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Old 05-15-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
Chris Lampe
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Default Biking and maintaining lean tissue...

I apologize if this is posted in the wrong area of the board. There seems to be several areas that are relevant but this one seems most general.

My primary activity from now thru the fall will be outdoor bicycling. I ride a Trek hybrid and my avg. speed ranges from 12-12.9 mph over a 9.5 mile paved bike path. When I ride, I pedal at a high cadence and walk up the gears until Im at a gear that causes so much lactic acid burn that I have to stop pedaling for 10-15 seconds. I then resume pedaling until I reach a point where the pain requires another pause. I would guess that my periods of pedaling probably range from 1-3 minutes in duration. I repeat this process over the course of the entire 9.5 mile ride.

I plan to ride 9.5 miles most days (weather permitting) from now until fall. I would definitely not categorize my riding as long, slow and steady but its also not full-tilt, all-out sprints. My diet is plan is to emphasize lean protein, good carbs (including some whole-grains), and good fats (my diet will basically be following the South Beach template) along with occasional cheat meals where anything goes.

I recently did 8 weeks of Starting Strength as Rxd and made steady gains in strength. However, I found that I also made steady gains in weight and girth and ended up letting my belt out two notches. I have cut the strength training back to just 1-2 days per week with each day consisting of a full-body lift (squat or deadlift) and an upper body lift (press or bench press). All lifts are 3 sets of 5 done at slightly lower intensity than I did while doing Starting Strength.

My primary goal is weight loss. Right now Im 39 years old, 511 and 325 lbs.

My question is this: Given the type of riding Im doing am I likely to lose a significant amount of lean mass? Is my riding style and limited strength training likely to offset lean tissue loss? Is riding 9.5 miles daily even enough for tissue loss to be an issue?

Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:44 AM   #2
James Evans
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Well, it kind of depends upon what you eat.

I work with middle age guys who commute that distance to and from the office, 5 days a week. They don't look like supermodels. But I doubt they think too much about their food intake either.

Also reassess your goals. You say you primarily want to achieve weight loss but you have also attacked a strength regimen. I'd suggest some more ramped up, lighter strength work. Look at the forum on fat loss. Don't try and achieve too many things at once.

You're basically riding sprint intervals at present, good stuff, but don't burn yourself out doing that and beware of overgearing too much because it can wreck your knees. Maybe mix things up a little.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:41 AM   #3
Derek Simonds
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I agree with what James said. If you are really looking for fat loss I would highly encourage you to do Alwyn Cosgrove's Afterburn or The Velocity Diet. Both have been done by people on this forum with great success.

I think if you search the forum you will find threads pertaining to them. Coach Dan John used the V-Diet and that really is all that needs to be said.

One word of caution about both. They aren't easy but if you follow the plans exactly, this is the tricky part for most people, you will get huge results.

Velocity Diet on T-Nation

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle....le=05-009-diet

Alwyn Cosgroves Afterburn

http://www.afterburntraining.com/

I know there are several pages of vertical HTML but please don't think that this is a scam of some type. Cosgrove's plan costs around 50 bucks but once again I really think it is worth it if fat loss is your goal.

I love to bike and I do it 1 to 2 times a week with my son and nephews and once a week my sister and I go for a 1 to 4 hour ride. So don't take it the wrong way I think biking is great exercise and really fun also, I just think that for fat loss there are many better options.

The last thing I would recommend is that whatever direction you choose you create a workout log where you keep your food, exercise, weight and BF% so that it helps you by providing accountability for your actions.

Welcome to the forum and I wish you best of luck with your goals.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:45 AM   #4
Steve Shafley
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I don't know if you should even worry about that, if weight loss/fat loss is your primary goal.

There are two things that will help you keep muscle mass while losing the fat:

1. Heavy, low volume, full body weight training
2. Adequate protein.

This is if you are in a more extreme caloric deficit.

Alwyn Cosgrove just wrote about this study again in his blog about lean tissue loss:

http://alwyncosgrove.blogspot.com/20...le-loss-q.html
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:15 AM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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I can't believe Robb isn't here with an IF speech!!
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:19 AM   #6
Chris Lampe
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Thanks for the replies and the information!

I took a look at the Velocity Diet and I don't think it would be a good thing for my situation but the Afterburn program certainly seems reasonable. I'll do more research on that one.

I don't have any current strength training goals other than to minimize or stop lean tissue loss while biking. I'm just doing the 1 or 2 days per week as insurance to increase my odds. I'll do some more research on strength programs that might be more suitable than what I'm doing.

I do the biking mainly because I love it! I live two blocks from a 9.5 mile lake-side bike path so I take advantage of it whenever possible.

Right now, I have so much fat to lose that doing pretty much anything works as long as I do it consistently. I'm sure it will get more and more difficult the closer I get to my final goal.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:38 AM   #7
Derek Simonds
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I am in agreement don't quit biking. If you love it and it is convienent than go for it.

Just remember it has been proven time and time again that a full body strength style workout burns significantly more calories throughout the day then a cardio style bike workout. Alwyn has so much great information on his site. I linked directly to the Afterburn program but Steve linked to his blog. You could get lost on there but definitely read the research Steve was referencing.

I think it is still a skosh early for Robb but I am confident that he will see the thread and provide valuable insight with an IF base.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:24 AM   #8
James Evans
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I think you shouldn't worry too much about losing lean tissue at this stage. Just get at out and enjoy the bike. That's the beauty of this, you enjoy doing it.

Like I said though, mix it up. Change the direction you go in. Change the speed. Get up to 16mph for a period then drop back down to 10 but don't freewheel, pedal. Repeat intervals like this.

Can you ride the whole route without freewheeling? Try to get into the habit of always turning the pedals, never just sitting back and relaxing.

Up your average speed, try and get it over 13 (if that is safe to do in respect of other people being around).

Build up to riding two laps, or eventually even three (if not too boring).

And most importantly think about what you eat.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:59 AM   #9
Mike ODonnell
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Chris keep in mind the following:

Fat loss is an all day event, so focus on the big picture...aka nutrition (if you have to start with zone, move to paleo or whatever...I think Larry had a great nutritional outline on that a while back on here somewhere)

Maximize your GH through heavy weights, short rests and not overtraining. Also get your sleep...as you get a big GH response at night.

Maintain lean muscle with adequate protein and not overtraining

Take Fish oil as it helps keep the muscle you have and burn the fat even when overtraining

Find exercises that are more a healthy lifestyle (aka biking) and change it up day to day (take a new route, pedal slow one day, smell the roses...all that good stuff)

Destress your life and keep a positive attitude

Get your health in check...get some probiotics and take in plenty of fresh fruits/vegetables (fiber) and water

Cut out all sugar

Earn...Yes earn a cheat meal once a week....enjoy foods but in smaller quantities

Find the nutritional program that you will do consistently...as that is where results come from....whether it be an IF approach, zone, or whatever....keep it consistent

As DJ once said...attack the fat, declare war on it....don't passively approach things...take immediate actions and do what is neccessary to get you healthier and make a lifestyle out of it
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:46 AM   #10
Chris Lampe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
Chris keep in mind the following:

Fat loss is an all day event, so focus on the big picture...aka nutrition (if you have to start with zone, move to paleo or whatever...I think Larry had a great nutritional outline on that a while back on here somewhere)

Maximize your GH through heavy weights, short rests and not overtraining. Also get your sleep...as you get a big GH response at night.

Maintain lean muscle with adequate protein and not overtraining

Take Fish oil as it helps keep the muscle you have and burn the fat even when overtraining

Find exercises that are more a healthy lifestyle (aka biking) and change it up day to day (take a new route, pedal slow one day, smell the roses...all that good stuff)

Destress your life and keep a positive attitude

Get your health in check...get some probiotics and take in plenty of fresh fruits/vegetables (fiber) and water

Cut out all sugar

Earn...Yes earn a cheat meal once a week....enjoy foods but in smaller quantities

Find the nutritional program that you will do consistently...as that is where results come from....whether it be an IF approach, zone, or whatever....keep it consistent

As DJ once said...attack the fat, declare war on it....don't passively approach things...take immediate actions and do what is neccessary to get you healthier and make a lifestyle out of it
Mike,

Thanks for the in-depth summary. I feel pretty good about what I'm doing because it matches up quite well with what you've posted here. I know the most extreme dietary plan I would stick with is basically eating clean with minimal grains and sugars. I'm intrigued by the Zone, Paleo, IF, etc... but realize I would be very unlikely to stick with any of them.
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