference between being 8st 9lbs and 8st 13lbs (55kg and 57kg). The only thing I'd ask is - why stop at losing 8lbs?

    Ruth

    i guess its about progression. i stopped racing motocross 2 years ago and was 11st 6lbs (72.7 kg). i had been that weight for about 15 years although i had more muscle mass. i did RR this year at 65 kg but i still have spare body fat to lose. my friends and family laugh when they hear me talk about losing weight though. i suppose the 8 lbs is just a figure from a guesstimate, or an attainable goal. i'm delighted to think it will make a measurable difference, IF i eat well and train well too.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,550
    For what it's worth, I'm the same height as you and was 56kg or 8st 12lbs when I got back from Italy this summer so there might be a bit more you can shift. As you can see from my profile pic, I'm no stick insect either.
  • thats good info. i want to have my weight settled before christmas, and be able to maintain it after. if its making a difference to my cycling it should show itself on my club runs by then.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Just keep a close eye on nutrition, resting and your times / general performance. There comes a point which varies from person to person where you suddenly have a negative impact due to fitness, injury and general health so just be mindful.
  • Kajjal wrote:
    Just keep a close eye on nutrition, resting and your times / general performance. There comes a point which varies from person to person where you suddenly have a negative impact due to fitness, injury and general health so just be mindful.


    ^this.

    We all have an ideal weight, so don't overdo the weight loss.

    Also, it does depend on the type of road races you do. If they are not too hilly, then it can help to have a little bit of excess baggage when it comes to putting down some power on descents or flat finishes.

    In crit or circuit racing, then big guys will often smash the weight weenies.
  • polyxpolyx Posts: 112
    If you lose another 3-4kgs of fat you'll be like "Purito" :D which means you'll be flying uphills but will probably not be as powerful on sprints, flats, TTs etc. Just watch your "engine", i.e. keep the muscles.
  • polyx wrote:
    If you lose another 3-4kgs of fat you'll be like "Purito" :D which means you'll be flying uphills but will probably not be as powerful on sprints, flats, TTs etc. Just watch your "engine", i.e. keep the muscles.

    why would loosing fat effect your sprint? the only thing i can see it effecting negatively could be your endurance as you wouldn't have so much 'stores' but provided you eat enough you should be fine. If anything loosing fat would make you quicker in sprints, flats, TTs. Remember it is fat not muscle he wants to be loosing
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    polyx wrote:
    If you lose another 3-4kgs of fat you'll be like "Purito" :D which means you'll be flying uphills but will probably not be as powerful on sprints, flats, TTs etc. Just watch your "engine", i.e. keep the muscles.

    why would loosing fat effect your sprint? the only thing i can see it effecting negatively could be your endurance as you wouldn't have so much 'stores' but provided you eat enough you should be fine. If anything loosing fat would make you quicker in sprints, flats, TTs. Remember it is fat not muscle he wants to be loosing

    Wiggins put on weight in an attempt to improve his power in the TT at the World's. Who knows if it worked, it defiantly didn't get him the gold.
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    BrandonA wrote:
    polyx wrote:
    If you lose another 3-4kgs of fat you'll be like "Purito" :D which means you'll be flying uphills but will probably not be as powerful on sprints, flats, TTs etc. Just watch your "engine", i.e. keep the muscles.
    why would loosing fat effect your sprint? the only thing i can see it effecting negatively could be your endurance as you wouldn't have so much 'stores' but provided you eat enough you should be fine. If anything loosing fat would make you quicker in sprints, flats, TTs. Remember it is fat not muscle he wants to be loosing
    Wiggins put on weight in an attempt to improve his power in the TT at the World's. Who knows if it worked, it defiantly didn't get him the gold.
    I think it is more likely that he wanted an easier life and didn't think putting weight on would harm him in the TT.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,422
    thats good info. i want to have my weight settled before christmas, and be able to maintain it after. if its making a difference to my cycling it should show itself on my club runs by then.
    Same height as you and 51kg very slight/lean build.
  • diamond thats a massive difference between us. out of interest, do you RR or TT? what are your 10 and 25 times.

    after about 2 weeks of a changed eating pattern, i've lost 4 lbs. it feels like an awful lot to me, and if nothing else its a mental boost, knowing that it has to be helping the cause. i havent felt any negative side on the bike at all.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,422
    Just stick to what you are doing it's working for you, you will reach a weight that is natural for you and as long as you stick to the same eating habits it won't go back on. I am naturally very light framed but if you have a heavier boned frame you will be naturally heavier.
    I don't race (except against myself) way past my sell by date, but good luck with your endeavours and I hope you get some good results. :)
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    It must make a difference. I lost nearly two stone last winter and didn't really train to increase my speed. I knocked 90secs off my 10mTT time and a whole 33mins off my time on a hilly 39mile TT. So it shows that flat or hilly you will get faster.
  • theprawntheprawn Posts: 116
    it depends what your current physique is.

    there's a big difference when comparing someone with a bit of belly to someone like wiggins when you're discussing weight gain / loss.

    if you've got a bit of spare tyre or two then lose it and it'll only have a positive effect on your racing.

    if you start losing muscle through dieting etc. then you might start having the worries of wiggins et al.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    What worries are those then?

    His weight gain thing was a crock of censored , everyone with half a brain knows that.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Weight loss on here probably means losing fat, weight loss/gain at pro level means losing or gaining muscle. Look at Hoy vs Froome for instance. Hoy will weigh a lot more than froome but will smash it on sprinting because of his power. Froome will climb better because he is lighter.

    If we are talking purely about losing fat, then lose as much as you reasonably can because fat isn't gaining you any power.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Froome makes more power than Hoy in all durations beyond probably a couple of minutes, power has little to do with muscles when talking cycling. In fact its said that the only reason Hoy etc are so big (and they're not really that big when compared to a rugby player or something) is because most of the actual strength is to get the bike moving, when they're going full tilt they're at high cadence and much lower pedal force than when getting the bike rolling.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • i have noticed another benefit of weight loss. despite only a small actual loss so far, i can can feel it on my body, and this has given me a mental boost when it comes to my training. getting up at 6 am to do an hr on the turbo before work has been easier. doing some fasted weekend runs and other training seems more focused. the improvement in actual cycling is harder to gauge but the scales show that progress is possible. its as if the weight loss is a secret reward for the effort.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,697
    +1 to what diamonddog and jibberjim wrote.
    i have noticed another benefit of weight loss. despite only a small actual loss so far, i can can feel it on my body, and this has given me a mental boost when it comes to my training.
    This is very valuable. Never underestimate the power of your mind. I think that the body functions better with less lard hanging around inside getting in the way.

    I'm 5'4" and have gone from 10st 2 to 9st 7 (60kg) in the last year or so. I hope to be a bit lighter by next season as I like hilly TTs and want to do well but I know that building stronger legs is more important.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    okgo wrote:
    Froome makes more power than Hoy in all durations beyond probably a couple of minutes, power has little to do with muscles when talking cycling. In fact its said that the only reason Hoy etc are so big (and they're not really that big when compared to a rugby player or something) is because most of the actual strength is to get the bike moving, when they're going full tilt they're at high cadence and much lower pedal force than when getting the bike rolling.

    Spot on. How much muscle do you need to put out 450 watts? Hardly any. So the only thing preventing you from holding that for an hour is your aerobic fitness.

    Bigger guys are more powerful though aren't they? Otherwise how come skinny climbers aren't bossing flat time-trials? If their legs are muscular enough to put out the same watts that is.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Look at the effects of EPO, that tells you all you need to know about where 'power' in cycling is made, its not muscles, its in the blood!

    And skinny climbers, what you mean like Pinnoti? Froome? Wiggins? Contador? All great testers and at their prime, are skinny gits. They all make as much power as Martin but he is more aero I understand...
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    okgo wrote:
    Look at the effects of EPO, that tells you all you need to know about where 'power' in cycling is made, its not muscles, its in the blood!

    And skinny climbers, what you mean like Pinnoti? Froome? Wiggins? Contador? All great testers and at their prime, are skinny gits. They all make as much power as Martin but he is more aero I understand...

    Froome & Wiggins are bigger guys, regardless of how low their BMI is. Contador was clearly juiced when TTing well. There definitely seems to be a tendency for bigger guys to do better in time trials and to be stronger rouleurs. On the other hand, the average teeny weeny Spanish / Italian climber will struggle relatively speaking. You would think that if a smaller frame could generate sufficient power to be in no way disadvantaged against a bigger frame, there would be no place in the pro ranks for the big guys (like with horse racing) but that clearly isn't the case?
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    Put Chris Hoy in a time trial against a skinny mo'fo like Froome and not only will Froome be lighter and more aero, he'll also produce a significant amount more power.
    Depends on the length of the time trial, surely? My money would be on Hoy for a kilo!
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    Yeah, I guess bigger guys have bigger lungs, bigger hearts, more blood, longer levers etc. So whilst increased muscle mass is of limited benefit, increased bulk can still have its advantages? I think that makes sense, probably explains why the optimal stage racer build seems to be a big guy gone skinny.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Whatever you do only try to lose 1lb a week or you'll just be shedding muscle.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    More bullshit!

    Any more for anymore people?
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
Sign In or Register to comment.