Requesting help: Calling fitness gurus!


Likes Bikes and Dirt
Hi all,

I'm looking to drop some weight (about 15kg) and gain a bit of fitness and strength. This has been a long-required feat for me. I've been pretty dormant for the last 8 weeks, but am starting to ride XC a bit more regularly again. I find that when I ride XC I cannot force myself to push harder riding a bike, I find it hard to remain at peak exertion for any sort of duration. Perhaps its the terrain changing. Either way I want to build a bit of floor exercise or weights work in..

So if any fitness buffs, PTs etc care to flick me a few ideas on what I could do that would be wonderful. Heck, if someone wants to recommend me a workout plan/schedule that would be even better. I have access to:
- about 50kg of weights with a barbell and dumbells
- carport with roof beams that I could perhaps do pullups on
- XC bike and a dormant road bike (never used!)

I really don't have much of an idea on what exercises are effective and what aren't.

Kind thanks in advance!


Likes Bikes and Dirt
here's a suggestion for you.

you will need 1 to 2 hours per day (2 sessions 1 morning and 1 night), and of course need to watch what you eat, eat a good breakfast - weetbix, porridge (high fibre in morning = not hungry through day!!), forget alcohol (liquid calories - until you get weight down) forget processed foods, simply prepare your own, if you want to eat takeaway there's only 1 option: sushi. base your diet around vegetables and fruit, with some lean meat, overall nutrition has 2 aims, 1. lower calorie intake, 2, eat healthy, it's not rocket science, educate yourself on labels and understand ramifications of eating junk. don't forget, when you are thirsty, water, water, water!!!!

exercise: everything you do at this stage is low intensity (to avoid injury and to burn fat). Nothing wrong with walking - if you can take some small weights with you find a loop, as walking is weight bearing it's the fastest way to knock off weight whilst not exposing yourself to injury.

morning walk is done on an empty stomach as you need to train yourself not to rely on eating all the time (self-discipline). Evening again, eat after you have exercised and don't over eat a few hours before!

eventually the morning/afternoon walks will become walk, run, walk, run you will really burn fat then. to make it interesting have 3 different weights for different sessions. so low weight, medium, heavy, go through a cycle.

weekends, this is where you get to ride.

just remember at this stage if you do vigorous exercise and you're overweight as I said above injury could be a problem and then you simply can't train. good luck.


Likes Bikes and Dirt
If you want to learn to excercise at a higher intensity for longer - google HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Try hill repeats - on road or mtb find a hill that takes you around 20-40sec to climb. Climb at 90% effort. Repeat lots!

Or try 1 minute efforts with 20sec breaks on the flat road. 20 sec efforts should be VERY hard.

This should be done max once or twice a week - it should be a very hard session of maybe 30-40 minutes. I do these type of workouts in the gym - a bit easier when you can kill yourself without having to worry about cars, steering your bike etc. Basically these workouts do exactly what you want - the hard effort and then short recovery teach your body to be able to handle intensity for longer.

Forget the weights - if you want to work on speed and strenght endurance then cardio is where it is at.

Some long, low intensity workouts mixed in will also help.


Likes Dirt
yes weights are not that good for endurance sports. The advice above is excellent. How to get the weight down and then intervals.

One thing a pro told me once was the difference he learnt in training properly was this: "most people don't go slow enough when they should be going slow and then they don't go fast enough when they should be going fast".

If you have a heart rate monitor you can set thresholds for these hard and easy efforts which make it more effective but perceived effort is still a good guide. Powermeters are even more accurate but that's a bit of an investment to make, worth it if you become very serious.


Wheel size expert
Use a Heart rate monitor to avoid the no mans zone of training.
Incorporate weights, don't try and build muscle but just incorporate some Resistance and weekly weights to maintain your muscle mass.
When droping weight you have 2 goals. 1.maintain muscle mass 2.drop weight.

Muscle mass improves your rest metabolic rate, when people try to drop lots of weight or try to loose weight with out resistance training they also lose muscle mass, this slows the metabolism and makes losing weight harder again. You want to maintain this muscle you have while focusing on cardio to drop that fat.
If you are short on time HIIT is the most effective, it also results in EPOC and a higher resting metabolic rate over 24-48 hours. However tsome studies do suggest that slow workouts are better, you can do these more often too, a HIIT session will take a few days to recover. If you are strapped for time HIIT is the most effective way if you have the time for the long sessions longer its safer and I feel is probably more effective. It also directly burns the fat where HIIT burns fat later, during exercise you will be using your anaerobic pathway and glucose/carbs as your fuel.

I will highlight though that HIIT is very strenuous and you should always see a doctor for the all clear before doing this, even fit individuals will get thrashed by HIIT.
I dropped 10kg in the last 3 months.

I used to ride a lot of road and XC, but then moved overseas for work to Indoneasia. I did take my bike but never rode it and just went to the pub. So a sedentary lifestyle with too much alcohol and I put on about 15kgs.

What did it for me was using a calorie counter and working out that I probably drank 2 days worth of calories a week. I cut out all liquid calories, cleaned up my diet and started back on the bike.

A friend signed me up for the cape to cape MTB race which is on next week, so I had no option but to get fit and loose some weight.

I also bought a heart rate monitor, that I found to be a great investment. It really gives you an idea of where you are working at and there is no escaping it. I rarely look at my speed, just concentrate on keeping my heart rate up. A power meter would also be a great addition, but really $2k for a set of cranks...

looking at my HRTs i do find I get a better work out on the road bike. it is just hard to maintain your zones on the MTB when the terrain doesnt support it. Also I find i can smash myself a lot more on the road bike and dont necessarily need to worry about being knackered and falling off on a rock garden or something.

That and log on to Strava :)

I still have a about 7kgs to loose I think but they should come off soon I hope.


Likes Dirt
Seek out a dietician for diet advice and assistance. Weight loss/gain is very much a profit & loss sheet. Need to expend more than you are consuming and what you eat needs to provide the dietary requirements that you need for the body. A lot of people take this theory and then don't eat enough and find their body just doesn't change as a consequence!

In the meantime eat smaller more satisfying meals if you need to graze eat nuts, dried fruit etc and importantly drink room temperature water. For weight loss and improved fitness can be accelerated by doing more frequent session at shorter duration. E.g. Two 1/2hr sessions per day verses 60minute session everyday, what this will do is maintain your increased metabolic rate post exercise twice per day and resulting in the consumption of more calories to aid the body in the recovery post exercise..

Hope this helps


hey there,

What i'd suggest you is drop some body fat first, if you start doing weights and gaining muscle it'll only make you look more bulky because the muscle will be hidden under the body fat.
Become a frequent feeder, in other words, eat 5-6 meals a day that are around 2-3 hours apart, now that doesnt mean eating 5 huge meals, it means eating smaller meals more often
to keep your metabolism running steady. You'll have to refrain yourself from eating junk and swap to more healthy options. (oh and drink plenty of water) and try not to eat within 2
hours of going to bed. Small changes make a big difference so keep that in mind.

If your considering doing weights you'll need protein and lots of it, you can't build muscle or strength without it. Start slow using correct form rather than to much weight and let your ego
take over. take a look and or and check out some of the exercises you can do with your barbell and dumbbell set. you could also do body weight
exercises like sit ups, chin ups and push ups. Keep weight lifting workouts to a maximum of an hour and mix in some cardio (like jogging or ride your bike)

feel free to ask me any questions if you have them, i'm not an expert but i have got a few years of experience with this stuff

cheers :)