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What Every New Cyclist Needs to Know About Cycling as a Lifestyle and Losing Weight, Gaining Weight and Maintaining Weight

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I was watching a video on YouTube about weight training the other day – it just popped up on my feed so I figured I’d give it a look. In it, the kid was doing what’s called the “dirty bulk” was trying to gain weight as he lifted to build muscle. He ate a lot… and put on a ton of muscle quickly that he attributed to his body not being used to that level of exercise.

And that’s exactly what I’m going after in this post. When we start out on a bike, we lose weight almost effortlessly, plausibly because our body isn’t used to the activity. At least, that’s how it worked for me. I dropped weight fast, and a lot of it. I went from 170 pounds to 150 in a summer. That was ten years ago.

Today, I can’t lose weight like that. First, I’ve gotten used to eating for the activity. Second, well, see first, and I truly believe that my body got used to the level of cycling I’ve been doing for the last decade and I just don’t lose weight like I used to.

And that’s really the problem at this point. I was a much younger 41 when I started riding. I’m going on 52. While I can still lose weight on the bike, I do every spring, I’ve come to find I have to be a lot more careful of what I eat than I did when I first got into cycling. And that’s been an uncomfortable and difficult lesson to learn.

If there’s a main bit of advice to this post, it’s this: Take advantage of that initial weight loss phase but use caution when it comes to gaining some of that weight back. That easy loss phase doesn’t last forever.

Don’t I wish it did!

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3 Comments

  1. […] What Every New Cyclist Needs to Know About Cycling as a Lifestyle and Losing Weight, Gaining Weight … […]

  2. kirkmtb says:

    We’re all made differently so my own experience was different. After running fir years I started cycling and put weight on, especially upper body. I was 30 at the time, though, so would probably have bulked up any way. At 59 (for 2 more days!) I find my weight fluctuates only a little but has continued to increase gradually over the years, a little at least. Some people I ran with back then were around my age and very light in weight. It was interesting to read your take on it. Andrew.

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