Riding a lot and staying "fit"
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Cleanneon98's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Riding a lot and staying "fit"

    Hey all, so until I started riding consistently, I was a gym rat for about 3-4 years. When I was in my early 20s, I was pretty chunky (not in a good way) at 5'11" 36-38" waist, 220lbs. I got a hold of myself and cut down to 155lbs and barely a 32" waist in about a year and a half, and then spent the better part of 3-4 years lifting and bulking up, not to ugly proportions, but enough to look fit and toned. At my peak, I was 175lbs with abs, was able to bench 225 and 245lb sets no problem, pullups I could basically do to the point I got bored before I got tired.

    Once I started riding, I changed my 2-4 days a week at the gym routine to 1, and I don't really go consistently anymore either. Now, while I may or may not have more flexibility on the bike, my composition has suffered, and while I can still lift the same weight as before, it's not nearly as many times, and I feel like I have shrunk a little.

    I know some people will tell me to just go ride and enjoy that and forget lifting, but it's still something that's important to me and my self esteem, since I am always worried about going back to my old chunky self. A friend of mine told me that my muscle loss is probably due to my slowed gym routine, but more-so due to the fact that doing long rides and cardio like this is that muscle is burned away.

    So, has anyone here successfully been riding 100mi/week while maintaining their muscle definition? I don't necessarily want to get bigger, I'd be happy being where I was a few months ago, but as far as maintaining my figure lifting, but also not lifting so much that I can't be on the hoods of my bike comfortably. Should I perhaps be bringing more food with me on longer rides so that my body doesn't resort to burning muscle?
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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MaxKatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    I'm actually your "chunky" numbers now, but it's fit and muscular. In my 20's I was 205 and at my peak was working out benching that 225 you mention. 47 now.

    At some point, the pounds lifted (for me) became unimportant. I still lift, but definitely not militant about it anymore. Actually, my GF who did not lift when I met her is now more likely to suggest we do upper body.

    We try to get in a couple times a week through summer cycling months. Winter when we're off the bike we'll be in every night. Non-upper body lift nights we row, swim, run on the treadmill. Used to spin, but find it so much less fun that real riding we tend not to do it anymore. Never really had a problem losing size or definition. Definitely can't lift the number I used to, but as mentioned...no longer an objective.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Yeah keep lifting if it makes you happy. 100 miles/week is not much but I suppose some catabolism is taking place. Limiting the duration of rides will help (30-45 min maybe). 20% of daily calorie intake = protein and 20% unsaturated fat and protein shake after rides. If you only ride short durations as mentioned then I don't think bringing food is necessary. If you do all 100 during the week end say 50 Saturday and 50 Sunday then yes bring food and start eating early.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    How much time did you spend in the gym when you were 175 and benched 225?
    I currently go to the gym 6 days per week. 5 of those days are about 40 minutes- one day is 1 hour. So a little more than 3 hours per week.
    I also ride 5-6 days per week. 250-300 miles depending on how many hours and how much of the riding is off road (get less miles per hour off road).
    So I would say 100 miles per week and a good amount of gym time is entirely possible.
    I figure that if I wanted to maximize my lifting my riding would need to cut down. I think I would need to cut down to 150-175 miles per week.

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