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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:27 am 
Anglian Deputy AEC
Anglian Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 6930
Location: Livin' in a dust bowl
I used to be very fit up until 1999 when injury forced me to quit competitive riding, [raced for a local shop team, 24 hour races, orienteering events, long distance rides]. Since then I have become very unfit and about 2 stone overweight [41 years old & 15st 8lb].

My wife has bought me a cross trainer and I have set up my old Tacx mag trainer. Currently I can do about 15 minutes on the cross trainer before I have to stop. I understand about the importance of warm up before and stretching routines after excercise.

What sort of frequency of exercise / routine should I be doing to get some benefit?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:39 am 
East Midlands AEC
East Midlands AEC
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 15067
Location: Derby, UK
I'm no expert so feel free to ignore me, but I found myself in a similar situation about 4 years ago, I had been very fit then got a high-pressure job and had kids both of which left me with no energy for cycling, I went up from 13st to 15st.

I quit the job and got a lower paid less stressful one, the kids are now old enough to be sleeping through (mostly!), so I thought about time I did something, so around this time 2004 I went on a healthy eating spree (not a diet as such, but just smaller portions, less snacks, more veg and fruit) and started exercising.

I started by running as I figured unless you put in a lot of mileage you don't lose weight cycling and also I found any weight you did lose didn't tend to be around the beer belly but rather in the legs. I ran 3 or 4 times a week for about 15mins each to start with, then building it up over 6 months to 3 times a week for 3/4 hour each. I lost in that first 6 months 2 1/2 stone. Then I got on my bike and virtually stopped running as a) I never really enjoyed it b) it was damaging my knees (probably my style!).

I would then cycle 3-4 hours a week in rides of generally 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours quite hard and maybe a 3 hour ride at the weekend at a leisurely pace.

I have kept this up for the past 3 years and have kept the weight off and got fitter and fitter (by covering more distance in the same time slots).

Just my story anyway...

PS I'm 35 now

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:30 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 2:56 pm
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Location: No brakes? Way to commit soldier.
Running is good exercise, but you're going to stress your knees and legs, especially if you're carrying a few too many pounds. I would stick with the cycling and cross trainer. If you can only manage 15 mins at the moment, you're working too hard... Take it easy :)

The single most important thing that you can do is buy a heart rate monitor, and use it properly. Your body has an optimum heart rate range for fat burning and if you want to maximise your weight loss, you need to stay in this range, you'll actually be surprised how easy it is to maintain this level of exercise, you don't need to work as hard as you think, but you do need to do it regularly and consistently.

Given your current condition and age, I would put your 'fat burning' range between 120-130bpm

Keep your heart rate in between these figures and exercise for 30-45 mins 4 times a week for the first couple of months and you should see steady improvements in you aerobic fitness and (given that you're eating healthily) the weight should drop off.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:11 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:29 pm
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Location: London
This is incredibly sound advice.

RekiBorter: it sounds like you're trying too hard at the moment. Slow down so you can do a half-hour session, and feel able to do the same the next day. You'll soon pick up the speed, and be surprised how quickly you progress.

Russell's heart rate guide is good, too. If you don't have a heart rate monitor, just take your pulse a couple of times during a session until you know how hard you should be working. If you do get one, borrow one first to check it won't interfere with your x-trainer display or vice-versa.

For the running, shoes are important. Don't start in your old trainers, but bite the bullet and get some running shoes from a decent shop. No need to spend the earth. If you can, find a decent running shop (try a local running club's website to see if they have one they recommend). Again, keep the intensity low and aim for 20-30 minutes at a pace you can maintain all the way. Then build it out to 45 minutes+

As a guide, you don't really start buring fat until after 30 minutes or so of aerobic exercise. I read a book on this that explains why, and if you're interested I'll dig it out. It's pretty deep on the physiological side but if you're into that kind of stuff, which I am, then it's a good read.

To get the benefit, I'd say aim for 45 minutes 3 times a week and squeeze in a longer ride at the weekend. Expect to get ill within 2 weeks of stepping up any training you're doing (always happens to me) then you won't get depressed and waste all the work you just did!

Good luck - keep us up to date with how you're doing

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