Weight loss strategies for cyclists Part 1

In the first series of articles on my new site and new company Positive Performance Coaching I am going to tackle topic I have wanted to cover for some time. The dreaded topic of weight loss!

There are a few of us cyclist, author included, who could stand to loose some weight before the spring cycling season returns. Some of us are old pros at the weight loss game and some of us are confused when it comes to figuring out the mysteries of loosing weight.

Guess what. I have the secret to weight loss and I am going to share it with you!

The secret to weight loss is: “Eat Less and Exercise More”. I said it was a secret I didn’t say it was easy or a miracle cure. This secret is the equivalent of the old strategy to winning races: “Don’t work in the peleton, stay in the first 3rd of the front, stay sharp and sprint your heart out in the last 100 meters”.

So it’s obvious that there is a lot more to winning races than the above tactics and the same can be said about weight loss. The folks I coach have full time jobs, family obligations and love food! What cyclist doesn’t? So instead of some overly complex strategy I am going to share with you in this series of articles what my plans are, the tactics I will use to meet my weight goals and how I plan on measuring for success.

This off-season I have set a simple goal. Loose 10-15 lbs. with out loosing muscle. I also need to loose it all by January 2011. Why the big rush you might ask? I need to loose the weight early in the off season so that I can focus my efforts on much higher intensity training just before 2011 racing season begins in March. So how does one loose that much weight before March? Very carefully.

Lets look at the facts of my fat loss predicament:

  • I need to drop 10-15 lbs. by the end of January
  • It is only safe to loose 1.5-2.0 lbs. of fat per week
  • So theoretically I could loose 16 lbs. safely

Before I cover my fat loss tactics those of you who know me may ask why do you want to drop weight. The answer is easy I want to be faster and a better climber. So I am trying to increase my power to weight ratio this off season in order to make this happen.

What is Power to weight ratio?

Power to weight ratio is Power in watts divided by body weight in kilos. This excellent chart at the Cozy Behive Blog is taken from a page in the book Training and Racing with a Power Meter, that shows some of the various levels of competitive cyclists in watts per kilogram.

Why is the Power to weight ratio important?

So if I am genetically not gifted or trained to produce vast amounts of power on the bike then I need to loose weight. Think of it like a high performance vehicle versus a big truck. What is going to get up a hill faster and accelerate faster? A heavy duty truck with a high horse power engine or the tiny sports car with an equally powerful engine? I think you are starting to see the light. The focus of the article is however on weight loss so I will save the dissertation on creating more power for another series.

So I have told you my goal and why its important and when I need to get it done. In my next article I will share with you the tips and tactics I have learned from fellow competitive cyclists, strength coaches and my own successful efforts.

Until then pass on the junk food and eat some fruit, veggies and some protein everyday!

Coach Rob

6 Comments on “Weight loss strategies for cyclists Part 1”

  1. Don’t we all wanna be a tiny sport car? It sure will be intersting that next série, meanwhile, looking foreward to the next article. Good work.

  2. Don’t we all wanna be a tiny sport car when going up a hill? It sure will be interesting that next série, meanwhile, looking foreward to the next article. Always nice to share something to make us ride better. Good work.

  3. I’m at mid-schedule for my training goals. I’ve went from 173 down to an average of 164, and onto my goal of 155. Weight control effort started in September. What worked for me was riding extended hours at low intensities (type 1 fibers only). My fat content predictably dropped during the period. I’m about 9-10% body content now.

    Nice website Rob! Keep up the great work!

  4. Thanks! I am going to cover body types in the next article. Should be very interesting to see what kind of comments I get on that one. Thanks for reading.

  5. That’s fantastic Eric. I know how much work went into that. It will pay huge dividends this spring not to mention all of the new found energy I am sure you have. Thanks for the comment!

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