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I have read a few posts on here about being overweight and bicycling for heatlth and wanted to throw my personal story in and get your opinions.

Right now Ride casual, through the woods and a mile down the road when i ride. I am a plus size fellow, weighing in at 270lb. For me , all my weight is basically in my gut and seems hard to lose.

What makes things a little harder for me , I am a city transit bus driver. My regular work day consists of no exercise other than my 10 to 15 min walks through town or in the mall on my down time.

So far , i have gotten over the sore rear-end and am ready for some longer rides. The riding i have been doing lately has done good to get me started. My calf muscles are rock solid, and I can pedal the whole time i am out with out stopping from fatugue. So I think i am ready to take a nice long ride, maybe 5 or 10 miles. But i have a few questions.

A fellow at work suggested I have a protein shake after my rides. He said it will help regerate my muscles after the ride and also help to curb my appetite. Are there any suggestions on this topic?

And also, for the exercise , what type to riding would best benefit me. I am thinking a nice long ride with moderate hills and with some distance. Until I really get my skills mastered , I am going to stick to the nicer trails and roads. I practice the spinning technique, keeping my rotations between 60 and 90 rpms and working the shifters to keep this cadience.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated to plan my longer rides.

Thankyou
John
 

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spin... spin.. spin
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John,
sounds like you are off to a great start. you mentioned cadence and you are right on, that is the answer not only will this make you a better cyclist but you will be able to cycle longer thus go farther and burn more calories.
i do not know much about fitness... but i am sure folks will help you.
i wanted to encourage you, it is hard to stick with things when they are difficult and you are great for doing it.
happy cycling and keep us posted on how it goes.
best wishes,
Alison
 

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You're on the right track. Things to keep in mind:

Hydration. You'll need to replace lost fluids during and after a ride. Drink water before too. Your body can't burn fat well without being properly hydrated.

Cadence. High RPMs mean cardio, which burns fat. Keep your heart rate elevated for at least twenty minutes.

Recovery. Not sure that a protein shake is necessary after a short ride, but that's certainly better than carbs or fat. And remember that your metabolism is increased with exercise, and stays that way for a short period after.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, although I like to play doctor with my wife. You should probably see about a checkup/physical before undertaking an exercise regimen, especially if you drink, smoke, or have a history of heart disease. If you drink fine scotch and smoke cigars, stop by my place on a Friday night. Bring steaks. And bacon.
 

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Be cautious when adding supplements to your diet. Anything consumed that your body does not need gets broken down and stored as fat.. this goes for carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Protein is also the last thing your body uses as an energy source. That being said, I would advise against adding a protein shake to your diet at this point. Shakes are generally used for supplementation when the levels of protein in your diet do not adequately meet the needs of your body.

As you are just starting out, the best advice I can give is moderation. Do not try to do too much, too quick. Yes, you will be sore. Sore is good as long as it does not turn into chronic pain. A good alternative for post-exercise nutrition is a simple, whole foods-based salad. Choose dark, leafy greens and a variety of brightly colored vegetables that you prefer. Beans (cannellini are a good choice) added to the salad are an excellent source of dietary protein. If you prefer meat aim for lean chicken, preferably grilled. If you have a broader palate you could even go with salmon, tofu, or dry tuna. Watch out when choosing a dressing as many can leave you better off choosing a Baconator than a salad!

Like Hack, I am not a doctor. Getting checked out by one wouldn't hurt, especially if you are in one of the higher-risk populations. As the others here have already mentioned, you're off to a great start. Just don't overdo it, and don't give up! Stay hydrated, be safe, and most of all- enjoy the ride!
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. My advice is to just get out there and ride. Get out there and start spinning and just let your mind go. Make your rides an activity, not a workout. You will enjoy it more and stick with it more. Get an MP3 player and play your favorite music. If you pedal throughout the length of one album that should put you at about 7 miles.

The protein shake is up to you but my guess is that the shake is more calories than you're burning. The body has it's own way of recovering.
 

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I started out much the same way. I rediscovered bicycling about 3 years ago, weighing 285 pounds. Started out riding 5 miles at a time a few days a week. Then I worked in 8 miles, which sucked the first time, mainly because I wasn't well-hydrated and I wasn't used to the seat. Then I slowly added mileage to my trips. I now do about two 30-mile trips a month, with my longest ride being 35 miles. For some reason I've never broken the 35-mile plateau, but I know it takes effort just to find the right roads. My goal is to do a century ride.

I've never gotten into the protein shakes, although I did try one at a bike show one time.

I've always ridden at a good cadence (75 RPM+), even before I knew that was the right way. What's the point in slugging along in the highest gear possible?

I believe the key really is hydration. I carry two water bottles when I ride. If I know there's a park up the road, or a store, and I'm 10 miles or so between topping off my water bottles, I always stop and top off. I'd rather top off with one full bottle still remaining than to run out of water. I've learned to carry some sort of snack if going to a ride longer than, say, 15-20 miles. Usually a granola bar or some kind of unsalted peanuts do the trick.

One thing I've been doing recently, and this has helped me tremendously, is to spend the last 10 minutes of the ride in a cool down mode. For me, this is riding in no higher than second gear from the top of the hill down to my neighborhood, and a complete lap around my neighborhood. A lighter-paced, slower cadence ride in second gear. Takes me right at 10 minutes. This prevents me from getting light-headed later in the day when standing up due to a sudden decrease in heart rate after exercise.

Good luck and happy riding!
 

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Everyone's system is just a bit different. I found that if I drink it right after the ride, a protein drink helps prevent soreness and seems to aid me in recovery. Any more than say 30 mins to an hour later and its not nearly as much help. Has to be for me right after I get off the bike.

Another thing I found is that if I take a gel about every 20 to 30 minutes of riding, I can ride a great deal longer. Every half hour or so I like to actually stop a couple of minutes and get off the bike and walk for a second. Seems to help me, but your mileage may vary.
 

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Its definitely part of it Hack. It's about 200 cals. What I find, and correct me if sometime is wrong is that most calorie calculators seem to think that cycling burns around 1000 cals an hour. If I bonk in 40 mins without the gel vs 2 hours with them every 30 mins, I am on the plus side.

The body has to convert fat to glycogen I think its is, and that takes time. IF I use too much of it too fast, I am done. When I try to ride by burning fat alone, my body can not keep up with the glycogen needs. I bonk and bonk badly. By adding some with the gel, I don't totally bonk and hopefully my body can burn more fat by moving longer.

Still with sports drinks and gels, its not hard for the calories in to equal calories burned and that's not going be an asset trying to lose weight.

Welcome input other ideas and input though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well i took that long ride today. I never ran out of trails, I just kept riding. I did figure out , however, how much my skills need to improve.

Also , the hydration, i found was a big thing. It only lasted about 50 mins , and i had to return home because i ran out of water. After i sat down for about 10 and had a drink , i was ready to go again , but thought it might be a good idea not to push it quite yet.

Just thought i would update. Thanks again guys
 

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Consider a hydration pack, if you need more than 24-48 ounces. Plus you can carry stuff. :)

My blood glucose was 63 yesterday, and I wasn't even out working hard.
 

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Consider a hydration pack, if you need more than 24-48 ounces. Plus you can carry stuff. :)
Good advice especially as we get into the summer months. As uncool as I'm sure I look, I wear a camelbak on all but my shortest rides. Even when I don't have the hydration bag in, it's great for throwing in several bottles of Low Cal Gatorade, wallet, banana's etc, and I'm good to go.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Don't wait untill you are thursty, that is too late get in the habit of drinking small amounts 2 to 4 oz s often. I like watter and when it gets hotter G2, G2 is lower in calories than some but has electrolites that you nead if you are sweeting a lot. I take one bottle of each and some times I just nead watter nothing else will do. I would never have thaught how much better I would feel since I started bikeing.I only started a fue years ago and evean my hart DR. can't belive how much better I am. I try to get in 10 to 20 miles a day with a 35 mile ride in once a week, I am 66 and was 250 now 229 but I feel I have shead fat # and got some mussle #.
Have Fun and ride that bike till the wheels fall off
 

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One tip I learned is that the hydration bladder if you put anything in it but water can have a problem with stuff growing on the inside. Well I store my bladder in the freezer and take it out about 30 minutes to an hour before I want to use it. It can thaw out enough so that its flexible and ready to fill. I put just about anything in mine. When I get back from the ride, just rinse some water through it and put it back in the freezer. Stays nice and clean.
 

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What does "protein shake" mean?
Sorry. I am a beginner.
It's a shake you make from water or milk blended with protein powder. It's supposed to help your muscles recover after a ride. You can buy the powder at the grocery store or GNC.
 
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