Weight loss - fast and hard, or slow and steady

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Krypton, 25 Jul 2007.

  1. Krypton

    Krypton New Member

    Which is best for general weight loss - riding hard and fast over shorter distances/time, or going slow and steady over a longer distance/time?
  2. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Deal, Kent
    A bit of both.
    the majority of your riding should be around 80% of you max heart rate, then add acouple of easy rides and some hard intervals.

    I have lost 16kgs in the last 10 months doing it this way.

    Consistancy is the key as is progress as the body WILL adapt so for example 20 miles a ride will not do as much good after 2/3 months of doing it so you will either increase the intensity or distance or both.
  3. derall

    derall Über Member

    Home Counties
    To lose weight the body has to burn fat. If you're working hard then you're burning glycogen reserves in the muscles. Once the glycogen is used up you bonk and the body switches to burning fat. But the fat can't be burned as efficiently so you can't work as hard.
    If you work long and slow (and it has to be lonnggggg) then you're fueled more by fat than by glycocen.
    Hard and short is better for maintaining weight (burns the excess calories before they become fat), whereas long and steady is better for losing weight by burning the fat directly.
  4. Blue

    Blue Legendary Member

    N Ireland
    I have read a number of mag articles about this topic over the years and they always come out in favour of long and steady for fat burning. That said, you have to watch what you eat too :biggrin:
  5. TVC

    TVC Guest

    Long and slow is the blubber burner, rough rule of thumb, keep your ticker doing 120-140bpm, thats when the body best uses fat. Hill walking is also good for this as you tend to go on for hours and you are also strengthening the skelital (small supporting muscles) in the legs and abdomen which do very little work on a bike.
  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Adjust the diet, stop snacking in the day (that worked for me) and get out on the bike.

    I don't have time for 2 hour plus rides so do lots of rides of upto 2 hours, some 30 minute 10 mile hilly blasts, some hour very hilly circuits, and the 1.5 to 2 hour rides.

    I've so far lost about 4kg in 6 weeks of stopping the snacking and a slight increase in biking. - It's the snacking that's a killer.
  7. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Steady and regular exercise seems to work for me, not that I need it of course;)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. k-dog

    k-dog New Member

    Long and slow seems to be the consensus...

    buuuuuut, I was reading something recently about harder exercise for shorter periods and how it increases your metabolism - and keeps it that way for an hour or so. So the harder you work the faster it goes - for longer than you are doing the exercise.

    So you can have your metabolism working really fast for a couple of hours after only a 45 min hard ride - which in the theory I read burns as much fat as riding for longer at a lower intensity.

    HIIT (high intensity interval training) is supposedly the way to go but I've not tried it - sounds like it would be tough on a bike too - easier running.
  9. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Deal, Kent

    Which is what I was trying to say, the majority of the work you undertake should be long and steady at a heart rate of under 80% in addition to some hard/fast work.
    and above all consistancy and burning more calories then you eat.
  10. Big T

    Big T Veteran

    In my experience, generally long and steady but a couple of short fast rides per week thrown in. I used to do a 10 mile TT once a week and found this really turned up the fat burning fires and the weight started to drop off. You can't do this sort of effort every day though, as it's too tiring.
  11. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    ...are we talking cycling or sex here chaps?
  12. Fortunately for me, slow and steady is the better way! :thumbsup:
  13. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I also think that whatever you do, enjoying it at the same time is very important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. doyler78

    doyler78 Well-Known Member

    Co Down, Ireland
    After illness a few year ago I put on 10kg which I got rid off in 6 weeks by starting of at a lowish heart rate (50-60%) or 3-4 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of perceived effort (PE) where 1 very light effort up to 10 which is maximum effort (ie you are about to explode). You will find that the length of ride that you can sustain at these low levels increases very quickly and once you do get your weight moving the right direction you can introduce a couple of harder sessions (which don't use fat reserves as efficiently but will improve your aerobic capacity much more ie get your hearts and lungs working better).

    Variety will provide motivation and whilst going harder won't burn fat as well as slower rides it will allow you to go further as your aerobic capacity increases and this will have as much an effect on your enjoyment of riding as the weight loss will or at least that is what I found anyway.

    Doing intervals at this early stage is not something I would recommend as anaerobic capacity can only be properly developed once you have a suitable aerobic capacity. For someone who is overweight and who has trained little then their aerobic capacity is likely to be underdeveloped and therfore this must be developed first. Once you can sustain longish rides at a fairly constant effort (around 6-8 PE) then you can start to introduce intervals which will start to build your ability to go hard for longer. At this level you will not be using any fat reserves at all therefore for weight loss it is useless however again once it can add variety to your routine and make things more interesting but only if you have a decent base fitness. Working at this level when not ready will also tire your body much more quickly and without adequate rest you could end up overtraining which would be demotivating as you will either suffer extreme tiredness and/or injury.

    Too many people who start exercising start out working at too high a level and there bodies just can't cope leading to the symptoms above which demotivates them and they give up exercise believing that they just don't get along with that exercise. By coming here and asking the question shows that you are not likely to fall into this trap.

    Most of all enjoy what you are doing and don't expect immediate results. It can take a couple of weeks before you notice anything therefore try not to have too high an expectation in this period. You will lose more weight early on than you will later. This is normal as they lighter you become the harder it is to get those extra pounds off.

    Good luck.
  15. vbc

    vbc Guest

    I recently lost over 2 1/2 stone in 3 weeks. However, it did involve a stupid bike accident, brain surgery, a couple of weeks in a coma and a lengthy stay in hospital. Lots of young nurses to see you bare arsed naked though!
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