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ADV Fitness thread?

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Not sure where you'd want it, but how about starting up a fitness thread? ADV related of course. What are people doing to make themselves better riders exercise wise? I'm personally starting to get the move on and hopefully gonna drop 50+ lbs over time. Would love to see a thread with everybody's experiences, what works, what doesn't. And while were at it, maybe a diet/healthy eating one as well? Both for at home, and what people are doing while traveling and on the bike in the bush?

 

Just a thought and something that interests me. 

 

 

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Not sure where you'd want it, but how about starting up a fitness thread? ADV related of course. What are people doing to make themselves better riders exercise wise? I'm personally starting to get the move on and hopefully gonna drop 50+ lbs over time. Would love to see a thread with everybody's experiences, what works, what doesn't. And while were at it, maybe a diet/healthy eating one as well? Both for at home, and what people are doing while traveling and on the bike in the bush?

 

Just a thought and something that interests me. 

Great idea!  I put it here.  Hope that's okay.

 

I lost 30 lbs after going more paleo.  I just cut out a lot of my carbs and increased my fat and protein.  Part of it (breakfast) I got from a diet called Bullet Proof where for breakfast you have two cups of coffee mixed with 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp coconut oil.  Sounds gross but it's actually quite savory; almost chocolatey.  I'm not hungry until lunch.  Then I found I'd get a "carb coma" after eating fries at lunch so I cut those out too.  I will have carbs sometime with dinner but overall I'm limiting my carbs by a lot.  I heard somewhere the average American diet is 60% carbs.  10% is more like it.

 

So the weight savings helped a lot but then cardio helps with stamina so you can ride all day and not be wiped out.  Last Nov we did this killer loop in Death Valley and the next day a lot of the guys were complaining how tired and sore they were.  Not me :)

 

I was working out with a trainer 5x/week from last June until like two months ago and that helped a lot too.

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I joined a gym last week.  Had my first appointment with a personal trainer.  She put me through a lot of range of motion exercises, squats, things like that.  

Now my knee has been bothering me since last week.   I'll go back in tomorrow, I've got to get on a regular schedule so I go the same days every week.

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I know that loosing weight will help.  Ever see those super MX guys?  They are not fat.  Its physical challenge to ride off road.  

Eric, your coffee sounds gross.  Do you blend it?  Or just stir it up and sip it?

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I've had bulletproof coffee as well, and it's pretty tasty actually. Blending it works really well.

 

Strength training has been incredibly useful to me, I'm not very trim but I can lift heavy things haha. It helps a lot with your stamina when riding offroad for sure. If you're going to start lifting I'd find a trainer/coach to work with that is reputable. 

 

Not to derail at all but somewhat on topic... if you're getting back in the gym or starting for the first time. Trainers are great to work with, but make sure you communicate if you're getting any pain. And if you consistently get pain when training, find a doctor to see! I've personally injured myself training a few times, and each time was probably totally avoidable if I'd been smarter and listened to what my body was telling me.

 

On diets, I personally have had a lot of success with paleo diets. I suggest trying Whole30 out and reading about the theories behind that. My most successful times when changing my diet is when I've recorded every single thing I ate, which is easier when you're not eating out.

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I know that loosing weight will help.  Ever see those super MX guys?  They are not fat.  Its physical challenge to ride off road.  

Eric, your coffee sounds gross.  Do you blend it?  Or just stir it up and sip it?

Oh it sounds gross for sure but after the first time I had it I realized that it is quite savory.  It's a common drink in Nepal (coffee/butter).

 

I'm fundamentally just lazy so drinking my breakfast works pretty well for me.

 

They say you want to ease into it over a few days because your body has to adjust to digesting the extra fat but it quickly adjusts.

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Jafix is right, listen to your body.  I'm a certified spinning instructor and did that for 6 years.  Their mantra is really "less is more."  Most of the benefits of exercise (cardiovascular, immune system, brain chemistry, sleep, mood, healing, etc...) come at the aerobic and not anaerobic level.  When you're aerobic, your heart rate is between about 65% and 80% of your max heart rate.  Your max heart rate is typically 220 minus your age for men; 225 minus age for women.  I'm 48 so that's 172.  80% of that would be 138 bpm as a ceiling for aerobic exercise.  Walking is probably the best aerobic exercise there is but your heart doesn't really know the difference between that or an elliptical machine or stationary bike, etc...  You build up your anaerobic threshold over time.  Most high performance athletes will train at an aerobic level for as long as 6 months until they start training in the anaerobic levels.  You also want to keep that aerobic fitness regular; at least once every 48 hours or you'll rapidly lose it.

 

After 20 min of aerobic exercise, 50% of your calories burned will be coming directly from your fat stores.  One trick is to do a brief exercise like walking in the morning before you've had your breakfast.  Your glycogen stores will have been more depleted during the night and you'll start burning fat quicker.  

 

So if your goal is weight loss, the aerobic exercise is really good for that.  Of course the anaerobic or strength training will put on muscle mass and that raises your basal metabolic rate (muscle burns more than fat) which also helps with fat loss.  But a lot of people go nuts on a spinning bike or they go running (anaerobic) or something like that (thinking harder is better) and that can be counter-productive.  You finish your workout feeling like crap and then have huge levels of food craving, stuff your face and end up gaining weight.

 

That's why I'm not that enthusiastic about the Crossfit type workouts.  Alan is a huge Crossfit fan and it's obviously done him a lot of good but it's not for me.  I think they are too severe for most and result in a lot of injury because people don't get the proper form down immediately.  Some also encourage competition and that results in over-use type injuries as well as rhabdomyolysis, where the muscle fibers break down and float into the bloodstream and cause kidney failure/death.  I knew a girl at my gym a few years ago getting ready for her wedding.  She was already super hot and in great shape but in addition to her regular training sessions, would do a Crossfit class.  She got rhabdomyolysis and spent three days in the hospital.  If she hadn't been hospitalized as soon as she was she could have died or been on dialysis the rest of her life.  Of course most who do Crossfit don't get injured but you get the point.

 

My trainer is not a carb nazi like me but says you should try to get your carbs in before 1:00 pm each day and they should be the good complex carbs like oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, etc...  The whole paleo logic is that for most of our history (99%) we were not carb eaters for the most part save for the rare fruit, honey or root.  Agriculture changed that but in a world with scarce carbs our bodies are adapted to immediately converting that into fat for storage for the winter or whatever hardship.  So instead of 10% of calories coming from carbs, many get 60% or more from carbs hence why we're so fat.  Chemically, you cannot even store fat unless you have a carb available.  There are many poor cultures around the world where people are still fat even without fast food available and that's because all they eat are carbs for the most part.  Sure, Asians eat a lot of rice and are generally thin but that's also because they're starving; their average caloric intake is much less than an American's.

 

The disease theory of paleo goes that every plant has evolved a toxin to keep it from being eaten.  Some will kill you, some will sicken you, some will sicken over time.  Also some are more sensitive than others but it's these naturally occurring plant toxins that generate an inflammatory response where the body produces cholesterol as a kind of internal band-aid to address the inflammation.  Eating cholesterol doesn't produce cholesterol in the blood; it's an inflammatory response.  The inuit natives eat thousands of milligrams of cholesterol every day in marine mammal fat (whale and seal blubber) but they have some of the best blood of any people in the world.  The notion that eating bacon or red meat will give you a heart attack is nonsense; you're more likely to get a heart attack from eating bread, pizza, corn chips, soda pop, etc...  All fats aren't equal but that's a topic for another time.

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WOW!  

 

Thanks for all the replies fellas! Talk about a ton of info coming hot!

 

So I started Mark Sisson's Primal diet yesterday, which appears to essentially be paleo. I'm currently under 40 grams of carbs for yesterday and today combined. I'm working on upping the fats, but holy cow that's a difficult task when you've been taught your entire life to avoid it. I'm gonna stick super strict to this for a month and see if it works for me. If it does I'll stick with it, if not, reevaluate and develop a different plan. The bummer part is going to be no delicious IPA's...

 

As far as lifting weights I've been doing that for a minute. I'm currently benching 365lbs, dead lifting 405lbs, and squatting 405lbs. The last two I've limited and am raising reps, not trying to go any higher in weight. If I need to work on anything in this department, it would be mobility. Time to start stretching regularly and loosening up. 

 

Cardio. My arch nemesis. I started hitting the elliptical 10 minutes a day this week, and will slowly work this up. The weather is getting much nicer, so I'll start walking and/or going on bicycle rides with my son in the evening. I'd eventually like to work in some sprints, but my fat ass needs to get into better shape before that happens.

 

So that's my current plan. I'm working on tracking everything. I'll report back with what is working and what isn't.

 

Keep the info and ideas coming! 

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I'm right there with Eric.  At 61, I'm not gonna set the world on fire, so all I'm trying to do is find some balance between being a couch potato and running myself into cardiac arrest.

I got back into the gym today for the first time, new regimen to me, so I took it easy today.  30 minutes on a bicycle, 30 minutes on a treadmill and I'm good.  

I'm not too worried about losing weight, although dropping 20 pounds wouldn't be bad, so for me, it's all about cardio and building some endurance.

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Not to derail at all but somewhat on topic... if you're getting back in the gym or starting for the first time. Trainers are great to work with, but make sure you communicate if you're getting any pain. And if you consistently get pain when training, find a doctor to see! I've personally injured myself training a few times, and each time was probably totally avoidable if I'd been smarter and listened to what my body was telling me.

 

Yeah, that's exactly what happened... she was very cute, but kind of put a cookie-cutter plan together and wasn't listening when I told her the Army destroyed my knees.

But the good news is, after an easy gym visit yesterday, I'm good today, so I'll start getting in there 2-3 days a week.

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Yeah, that's exactly what happened... she was very cute, but kind of put a cookie-cutter plan together and wasn't listening when I told her the Army destroyed my knees.

But the good news is, after an easy gym visit yesterday, I'm good today, so I'll start getting in there 2-3 days a week.

When you're on the bike, make sure your seat isn't too far back.  That will make your knees sore.  The best way to be sure is hang some kind of weight like a washer, or anything you can tie a string to, from the top of your shin bone just below the knee cap when your seated on the bike with that leg on a pedal that is parallel to the ground out in front of you.  The weight should come down directly over the center of the pedal.  That means your force is directly over the pedal.  Many times people have their seat too far back and it's like running downhill; not so great on your knees.

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Sorry I'm a little late to the party. I have to hand it to you Eric, I spent one winter as a spin instructor, I couldn't take it. I'd rather ride outside, even below freezing. You do get to meet some cute girls though! :). Sadly they talk too much and spin very little.

I agree with Eric on everything but the bicycle saddle. The knee over the pedal only works on a traditional bicycle, It all depends on the style of bike you ride. Recumbents (think lazyboy/lounge chair)and the foot forward cruiser design bikes force the knee back where on a time trial or triathlon bike, your knees will be slightly more forward. What you want is good extension without locking the knee or "reaching" for the pedals. You want about 5 degrees of bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If your saddle is too low, the kneecap gets pulled too firmly against the knee joint during extension (the downstroke of the pedal) by your muscles causing an erosion to the back of the kneecap.

A good way to get close is to raise your saddle until you can barely pedal using your heels. Then move the ball of your foot to the centerline of the pedal shaft. That will put a bend in your leg and give you a good starting point whether you use a standard exercise bike or recumbent.

Spinning 15-20 minutes a day with no resistance on a stationary helps smooth them out. Pedaling too tall a gear or too much resistance too long is also hard on your knees. Down shifting and spinning faster (higher cadence) will take stress away from your knees.

The biggest mistake I see folks make is not shifting to a better gear or pushing too hard of a gear and struggling. Modern bikes have up to 30 gears to choose from, use them!

If you struggle to keep focus, pick an event to do with the priority on finishing whether it be running, cycling, canoeing, hiking, etc. Without a goal, you may keep putting exercise and training off. Too keep from burning out, mix it up and make it fun. Tired of bench presses and pull ups? Go Kayaking for an afternoon. Try trail running instead of pavement and treadmills. Want your wife or sweat pea to ride with you but she can't keep up? Try a bike built for two**, pedal hard as want, she'll still be in your slipstream!

I too need to get back in race trim. I spent more than 3 decades racing bicycles and motorcycles. In November 2010, I had a lumbar fusion and went back to racing in the spring. In May 2011, I finished my last Mohican 100 mountain bike race on a failing frame. By the end, the right rear chainstay (think swingarm) had cracked 350 degrees around just beside the tire.

All I kept thinking was "I can't keep training at this level any more. I finished well, but the next day I parked my bike for 2 weeks, then it became 4, then 5 weeks, then months, I was burned out. Since then the training was sporadic at best, always loosing my gains to distraction. My wife wants me back to competing on the motorcycle so I'm using cycling to get me going again. I need to drop 25 pounds so I'm going to give it a go.

I've been riding and racing single speed bicycles for almost 2 decades and geared bicycles even longer. I have one SS bike setup for climbing and one for flat to rolling and races. I also raced single speed mountain bike with good results. They are fun to ride but hard on your knees so beware. I've been using a geared bike the past couple weeks do to inflammation in my knees and hips

** A tandem bicycle will make or break your relationship, you've been warned!! We tried it, we liked it. We have one each mountain bike and road tandems.

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My 990 went on a diet and lost about 16lbs by changing the exhaust to a SSO. So I thought I should do the same, I cut out the Coke from my Rum and Cokes and just use diet ice cubes. I

haven't seemed to have lost any weight yet..... Man this is going to be tougher than I thought!

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I'm down 48 lbs since I 1st posted up in here. Only 58 lbs more to go and I'll be happy! LOL. Riding my bike loaded to the gills will still be lighter then riding solo and light used to be! Good luck to everyone fighting the fat loss fight!

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48 lbs! That is outstanding! Congratulations! That is a lot of free horsepower!

Maybeeeee if I cut out the ice cubes???.....

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What's been the best for me is hitting the weights hard. I was doing a lot of cardio in the form of kayaking, bicycling, and some swimming. But, added in a lot more resistance training has helped a lot. This is something that I already knew, but simply wasn't doing it. So, I bought a gym membership and b/c I''m cheap, I go so that I don't waste money. Hey, whatever gets you there!

 

Like Eric, I try to eat Paleo. Between the weights and low carb, sugar, dairy, & processed foods, it's easy to keep the weight in check and I feel strong on the bike. Once you sit down and drop those elbows, your off-road riding will suffer. As men age, need to keep that muscle mass up and strong. I'll be 48 at end of the year and I'm planning on going into 50 kicking ass.

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