Sweat box riding has never looked so good.

Sweat box riding has never looked so good.

Anatomy of a Photo: Winter Sweat Box Ride

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I spent the entire winter doing morning Spanish Interval Sessions, wherein one dons all their winter riding kit (including wooly hat) before climbing aboard the turbo in a hopeless attempt to sweat themselves thin. The flaw in the method is less in its commitment and more in its lack of effectiveness, although the magnitude of the commitment feels a lot like effectiveness when you’re doing it. The irony is that the Spanish do it in an attempt to shed the water weight caused by the bloating effect of cortisone whereas I did it in an attempt to shed the weight caused by the effect of things like “food” and “alcohol”.

Unlike those wealthy Spanish riders and their fancy turbos, everyone knows that in Belgium1, they can’t afford such luxuries. So instead of sitting in the basement sweat box to shed water weight, those poor Flemish riders are forced to wrap themselves in sleeping bags and Himalayan mountaineering mitts and set out on the snowy roads in order to break a sweat.

1 I am guessing that these fellows are in fact Belgian. They could be any nationality, but “Belgian” feels right.

// Anatomy of a Photo // Awesome Belgian Guys

  1. It’s Polish National Team training in winter 1980.

    http://naszosie.pl/hpk/reprezentacja-polski/

  2. Presumably also with the car heater on full to get a few extra degrees.

    The method I have seen is to cut a head and arm holes in a bin liner and put that on as a base layer. However, be warned, there are also stories of folk overheating with sad consequences using the method. Reality is it is only to shed water to meet a weigh in limit (e.g.a boxer or jockey).

  3. I thought this was going to be about the Scottish game ‘hot car’, where the occupants of a vehicle have to put on all their clothes and sit in the car with all the heaters on full and the windows shut (preferably on a hot day so this game probably has a very short season in Scotland), and…err…that’s it.

  4. @Lukasz

    It’s Polish National Team training in winter 1980.

    http://naszosie.pl/hpk/reprezentacja-polski/

    Brilliant!

  5. If you sweat yourself any thinner you’ll disappear. Knock that off.

  6. @Teocalli

    he method I have seen is to cut a head and arm holes in a bin liner and put that on as a base layer. However, be warned, there are also stories of folk overheating with sad consequences using the method. Reality is it is only to shed water to meet a weigh in limit (e.g.a boxer or jockey).

    Or rowing, speaking from own experience.

  7. @Lukasz

    It’s Polish National Team training in winter 1980

    Therefore, the backdoor of the car is open to protect them from the cold, by heating them up a bit?

  8. I really shouldn’t be bringing reasoned thought to an article such as this but;

    More likely they are motor pacing and the door is up so the coach can scream instructions to them. Could be too keep the wind off for the trailing riders I suppose.

  9. @Puffy

    I really shouldn’t be bringing reasoned thought to an article such as this but;

    More likely they are motor pacing and the door is up so the coach can scream instructions to them. Could be too keep the wind off for the trailing riders I suppose.

    Now you’re just being stupid, bringing reasoned thought into commentary.

    That will never catch on !

    What were you thinking?

  10. Only 9 comments and this went up Friday? Whaddya jerks think you can do, ride your bike all weekend and not even come round to comment? Not cool.

    Also, strongest first comment in history? With a name like that, I’m guessing your Polish. Nice work with the link!

    And, riding indoors is bad enough, I can’t imagine doing it in full clothing. Ugh.

  11. Whatever the main reason for having the boot up, surely the prevention of an Ullrichian rear windscreen face plant, in the event of an unexpectedly sudden stop, is a happy bi-product.

  12. I’d imagine the four riders are riding as close as possible to the vehicle (and man, are they close!) because they a) want what ever shelter said vehicle offers, and b) to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes from the engine. You know that vehicle’s likely running on fully leaded gas. Think Trabant (or whatever the Polish equivalent was.)

  13. Reminds me of some soldiers that I had that tried to train their bodies to work and function in a state of dehydration. “Doc, if we stay constantly dehydrated then we’ll adapt and be stronger in the future.” No, you’ll end up with rhabdo and kidney failure.

    While there is an argument to be made in recognizing dehydration there is none in trying to keep your body constantly dehydrated so that it will “adapt” to that state!

    Awesome lead photo! Time for a ride!

  14. @Lukasz

    It’s Polish National Team training in winter 1980.

    http://naszosie.pl/hpk/reprezentacja-polski/

    Holy Merckx. Solid pull.

  15. @RobSandy

    I thought this was going to be about the Scottish game ‘hot car’, where the occupants of a vehicle have to put on all their clothes and sit in the car with all the heaters on full and the windows shut (preferably on a hot day so this game probably has a very short season in Scotland), and…err…that’s it.

    The Scots aren’t a lively bunch when it comes to recreating, are they?

  16. @Steve Trice

    Whatever the main reason for having the boot up, surely the prevention of an Ullrichian rear windscreen face plant, in the event of an unexpectedly sudden stop, is a happy bi-product.

    Or Davis Phinney.

  17. @wiscot

    I’d imagine the four riders are riding as close as possible to the vehicle (and man, are they close!) because they a) want what ever shelter said vehicle offers, and b) to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes from the engine. You know that vehicle’s likely running on fully leaded gas. Think Trabant (or whatever the Polish equivalent was.)

    Or diesel!

  18. @frank

    @RobSandy

    I thought this was going to be about the Scottish game ‘hot car’, where the occupants of a vehicle have to put on all their clothes and sit in the car with all the heaters on full and the windows shut (preferably on a hot day so this game probably has a very short season in Scotland), and…err…that’s it.

    The Scots aren’t a lively bunch when it comes to recreating, are they?

    In my experience the Scots can be a very lively bunch when recreating. Though I guess it depends on your definition of recreating.

  19. @frank

    @wiscot

    I’d imagine the four riders are riding as close as possible to the vehicle (and man, are they close!) because they a) want what ever shelter said vehicle offers, and b) to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes from the engine. You know that vehicle’s likely running on fully leaded gas. Think Trabant (or whatever the Polish equivalent was.)

    Or diesel!

    Or vodka.

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