Using Road Cycling to Burn Fat
Getting the balance right with fat is important if you want to be a better road cyclist. Too much and the excess weight will hold you back and slow you down. Too little and you will deplete your glycogen stores faster.
If you feel you need to reduce fat to address the balance, these fat burning tips should help you achieve this goal.
Fast Before Riding
Going out for a training ride on an empty stomach has been shown to be an effective way to burn fat. The easiest way to do this is to go out before breakfast and put in some miles. The idea is that as your blood sugar and liver glycogen stores are low your body uses fat for fuel.
Low-intensity distance rides are recommended. If you opt for this approach drink water, coffee, or tea before the ride and ensure you take water and a snack with you to avoid bonking and lightheadedness.
According to a study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, men benefited from this approach more than women.
Competitive cyclists that restricted their calories by 40% and performed fasted rides improved their power-to-weight ratios without compromising their endurance performance.
Although sprint training normally draws from your carbohydrate stores there is a lot of evidence to show that high-intensity riding burns fat. This is because sprint training increases your maximum oxygen consumption, raises your lactate threshold and helps you to stay “aerobic” burning more fat at higher intensities.
Additionally, it boosts key muscle-building, fat-burning hormones.
Combining this after a fast is shown to improve results further still.
Providing the roads are safe, try 30-second sprints with four-minute rest between each one. Do this for thirty minutes twice a week.
Nearly every pro cyclist weight trains to build strength. The reason is that it increases their power to weight ratio and muscles are more metabolically active compared to fat.
If you can weight train twice a week you should see a positive difference in your cycling. Consider performing these two cycling friendly exercises:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding a barbell across your shoulders or dumbbells by your side. Ensuring your back stays straight bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair squatting as low as you can while keeping weight on your heels. Then return back to the starting position.
Deadlifts involve lowering and raising a barbell to build muscles that are good for cycling. So, holding the barbell in front of your thighs, arms extended, palms facing inwards, and bend at the hips while keeping your back flat. Lower the barbell until you are almost parallel to the floor.
It is important to keep the weight close to your body as you lower and raise. When raising contract your glutes and push your hips forward until you are upright once more.
When using weights it is important that you take care not to damage your muscles or put excessive strain on your back and other sensitive areas.
Coffee has shown to be good for cycling on every level and this includes fat burning. As coffee drinkers perform better they burn more fat. Try and avoid mochas and stick to espressos.
It is important to remember that perfecting your cycling is individual to you. What works for one rider will need to be tweaked for another. So don’t be afraid to experiment depending on the results you are getting.
submitted on 29/01/18