Rate My Potential?
Hello everybody, I am not new to the forums, but have never posted up a topic here at mtbr. I know it can be difficult to answer questions about ones possible physical potential, but I have always been asking myself these questions since the day I started riding. To start off with myself, I am 245 pounds, 5' 11", and am 17 years old. I look like a bigger dude (probably the extra weight on me), but my legs are pure muscle, and have always been like that. My calves are large and as solid as steel (I used to play basketball so I would always be on the balls of my feet). There is almost no fat under my waist. I have a MASSIVE chest cavity, barely any upper body strength, and virtually tiny arms. I do Find most of my fat around my back and chest/abdominal areas though. My athletics have greatly improved since I first started exercising regularly. I now notice that I can withstand hours of riding with no problems, no pains. I never could sustain a maximal velocity for more than 30 seconds, but now I have greatly exceeded that, I can sustain over 30 minutes above 180bpm. I have always had a feeling of great physical abilities within me, but I will always ask myself if my weight is really holding me back? Will I ever be able to be as light as some other people? how much weight is a couple inches off the belly? Today I raced (sprinting, running) my friend who is probably between 100 and 150 pounds, plays hockey, and is very fit. He is a great sprinter because of hockey, with a high VO2 max (beep test score of 13), and during the race we stayed neck and neck with me barely passing him, but ended up resulting in a tie. This was about a 100meter run. What can I get from this? does this mean that I have untapped potential? That if I loose weight I can possibly become a better athlete? All these questions have been bothering me ever since I started riding and fell in love with riding. Overall, I still hold strong to my dream of becoming potential XC racer, and I hope that my goal is achieved. To my advantage though, is that I live on the flattest place on earth, where the only hill for hundreds of miles is an old man-made hill measuring 60 meters high. So for my type of racing, power is an advantage over weight..
I know my diet over the past few years hasn't been that great. Is it possible to get an approximation of how many calories I burn a day, based on the fact that I don't gain weight?
This has been a typical day for me in the past:
-A whole bowl of some chocolaty cereal
-A nutri-grain bar in the afternoon
-a 12" sandwich with lunch-meat for lunch with some other granola bars
-Some snack after school, such as a bagel or leftovers.
-200grams of Pasta noodles(alot of pasta), with tomato sauce
-Juices like minutemaid
-some type of meat, breaded
-Salad (vinegar, olive oil)
-Cheese (on pasta)
-Snack before sleep
I have kept a weight of around 260lbs with this diet, but I have significantly changed it so that I eat a lot less, and so far have lost 30 pounds in 2 months due to hard work.
I would like to thank everybody for reading, and I would hope that some of my questions can be answered.
Cycling all boils down to two things: Power and weight.
If you are big and strong you can generate a lot of power. In sprints or on flat terrain, where your mass doesn't work against you as much, this can be an advantage. Track cyclists, for example, can have more powerful builds.
As you start to climb, you need more power to counteract the effects of gravity. The steeper it gets, the more your mass works against you. More of your power is sucked up just overcoming gravity. Pure road climbers are thin as rails, and most racing cyclists of all disciplines are very lean.
In your case, racing on flat terrain you don't need to be a bean-pole to be successful. However, at your height and weight I would be really surprised if you don't have room to make a lot of progress.
My answer to your question would be yes, your weight is definitely going to hold you back. To know for sure, you should get a body fat measurement done. As an athlete, you should be shooting for something around 15%.
Also, if you want to race you should start racing now. Go out, have some fun and learn about racing.
Hi Nico and welcome! It is indeed difficult to measure potential. At 5'11 and 245, there is definite potential for you to become a better athlete. Even if you gained no muscle and lost fat weight, you would be lighter and faster. All racing/activity numbers aside, you should really be looking at a target weight/body fat % and finding the safest way to attain your goal.
Originally Posted by vertex112
For example, reaching 180 bpm is probably not a great idea. You are indeed younger than the bulk of the forum members, so your maximum heart rate will be greater. I am 25 with an absolute MHR of 195. This means my target heart rate should be around 156bpm (80% of MHR). Measure your resting heart rate. If it is below 70, you're looking at bradycardia, which is good if it's from being active and athletic. If it is above 80, you're looking at tachycardia, which is unhealthy and can be dangerous. Your heart rate will jump faster and higher if your resting heart rate is higher. So keep that in mind next time you reach 180bpm. You may need to slow down and build up to a certain level of activity (which would almost certainly be less than 180bpm in a conditioned state).
As for your food intake, no one can really estimate your caloric intake from a description. You should go to thedailyplate.com, sign up for a free membership, and track what you eat. Be careful to measure servings of food. Your age, height, weight, and physical propensity will determine your adjusted basal metabolic rate and determine how much you should be eating to maintain or lose weight. If you starve your body, it will lower your BMR in an effort to store calories.
Anyways, welcome to the clydesdale forum. Ride on!
President, CEO of Earth
Athleticism is 95% psychological... any able bodied person can get their fat% down low and build cardio and muscle to compete in a sport at some level. People who are especially driven (or have obsessive personalities, according to some) will put up with the discomfort and sacrifice to get their bodies to another level of performance.
There are many cases of people who are not particularly gifted physically, but through pure pig-headedness and determination become elite athletes. Others who maybe had more natural athletic talent often give up before reaching a high level.
The only limit is yourself.
Oh! And ditch the sugary cereal in the morning... you will feel better all day with something healthier.
"Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings
Originally Posted by roaringpanda
I would like to thank everyone for the replies. It definitely gives me some confidence in my workouts. I have been training on and off for a couple months, and have read all of Joe Friels Mountain bike Training Bible, so I am familiar with training methods and methodology. I am sorry for some of the confusion about doing workouts for half an hour at over 180bpm, I was merely trying to point out that I can handle those types of anaerobic workouts at my lactic acid threshold for prolonged periods of time. I do not train like that though, I usually train in base, as I have been told and have read about it being the most crucial part of training in the winter months. One more thing I have to point out (because I am such a big nerd) is that Bradycardia (under 50bmp) and Tachycardia (over 100bpm) are both measuring resting heartrates. My resting heart rate is 54 to 60bmp, depending on my workouts. My old resting heartrate was 70bpm, before I started training. I will look into getting a BF% test done, as that seems like the most important thing to gauge how much weight to lose and can be lost without losing muscle.
Toby nailed it; your body will adapt to the demands you place on it. Even when you plateau, changing up routine and diet will help push past it. 95% of your limitations is will.
Nico, keep up the good work. Drop the weight man. Abdominal fat is the dangerous stuff. It gets between your organs and places a strain on them. You CAN lose the weight. It's up to you to decide to lose it. Your questions are good ones. We can only give you suggestions. My suggestion to you is to go to a doctor and get a full workup done... check your BMI - blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. Then get yourself into a program that allows you to eat, stay full, but lose weight.