Lean and mean

ugo.santalucia
ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,300
I thought this thread was overdue. Tips and tricks on how to keep lean but strong find a home.

I used a calculator online to estimate my body fat... works out at 14% for 67kg and 5'9"... plus I had to put in a few numbers, like neck and waist circumference... it seems reasonable, and not a million miles from what I was expecting, anyone knows their body composition?
left the forum March 2023
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Comments

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,787
    Is functional bulimic really a fitting title for the thread? I mean bulimia us a specific sort of eating disorder isn't it - I guess some athletes have been functional bulimics but I doubt anyone would recommend it as a strategy for maintaining race weight.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,787
    That said no I don't know my body composition but doing shed loads of hours on the bike has always worked for me. I've never been what a typical person would call fat but I've only ever been properly lean in cycling terms when I was training a lot.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Being an athlete in a sport where weight matters, being that cycling, gymnastics or running and experiencing a mild bulimia go hand in hand, whether you like it or not.
    You don't get to stand on an Olympic podium without having what some would describe as a disfunctional relationship with food.
    There are exceptions... Usain Bolt was said to have a junk food diet, whether it is true or not remains to be seen.
    left the forum March 2023
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    edited February 2023

    I thought this thread was overdue. Tips and tricks on how to keep lean but strong find a home.
    ...

    Lots of regular exercise works for me. I shifted more excess* weight commuting 5 x 20 miles a day than I do with a 100 miles at the weekend. I think it has something to do with the metabolism continuing after exercise has finished. Probably wrong though.

    *Note this is more effective if you are overweight to begin with.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087

    Being an athlete in a sport where weight matters, being that cycling, gymnastics or running and experiencing a mild bulimia go hand in hand, whether you like it or not.
    You don't get to stand on an Olympic podium without having what some would describe as a disfunctional relationship with food.
    There are exceptions... Usain Bolt was said to have a junk food diet, whether it is true or not remains to be seen.

    Are you getting your eating disorders mixed up. Bulimia is a condition where one controls their weight by vomiting or the use of laxatives.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,706
    I assume you're thinking of anorexia rather than bulimia... Either way, they're both serious mental illnesses, and not the most appropriate way to describe just wanting to be leaner to get up a hill faster.

    I've got no real input to the thread as I'm rubbish at maintaining weight while healthy. The best thing I found was intermittent fasting, but doing that while also working exercise in around work/family proved tricky.
  • Being an athlete in a sport where weight matters, being that cycling, gymnastics or running and experiencing a mild bulimia go hand in hand, whether you like it or not.
    You don't get to stand on an Olympic podium without having what some would describe as a disfunctional relationship with food.
    There are exceptions... Usain Bolt was said to have a junk food diet, whether it is true or not remains to be seen.

    Do you regularly binge eat and induce vomiting afterward? Do you advocate it? Change the thread title. It's stupid and insensitive.

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,787

    Being an athlete in a sport where weight matters, being that cycling, gymnastics or running and experiencing a mild bulimia go hand in hand, whether you like it or not.
    You don't get to stand on an Olympic podium without having what some would describe as a disfunctional relationship with food.
    There are exceptions... Usain Bolt was said to have a junk food diet, whether it is true or not remains to be seen.


    I know where you are coming from - I'm not pretending being at a pro cyclists weight is necessarily healthy in the long term or that it can be achieved - for some at least - without some fairly extreme dietary choices.

    However it's still a rational choice - it may be a choice that runs the risk of triggering an eating disorder - but I'm not convinced that actually having an eating disorder (bulimia or other) is ever advantageous for a cyclist. Possibly it can work as an alternative to willpower - that may be an uncomfortable truth - but surely a rational approach is the ideal.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,300
    edited February 2023
    There is more to bulimia than eating and vomiting. It's called exercise bulimia and it is very common among most athletes... it doesn't have to have a negative connotation... in fact it is often the route to success... maybe a better name would be needed, but I didn't name it

    https://www.waldeneatingdisorders.com/blog/bulimia-and-athletes/
    left the forum March 2023
  • "Exercise bulimia is characterized by excessive and pathological exercise. It is similar to bulimia nervosa in that instead of “purging” by self-induced vomiting or diarrhea, a person exercises excessively to burn calories in order to compensate for food consumption."

    This is not what you are talking about.


  • However it's still a rational choice - it may be a choice that runs the risk of triggering an eating disorder - but I'm not convinced that actually having an eating disorder (bulimia or other) is ever advantageous for a cyclist. Possibly it can work as an alternative to willpower - that may be an uncomfortable truth - but surely a rational approach is the ideal.

    I think it's a case of definitions broadening. As far as sport goes, athletes have always deprived themselves of food and gone through excessive training in cycles which from the outside would seem unhealthy... and probably they are unhealthy...

    My understanding is the all idea of wanting to control your weight, whatever the reason, is already morbid...

    Anyway, commuting has never done it for me... when I did long commutes, I always put on weight... same when I did very long rides. Short and intense always worked best for me...

    left the forum March 2023
  • "Exercise bulimia is characterized by excessive and pathological exercise. It is similar to bulimia nervosa in that instead of “purging” by self-induced vomiting or diarrhea, a person exercises excessively to burn calories in order to compensate for food consumption."

    This is not what you are talking about.

    When did I say that it was a thread about food?
    As per title... lean and mean...
    left the forum March 2023
  • Title changed
    left the forum March 2023
  • I can relate to 'Exercise Bulimia' or whatever we're calling it. Along with body dysmorphia, I think it's pretty common amongst cyclists.
  • I can relate to 'Exercise Bulimia' or whatever we're calling it. Along with body dysmorphia, I think it's pretty common amongst cyclists.

    Is that a bad thing though? My wife says I am obsessed with body weight and that is not good... which might be true, but my reply is that it would be pointless of me travelling 100 miles and incurring costs to race up a hill, if I didn't at least try to be as light as I can on the day...
    left the forum March 2023
  • I can relate to 'Exercise Bulimia' or whatever we're calling it. Along with body dysmorphia, I think it's pretty common amongst cyclists.

    Is that a bad thing though? My wife says I am obsessed with body weight and that is not good... which might be true, but my reply is that it would be pointless of me travelling 100 miles and incurring costs to race up a hill, if I didn't at least try to be as light as I can on the day...
    Body dysmorphia tends to be when you think you're fat or could do with losing more weight, when you're a healthy, below-average body weight/shape.

    I think there's a difference between that and wanting to be as light as possible to race up a hill.

  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,488
    I had a conversation with a guy in my old cycling club who had a reputation for being a strong rider despite his advancing years.

    One of his drivers for his fitness was a fear of being unfit. I also recall a conversation on a Boxing Day ride where he declared he had just eaten one mince pie over Xmas as he didn’t want to let himself go.

    Me , cycling is an enabler for me to enjoy food . I’ve no wish to drop weight at the expense of not tasting life.


    It’s all subjective and in the grand scheme of life, means SFA.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    edited February 2023


    ...
    Anyway, commuting has never done it for me... when I did long commutes, I always put on weight... same when I did very long rides. Short and intense always worked best for me...

    Yeah, I was talking about 10 miles each way. I'd describe that as a short cycle ride.
    Key point was often and regular.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    Eating disorders often go hand in hand with issues about self esteem/ self worth . There’s has been lots of young athletes in various sports especially rock climbing where the the quest to get lean and mean has led to a serious eating disorder. When this athletes have disclosed about their dysfunctional eating, it’s clear that it’s tide in with their self worth.
    It’s such a common occurrence that coaches are trained to look out for it and as far as I’m led to believe, the stuff that that went on at British cycling where riders were being told they were fat, would no longer be tolerated. But I could very easily be wrong there as the pressure to get a professional contract might mean behaviours are over looked.
  • slowmart said:

    I had a conversation with a guy in my old cycling club who had a reputation for being a strong rider despite his advancing years.

    One of his drivers for his fitness was a fear of being unfit. I also recall a conversation on a Boxing Day ride where he declared he had just eaten one mince pie over Xmas as he didn’t want to let himself go.

    Me , cycling is an enabler for me to enjoy food . I’ve no wish to drop weight at the expense of not tasting life.


    It’s all subjective and in the grand scheme of life, means SFA.

    I can recognise myself there...
    I have stopped eating sugar... the excuse is about dentist's bill, but I suspect it has more to do with weight control... otherwise I would have caved in already...
    left the forum March 2023
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    I have a set of "smart" scales which use metal pads in it to estimate body fat etc
    I think it uses electrical pulses and resistance etc to calculate it.

    I'm 69kg (last weighed) and 173cm. Bodyfat is 14.0%, 62% water.

    Based on the data, it suggests my body needs 1660kcals a day.
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    slowmart said:

    I had a conversation with a guy in my old cycling club who had a reputation for being a strong rider despite his advancing years.

    One of his drivers for his fitness was a fear of being unfit. I also recall a conversation on a Boxing Day ride where he declared he had just eaten one mince pie over Xmas as he didn’t want to let himself go.

    Me , cycling is an enabler for me to enjoy food . I’ve no wish to drop weight at the expense of not tasting life.


    It’s all subjective and in the grand scheme of life, means SFA.

    That's one of the big reasons I exercise. So I can sit here at my desk and demolish a big bag of mini eggs without too much worry.
  • JimD666
    JimD666 Posts: 2,072
    dannbodge said:

    I have a set of "smart" scales which use metal pads in it to estimate body fat etc
    I think it uses electrical pulses and resistance etc to calculate it.

    I'm 69kg (last weighed) and 173cm. Bodyfat is 14.0%, 62% water.

    Based on the data, it suggests my body needs 1660kcals a day.

    Have an easier way.

    1st. Stand up. 2nd Look down.

    If I can see my feet all's good. It not: cut some stuff out and pedal a bit faster :)

  • I thought this thread was overdue. Tips and tricks on how to keep lean but strong find a home.

    I used a calculator online to estimate my body fat... works out at 14% for 67kg and 5'9"... plus I had to put in a few numbers, like neck and waist circumference... it seems reasonable, and not a million miles from what I was expecting, anyone knows their body composition?

    How do these calculator actually work?
    I'm very skeptical of them. Sure size and fat are different things, same height and weight could very well be different fat %.
    I hear of way to "measure" fat, I suppose the scales measure the electric resistance in between the two feet, and with some magic somehow spit out a number. No idea how precise.

    Beside, yes fat and weight and all that is important. But the path to follow is rather healthy lifestyle nutrition training etc. The rest will all follow. At the end, weight and fat are just ancillary outcomes, unless your goal is chasing young hotties at the beach, fat percentage should not be the aim.
    Feel free to disagree.
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,564
    I weigh a bit more than I want to, but hey, most people do.

    I cycle so that I can drink beer.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • pep.fermi said:

    I thought this thread was overdue. Tips and tricks on how to keep lean but strong find a home.

    I used a calculator online to estimate my body fat... works out at 14% for 67kg and 5'9"... plus I had to put in a few numbers, like neck and waist circumference... it seems reasonable, and not a million miles from what I was expecting, anyone knows their body composition?

    How do these calculator actually work?
    I'm very skeptical of them. Sure size and fat are different things, same height and weight could very well be different fat %.
    I hear of way to "measure" fat, I suppose the scales measure the electric resistance in between the two feet, and with some magic somehow spit out a number. No idea how precise.

    Beside, yes fat and weight and all that is important. But the path to follow is rather healthy lifestyle nutrition training etc. The rest will all follow. At the end, weight and fat are just ancillary outcomes, unless your goal is chasing young hotties at the beach, fat percentage should not be the aim.
    Feel free to disagree.
    I think they use a method that was developed in the US army. It works for people who have a rather normal shape, probably less for those with long legs or a long neck. They are strangely more reliable that impedence measurements, but not as good as skin fold calipers used correctly, or even better a dexa scan.

    left the forum March 2023
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,898
    edited February 2023
    I've been as heavy as ~95Kg in summer '16 from before I began trying to cycle to get fitter in Jan '17, to as light at ~73Kg on our Salter scales reckoning I was ~9.9% fat in August '17. The last time I was ever near that low weight was back in the 90s when in my early 20s.

    Couldn't keep that ruthless unrealistic diet going, had a bit of a health rollercoaster since the pandemic began. Despite struggling to get under 82Kg for most of '22, I was beating my best segment times for fun through spring and summer last year, despite being a bit younger and ~4Kg lighter in '18 and '19.

    Now ~87Kg and ~12% fat after almost five months of long Covid, not cutting out the food while being unable to do anything like the same amount of exercise.

    From my own experience of the last six years, being light isn't everything and doesn't always mean being relatively fast on a bike, especially uphill.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • I've been as heavy as ~95Kg in summer '16 from before I began trying to cycle to get fitter in Jan '17, to as light at ~73Kg on our Salter scales reckoning I was ~9.9% fat in August '17. The last time I was ever near that low weight was back in the 90s when in my early 20s.

    Couldn't keep that ruthless unrealistic diet going, had a bit of a health rollercoaster since the pandemic began. Despite struggling to get under 82Kg for most of '22, I was beating my best segment times for fun through spring and summer last year, despite being a bit younger and ~4Kg lighter in '18 and '19.

    Now ~87Kg and ~12% fat after almost five months of long Covid, not cutting out the food while being unable to do anything like the same amount of exercise.

    From my own experience of the last six years, being light isn't everything and doesn't mean relatively fast on a bike, especially uphill.

    I don’t think you can be 73kg and 10% and 87kg at 12% in the same life… not without growth hormone… I’ll ask Schwartzy though… 😉

    left the forum March 2023
  • I don’t think you can be 73kg and 10% and 87kg at 12% in the same life… not without growth hormone… I’ll ask Schwartzy though… 😉

    I'm rather dubious too, I was relatively skin and bone in summer '17, only ever had our seeemingly dodgy scales as a reference for fat numbers. :D

    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • I weigh a bit more than I want to, but hey, most people do.

    I cycle so that I can drink beer.

    Do you not enjoy cycling?