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Old 08-05-19, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boston
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Bikes: 2017 Raleigh RX 1.0, 2018 Specialized Allez

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Kinda late to this party, but I've developed the opinion that cycling can be really effective for weight loss, problem is most people do fitness wrong and don't progress to reap the benefits of the calorie burning potential of cycling. As an example, I recently did a ride with my spouse, who is not an active cyclist like I am. We had about 90mins of active riding time, and according to my data it was about 300kj of work. For me it was nothing, but if you were to get a lot of folks doing the same ride and were to do a poll of what they estimated their caloric expenditure to be, I'm guessing you'd get a lot of overestimates. So I think educating people, especially those who want to use cycling as a supplement to other dietary modifications, on the true caloric expenditure of cycling, is important.

To build on that, people need to work at it (i.e. train). I know a lot on this forum dismiss the idea of training, and I've seen my share of derisive comments about racer boys, lance wannabes, etc. But bottom line is, you don't have to race to get faster, and getting faster means more than just improving your speed, it's getting more bang for your buck in exercise and improving other aspects of your health and wellness. And it means doing more than HIIT, which if that's one's only method of exercising is a terrible way to go, even well trained cyclists can't do more than several consecutive weeks of hard interval training without risking burning out.

Cycling can be used to lose weight, folks just need to work harder at it. Just due to time and effectiveness, I do a lot of my cycling work indoors, generally a maximum of 2hrs at a time and 10hrs a week. And for those who feel that's soul sucking, I can understand, but I can work hard sometimes and then go out and ride 80 miles with some folks like I did yesterday at a good pace and feel like I could go back out for more today.
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