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bounceswoosh
03-16-2005, 09:29 AM
Well, a few of the ladies around here recommended Nancy Clark's articles on nutrition, available at adventurecycling.org ...

The more I read, the more I wonder if I'm ever going to get this right.

My goals are to lose fat and to get stronger and faster with more endurance. Basically to be more fit. It seems like this should all work hand in hand and it should be easy to make everything work together.

Well, last year, I followed Covert Bailey's advice and went for low fat, ignoring calories. I worked out almost every day. At first, I felt great and had tons of energy. Toward the end of the summer, though, I was constantly sick and I felt exhausted all the time. I did lose weight (mostly regained since then), but the calipers never showed much of a bodyfat change. Granted, I'm not sure we were using the calipers consistently. I'll admit that my workouts tend to be of the lung-busting variety, not the aerobic workouts that Bailey recommends.

Now, reading Clark's articles, I wonder if maybe the low fat approach was hurting me. She says that athletes are healthier and more capable on 50-80g or more of fat a day; I'd been shooting for 40g or fewer. Maybe my low-fat approach was actually making me sick? But then, I'm not really an athlete; I don't have nearly the workouts that real athletes do.

I also wonder about other assumptions. Clark cites studies that seem to show that women don't lose fat through exercise. Reading even further, it seems like she thinks that women who want a lean, athletic body are going to find it phenomenally difficult to get there because their bodies want to be fat for pregnancy.

I'm getting really frustrated. I'm starting to think that women are just built to get screwed. My body is optimized for the one thing I don't want -- pregnancy.

Er, sorry. Getting back to the topic. So I emailed Clark and said, okay, if exercise can't help me lose fat, what can? She actually responded (yay!) and said that a caloric deficit is what I need. She says exercise maintains, but caloric deficit is what I need to actually lose fat.

It seems to me that maybe I can't have it all. It seems to me that eating fewer calories than your body needs while also working out strenuously can't be healthy; can it?

Is it unreasonable to try to lose fat at the same time as I am trying to get my muscles into shape? DH tells me that when he was a high school swimmer, they spent the entire first month of the season breaking down all their muscles, actually making themselves weaker, so that they could then build up their muscles from scratch. That doesn't seem like a healthy, balanced approach. Maybe it works for teenagers; I doubt it's something you'd want to do every year.

Maybe I'm making this too complicated, trying to rationalize my lack of willpower. I don't know. And I should probably be posing this question (or ramble) to a nutritionist. But I'm throwing it out there. I'm confused. I don't know what to do. I want to get rid of this flab, which can't be good for me, but I also want to be strong. Oh, and to make it even better, another Clark article shows that women tend to get so hungry after exercise that they eat as many calories as they've just burned! Well, yeah, I knew I was doing that. I guess it's reassuring to find out I'm not alone.

Grrr.

slinkedog
03-16-2005, 10:07 AM
So is this the point where we have the discussion about being fit (physically, not necessarily looks-wise) and accepting our bodies as they are? I have also struggled with fat in places where I don't want it, while being relatively fit. (I'm still working on getting there.) No matter how much weight I lose, I still have more fat than I want in certain places. I just have to accept that this is where my body wants to store fat, and, short of lipsuction, it probably ain't ever totally going away. (And I've heard even if you have lipo, as soon as you gain any weight back, guess where it goes??? ;))


I did the calorie deficit thing (smaller portions and less sweets) and it made a huge difference for me. I was not working out at the time when I lost most of my weight, though. Now I'm working out pretty hard, almost every day, and my weight is pretty much staying static. I'm trying to view cycling as my fun thing, not my weight-loss thing. Does all this rambling make any sense at all, even though I clearly have no real point? ;)

Jo-n-NY
03-16-2005, 10:08 AM
Hi Monique,
I feel like you have been reading my mind. Last week I ordered Nancy Clark's Cyclist Food Guide. I didn't order the other one which I felt was more general because I wanted to gear everything that I put in my mouth toward the exact cycling you want to achieve.

I will be honest and say I do not have a weight problem. Four years ago I wanted to loose that last 5 lbs and ended up loosing 12. I switched to walking on the treadmill to cycling wanting to participate in the Bike NY the 5 borough bike a thon. But I also followed the Weight Watchers eating plan to be a buddy support for my sister who did have a weight problem. The weight just melted away in months and I have kept it off.

Since then I try to get in cycling at least 4 times a week (trainer at this time of year) but I also want to do my first century. Needless to say I also want to build endurance and muscle. I feel the way to do that is to eat more protein to feed the muscles, carbs for energy. But where do you fit what foods in daily and when preparing for a ride and how much. I am hoping this book will tell me this. By what they said I should receive it maybe even today or by weeks end at the latest.

I know I am not offering the info that you probably wanted to know, but just thought I would share my info and maybe can offer you more in the future. I am not sure which Nancy Clark book you purchased.

By the sounds of other posts we many of us are thinking in the same direction. Maybe with others imput we can all put it all together and be headed in the shape we want to be in real soon. I also felt I was or am making too much of all this and confusing myself to no end. But I am sure I will have it figured out soon.

cruziegirl
03-16-2005, 10:30 AM
Well, I have to agree with the post that says at some point we have to accept the bodies we have and not torture ourselves too much trying to get someone else's. Now having said that I do understand trying to do some improvements. I didn't think I had more than a couple of pounds that I needed to lose but I decided to try and help my husband lose some weight and ended up losing about 10 myself. We followed the Weight Watcher's points system and I made our dinner's using their recipes. They're very yummy for the most part. I dropped my body fat from 28% down to 22%. I haven't seen Nancy Clarke's book but are we sure she isn't targeting the 20-something year-old women who have never been pregnant and can lose weight effortlessly? Maybe my point here (hopefully, I do have one) is eat healthfully, watch out for excesses anywhere, exercise regularly and enjoy your life. If you end up losing some weight or fat or both, great but don't make yourself miserable trying to do it. Mark Twain said, "If you can't make 70 by a comfortable road, don't go."

Jo-n-NY
03-16-2005, 10:54 AM
I completely agree with Cruziegirl. I am not sure if this got reflected in my original post, but, eating and bike riding is not necessarily to loose weight or keep the weight off, but more for fitness and being able to do the things that I enjoy easier. If choosing a different food or eating more of a type of food is going to make climbing that hill or riding a longer distance just a little easier I think that is a good thing. I am hoping that is what Nancy Clarks book might reflect and for all I know I am doing those things already. I will be happy to give an update once I get and read it.

Try to keep in mind that we all want our bodies to be the best they can be individually. Not to get off the subject but sort of an example. I had my first bone density test recently and it did not come back very good. So I am on fosomax along with the calcium pill I had been taking. Needless to say I am incorporating at least a glass of milk a day (never even realized it has a nice amount of protein in it) and maybe by some chance I can reverse the problem. And you know what, sometimes I just may want that piece of cake and cookies to have with that milk. ;)

alison_in_oh
03-16-2005, 11:34 AM
You might find this article by Chris Carmichael (aka Lance's coach) helpful, I already posted it in another thread:
http://www.roadcycling.com/news/article900.shtml

Except for when you first start out, you can't easily build strength while restricting calories, you kind of have to do one or the other.

That said, last year between April and August I dropped my body fat 3% while increasing my lean body mass 2 lbs. I lifted weights three times per week and rode four times per week. I ate a balanced pescetarian ("pesco-vegetarian") diet with plenty of veggies, a decent protein source and some fat at every meal, I got a wide variety of low-gi grains, and tried to stay away from trans fat and highly refined sugar. I'm concentrating now on ramping up for the coming season, and although I'm back eating meat (though for one or fewer meals per day) I'm sticking to the same basic regimen and feeling really good about it. It looks like Nancy Clark's advice is pretty well in line with my favorite nutritional guru, Andrew Weil (http://drweil.com/).

Adrien
03-17-2005, 12:52 PM
bounceswoosh, do you weight train at all? I found that building muscle helped me to get leaner and stronger and also helped me to burn more calories. I did the calorie deficit thing when I was losing weight a few years back, but once I started riding a lot and competing, I started getting dizzy and faint. My body NEEDED those calories. I was bottoming out too often.

It sounds like the low-fat method was not right for you. I don't think any one eating plan is going to work for everyone. Listen to your body and try to be moderate in your eating.

Now I just eat as much unprocessed food as I can, with lots of veggies, fruit, good fats and carbs. I don't eat much meat and I limit sugar. I don't eat any artificial sweetners. I've maintained my weight loss of nearly forty pounds for three years and try not to worry about a little extra fat.

trigurl
03-17-2005, 01:56 PM
I hear ya! I have limited my calories to 1800 this week and was eating 2000 last week and I KNOW it is less than what I had been eating and I have lost nada! I haven't had meat in 2 days, altho I did eat a couple of boiled eggs. I am eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, minimal sugar, my treat now and then is 2 kisses, 35 cals. each, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.

Now that said I lost 40 lbs doing Atkins! might be that I need more fat I don't know, I am eating some fat and not really counting the fat but staying away from the obvious unhealthy sources.

I have been training for a year now weights and all so I am pretty darn fit but still ahve this belly and back fat that I would like to lose, I just know it will help with my running. Maybe I need to cut back more I don't know but at 1800 I stay hungry a good bit of the day, to make matters worse I have low blood sugar and have to eat often or I feel bad. I have already eaten 1230 calories today and I feel ok now, but I have a hard spin session tonight so I will burn a good deal of those off. I don't know that I could eat less w/o feeling terrible, oops, my tummy just started grumbling!!!!

I just got some more books on training so hopefully they will have some eating advise!

Adrien
03-17-2005, 02:02 PM
How often do you work out? If you're really active, 1800 is not enough calories. You shouldn't have to spend most of the day feeling hungry! Your body might be in starvation mode - definitely up your calories and don't stress out too much. It sounds like you're doing everything right.

Defietz
03-17-2005, 02:29 PM
Monique,
This is the first time Ive visited this forum, and much to my surprise, you live in Longmont too!!!

Anyway, I think your missing the bigger picture here. I think you should be maybe thinking less about % of fat you consume and more about the types of workouts your doing.
You say that all of your w/o's are lung burners, and thats not good. It is very important to vary the intensity and duration of your workouts through out the week. What your husbands swim coach was doing is breaking down the muscle thru hard work, but then allowing REST, which is the key to improvement. The workout is only a part of the total package. If all of your workouts are the same intensity (hard in your case) the body never has time to fully repair and reap the benifits of those workouts.
You didnt mention if you are doing any weight training, and if not (which I suspect) you really should add that into your routine. Many reasons for that, first being that if your not building muscle while trying to lose weight, what you are losing IS muscle, not fat. Also, lean muscle burns calories just being muscle, and its preferred food is... FAT! Another benefit would be that stronger muscle requires stronger bones, so as long as you are getting enough calcium in your diet, you will be increasing your bone density.
Your body burns more FAT calories at lower aerobic intensity, but that doesnt mean you should keep all workouts at that level, because you will burn more overall calories at higher intensity, so the two go hand in hand.

After all that, you should also take a look at genetics....sometimes we are programmed to have bigger hips, or a little pooch. We can keep it from getting out of hand through diet and exercise, but we may not be able to ever erase it completely.

I would write down all your calories for about 3 days, and make sure that you are getting enough....I agree that sometimes we go too low in calories and that will shut your metabolizim down in a heartbeat.
I second the suggestion on Chris Carmichaels book...very good information.

Good Luck from a local!
Jayne

CorsairMac
03-17-2005, 02:41 PM
Just another thought: how are your clothes fitting? Muscle weighs more than fat so while the scales may not move, you may actually be losing fat.

LBTC
03-17-2005, 03:43 PM
I I had my first bone density test recently and it did not come back very good. So I am on fosomax along with the calcium pill I had been taking.

Jo, are you doing any high impact exercise or lifting weights? The bits i've read recently indicate that the latest studies show those types of exercise actually do more to increase bone density than calcium! It seems contradictory, but anything where you jar your body around apparently makes the bones stronger! :)
go figure

Namaste,
~T~

snowtulip
03-17-2005, 04:17 PM
Key things that worked for me:
Build muscle with strength training (more muscle=faster metabolism, and more fat burn)
Do not wait until you are so hungry to eat (starvation mode=body thinks your starving and will actually increase your fat storage), eating a little all day works for me.
Whole foods, once I made this switch I was full with smaller portions and eating much healthier
Accepting genetics, even though I am fit now, my percent body fat is high (fat will not remove itself from my thighs, no matter how hard I try)


Also loved all of Dr. Weil's books!

Adrien
03-17-2005, 04:37 PM
Also loved all of Dr. Weil's books!

Yes, yes, yes. His books are great. Definitely check them out!

LBTC
03-17-2005, 04:46 PM
Jayne and Snowtulip (and several others) have said it right:

-keep it simple
-eat good healthy food, enough for fuel
-eat right sized portions (not too big, big enough to satisfy)
-build muscle
-change your exercise frequently (short - medium high intensity intervals drop that extra layer of fat way faster on me than long medium-low intensity workouts....but I do both anyway)
-be satisfied with the quirks of your own body, but continue to work toward your own best you!

You *will* find that once you reach some magic level of fitness, that the weight will mostly stay off if you're reasonably in tune with your body (you don't have to be super careful), that your body will come back from shortish periods of overindulgence or inactivity and a faster rate, and that you'll feel better, your clothes will fit better, and you'll have a more positive attitude and more confidence than ever before.

This doesn't happen overnight. It takes building good habits to take place of the unhealthy ones, and time. But it does happen. I have never been as fit as I am now, and, because I somehow reached that magical level, it doesn't feel like work to stay here! I am careful, I must say, to make sure I do exercise that I find FUN and Interesting, otherwise I'd be too busy behind my camera to get the exercise in at all. :p

You'll do it! All of you! Yay us!!

Namaste,
~T~

Jo-n-NY
03-17-2005, 09:00 PM
Jo, are you doing any high impact exercise or lifting weights? The bits i've read recently indicate that the latest studies show those types of exercise actually do more to increase bone density than calcium! It seems contradictory, but anything where you jar your body around apparently makes the bones stronger! :)
go figure

Namaste,
~T~

Hi T,
I thought the exact same thing that is why it was a rude awakening for me. I have to admit that I was never a milk drinker and out of sheer laziness and thinking that I do ride my bike on a regular basis that my bone density would be fine. BTW bike riding in and out doors is my only exercise.

The book by Nancy Clark came in the mail today. I just had time to read the first few pages, but so far I think it is exactly what I was looking for. I am in complete agreement with what you mentioned to Snowtulip & Jayne. It does take time and as time goes by it is not so difficult to maintain. I also am in the best shape I have been in and feel the best (except for the bd problem) but because I am bringing my cycling up a notch this year, I figured I would fine tune what I have been doing as far as eating habits for increasing endurance. It never hurts to expand knowledge.

I also would like to add that I do not believe in deprivation. As far as those wonderful goodies go (like the St Pat's green and white cookie I had tonight, with milk of course :rolleyes: ) everything in moderation!

LBTC
03-17-2005, 09:09 PM
Hi, Jo!

My doctor told me biking, even mountain biking, isn't really enough jarring to increase bone density. weight lifting works. running works (but I hate running) and judging from the way we jump and kick and punch, I'm guessing kickboxing works too. I don't do well with milk products. but I do take calcium every night and extra when my muscles are sore - it's a muscle relaxant.

Namaste,
~T~

bounceswoosh
03-17-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks for all the support and input, everyone! I've been at home sick with some sort of nasty cold for the last few days, but I'll try to pull together my few functioning brain cells and address some of your posts ...


Well, I have to agree with the post that says at some point we have to accept the bodies we have and not torture ourselves too much trying to get someone else's.

Yes, to an extent, but as far as I can tell, since midway through college I haven't been below 28% bodyfat. That simply can't be healthy, and I don't think it's helping me with the many activities I enjoy.


I dropped my body fat from 28% down to 22%. I haven't seen Nancy Clarke's book but are we sure she isn't targeting the 20-something year-old women who have never been pregnant and can lose weight effortlessly? Maybe my point here (hopefully, I do have one) is eat healthfully, watch out for excesses anywhere, exercise regularly and enjoy your life. If you end up losing some weight or fat or both, great but don't make yourself miserable trying to do it. Mark Twain said, "If you can't make 70 by a comfortable road, don't go."

Awesome on the weight loss! Unfortunately, I *am* the 20-something who's never been pregnant, and I can't lose weight effortlessly. I would like to not make myself miserable, but it's hard. It's really hard. I want to see less fat on my body and I want to have a more, well, functional body. Functional for what I do, which is mountain biking, martial arts, skiing, ice hockey ... everything I do would benefit from having less useless weight.


You might find this article by Chris Carmichael (aka Lance's coach) helpful, I already posted it in another thread:
http://www.roadcycling.com/news/article900.shtml

Except for when you first start out, you can't easily build strength while restricting calories, you kind of have to do one or the other.

I did find this article interesting. On some level it makes sense that you can't deprive your body of fuel and still expect to perform well. This article (actually, this whole discussion) prompted a discussion with a fitness-conscious friend of mine. He said that you can work out, and you can watch what you eat, but in his experience you'll never lose fat unless that's your goal. That may not hold true for everyone, but I suspect it may for me. Now I just have to understand how to properly implement the steps to that goal.


bounceswoosh, do you weight train at all? I found that building muscle helped me to get leaner and stronger and also helped me to burn more calories. I did the calorie deficit thing when I was losing weight a few years back, but once I started riding a lot and competing, I started getting dizzy and faint. My body NEEDED those calories. I was bottoming out too often.

*sigh* no, I don't. I find it really hard to make time to do so, and I much prefer freeweights. Machines annoy me. It's hard to find people who lift similar amounts (read: women) and also like freeweights. I'm hoping to build a mini-gym in my basement so that I can easily do some reps when the mood strikes, rather than having to drive to the gym.

Your point about the calorie deficit thing is why I thought lowfat would work; I'd still get the calories I needed, I thought. But I guess I needed more fat, too. I think that avoiding saturated fats is probably still a good idea, which sucks because I adore cheese =P


Monique,
This is the first time Ive visited this forum, and much to my surprise, you live in Longmont too!!!

Hey, neat! Are you a roadie or a mtber?


Anyway, I think your missing the bigger picture here. I think you should be maybe thinking less about % of fat you consume and more about the types of workouts your doing.

This may very well be true. My problem is that I can open up three different books/articles about nutrition and exercise, and each will say something totally different. I don't know who to believe. In college weight training class, we were taught that more than 12-15 reps of any weight exercise was pointless, and that it was better to do enough weight to work yourself to exhaustion in 2-3 sets of 12. Now I'm being told that lots of reps of low weight actually build as much strength, just with more endurance and stronger! Arggggh!


You say that all of your w/o's are lung burners, and thats not good. It is very important to vary the intensity and duration of your workouts through out the week. What your husbands swim coach was doing is breaking down the muscle thru hard work, but then allowing REST, which is the key to improvement. The workout is only a part of the total package. If all of your workouts are the same intensity (hard in your case) the body never has time to fully repair and reap the benifits of those workouts.

It's not that I'm doing these extremely rough exercises as part of a fat loss plan; it's just what I enjoy =/ When I go to a martial arts class, for example, it's completely impossible for me to take it easy. A switch flips in my head and I have to work till I puke, no giving up. On a mountain bike, well, I can be going pretty slowly up a hill and still be panting like a dog on a choke collar.

For the record, rest was never really part of my husband's swim M.O., at least to hear him tell it. They worked out to exhaustion every day. But they were teenagers; I'm pretty convinced that has nothing to do with how I should be training. Also, the coach may have been varying their workout to allow for rest, but not explaining it to the kids.


After all that, you should also take a look at genetics....sometimes we are programmed to have bigger hips, or a little pooch. We can keep it from getting out of hand through diet and exercise, but we may not be able to ever erase it completely.

I would write down all your calories for about 3 days, and make sure that you are getting enough....I agree that sometimes we go too low in calories and that will shut your metabolizim down in a heartbeat.
I second the suggestion on Chris Carmichaels book...very good information.

Good Luck from a local!
Jayne

Thanks, Jayne. I just got off of Depo (I'm on a pill form now), and I suspect that Depo may have artificially raised the level of body fat my body wanted me to have. I won't know for another few months, though. Regardless, bodyfat measuring between 28-32% just isn't healthy, and hey, it doesn't look good, either!

I did the whole nutrition-tracking thing last year and I am 100% confident that I am not undereating. I may do it again, though, just because I snack less when I know I have to write it down.


Just another thought: how are your clothes fitting? Muscle weighs more than fat so while the scales may not move, you may actually be losing fat.

Nice thought, but if my clothes were getting looser, I wouldn't be worried. I take the scales with a huge grain of salt. Actually, I take that back in part; I can see my body "firming up" a bit since returning to martial arts in December. It takes far fewer hours of martial arts to see the results I saw in bazillions of mountain biking hours. DH's theory is that I am afraid to push myself to the brink on a mountain bike (I'm afraid of falling and hurting myself), whereas I have years of experience in martial arts and have no such fear.



This doesn't happen overnight. It takes building good habits to take place of the unhealthy ones, and time. But it does happen. I have never been as fit as I am now, and, because I somehow reached that magical level, it doesn't feel like work to stay here!

That's very cool. My problem has been that I thought I *was* building good habits last year (eating low fat), and it turns out I may have been shooting myself in the foot; not just regarding my own body composition, but my health as well! A series of illnesses and a busted wrist kept me away from workouts long enough to lose a lot of what I'd worked toward; then I had an extremely stressful visit to Germany to see my elderly grandmother, during which time (long story) I really couldn't do anything but eat. After all of that, well, I'm not quite at rock bottom thanks to rediscovering martial arts at the beginning of this year, but it's not pretty. I'm so afraid to choose the wrong fitness approach that I'm not doing anything right at all!

All of that being said, I think there is one thing I can do that can't be wrong: adjust portion sizes. Even if I eat more meals as a result, my stomach will shrink and I won't be able to do as much damage when I pig out.

bounceswoosh
03-17-2005, 09:56 PM
Hi, Jo!

My doctor told me biking, even mountain biking, isn't really enough jarring to increase bone density. weight lifting works. running works (but I hate running) and judging from the way we jump and kick and punch, I'm guessing kickboxing works too. I don't do well with milk products. but I do take calcium every night and extra when my muscles are sore - it's a muscle relaxant.

Namaste,
~T~

There was an article floating around last year about this. Ah, I knew my packrat tendencies would be useful eventually: It's an article in the March 2004 issue of Bicycling called "Why you need to bone up," by Roy M. Wallack. Studies suggest that those whose only exercise is bicycling -- even mountain biking -- are at a far greater risk of osteoporosis than those whose exercise has more impact.

I hate running too. What about jump roping, though? I haven't done it for a while, but I just unearthed a jump rope while going through some old boxes. My old TKD coach included it on his list of daily activities for competitors, so I'm thinking it's a good workout!

LBTC
03-17-2005, 10:04 PM
I'm hoping to build a mini-gym in my basement so that I can easily do some reps when the mood strikes, rather than having to drive to the gym.

Do it!! Start buying dumbells. And an exercise ball, maybe. And/or a wobble board. And don't hide it in the basement. Mine is in the living room. A set of cast weights of 5-8-10-12-15-20-25-30. I'd still like to get a medicine ball, and a bosuball (you're right, I don't have room in my living room for all of that). As for what reps to do the basic thought is: lots of reps is for endurance, medium reps and medium reps are for strength, low reps and high weight is for power. It seems that after all the research they've done, any approach really works. Even one set of reps will make a difference to strengthen bones and muscle. More just does more. Unless you're using HUGE weights, I don't think you're going to do any damage. oh, and as a side-note - it's important to push as much weight when you do tricep exercises and when you do biceps. they are 1:1 balanced, or should be. :)


All of that being said, I think there is one thing I can do that can't be wrong: adjust portion sizes. Even if I eat more meals as a result, my stomach will shrink and I won't be able to do as much damage when I pig out.

Do it!! that is one habit you won't regret!! Try to reign it in to small portions every time. If you're worried after a workout that you'll eat too much, drink a tall glass of water, or even of a very light juice before you start eating. You'll feel full and won't eat as much.

Lastly, I really see the muscles I have, especially on my back and arms, once I'm riding a lot. Lots of intervals, lots of cardio, some long, some short, etc....that's the only time my tummy gets flat too. :D

You'll get there!! you really will!!

I'm sorry you were sick. I was out with strep throat last week. I'm almost back to normal now, and back to kickboxing, so my butt and thighs are super sore today. YAY! I'm still not going full tilt, but I know what you mean about the switch in your brain. I can take it easy in the warm up, (walk, don't run....half jumping jacks, etc), but once we're kicking and punching I don't know how to go halfway!!

You'll get there with Mountain Biking! Have you had many serious crashes? The more times you crash without serious consequences, the less you'll be afraid of them!! Do you ride with riders who are better than you? I try to keep up with the guys. It has forced me to be faster, which has translated into stronger and in better shape and less fat. Do you have enough sustenance with you when you ride to go all out? Mountain biking isn't like an hour session of anything else....I can't do with just water on anything more than about an hour (and mid-season rides average 3 hours!), so I have water in one bag and watered down gatorade or red bull or monster or whatever in another bag.

Keep trying, but don't forget to rest and get completely well before you push too hard!!

You can do it!!

Namaste,
~T~

LBTC
03-17-2005, 10:06 PM
What about jump roping, though?

wow! if you can do that for long enough to strengthen your bones, you're way more coordinated than I!! When we did that in class last time I kept getting the rope stuck *between* my toes! :eek: But, yes, I think it would pass the impact test. Go jump rope!!

Lifting weights works too. And nothing builds muscle faster...I think. :o

Namaste,
~T~

bounceswoosh
03-17-2005, 10:37 PM
Do it!! Start buying dumbells. And an exercise ball, maybe. And/or a wobble board. And don't hide it in the basement. Mine is in the living room. A set of cast weights of 5-8-10-12-15-20-25-30. I'd still like to get a medicine ball, and a bosuball (you're right, I don't have room in my living room for all of that). As for what reps to do the basic thought is: lots of reps is for endurance, medium reps and medium reps are for strength, low reps and high weight is for power. It seems that after all the research they've done, any approach really works. Even one set of reps will make a difference to strengthen bones and muscle. More just does more. Unless you're using HUGE weights, I don't think you're going to do any damage. oh, and as a side-note - it's important to push as much weight when you do tricep exercises and when you do biceps. they are 1:1 balanced, or should be. :)

I keep trying to litter the living room with sports equipment, but DH doesn't like it. And honestly, I agree with him. The basement isn't a bad place to work out; I brought some old computer speakers down there, so I can plug in my iPod and listen to my music while I'm doing stuff. Right now I have a carpet remnant with a stand-alone 6' punching bag. I'm looking into replacing the carpet with a nice mat, but that will be around $400 ... yikes! Money is tight right now.

I got some dumbbells for free, but they weren't quite what I hoped for. I have an exercise ball and would like to do bench presses (two dumbbells rather than a single bar) using the exercise ball as the bench, which a PT showed me and I really enjoyed. I figure bench press is closest to doing pushups. Martial arts classes love pushups, and I have enormous trouble with them.

Do you have any recommendations as to where and what to buy as a dumbbell set? I know that I would like to do bench press and military press; beyond that I hadn't really thought about it. I like using dumbbells instead of the bar because both sides get a good workout and all the stabilizing muscles get involved. I'm pretty sure I'd start out using two 12-lb dumbbells for bench press; probably less for military.


I'm sorry you were sick. I was out with strep throat last week. I'm almost back to normal now, and back to kickboxing, so my butt and thighs are super sore today. YAY! I'm still not going full tilt, but I know what you mean about the switch in your brain. I can take it easy in the warm up, (walk, don't run....half jumping jacks, etc), but once we're kicking and punching I don't know how to go halfway!!

You'll get there with Mountain Biking! Have you had many serious crashes? The more times you crash without serious consequences, the less you'll be afraid of them!! Do you ride with riders who are better than you? I try to keep up with the guys. It has forced me to be faster, which has translated into stronger and in better shape and less fat. Do you have enough sustenance with you when you ride to go all out? Mountain biking isn't like an hour session of anything else....I can't do with just water on anything more than about an hour (and mid-season rides average 3 hours!), so I have water in one bag and watered down gatorade or red bull or monster or whatever in another bag.

Keep trying, but don't forget to rest and get completely well before you push too hard!!

You can do it!!

Namaste,
~T~

Thanks for all of your encouragement!

Part of the reason I have trouble going easy in a martial arts workout is because of my rank. Even though I took a long hiatus and am way out of shape, I do hold a second degree black belt in TKD, meaning I outrank even my instructor right now! It's hard for me to take it easy when I feel that I need to set an example. Anyway, I missed today's class, so I won't have one till Monday, by which time I should hopefully feel better. There's an ice hockey game tomorrow, but I'll probably skip it and work on some little things at my own pace this weekend. Strep is much worse than what I'm dealing with! Strep is evil! I just have the cold from h*ll.

As for mountain biking, I have never had a really serious accident; plenty of blood and bruising, but nothing dangerous. I had some false starts with clipless pedals, though, before I got comfortable with them at all. I got my bike in July of 2003 and rode it a little that year; last year I rode a lot and got much better, but I still consider myself to be a newbie. Everybody I ever ride with is better and faster than I am, so that's not a concern =P I've definitely found that if I wait until I get hungry to eat on the trail, I've waited too long. The big problem is hydration; it never seems to be the right time to take a sip, even though I have a camelbak. I'm still very much addicted to having both hands on the bars as much as possible. All in due time, I suppose.

bounceswoosh
03-17-2005, 10:42 PM
wow! if you can do that for long enough to strengthen your bones, you're way more coordinated than I!! When we did that in class last time I kept getting the rope stuck *between* my toes! :eek: But, yes, I think it would pass the impact test. Go jump rope!!

Lifting weights works too. And nothing builds muscle faster...I think. :o

Namaste,
~T~

I don't know how long it takes to strengthen your bones, but I figure anything is better than nothing! As I recall, the old training schedule was several intervals of 2 minutes each, each time jumping as fast as you could. If you have toe issues, I give you permission to do it with shoes =P

Hrm, actually, there are tons of jumping exercises that don't involve rope and provide lots of impact. There's hopping on the ball of one foot (50 on each side for starters). There's jumping sideways over an obstacle (we used to use kicking targets of varying sizes, but I suppose cardboard boxes would be just fine). Sideways meaning that you're not facing the direction in which you're jumping. Or forward and backward over a box. All of these will help your speed and jumping ability, too.

Hey, do you weight train your legs at home? If so, how?

LBTC
03-17-2005, 10:52 PM
I wish I could show you half the exercises I do with weights (when I do weights). I don't have a bench - I use the ball whenever I feel I need a bench. half the time I do things standing on one leg, though, just for the extra challenge. heehee.

pushups. do them. they are so incredibly strengthening!! do them!! do pyramids - one pushup, one crunch, two pushups, two crunches...until you can get to 10. the best way to strengthen your upper body fast is pushups. that said, yeah, free weights, military press, and bench will be good. excellent part about using the ball is that you can do incline flat or decline. very cool.

where to get weights? well, I got most of ours at Canadian Tire. Our american friends say there isn't a store like that in the states. they don't need to be amazing, but the cast hexagon ones are very convenient to use, and don't fall apart like the old sandfilled ones do.... Oh, and I'd be inclined to buy the weights you need, not a set. maybe start with 8's and 12's? oh, yeah, don't mail order. the freight would kill ya! heehee

I envy your bag in the basement. with all the bikes that are down there, and the gym (yeah we have a weight stack gym, too, but I prefer the free weights and the upstairs) there's just no room! <smile>

that's a fantastic rank to have in martial arts. how long did that take you? how many years was it before you went all out in TKD? doesn't it stand to reason it will take some time for you to get there with mountain biking? I've been at it quite a few years. it's only the last 2 seasons that I'd say I got good. oh, and what changed? aside from some attitude, I started road biking to train for mtbiking. with the sports you already do, you can definitely kick butt on a bike. got any cool hard-riding girls you can train with? that's always a good kick!!

Anyway, you'll get there. have faith in you. and have fun!!

Namaste,
~T~

Adrien
03-18-2005, 05:58 AM
bounceswoosh, you've gotten a lot of good advice here and I think if you add in weight training it will make a huge difference for you. My advice: start now. Don't wait until you can put carpet down, don't wait until you can find an entire set of weights. Just get what you need to start and commit yourself to three half hour sessions a week to start. Right now I do three sessions a week: legs, back and biceps, chest and shoulders. I do abs with every session. You'll feel so much better just by doing something instead of worrying about it. Also, I hate pushups too, but they're great for upper body strength and they're free.

Susan126
03-18-2005, 07:53 AM
bounceswoosh, you've gotten a lot of good advice here and I think if you add in weight training it will make a huge difference for you. My advice: start now. Don't wait until you can put carpet down, don't wait until you can find an entire set of weights. Just get what you need to start and commit yourself to three half hour sessions a week to start. Right now I do three sessions a week: legs, back and biceps, chest and shoulders. I do abs with every session. You'll feel so much better just by doing something instead of worrying about it. Also, I hate pushups too, but they're great for upper body strength and they're free.

bounceswoosh, two years ago I wanted to lose weight. Just road and mountain biking just were not doing it. I had great aerobic fitness and endurance but my weight would not budge. So my daughter and I hired a personal trainer at our local gym and started doing weights. Not to bulk up but to get lean and strong. Plus bone density . . . good for me (51 this year). At our first session she measured our arms, calves, thighs, waist, and hips. She weighted us, too. She would do this every month. My weight (on the scale) did not drop. BUT my clothes got looser and looser! My percent body fat went from 23% to 17% without losing a pound! I was amazed to discover on my own that it's true . . . muscle does weigh a lot more than fat. My fat was replaced with muscle, I did not lose weight but I got "thinner" and "leaner". Jackie and I quit the gym a year ago and we have been doing our weights at home. I eat what I want, I ride and I am enjoying myself. So like Adrien, my daughter, and me . . . just commit yourself, try not to worry (I feel that worrying works against you) and enjoy enjoy enjoy . . . ride ride ride! :)

bounceswoosh
03-18-2005, 08:14 AM
Okay, pushups. Here's the deal.

My wrists hurt if I do them on my palms, so I do them on my fists. If I do them properly, on the balls of my feet, my feet slide out from under me! Typically, though, I do them on my knees, with a flat back and being careful not to use my lower body to assist in the movement.

Also, if I do them on the balls of my feet, my lower back hurts.

And on top of all this, all the blood rushes to my head when I do them. I've tried breathing in a variety of ways, and it just doesn't help.

If they're so good for me, why do they feel so bad?

Jo-n-NY
03-18-2005, 08:52 AM
I am sorry that I cannot answer the above question bounceswoosh, but I just wanted to say that this thread gave me a great deal of wonderful information. I do have a set of cast iron weights that I got years ago before I went back to the day job. I think I will dig them out from where ever they are in the house, dust them off and start lifting.


LBTC I think you contributed to much of all this great information, Thank you!

alison_in_oh
03-18-2005, 09:07 AM
*sigh* no, I don't. I find it really hard to make time to do so, and I much prefer freeweights. Machines annoy me. It's hard to find people who lift similar amounts (read: women) and also like freeweights. I'm hoping to build a mini-gym in my basement so that I can easily do some reps when the mood strikes, rather than having to drive to the gym.

Why do you need to find other people? I'm a woman, and I lift by myself in a gym. I use mostly machines but am migrating to free weights and apparatus that leverages my body weight (ie assisted pullups and dips, back extensions). I'm fortunate that my gym is next door to my work and about 5 minutes' drive from home (10 minutes' bike ride!). I find it pretty easy to make time to work out three times per week.

That said, I bet you could do your body a lot of good with a selection of home weights and this site: http://stumptuous.com/weights.html

Oh, and the Depo? DEFINITELY a problem! It might take you a year to get that crap out of your system but from everything I've heard, as much as 10-15 lbs. will probably melt off you like butter.

bounceswoosh
03-18-2005, 10:56 AM
Why do you need to find other people? I'm a woman, and I lift by myself in a gym. I use mostly machines but am migrating to free weights and apparatus that leverages my body weight (ie assisted pullups and dips, back extensions). I'm fortunate that my gym is next door to my work and about 5 minutes' drive from home (10 minutes' bike ride!). I find it pretty easy to make time to work out three times per week.

That said, I bet you could do your body a lot of good with a selection of home weights and this site: http://stumptuous.com/weights.html

Oh, and the Depo? DEFINITELY a problem! It might take you a year to get that crap out of your system but from everything I've heard, as much as 10-15 lbs. will probably melt off you like butter.

Thanks for the link; I've voraciously plowed through that site a few times, and I think it's great what Krista is doing for women who lift.

The partner thing has nothing to do with being female. I'd rather have a lifting partner for two reasons: spotting and motivation. A spotter is important, not just for safety but also to help me really work to exhaustion (just a finger's help can make a huge difference in finishing a set). The motivation thing, well, it's nice to have someone to coax you or yell at you, as the situation warrants.

I've now been off of depo for two months. I remember losing weight so rapidly a few years ago that co-workers worried that I might be anorexic, and I remember that I got off of depo for six months, but I don't recall if the time periods overlapped. I was also clinically depressed at the time, which ruins my appetite. I saw my doctor today about my cold, and she said she's happy to have me off the depo. (Turns out I have a viral bronchitis that's been making the rounds; joy! I should feel better by Sunday, she said.)

alison_in_oh
03-18-2005, 11:04 AM
The partner thing has nothing to do with being female. I'd rather have a lifting partner for two reasons: spotting and motivation. A spotter is important, not just for safety but also to help me really work to exhaustion (just a finger's help can make a huge difference in finishing a set). The motivation thing, well, it's nice to have someone to coax you or yell at you, as the situation warrants.

Ah-ha! That'd definitely be nice. :) Lack of a spot is definitely one reason that I am still on machines, and also a reason that I'm not lifting as heavy as I could. But I'm still doing a decent job of growing lean body mass and strength, so I'm not too concerned yet.


I've now been off of depo for two months. I remember losing weight so rapidly a few years ago that co-workers worried that I might be anorexic, and I remember that I got off of depo for six months, but I don't recall if the time periods overlapped. I was also clinically depressed at the time, which ruins my appetite. I saw my doctor today about my cold, and she said she's happy to have me off the depo. (Turns out I have a viral bronchitis that's been making the rounds; joy! I should feel better by Sunday, she said.)

Well, I hope it helps and I really hope you feel better soon!

bounceswoosh
03-18-2005, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the link; I've voraciously plowed through that site a few times, and I think it's great what Krista is doing for women who lift.

The partner thing has nothing to do with being female. I'd rather have a lifting partner for two reasons: spotting and motivation. A spotter is important, not just for safety but also to help me really work to exhaustion (just a finger's help can make a huge difference in finishing a set). The motivation thing, well, it's nice to have someone to coax you or yell at you, as the situation warrants.

Now I'm rereading Krista's site and she mentions that you shouldn't be lifting to exhaustion. Once again, info that contradicts what I was taught in college. I'll look around the site, but anyone know why this would be bad? I thought the whole point was to lift enough weight that you could just barely make the last lift. Gaaah!

Oh, on the topic of lifting, I have a single 10-lb weight, so when I'm better I'll go buy another one and a pair of 12s. That should set me up for military and bench press, I believe.

LBTC
03-18-2005, 11:57 AM
I do have a set of cast iron weights that I got years ago before I went back to the day job. I think I will dig them out from where ever they are in the house, dust them off and start lifting.

yay! You go, JO!!

Namaste,
~T~

Raindrop
03-18-2005, 12:14 PM
I'm a full-time personal trainer that works in the clients homes and as a result, carry an entire gym with me in my car. To set up a gym at home can be pretty inexpensive; a stability ball, flex-tubing of various strengths, adjustable dumbells, a jump rope and a mat. I also have a lot of other tools (BOSU, Medicine balls, body blades, weighted bars, boxing gloves and focus mitts etc., but those aren't really necessary for your own home gym unless you want them).

If you can contract with a trainer that works with functional training and is knowledgeable in setting up a program using those tools...even better. But there are also sites that sell instructional DVDs and VHS that can help you to do your own program. www.collagevideo.com is a good one.

The only other thing I wanted to add was that when one works with weights, you want to perform enough repetitions to go to muscle "fatigue". That is, the last repetition should be the last one you can accomplish using good form. I see plenty of people in the gym, throwing the weights up with horrible form just to get more reps in. Taking those muscles to fatigue will result in a metabolic change that will result in the muscle getting stronger (as long as there is adequate nutrition and rest involved).

Hope this helps a little. :)

alison_in_oh
03-18-2005, 12:15 PM
Now I'm rereading Krista's site and she mentions that you shouldn't be lifting to exhaustion. Once again, info that contradicts what I was taught in college. I'll look around the site, but anyone know why this would be bad? I thought the whole point was to lift enough weight that you could just barely make the last lift. Gaaah!.

If I recall, it's because the tiny added benefit from that extra intensity does not compensate for the increased risk of injury.

I've been told to lift enough that the tenth rep burns but is still fairly readily completed in good form.

Crankin
03-18-2005, 02:08 PM
Glad to see that others have the same issues. Although my weight is fine now (most would think i am very skinny), I still have fat on my thighs and butt that I hate. It's something I can live with, but I have actually dreamed of lipo (I would never do it). I've been road cycling for 3 and half yrs and it really helped me lose about 15 menopausal pounds that had crept up, despite almost 25 years of aerobics, weight training, walking, etc. I weigh the same as i did in high school, but I get sick of having to watch constantly. I eat much more protein than i used to and only low GI carbs. I can resist the sweets and I never eat fried food. I just read the Nancy Clarke book and it is very sensible. I think that I don't plan my eating well enough during the summer when I ride a lot. I am going to eat more carbs this year. Being short and small, it takes nothing for me to gain 5 lbs. and a huge time to take it off. I also am half way to osteoporosis. I can't take Fosomax (it made me deathly sick to my stomach) so I am on Evista. So far, it hasn't helped. I've been taking calcium for 20 years, but i have never been a milk drinker. Hopefully, weight training will help this, but I can't train hard when i am riding a lot, it just makes my muscles too sore. I hope I don't end up a hunchback on a bike when i am 60. I tried running last year, but I just hate it. So, I started mountain biking last fall and hiking a little, and while I enjoy these, it's a whole new set of skills, esp. the mountain biking. Well, enough of my rambling.

bounceswoosh
03-18-2005, 04:45 PM
I also am half way to osteoporosis. I can't take Fosomax (it made me deathly sick to my stomach) so I am on Evista. So far, it hasn't helped. I've been taking calcium for 20 years, but i have never been a milk drinker. Hopefully, weight training will help this, but I can't train hard when i am riding a lot, it just makes my muscles too sore. I hope I don't end up a hunchback on a bike when i am 60. I tried running last year, but I just hate it. So, I started mountain biking last fall and hiking a little, and while I enjoy these, it's a whole new set of skills, esp. the mountain biking. Well, enough of my rambling.

Well, maybe that's one benefit to all my extra flab -- it's more for me to carry around, so everything I do is weight training! *sigh*

After reading about the cycling/osteoporosis connection, I asked my dr. about a bone density test at my next visit (I'm 27). She said that it really wouldn't be useful because some people, like herself, have bones that are less dense. She said that the only useful info is the differential in two tests taken a year or two (?) apart around the onset of menopause, because they can then see how much you're losing. If they do find that you have low bone density at a younger age, all they can really do is tell you to get more calcium and do weight-bearing exercise, which they'd tell you to do anyway.

I'm sure your dr. has it all in hand, but I just thought I'd share this little anecdote ...

Anyway, mountain biking, while fun, really won't do much, if anything, for bone density. Hiking is much better. But I don't think you have to get excessively sore in order to see bone benefits from weight training; are you getting enough potassium in your diet? Is it possible to splurge and get some massage work done? I go to a massage therapist whenever I can free up some cash, and she's helped me find and fix a lot of muscle issues.

snowtulip
03-19-2005, 09:57 AM
Everyone's had great information! Bounceswoosh, I love freeweights, it's usually what I use when I do strenght training. Another suggestion would be to get a set of resistance bands, they are cheaper and don't take up as much room and you'd be surprised at how effective they are. When I find the link to the place I bought mine, I'll post it.

Also regarding hydration and mountain biking, I also used to not drink while I was riding or be sooo focused on riding that I would forget to drink. I had to mentally remind myself to stop and drink (if you don't feel comfortable drinking from your camelback while riding). I stop even if people are far ahead of me.

Good luck!

Dogmama
03-19-2005, 01:29 PM
I've read many times that lifting to complete muscle failure is extremely taxing to your body. Additionally, tendons & ligaments are slower than muscles to become accustomed to weight training - thus the number of injuries caused by lifting to failure.

As someone else posted - if you're lifting to complete failure, your form is probably compromised, which can lead to injury. You should lift until you cannot complete another rep with good form.

Pushups - my wrists are bad also. Instead of putting my hands flat on the floor, I grasp two dumbells to keep my wrists straighter. If your feet are slipping try a non-skid mat or wear sneakers. If you're getting dizzy, start with one or two. You'll be doing pushups like a Marine recruit in no time!

Also, if you're riding a bike and lifting 3X week, you might begin to exhaust your body which is to be avoided. Training is riding that delicate balance between pushing your body to become better, but not tipping into exhaustion.

I lift by myself, free weights and some machnes, in a gym. I don't worry about a spotter because I'm not lifting to failure - no where near it.

Lastly, if I just ride and don't lift, I become flabby. Even in the legs. It might have to do with slow twitch vs fast twitch muscles - some women on this board seem to have earned muscles on their bikes!

Crankin
03-19-2005, 02:26 PM
Well, maybe that's one benefit to all my extra flab -- it's more for me to carry around, so everything I do is weight training! *sigh*

After reading about the cycling/osteoporosis connection, I asked my dr. about a bone density test at my next visit (I'm 27). She said that it really wouldn't be useful because some people, like herself, have bones that are less dense. She said that the only useful info is the differential in two tests taken a year or two (?) apart around the onset of menopause, because they can then see how much you're losing. If they do find that you have low bone density at a younger age, all they can really do is tell you to get more calcium and do weight-bearing exercise, which they'd tell you to do anyway.

I'm sure your dr. has it all in hand, but I just thought I'd share this little anecdote ...

Anyway, mountain biking, while fun, really won't do much, if anything, for bone density. Hiking is much better. But I don't think you have to get excessively sore in order to see bone benefits from weight training; are you getting enough potassium in your diet? Is it possible to splurge and get some massage work done? I go to a massage therapist whenever I can free up some cash, and she's helped me find and fix a lot of muscle issues.
I have had 2 bone density tests; one when I was about 47 and still in peri menopause and one this year (I haven't had my period in almost 3 yrs). First it showed osteopenia in my hips and the second one showed it in my spine, too. I am not sure why I get sore from anything other than cycling! Even cycling will cause this if I do a really long ride- 50-60 miles. I think I just don't do enough of the other stuff (never more than twice a week), so my muscles never adapt. I have had plenty of massages, but not on a regular basis for years. Maybe I'll try that. I have 2 more sessions left with my trainer and then I'll be on my own. I really don't want to do too much with the weights while I am training for a 6 day bike trip in Europe, but I will force myself. I hate being indoors when the weather is nice!