The best way to lose weight is by cycling: experts explain how it works

The Perfect Way To Lose Weight While Cycling: Experts Explain How It Works

Germany suffers from cycling fever! Pedaling is popular and can also help reduce unwanted body fat. Peter Baker is a very knowledgeable person. After all, he regularly had to bring his former disciple Jan Ulrich from the chubby to the competition weight. In FITBOOK, he gives tips that hobbyists should also pay attention to.

You can ride a bike at almost any age, anywhere, and at any ability level. No wonder it is the favorite sport of many people to shed some extra pounds. But what exactly is the best way to lose weight by cycling? FITBOOK ASKED TWO EXPERTS THAT SHOULD KNOW.

Lose weight by cycling – practically invented by Jan Ulrich

Jan Ulrich was not only exceptionally talented as a cyclist. “He can also consume above-average amounts of food,” says Peter Becker (83). With this, the former coach describes the man who was the first and only German to win the Tour de France 25 years ago, unfortunately also a big problem. Because always at the beginning of January, when pro cyclists were slowly starting to turn around for the season, Ulrich sat on the saddle, was pretty much overweight — and tormented himself.

Three or four months later, he had to pay tribute to his love of food and red wine, which he sought so widely after the end of the season from the end of September: he almost always weighed more than 80 kilograms at the start of training. good to do.

Jan Ulrich in 1997 with coach Peter Becker
Coach Peter Becker and his apprentice Jan Ulrich (left) during training in June 1997Photo: Photo Alliance / dpa / Jiro Prelor

Lose weight by cycling – the principle is the same for professionals and amateur athletes

But how do you train ten kilos of hip gold and more as fast as possible on a race bike? And can you pass that on to a hobby athlete? “Yes, the principle is always the same,” coach Becker asserts, “only in different athletic dimensions.” However, the rule of thumb applies to both the professional cyclist and the recreational driver: reduce calories and increase calorie consumption. And leave out the red wine anyway.

Ulrich began in January with 120-kilometer training courses per day, then increased to 140 and 150 kilometers. This is not something for a beginner on a road bike who wants to shed a few pounds. If you take as standard a woman or man in their mid-40s, with no health restrictions, who can be trained but “a bit boring”, then cycling is just the right thing to get the body moving. Running is easy to do, but not good for the joints, especially for people who are overweight. On the other hand, swimming is technically demanding for many and also expensive because you always have to go to the pool first. So: ride the bike!

Also interesting: 100 km on a race bike – it works with this training plan

How many calories can you burn while cycling?

First of all, veteran coach Becker has a good, motivating message for all beginners: “You can burn 200 to 800 calories per hour on the bike. It depends on your speed, track profile, and whether you ride alone or in a group.” 800 calories – that’s the equivalent of a pizza, and everyone can do something with this.

Here you can adjust your calorie consumption differently Calculate the sport:

The right intensity for beginners

Of course the beginner must adapt the speed to his training condition, so start slowly. Becker’s rule of thumb for the intensity of effort for light fat-burning training: 55 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is best determined by your doctor. In terms of speed, this means about 20 km / h.

It doesn’t seem fast. Otherwise, Becker’s Beginner’s Program is miles away from Ulrich: 30 to 40 minutes of cycling three times a week—but that’s the net time. Because if you live in a city, you first need a few kilometers of stopping and stopping before you can finally go through the countryside without any problems. “A beginner should manage one piece three times a week,” Becker says. Suddenly your buttocks hurt, your muscles start to ache, your neck anyway – and when it rains on the road, the urge to ride a bike often quickly disappears.

Also interesting: go on a flying start on your bike! How to double the triple leg strength

What Ulrich and a cyclist have in common: a training diary

For Becker, one thing is necessary for the desire to remain, at best increase – and this is where Ulrich and the cyclist meet: Anyone who exercises regularly and in a goal-oriented manner should keep a training diary. The following should be noted as standard inputs:

  • Along the way
  • Speed
  • weather
  • condition
  • to throb
  • daily weight

This way you can enjoy your balance sheet and progress – and boost your self-esteem. Especially if after four weeks you can run the same distance five minutes faster, drive ten minutes longer, or lose two kilograms already. “Small successes like these contribute to mental well-being and help practice compromise,” says coach Baker.

Cycling alone is not enough to lose weight – the right diet

Because giving it up is part of it if you want to lose weight. Just cycling is not enough, you also have to change your diet. Paragraph 1 of the Weight Loss Law: Reducing calorie intake. Follow a high-protein diet with foods that stimulate fat burning: green tea, ginger and lemon water. Otherwise, eat plenty of legumes, such as peas, lentils, and beans.

Should you exercise while hungry?

Becker becomes skeptical when it comes to “ketogenic training,” that is, a session on an empty stomach so that the body is forced to use up its reserves of fat. “Everyone should try it. Anyone who gets hungry after two hours of cycling is not going to recognize themselves.” His advice: Before setting off, eat a good breakfast that’s rich in plant and animal protein but low in animal fats. And: Leave out bombs with hidden sugar like ready-made steak sauces, lemonade, or fruit juices.

Also interesting: what sober training does for weight loss

Sascha Wingenfeld isn’t exactly strict when it comes to training on an empty stomach. “But only in a certain training period. At some point, the body needs energy. I advise recreational athletes not to ride completely in the empty zone,” says the former professional triathlon player and current coach from Gersfeld at Hessian Ron. His advice: If you want to be on the road for a total of two hours, you should eat something after 45 minutes at the latest.

Pasta dishes? not better.

It included old photos and TV recordings of cyclists eating mountains of noodles – already at the breakfast table. Just thinking about it makes Wingenfeld shiver. These carbohydrate overdoses increase your risk of developing hypoglycemia on a bike. This also applies to pasta afterwards. “It raises insulin levels, which is the cause of food cravings.”

Advice for before: Light mixed diet. And don’t eat more calories than you burn during exercise.

His advice then: “The fattening is over with pure carbs.” Instead, create a good balance of volume, i.e. filling your stomach (salads and vegetables) and energy-dense food (protein). “Protein boosts our metabolism.” So you still burn calories after your workout.

The “post-burn” regimen also works best for the athlete. Because such a person has more muscle mass, which, in turn, burns fat even at rest. The fat burner works even at night when you sleep. So Peter Becker advises getting plenty of sleep. “And if you’re a good coach, you sleep better anyway.”

Also interesting: How should you train to maximize your post-burn effect?

If you want to spin well, you can’t just ride a bike

Cycling – well and good. Eating right – of course. But there is still a lot that is missing from the perfect training. On the one hand, there is a regular full-body training with gymnastics and strengthening the muscles of the leg, neck and torso. Good cyclists need toned stomachs. why? Anyone can do a simple self-test for this: while sitting in an office chair, press your flat foot on the floor – and your abdominal muscles will begin to work. The same principle applies to each pedal stroke, at best ten thousand times. Anyone who wants to lose weight by cycling should keep this in mind.

Finally, consistent training will get you nowhere. There has to be variety, because after a certain amount of time you have laid the groundwork – and you can’t move forward with slow cycling forever. “A lot of people make the mistake of training only in fat metabolism,” says Sascha Wingenfeld. This means training in a lower heart rate range. It looks like this: Two hours of leisurely driving, with a total turnover of 450 calories, 85 percent of which is fat.

Also interesting: Zone 2 – Hardly any hard training leads to a better body fat reduction

Running, doing breaks – feeling a bit like Jan Ulrich

this is good. But it’s better: Drive 1.5 hours and build up intervals for it—about five times four minutes of a fast ride. “The calorie turnover then is 650 calories, but the percentage of fat burning is lower. But because the total calorie turnover is higher, more fat is burned overall,” explains trainer Wingenfeld.

And: In the recovery phase after this session, the body consumes more calories than it uses after a leisurely ride. Therefore, add loads regularly as soon as the training institution allows it. After about six weeks you should think about it. At least then you should at least increase the total driving time, but this progression comes almost automatically because of the better shape.

These tougher intervals or rounds are not only related to the physical component (muscle training), but also to the mental component. Sometimes a five-second run, sometimes a kilometer fast – eases training, sharpens the senses and ensures a sense of accomplishment, for example when you lose a car while running at a green traffic light.

Then you feel like Jan Ulrich, you can sleep better – burn more fat and lose weight.

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