Results 1 to 50 of 50
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    129

    Adapting Low Carb for MTB

    I am 220lbs (Fat), and I ride 3 days a week from 1 to 2 hours and have been since early in the year. The weight doesn't seem to be coming off despite high intensity work outs.

    I have always had good success with low carbing at less than 90g per day when working out. I want to do it again since it has worked for me but I dont want to sacrifice my workouts due to weak legs. I wasnt cycling when I was low carbing years ago and I understand now that carbs are what we need for endurance. I know its not a life style change but I feel confident that once the weight is off, my riding will keep it off.

    So can I adapt a low carb diet to MTB by adding carbs at the right times before riding? If I am going to ride hard for 2 hours at 6PM, at what schedule should I add the carbs so they are ready for my body to use?

    Thanks,

    David

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xycarp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    241
    I've done what you suggest - low carb and work out. I did it while training for my first marathon (went from 260 to 220lbs) without much trouble. I also do it some while biking now and again to keep my weight in check.

    I will tell you that trying to do long endurance runs / rides while low carbing is doable, but very tough. I'd recommend either significantly adjusting your speed expectations, or plan do more of a "light" carb prior to significant events. You will feel tired and have no choice but to go slower. When I did it I was more in the 30 carb range - very low, so you may not have as much trouble with 90.

    When I was running I used low carb to get to a size that I could feel good about my fitness level. I basically low carbed from 260 down to 230 while running. Once I hit the 230 size, I transitioned to a more traditional low fat diet. Then lost the last 10 or so watching what I ate and "getting the furnace hot" to burn food and fat. I am 6'3" and big frame so 220 was as low as I could reasonably go. At that weight folks thought I was too skinny.

    Bottom line, yes you can do it. Go slower and expect to be more tired. The good news is that once you switch to a more traditional diet, your endurance and times will quickly improve.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    129
    thanks for the info

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,476
    just don't try and train high intensity on low carbs.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Svard75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    92
    Low carb training will trigger your bodies starvation mode causing you to gain more weight. Take a really close look at what carbs you eat prior to trying carb starvation. It doesn't work long term trust me. I have many friends in the nutrition and supplement industry and a few naturopaths and the concensus is carb starving=body starvation mode=when you do eat carbs or fats your body will not burn them, rather it stores them.

    The best way to loose weight quickly is to eat every few hours, but in smaller quantities, thru out the day and minimize your trans/saturated fats. Stay away from as much processed foods as possible and STOP eating fast food anything immediately. Minimize on your salt intake. Post longer workout drink Coconut water to replenish your lytes.

    You can try supplements if you want. For example I prefer Douglas Laboratories Pro PCA fuel. It's an explosive supplement and doesn't have side effects.
    Last edited by Svard75; 06-15-2012 at 12:48 PM.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    What an average american considers "low-carb" is likely still high in carbohydrates even for endurance sports. I believe to lose weight with exercise you will need to consume a normal amount of carbs but in the form of grains rather than sugars. High fiber bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice. Make those three your carbohydrate staples along with fruit and veggies and you'll melt fat and gain endurance.

    What's probably just as important is to continue to increase your exercise load. If you go out and ride 1-2 hrs at a time your body will adapt extremely well to that workload. Make your rides progressively longer and you will see continued gains in your fitness and physique.

    -cheers

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    129
    Thanks for the tips...

  8. #8
    Save Jesus
    Reputation: beanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,731
    Nutrition is kind of controversial and I disagree with most things in post #5 and 6.

    Low carb does not trigger starvation, as long as you get adequate fat and protein.
    Losing weight means losing fat, and to lose fat, you need to teach your body to burn fat, and not burn carbohydrate as an easy way out. Eating small meals very often teaches your body that food is readily available, and thus it won't feel like burning off stored fat.

    Most saturated fats are not bad.

    Greater than 90 minute exercise at high intensity is bad for losing weight because it damages the body and thus requires even more food to repair it.

    Grains may not be good for you.

    Here are a bunch of links, all pulled from one site. I invite you to read the articles and decide for yourself if you believe them.

    How to Maintain Muscle While Losing Weight | Mark's Daily Apple
    A Case Against Cardio (from a former mileage king) | Mark's Daily Apple
    Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
    Why Grains Are Unhealthy | Mark's Daily Apple
    Is Saturated Fat Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Greater than 90 minute exercise at high intensity is bad for losing weight because it damages the body and thus requires even more food to repair it.

    I'm curious what you mean by this comment. What part of the body is damaged after the 90 minute mark?

  10. #10
    Pedaler of dirt
    Reputation: marzjennings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Nutrition is kind of controversial and I disagree with most things in post #5 and 6.

    Low carb does not trigger starvation, as long as you get adequate fat and protein.
    Losing weight means losing fat, and to lose fat, you need to teach your body to burn fat, and not burn carbohydrate as an easy way out. Eating small meals very often teaches your body that food is readily available, and thus it won't feel like burning off stored fat.

    Most saturated fats are not bad.

    Greater than 90 minute exercise at high intensity is bad for losing weight because it damages the body and thus requires even more food to repair it.

    Grains may not be good for you.

    Here are a bunch of links, all pulled from one site. I invite you to read the articles and decide for yourself if you believe them.

    How to Maintain Muscle While Losing Weight | Mark's Daily Apple
    A Case Against Cardio (from a former mileage king) | Mark's Daily Apple
    Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
    Why Grains Are Unhealthy | Mark's Daily Apple
    Is Saturated Fat Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
    I agree that posts 5 and 6 are the other side of the argument and I too disagree with them.

    I avoid carbs and gluten as much as I can. Dropping the carbs has not affected my cycling at all and the only time I now eat any carbs is before a ride and during a ride. I don't eat any carbs after a ride, even if it's been a long one (+60 miles). The weight has started to drop off and I've gone from about 240 to 225 in about 3 months.

    The hardest part of dropping carbs for me was dropping the beer, wine and sugar in my tea/coffee. There's no point going on a no carb diet if you still going to have a few beers now and then.

    I avoid the gluten for other reasons apart from weight loss, but it's helped enforce avoiding pasta, bread and beer.

    I truly believe the 'small meals often' approach is wrong. We've evolved to eat, store and burn and if you constantly eat then you are never going to burn off that stored fat.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings View Post
    I agree that posts 5 and 6 are the other side of the argument and I too disagree with them.

    I avoid carbs and gluten as much as I can. Dropping the carbs has not affected my cycling at all and the only time I now eat any carbs is before a ride and during a ride. I don't eat any carbs after a ride, even if it's been a long one (+60 miles). The weight has started to drop off and I've gone from about 240 to 225 in about 3 months.

    I truly believe the 'small meals often' approach is wrong. We've evolved to eat, store and burn and if you constantly eat then you are never going to burn off that stored fat.
    How many carbs are you consuming pre and during your rides? The body can store up to two hours of fuel (carbs). Once your burn all of that off your're going to bonk. I bet you consume a lot of carbs before and during your rides, that way you don't have an empty tank at the end of your 60mi rides.

    In my personal experience, going on long rides like yours will burn lots of the excess fat that our bodies store for us to get up to a weight of 260. The carb/fat/protein consumption ratio is important for performance, but the shear volume of calories you are burning during and after a ride that long will lead to weight loss.

  12. #12
    Save Jesus
    Reputation: beanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,731
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemiwinks View Post
    I'm curious what you mean by this comment. What part of the body is damaged after the 90 minute mark?
    Did you read the link about chronic cardio?
    Mountain biking in general damages the muscles and joints. That's why you feel sore afterwards. There's nothing really special about the 90 minute mark, except that the original point is that if you exercise at high intensity, you burn predominately carbs and not fat. So what is the point of burning off all your carbs, only to have to replenish it later, and now you need extra protein to repair muscle as well?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Svard75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    92
    Folks its hard to sometimes understand what REAL carbs are vs processed carbs.

    Read this Carbohydrates - What Should I Eat? - The Nutrition Source - Harvard School of Public Health

    Then this Carbohydrates: Good Carbs Guide the Way - What Should I Eat? - The Nutrition Source - Harvard School of Public Health

    Everyone's body is different so coming onto a forum and asking for advice will start all kinds of discussions but following any of them could set you back. Go and see a nutritionist or naturopath and have them assess what works for you.

    Cheers

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,476
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemiwinks View Post
    How many carbs are you consuming pre and during your rides? The body can store up to two hours of fuel (carbs). Once your burn all of that off your're going to bonk. I bet you consume a lot of carbs before and during your rides, that way you don't have an empty tank at the end of your 60mi rides.

    In my personal experience, going on long rides like yours will burn lots of the excess fat that our bodies store for us to get up to a weight of 260. The carb/fat/protein consumption ratio is important for performance, but the shear volume of calories you are burning during and after a ride that long will lead to weight loss.
    You only bonk if your intensity is too high for fat burning alone (may not be 100% scientifically accurate but you get the idea). In the past I've done a lot of 3 hour road rides where I didn't eat or drink anything other than water, with no energy issues, as long as the intensity was fairly low (LSD pace).

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    139
    I have been following a paleo diet of meat, fruits, veggies and nuts with some dairy for a few years now. No bread, pasta, or other processed carbs. This has greatly improved my body composition and energy levels. I usually ride twice a week for 1-2 hours at a fairly high intensity and I have no problem with energy. Every now and then I have a 3-5 hour ride and all it takes is a little planning to avoid burning out or bonking. Eat sweet potatoes and some fruit before, pack a banana, jerky, nuts and a decent protein bar (I like clif builder bars-not paleo but they work well for a long ride) and you're good to go. This works for me and I agree with the posters above who said you don't need bread and other processed carbs. Check out the paleo diet, it's simple and it works. Good luck!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Did you read the link about chronic cardio?
    Mountain biking in general damages the muscles and joints. That's why you feel sore afterwards. There's nothing really special about the 90 minute mark, except that the original point is that if you exercise at high intensity, you burn predominately carbs and not fat. So what is the point of burning off all your carbs, only to have to replenish it later, and now you need extra protein to repair muscle as well?
    From your personal experience, do you feel like your legs have gotten weaker from mountain biking? I'd bet they have gotten much stronger. And I bet that's because you are tearing the fibers as your charge up hills, over roots, and out of turns. Then when your muscles are all used up you repair them with protein and refuel them with carbs. The author of the link you posted doesn't dispute my point. He is just pushing for a more foundation/base/endurance miles training program. He also said he does sprints and hill repeats every week to get stronger.

    Mountain biking strengthens and grows the muscles. Crashing damages them.

  17. #17
    Save Jesus
    Reputation: beanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,731
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemiwinks View Post
    I'd bet they have gotten much stronger. And I bet that's because you are tearing the fibers as your charge up hills, over roots, and out of turns.
    Right, they get stronger from hard efforts, not prolonged efforts. The point is that for weight loss while maintaining strength, you should do sprints for strength and long slow rides for fat burning. (Actually, the latter part is not even necessary for weight loss.) Long-ish rides at medium hard effort mainly deplete carb supplies.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    29
    Beanbag is right. Cycling doesn't really build strength. Doing sprints will build some strength in your legs but if you want to add functional strength you need to do some olympic lifting in the gym. In general cycling builds muscular endurance, or primarily slow twitch muscle fibers. Pure strength is going to be fast twitch muscle fibers, built through weight lifting and maybe some plyometrics.

    Low carb works great for cycling if you know how to do it properly. I've been eating paleo for a little over 2 years and have seen my cycling performance increase dramatically. However I was already thin and wasn't trying to lose weight when I went paleo, but I think it will work well for anyone.

    You really don't need to eat carbs before a ride. Your body should have about 1 hours worth of stored glycogen and you can't increase this with carb loading, so don't carb load, it's a bunch of BS! My rides are generally 1 to 1 1/2 hours long at a very high intensity, where I am burning glycogen, not fat. I like to eat a GU about 30-45 min into my rides. If I were going to ride at a more moderate pace I find I don't need the GU as I'm not really dipping into my glycogen reserves.

    As Beanbag pointed out Mark's Daily Apple is a great website with tons of information.

  19. #19
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,513
    Quote Originally Posted by djonesax View Post
    I am 220lbs (Fat), and I ride 3 days a week from 1 to 2 hours and have been since early in the year. The weight doesn't seem to be coming off despite high intensity work outs.

    I have always had good success with low carbing at less than 90g per day when working out. I want to do it again since it has worked for me but I dont want to sacrifice my workouts due to weak legs. I wasnt cycling when I was low carbing years ago and I understand now that carbs are what we need for endurance. I know its not a life style change but I feel confident that once the weight is off, my riding will keep it off.

    So can I adapt a low carb diet to MTB by adding carbs at the right times before riding? If I am going to ride hard for 2 hours at 6PM, at what schedule should I add the carbs so they are ready for my body to use?

    Thanks,

    David
    You are not really riding enough at this point to really have to worry too much about carbs. Three days a week between 1 - 2 hours each ride translates into a rather low volume week of riding where you probably don't even use up your glycogen stores as it is. If you do use them up, it would certainly be the odd occasion on a day when you go full tilt for 2 hours - and recovery wouldn't be too difficult due to your low volume, rest days and what you are eating. If you are using an energy drink during these intense 2 hour rides, I would doubt you fully deplete your glycogen stores during the 1-2 hour rides. If we believe your time on the bike, then you are riding 3 - 6 hours per week with 4 rest days. Not really enough to stress your system where the weight could come off.

    Even if you are riding "full tilt" on those 3 days, it may not be the best way to lose weight. Have you thought about increasing your volume on the bike? Perhaps adding 2 more days per week of easier effort road rides of 90 - 120 minutes each for example. High intensity rides serve a purpose, but you don't have to go full tilt every time you straddle a bike. It sounds like what you really need is to go through a base building phase of high volume, lower intensity to start shedding the weight. 6 hours a week would be a bare starting minimum, and shooting for 8 to 10 would be a better starting point with going above 10 even better. At the higher volume, then I would start worrying about your carb/protein/fat balance - but not at 3 - 6 hours per week.

    And of course - what type of carbs you are eating should enter the discussion. "Lean carbs" would be ideal...

    The top ten carbohydrate sources/categories are:

    10.) Brown rice: The key here is brown, with the fiber husks in place. Rice allergies are rare and it digests readily without too much distress, bloating or gas. It is best for fat loss to keep serving sizes under 1 cup cooked or ¼ cup dry weight.

    9.) Steel cut whole oatmeal: Not the rolled oats you grew up eating, but maybe what your grandmother grew up eating. This is the whole oat with all valuable fiber and nutrients in tact. It takes a bit longer to cook, but the nutty flavor and slower insulin response are worth it. As with brown rice, keep serving sizes under 1 cup cooked or ¼ cup dry weight.

    8.) Quinoa: Another high fiber, gluten-free cereal grain. Higher fiber and mineral content than the oats or rice for even better insulin control. If taste doesn’t suit you at first, mix 1:1 with oatmeal until you get used to it. Once you are, you’ll be hooked!

    7.) Yams/sweet potatoes: These tubers are best prepared baked, in the skin. Not much more carbs than a regular russet of similar size, but more fiber, vitamins and minerals. I like them baked, then refrigerated cold and sprinkled with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

    6.) Winter squashes: Butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti or acorn squash are all very nutritious and now can be found in markets year round in most places. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and bake them skin side up over a ¼” of water. These are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals and a nice change of pace.

    5.) Peas and Legumes: Most beans varieties and green peas fit this bill. Choose from black, pinto, navy, kidney, white, red, chickpeas, garbanzo, etc. beans or green peas, as all of these are high fiber and very filling. Protein content, along with the fiber, fills you up without filling you out by keeping insulin response low. For best results, soak and cook slowly. As a snack, try hummus!

    4.) Colorful fibrous veggies: Red, yellow and orange bell peppers, green beans, beets, yellow summer squash, zucchini, purple eggplant, carrots, parsnips, red and green chili peppers… the colors mean carotenoids, and plenty of mixed carotenoids means more antioxidant coverage. A wide variety of colorful vegetables in your diet will improve your health and make your skin glow. There is almost no downside to the amount of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber (at low calories) they provide.

    3.) Super fruits: Fruits are great foods, full of fiber and enzymes, and with their quick digestion yet slow insulin response makes them ideal for an instant energy boost. But not all fruits are created equal and most don’t even make this list, but a select few make it almost to the top. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, and acai are amazing foods. You will feel the difference when you eat them versus other fruits. They are excellent when your sick, or when you workout hard, for that extra level of protection. High antioxidant, phytonutrients, enzymes, fiber and vitamins at moderate calories give you a lot of bang for the buck. They also have cleansing alkalizing effects on you internally, which along with all the antioxidants, provides an enormous immunity boost and keeps your digestive system functioning properly.

    2.) Leafy green vegetables: Kale, sea kelp, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, chlorella, wheat grass, endive, alfalfa sprouts, spring green lettuces, spirulina, and spinach are so low calorie, yet so nutrient dense, they rank very high on my preferred carbohydrate list. Include these several meals a week and they will cover almost any base you missed. They’ve got the minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and vitamins in high quantities. These also are alkalizing and cleansing, keeping your digestive system running at full capacity.

    1.) Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, bok choy, napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green and purple cabbages are maybe not as high in micronutrients as the leafy green vegetables or super fruits, yet they contain DIM or Diindolymethane, a phytonutrient that acts as an estrogen disposal agent. Excess estrogen plagues almost anyone who is overweight or has practiced poor dietary habits for any amount of time. When you rid yourself of excess estrogen, you free up testosterone to do its job of building muscle at the expense of body fat. It is best to consume these incredible foods in large quantities. Try broccoli rabe or baby bok choy, sautéed in a little olive oil, with sea salt and garlic. Try mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes, it’s terrific.


    Low carb eating is not "no carb" eating, yet the argument always raises eyebrows. I successfully dropped from 212 to 180 using a low carb diet and have kept my weight in the 177-187 range for about 7 years now. Both through volume of exercise and choice of the carbs I do eat.

    In terms of the timing of when to eat (no matter what it is), fueling 2 - 4 hours before the ride (depending on what you eat) should be ideal for your evening 2 hour ride.

    BB

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    890
    Not all Carbs are bad. You need complex cabs, not starchy junk carbs. And quite simply, you need to take in less calories than you burn. It's really not hard. I counted calories for 3 months, and went from 250 to 215. I am almost 6'3" and pretty much where I want to be. If I can do it, you can too.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    15
    get this book! Got me into shape and helped me with motivation! Nutrition is a big part of it. And cutting out carbs isn't necessarily good.

    Welcome to You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises by Mark Lauren

  22. #22
    247
    247 is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    Cycling doesn't really build strength
    Well you take a Clyde (myself) on a 29er and ride mostly uphills that are rocky and rooty in (Pa.)

    That has built a lot of strength in my legs! I do 2 really long and hilly road climbs at this time also (and start and end my ride with a challenging rocky hill.)

    My thighs and calves seem an inch bigger because of this cycling now (and I have added 20 pounds to my leg extension on my home gym.)
    Last edited by 247; 06-27-2012 at 10:01 PM.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1
    If you are worried about how cutting carbs out will affect your energy levels I recommend cutting all carbs except beans and other legumes (lentils are a great option). I have found that cutting out all traditional carbs (breads, pastas, rice) and eating a serving of legumes at least twice a day has helped me loose fat while continuing to train with good energy levels.
    Just my two cents.
    -Barret

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by MX283 View Post
    Beanbag is right. Cycling doesn't really build strength. Doing sprints will build some strength in your legs but if you want to add functional strength you need to do some olympic lifting in the gym. In general cycling builds muscular endurance, or primarily slow twitch muscle fibers. Pure strength is going to be fast twitch muscle fibers, built through weight lifting and maybe some plyometrics.

    Low carb works great for cycling if you know how to do it properly. I've been eating paleo for a little over 2 years and have seen my cycling performance increase dramatically. However I was already thin and wasn't trying to lose weight when I went paleo, but I think it will work well for anyone.

    You really don't need to eat carbs before a ride. Your body should have about 1 hours worth of stored glycogen and you can't increase this with carb loading, so don't carb load, it's a bunch of BS! My rides are generally 1 to 1 1/2 hours long at a very high intensity, where I am burning glycogen, not fat. I like to eat a GU about 30-45 min into my rides. If I were going to ride at a more moderate pace I find I don't need the GU as I'm not really dipping into my glycogen reserves.

    As Beanbag pointed out Mark's Daily Apple is a great website with tons of information.
    I've been pedaling a pedicab for 4 summers and my results in the gym have skyrocketed. The slow-twitch v/s fast-twitch viewpoint is relevant at the peak of performance, but at the mortals level (us) simply biking a lot will make your legs a lot stronger all around.

    According to CTS (lance's famous coaching system), carbo loading does work. But again, that's speaking for the elite athletes. For us simple folk, be don't need to crush down a pound of pasta the night before a 2 hour ride.


    I think all of us on this topic are very dogmatic in our ways because what we have tried has worked for us. For the sake of the OP, I think his best bet to lose weight is to spend more time in the saddle pedaling and enjoying the great outdoors. He can take bits and pieces from our arguments and carve out himself a diet that is low in bad carbs and high in nutrients.

    Cheers

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    201
    Forget about fad diets and don't over complicate the process. Just eat properly (Never go on a diet, change your diet) and excercise on a regular basis. It is that simple!

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    29
    247,

    Cycling is poor at building leg strength because there is no eccentric muscle contraction in your pedal stroke. You need to train both eccentric and concentric to achieve true balanced leg strength. I'm not trying to say you aren't strong because I'm sure you are if you are a clyde with big powerful legs. However you would probably be much stronger if you started doing squats because you would be doing both eccentric and concentric contractions.

    When you lower the weight during a squat it's eccentric, and then when you raise it back up it's concentric. When you are cycling you are doing the concentric contraction over and over again. When riding a fixed gear bike and you use your legs to slow down you are bringing in that eccentric contraction.

    Cycling builds fantastic strength and power for cycling but doesn't do much for functional real life strength (ex: picking up something heavy off the ground and then setting it down, etc), but it's a great tool for losing weight and best of all it's super fun.

  27. #27
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,513
    Quote Originally Posted by JRS73 View Post
    Forget about fad diets and don't over complicate the process. Just eat properly (Never go on a diet, change your diet) and excercise on a regular basis. It is that simple!
    Say that to the 78 million obese people in the US.

  28. #28
    247
    247 is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    Yeah I have weird knees so have avoided squats like the plague (in the gym or home gym) but I do do squat like movements in life... I stick to leg curls (on the home gym) and have thighs and calves like a bodybuilder (especially calves--few people have calves the size of mine!!)

    I have seen bodybuilders in FLEX magazine years ago who have calf Implants (allegedly) and still can't touch my calves. I have never had to do a calve exercise in my life..... But at 5'10" I could never dunk a basketball (but I am a lot closer than I ever was in the last 25 years--with mountain biking.)

    --BUT BACK TO THE REPLY now----The only thing I have differently to my workout program (basketball--maybe football or tennis) if the opportunity presents itself---BUT The only thing I have done differently is MTB. And I have strength in my legs that I have never had before!! So it has to be climbing trails (as a Clyde) that is doing it.
    --Because I am not injecting test suspension or HGH.... Never even took any Protein Supplements before!! Have always just eaten regular food.

    --But whatever is NOT supposed to be happening scientifically (I think is happening) because I have no other explanation. My regular leg curls are easily up 20lbs--from what I have used for the past 25 years!!! ALSO for the past 25 years I could not even touch the 'net' on a basketball hoop.. Now I can smack the backboard (so I have definately gotten stronger!!)
    Last edited by 247; 06-30-2012 at 10:19 PM.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Say that to the 78 million obese people in the US.
    Most of America's cultural problems are due to lack of willpower and self control, IMO. Obesity, debt, smoking, ect...

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,158
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemiwinks View Post
    Most of America's cultural problems are due to lack of willpower and self control, IMO. Obesity, debt, smoking, ect...
    well, it doesnt help that the medical establishment has given us the wrong advice for decades. low fat diets make people fat. it skews what people eat to carbohydrate rich refined foods, grain, cereal, fruits, vegetables etc.

    avoid refined foods and simple calories. getting your nutrition based on an atkins, low glycemic, paleo plan makes it easier to keep pounds off. chlosterol is good for you. you will die without salt. everything in moderation.

  31. #31
    Life Is Short
    Reputation: fatcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,435
    Quote Originally Posted by MX283 View Post
    247,

    Cycling is poor at building leg strength because there is no eccentric muscle contraction in your pedal stroke. You need to train both eccentric and concentric to achieve true balanced leg strength. I'm not trying to say you aren't strong because I'm sure you are if you are a clyde with big powerful legs. However you would probably be much stronger if you started doing squats because you would be doing both eccentric and concentric contractions.
    I agree (even tho this is a bike site ) The only way cycling can be efficient for a workout
    is to remove your saddle and seatpost, other than that with your saddle affixed, ride three times as far as you're used to doing. Do a 40 mile road ride or 20 mile mountain ride every
    other day (along with a low carb diet). You may see results. Jogging/running worked for me.

  32. #32
    247
    247 is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    The only way cycling can be efficient for a workout
    is to remove your saddle and seatpost,
    well about 2 month's ago when my Paragon cracked at the seat tube junction ( i was at the end of the trail and had to ride back to the trailhead standing up (and walking back)--that was the Biggest workout my legs had on a bike!!

  33. #33
    Vegan on the S-Works
    Reputation: durianrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    118
    LOW CARB??? lol!

    Why not just slash your tyres and pedal with your hands!?

    Seriously, get on a plane to China, Japan etc and get a job in the rice fields with the ladies. NONE of them are very fit but ALL of them are slim on their rice, vegetable and fruit based traditional diets.

    SMASH in the carbs if you want to be as lean as I am. Just say'n.

    The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Effortlessly.

    Check out my youtube channel. I debunk weight loss myths all the time. My gf went from flab to sports model fab on a HIGH CARB low fat vegan lifestyle. HEAVY on the fruits.





    Id put money on it that your training more than me at the moment as well. Id put money on it that you HATE eating pasta, rice, fruits and veg too!

    Throw out the cream and steak brother and join the lean feasting vegan riders.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    129
    Wow, I havent looked at this thread in a week. What great posts, thanks for all the feedback. I have a race coming up this weekend. I'm going to keep everything the same til then. I have been trying to eat more complex carbs lately but after the race I may kick it up a notch. I typically have 1/2 a cup of oat meal or yogurt for breakfast, a protein shake around 10:30am, lunch is maybe a chicken sandwich and salad, then "whatever my wife makes for dinner". I have also cut out beer and wine for three weeks now and I think that has helped already.

    David

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    29
    durianrider,

    I am just as lean as you and way more muscular and I eat high fat, high protein, and low carb. I also eat tons of fresh local veggies and a small amount of fruit. I don't ride my bike more than once or twice a week and I lift weights once or twice a week. My diet keeps me lean and strong without the roller coaster insulin ride of a high carb diet. I eat tons of fat and I don't wear any of it.

    You and your girlfriend look like typical super skinny vegan cyclists, congratulations. You both look like you don't eat enough.

    Don't confuse being skinny or slim with being healthy. There is a big difference. Being slim with relatively little lean muscle mass and poor fitness is commonly referred to as being "skinny fat." People such as yourself who are naturally slim can often eat poorly and exercise very little without becoming obviously obese. However they are no healthier than someone with the same diet and level of fitness who packs on the pounds more easily.

    I was going to ignore your post but because you tried to totally hijack the thread I decided to respond, which was probably pointless.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Johnnydrz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    472
    Quote Originally Posted by MX283 View Post
    durianrider,

    I am just as lean as you and way more muscular and I eat high fat, high protein, and low carb. I also eat tons of fresh local veggies and a small amount of fruit. I don't ride my bike more than once or twice a week and I lift weights once or twice a week. My diet keeps me lean and strong without the roller coaster insulin ride of a high carb diet. I eat tons of fat and I don't wear any of it.

    You and your girlfriend look like typical super skinny vegan cyclists, congratulations. You both look like you don't eat enough.

    Don't confuse being skinny or slim with being healthy. There is a big difference. Being slim with relatively little lean muscle mass and poor fitness is commonly referred to as being "skinny fat." People such as yourself who are naturally slim can often eat poorly and exercise very little without becoming obviously obese. However they are no healthier than someone with the same diet and level of fitness who packs on the pounds more easily.

    I was going to ignore your post but because you tried to totally hijack the thread I decided to respond, which was probably pointless.
    I TOTALLY AGREE !!! Durianrider has been a regular weirdo on a number of other forums dealing with healthy ways of living (Free the Animal, for example). Just by watching his videos you get a good feeling of "what" he is...

    I'm racing on my SS tomorrow, bacon and eggs will be my breakfast!

    Johnnydrz

  37. #37
    Vegan on the S-Works
    Reputation: durianrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by MX283 View Post
    durianrider,

    I am just as lean as you and way more muscular and I eat high fat, high protein, and low carb. I also eat tons of fresh local veggies and a small amount of fruit. I don't ride my bike more than once or twice a week and I lift weights once or twice a week. My diet keeps me lean and strong without the roller coaster insulin ride of a high carb diet. I eat tons of fat and I don't wear any of it.

    You and your girlfriend look like typical super skinny vegan cyclists, congratulations. You both look like you don't eat enough.

    Don't confuse being skinny or slim with being healthy. There is a big difference. Being slim with relatively little lean muscle mass and poor fitness is commonly referred to as being "skinny fat." People such as yourself who are naturally slim can often eat poorly and exercise very little without becoming obviously obese. However they are no healthier than someone with the same diet and level of fitness who packs on the pounds more easily.

    I was going to ignore your post but because you tried to totally hijack the thread I decided to respond, which was probably pointless.


    No offence boss but if we compared wattage files you would'nt keep up for 45 seconds at my watts per kg on your carb deficient fad diet.

    Don't be scared of carbs mate. Plenty of thin Chinese people eating rice 3x per day remember.

    Last time I checked Loren Cordain and Sally Fallon were not exactly slim n trim. Doesnt make em bad people but when we are talking weight loss and health, high fat diets are to be avoided.

    Yes its true, I look like the 3rd Schleck brother. Do you look like a world class bodybuilder? Can you go and train with the best in the world at your preferred sport? I can. Ive trained with Lance, Contador, Evans, Valverde, Periero etc. (check out my youtube channel for proof). Is your diet giving you all you need to succeed at your natural ability? mmm something to think about.

    If the vegan lifestyle was as bad as you say it is then how come I can pump out more watts per kg than you and hold it longer than you?

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Svard75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by MX283 View Post
    durianrider,

    I am just as lean as you and way more muscular and I eat high fat, high protein, and low carb. I also eat tons of fresh local veggies and a small amount of fruit. I don't ride my bike more than once or twice a week and I lift weights once or twice a week. My diet keeps me lean and strong without the roller coaster insulin ride of a high carb diet. I eat tons of fat and I don't wear any of it.

    You and your girlfriend look like typical super skinny vegan cyclists, congratulations. You both look like you don't eat enough.

    Don't confuse being skinny or slim with being healthy. There is a big difference. Being slim with relatively little lean muscle mass and poor fitness is commonly referred to as being "skinny fat." People such as yourself who are naturally slim can often eat poorly and exercise very little without becoming obviously obese. However they are no healthier than someone with the same diet and level of fitness who packs on the pounds more easily.

    I was going to ignore your post but because you tried to totally hijack the thread I decided to respond, which was probably pointless.
    I would like to comment on your high fat high protein no carb diet. What kind of fats are you talking about here? Bacon and eggs fat or omega fatty acids fat? How old are you and have you ever had your cholesterol levels checked? I've seen a few of my friends eat similarly and maintain a very lean profile but in their later years 40+ they faced high cholesterol problems.

    the fact is not all bodies process foods the same. Vegans must eat alternatives to meat for their protein intake. Legumes and many vegetables contain protien. My parents have not been vegans their entire lives but now they are. At 70 and 71 they never felt better. They could probably run circles around 99% of americans at that age. On the other side of things my neighbor is 74 and has been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 at the age of 35. He changed his lifestyle to include outdoor activities of all types and cut out smoking and booze. His doctor tells him his diabetes is pretty much gone. Hes a very thin but strong guy and his diet is meat and potatoes type.

    My point here is the same as before. Have yourselves diagnosed by a naturopath to determine food types your unique body requires. They will take a complete bloodwork and determine what's best for you.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    29
    Svard75,

    I eat low carb, not no carb. I get my carbs from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes. My goal is not to put my body in a state of ketosis but rather to maximize my health and performance. Through trial and error I found that I benefit tremendously from reducing my carb intake.

    I'm 29 years old, 6' 1" and 175 lbs (very lean). My blood work is perfect as I have it checked every 6 months.

    I'm surrounded by farms so most of my food is fresh and local. Most of the meat I eat was raised on my friends farm (the beef is 100% grassfed) or it was wild and I shot it myself. The only oils I use are coconut and olive, or butter from pastured cows.

    Hey Durianrider,

    I was watching the TDF today and I didn't see your name but I did see all of your training partners, why?!?!?!?!

    I never said I was faster than you on a bicycle. I ride for fun, that's it. What I did say is that you are scary skinny. I'm skinny and you weigh 30lbs less than me at the same height. Guys in the TDF at 6' 1" aren't even as skinny as you are. I think your body is cannibalizing itself due to a lack of protein, but that's just my opinion and I'm not an MD. I'm glad your diet works so well for you. Maybe next year I will see you in the TDF?

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    201
    Wiggins is just over 6'2 and weighs 167 lbs. (1)
    Froome is 6'1 and weighs 158lbs (2)
    Van Garderen is 6'1 and weighs 158 lbs. (7)

  41. #41
    Save Jesus
    Reputation: beanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,731
    I would just like to point out that societies around the world have thrived on widely varying macronutrient compositions.

  42. #42
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,104
    Quote Originally Posted by djonesax View Post
    I am 220lbs (Fat), and I ride 3 days a week from 1 to 2 hours and have been since early in the year. The weight doesn't seem to be coming off despite high intensity work outs.

    I have always had good success with low carbing at less than 90g per day when working out. I want to do it again since it has worked for me but I dont want to sacrifice my workouts due to weak legs. I wasnt cycling when I was low carbing years ago and I understand now that carbs are what we need for endurance. I know its not a life style change but I feel confident that once the weight is off, my riding will keep it off.

    So can I adapt a low carb diet to MTB by adding carbs at the right times before riding? If I am going to ride hard for 2 hours at 6PM, at what schedule should I add the carbs so they are ready for my body to use?

    Thanks,

    David
    Just read through all of this and in my medical opinion, we should address the OP.

    OP is not asking if s/he can be a vegan, lingerie model, TDF, body-building, paleolithic, international STUD. Rather whether it is safe to use a low carb intake while cycling as a means to lose weight. ANSWER - YES

    A low carb diet, not limited in fat or protein can be used in conjunction with serious physical activity as a way to lose weight safely. FACT

    Think in basic terms about what you are made of? Strands of organised protein with molecules of fat and mineral attached. Controlled by nuclei, energy runs cellular processes. Cells could care less where it comes from, just whether they have it. Cells either prosper or apoptose - that means that when they detect failure, they mark themselves for death. Think about this simple alternative when you start thinking in terms like oxidative stress, intolerance and discussing the benefits of one diet over another. Short of being in a nuclear reactor, if a cell has access to energy it will generally be fine.

    What the OP wants is, through the amazing process of cellular activity to move his gut to his biceps and pecs and it can be done! However, if you are going to do a low carb diet, either do it or don't. You either carb deprive your body and force it to burn fat ala Atkins, or kid yourself you are on a low carb diet.

    The best diet is a high protein, high nutrient, low energy version of what your predecessors ate. Eat good food when you need it, but if you want to lose weight, high protein, low carb, real food will keep you healthy and fit while you lose weight. Low calorie diets (dare I list vegetarian and vegan) produce pale, wraith-like, city cyclists who have too little energy to move out of the way of feral hybrid cars. If you want to eat and lose weight and exercise, then spit the pig, cut the salad veges and use the leftovers for tomorrow's breakfast omelette.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,433
    djonesax, I think you're fine with low carbs. Your body will let you know on the trail if it needs more energy (just bring a clif bar). For rides only an hour or two, post ride nutrition is probably just as important. Eat oatmeal after the ride, not before.

    The other thing that will help is if you vary your rides. Your body is extremely adaptive so don't just do the same 2 hour ride every time. One day you could do 3 - 20 minute sprints. The next day you could push yourself endurance wise with a 3+ hour ride. The next day, you could do burpees and v-ups every 10 minutes of riding.

    ^^^ That has helped my fitness and endurance level tremendously and has made me a much stronger rider.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,433
    My general recommendation for someone who is working out and looking to improve body composition would be:

    Eat more protein, more fiber, less carbs. Make sure it's lean protein (turkey, fish, instead of cheeseburgers). Eat more vegetables. Eat smaller meals and healthy snacks (especially snacks likes broccoli). Keep an eye on sodium if you have high blood pressure.

    That's sort of similar to the South Beach Diet and P90X nutrition plan.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 41ants's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    623
    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    You only bonk if your intensity is too high for fat burning alone (may not be 100% scientifically accurate but you get the idea). In the past I've done a lot of 3 hour road rides where I didn't eat or drink anything other than water, with no energy issues, as long as the intensity was fairly low (LSD pace).
    On point with that statement. Mountain biking isn't necessarily the best thing for pure fat burning as its easy to get the intensity too high and end up burning muscle. The key is low intensity and long duration to burn fat.

    Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2

  46. #46
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,104
    No sorry but that's ******** R428. High intensity and low carb is safe. High intensity, low protein and fat is dangerous. Plus, I really doubt the OP is trying become Usain Bolt in 2 weeks.

    Those who believe high carb is safe and healthy are 1. persons and companies making a profit from selling processed crap or inaccurate medical advice/products 2. vegetarians, vegans, the nutritionally and morally challenged and those otherwise intolerant of life 3. Bacteria

    If you want to flourish as a human being, then eat fresh, natural and naturally-processed food (pickled, fermented, dried, salted, stored in fat, blended etc). Eat the sort of food your great grandparents ate, not that of some culture that happens to be healthy eating their own historic food. If you ain't Japanese, then maybe Japanese food is not the best food for you. No question it is better than the food most western world, market driven, advertising driven experts choose, but.

    And don't lie about yourself and what you are eating. If you look in the mirror and see a fat (and I mean overweight, not morbidly obese) or weak person, then what you are doing is wrong. Don't say it is healthy, start again with an open mind. That is unless you are in group 2. above. Darwin put you here to make room for the rest of us (not vegetarians I guess, they're just a little left of centre and hey wouldn't we all like to have a stand?).

  47. #47
    JRA
    Reputation: BigRuckus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    240
    To the OP:

    You have gotten many suggestions of different approaches to eating styles that have appeared to work well for the folks that are touting them. I say good for them; they found something that keeps them fit, makes them feel well, and helps perform on the bike. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    I say take some of these ideas and try them out—find out what works best for you—and then keep at it!

    My bit of personal advice is glycogen management. Don’t knock it until you had a ride ruining bonk. I found out the hard way on a low carb plan. Riding back-to-back days after 2-3 hour rides, and not eating enough carbs to replenishing muscle and liver glycogen, makes for an awful ride. I continue with the low-carb plan now, except for riding days. But that’s me. Find out what works for you.
    --If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    29
    It's amazing how these types of discussions always have 10 different people with 10 different opinions stated as absolute fact.

    I wanted to jump start losing some weight. I cut out as much carbs as I could as well as suger. Including the fruits and vegatables that contain a lot of suger. I've added in more fat.

    Lost 15 pounds in a month with no real exercise, but I would never say "You are all wrong, my way is how you should do it".

    Now I am starting to work out and am about to buy my first mountain bike (or any bike) in a very long time. So, this thread is very interesting and helpful.

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pattongb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    739
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    No sorry but that's ******** R428. High intensity and low carb is safe. High intensity, low protein and fat is dangerous. Plus, I really doubt the OP is trying become Usain Bolt in 2 weeks.

    Those who believe high carb is safe and healthy are 1. persons and companies making a profit from selling processed crap or inaccurate medical advice/products 2. vegetarians, vegans, the nutritionally and morally challenged and those otherwise intolerant of life 3. Bacteria

    If you want to flourish as a human being, then eat fresh, natural and naturally-processed food (pickled, fermented, dried, salted, stored in fat, blended etc). Eat the sort of food your great grandparents ate, not that of some culture that happens to be healthy eating their own historic food. If you ain't Japanese, then maybe Japanese food is not the best food for you. No question it is better than the food most western world, market driven, advertising driven experts choose, but.

    And don't lie about yourself and what you are eating. If you look in the mirror and see a fat (and I mean overweight, not morbidly obese) or weak person, then what you are doing is wrong. Don't say it is healthy, start again with an open mind. That is unless you are in group 2. above. Darwin put you here to make room for the rest of us (not vegetarians I guess, they're just a little left of centre and hey wouldn't we all like to have a stand?).
    ^^^ What he said...
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,129
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRuckus View Post
    To the OP:

    You have gotten many suggestions of different approaches to eating styles that have appeared to work well for the folks that are touting them. I say good for them; they found something that keeps them fit, makes them feel well, and helps perform on the bike. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    I say take some of these ideas and try them out—find out what works best for you—and then keep at it!

    My bit of personal advice is glycogen management. Don’t knock it until you had a ride ruining bonk. I found out the hard way on a low carb plan. Riding back-to-back days after 2-3 hour rides, and not eating enough carbs to replenishing muscle and liver glycogen, makes for an awful ride. I continue with the low-carb plan now, except for riding days. But that’s me. Find out what works for you.
    My experiance also. I have spent a couple of years Paleo with different levels of carbs. For long and or hard rides I have settled on between 1.5-2.5 grams carbs per lb body wt. If I want to lay down power and not prolong recovery, this is what I need. Lower carb can be used for easy rides. In the past I have gone hard on lower carb causing me to run out of juice and prolong recovery.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •