Climbing Weight

Its in the loose sleeves

When it comes to weight and body dysmorphia, we cyclists can go toe-to-toe with any thirteen year old tween who has done their time flipping through the pages of Vogue and Sixteen. However fit and thin we might be, at some point it dawns on us that we’re not as light as we could be. The obvious solution is to buy lighter parts for our bikes, but eventually we will run out of parts to buy or money to spend. At that point, we’ll have no alternative but to start losing weight.

On the surface, this is a fairly simple matter; calories in minus calories out is the magic to any weight loss voodoo, right up to the point where it stops working because the “calories in” part deviates from our lifestyle or our metabolism decides we’re old and that since everything else is slowing down, it should too.

It is at this juncture that we ask ourselves how we can lose those kilos that seem unwilling to melt from our bodies. The answer varies depending on your lifestyle, body type, how loud your Awesome is, and your ideal riding weight. (By the way, similarly to the number of bikes to own, your ideal riding weight is one kilo less than your current weight, or weight ideal = weight current – 1). But assuming that you enjoy eating, alcohol, or anything else that doesn’t suck, it will require doing something drastic.

My journey through weight loss started with doing everything the same but riding more until that program stalled, and then I started doing sit-ups and leg lifts, both of which meet the aforementioned suck requirement. And then I cut back on beer and wine, which sucks even more, but that’s when things really started happening. A surprising side-effect of cutting down on booze, by the way, is that although you get less charismatic, you feel better in general and sleep better in addition to losing weight. It turns out that alcohol is a poison or something. Who knew?

But now that my V-Jersey isn’t stretched like a balloon on a pumpkin, I’ve moved on to worrying about my upper body, which is bigger than a typical cyclist’s thanks to 15 or so years of nordic ski racing. Which brings me to Ullrich’s sleeves. I have always had it in my mind that Jan and I are of similar physique, aside from the quads and calves and the devilishly good looks. But my stupid sleeves are always tight, and his were always loose. I take off my jersey, and sure enough, there’s that little mark that the sleeves made on each of my arms. Infuriating. The only solution is to focus completely on wasting my upper body into nothing.

Since I’m not doing anything outrageous like routinely lifting weighty objects or doing pushups, the only conclusion I can draw is that I’m carrying too many groceries into the house at once. I’ve therefor moved to a strict regimen of only carrying one gallon of milk at a time. It takes twice as long to unload the car that way, but all that walking is good for my cardio, you just have to push through the pain. I also alternate hands every few strides if I’ve parked more than a hundred meters from the house in order to avoid becoming lopsided.

Finally, if this latest program doesn’t work out as well as I expect it to, I’ve also realized that while carbohydrates are an athlete’s friend in terms of providing easy energy to burn during a workout, they are heavy on the fork, and repetitively lifting forkloads of pasta into my mouth may be what’s causing my shoulders to bulk up unnecessarily. I’m therefor on the lookout for a healthy food source that can be drank from a straw or something in pellet form that I can peck out of a bowl.

It’s drastic, sure, but drastic times call for drastic measures, and I’m determined to get there eventually.

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277 Replies to “Climbing Weight”

  1. @LA Dave

    It depends, I guess on what sort of character you would like to hold up as an exemplar.

    If it’s the maniacal man who would win at any cost and actively denigrate those who would suggest that not playing by the rules is acceptable, good luck to you.

  2. @ten B

    I realised a while ago that he true measure of a man’s charcter isn’t the big, showy things he does, but in what he does when he thinks nobody’s looking. It’s called integrity. If LA had laid it bare like Bjarne Riis, I would have been mightily impressed. Call me naive, but I think Livestrong would have come out better for it too. Instead we have more of the same BS.

    We’ll never know if he could have done what he did if the entire peloton were clean. Doping helps some more than others. Who knows if a clean Ullrich would have torn the legs off a clean Armstrong? It would be silly to think that anyone could answer that question with any confidence at all.

    What it comes down to is that this changes my opinion of cycling not at all. I’ll still ride, and I’ll still watch.

    Amen, brother.  That is what I tell my kids everyday.

  3. Never understood the visceral hatred of Pharmstrong by some here.  Seems to be a double standard when some of the same people have a carbone for Pantani.  I lost respect for Armstrong from the same source I gained it – cycling.  He was always talking about “the team”.  He could have exited with class during his second “comeback” Tour attempt when his personal tour went off the rails.  I remember watching and thinking “If it wasn’t all bullshit, he will come out and ride for the team now.”  Wrong.  Made everything he said about teamwork over the years meaningless egotistical nonsense.

    Well, that and the fact that Lance is a shill for Michelob Ultra.  How does that effect me?  Any organized ride that has beer at the end seems to think this beer is the one cyclists want now.  Thanks Lance.

  4. @brett

    Why hasn’t Wiggins come out screaming how he was robbed of a 3rd place in the 09 Tour?

    Could be a number of reasons:

    1. It would mean he’d have to speak with the press;
    2. He’s too hung-over to speak with the press;
    3. He’s not a giant douche (I didn’t say all reasons are equally realistic);
    4. He still wants a shot at being invited to a ride with Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal;
    5. It would be akin to complaining about some guy cutting your grass with a chick in a bar three years ago, when you ended up marrying a supermodel who continually raves about your guns, buys you a new bike every six months, is a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, etc. and so forth; and/or
    6. He’s too busy in his underground gene manipulation laboratory and tattoo parlour to keep up with the news.
  5. @ten B

    @brett

    Why hasn’t Wiggins come out screaming how he was robbed of a 3rd place in the 09 Tour?

    Could be a number of reasons:

    1. It would mean he’d have to speak with the press;
    2. He’s too hung-over to speak with the press;
    3. He’s not a giant douche (I didn’t say all reasons are equally realistic);
    4. He still wants a shot at being invited to a ride with Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal;
    5. It would be akin to complaining about some guy cutting your grass with a chick in a bar three years ago, when you ended up marrying a supermodel who continually raves about your guns, buys you a new bike every six months, is a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, etc. and so forth; and/or
    6. He’s too busy in his underground gene manipulation laboratory and tattoo parlour to keep up with the news.

    Gold star for you, my friend. 

    @brett I’m actually curious about who will be the first cyclist to step out and stake claim to the carcass of those tours…i.e: I finished 5th, but was the first clean finisher!  It’ll be interesting to see (if happens at all)….any one care to render a guess? Maybe no one will do that?

  6. @itburns

    I can’t speak for others, but I will say this; though Pantani may have doped, he wasn’t the sort of guy to rub everyone’s noses in it. He doped, he won, then snuffed a lot of blow, and ultimately died as the result of the fact that his life fell apart after being found out.

    Lance on the other hand, doped, was called out in it several times from many sources, and used intimidation and the legal system and apparently some friends in the UCI to keep it all quiet whist loudly proclaiming thatheh was the best in the world. He ruined a lot of people’s careers to support his own.

    A bit of a difference there.

  7. @Leroy

    @minion

    @Leroy

    Heard how doping turns donkeys into racehorses? http://www.bicycling.com/garmin-insider/featured-stories/exclusive-interview-vaughters-reveals-more-about-his-doping-and-new-?page=0,3

    Except that doping doesn’t turn “donkeys into racehorses”… I hate to break it to you my friend but there isn’t a chance in hell you could even hang with the group at the Tour regardless of how much EPO you’re taking unless you’re an extremely well trained and physically gifted athelete… PERIOD. Suggesting that you can use doping to turn a “donkey” into a “racehorse” is flat out ignorant. Even today, with massive gains made in genetic manipulation technology, where we can actually ‘gene’-dope and modify our underlying physical predisposition you can’t take a physically untalented rider and make them a champion. You can’t take a rider who isnt’ willing to train hard and dope him into being a champion. This is what you guys are missing… doping doesn’t make a shit rider a great rider. It makes a great rider a even greater rider. Doping saved Lance from some bad days on the road… over 7 years he should’ve had a day or two where his body didn’t react well to one thing or another, elevation or temperature or whatever. The doping kept that from happening… That’s it. He may have won three Tours, or four, maybe even five, without doping… the doping took him from being a multiple Tour winner to being a legendary Tour winner. It didn’t, as many people seem to think, turn a classics rider into a legendary Tour rider. If that was the case, if it was as easy as just doing the right drugs, why didn’t Hincapie take the same program all those years he was with Lance? He doped and supposedly testified to doping with Lance so they presumably had access tot he same products…

    Maybe not exactly. But, and this is a big but, as JB points out in that article the difference between #1 and #100 in say the TDF, is 2%. That’s a ton. In a local racing thread, a former pro who is now a physician, weighed in on this debate. I’ve raced against Kirk.

    “Just commenting generally and to nobody in particular, on the perception that everyone doped…

    This is not my experience. There is an entire generation of riders with the talent to race on TV in July (for example) who chose not to dope. They decided to compete clean even if it meant ending, limiting, or placing a ceiling on their careers. Most of those folks are not involved in professional cycling anymore and are unheard, unseen. I agree though that the power of doping during that era created a selection process that resulted in the majority of athletes at the higher levels of the sport being folks who were willing to dope. I also thing that things have been improving over the past few years.”-Kirk Willett

    So during those years, you either doped to some degree, or, like what happened to Kirk (who’s worn the yellow at the Tour du Pont), you become pack fodder in Europe. It’s too bad that negative light is being cast on our sport currently, but in the long run, it’ll be better.

  8. @Oli amongst the many articles on Armstrong, here is one that talks about the impossibility of being “de-inspired” after being inspired way back when. Think you were saying something similar. Makes sense. KWC.

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  10. Sorry for the huge post, but how ironic that I got this e mail on Friday morning?

  11. @ten B

    @brett

    Why hasn’t Wiggins come out screaming how he was robbed of a 3rd place in the 09 Tour?

    Could be a number of reasons:

    1. It would mean he’d have to speak with the press;
    2. He’s too hung-over to speak with the press;
    3. He’s not a giant douche (I didn’t say all reasons are equally realistic);
    4. He still wants a shot at being invited to a ride with Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal;
    5. It would be akin to complaining about some guy cutting your grass with a chick in a bar three years ago, when you ended up marrying a supermodel who continually raves about your guns, buys you a new bike every six months, is a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, etc. and so forth; and/or
    6. He’s too busy in his underground gene manipulation laboratory and tattoo parlour to keep up with the news.

    Brilliant. Needs 7: All of the above, though.

    Wiggo was crying foul a few years ago how anyone who nicked his wins coz they were doping were counts, or words to that effect…

  12. @G’rilla

    In the last paragraph of this article, Cycling News reports that the power output of Wiggo and Froome in the TdF was comparable to that of heavy dopers in the late 90″²s and 00″²s: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/report-armstrong-warned-before-all-doping-controls

    I queried that with the guys at http://www.sportsscientists.com who regularly analyse the outputs and times in cycling and other sports.

    They said the analysis the lawyer was quoting was mistaken. It compared shorter climbs of 20 minutes in the 2012 edition to the longer climbs of 45 minutes in the Armstrong years, so it was not perfectly possible and explainable that they had similar power figures.

    According to them there have been no figures in the 6.1 w/kg range on long climbs (e.g. Huez) in the last 6 years.

    The same guy has also been claiming that a police raid on Armstrong’s hotel was called off by higher powers in 2005, although he couldn’t appear to get the team name right. Seems to be just a bignoting lawyer jumping on the bandwagon, not a credible source.

  13. On a personal level, this whole Armstrong thing has turned a bit of my life into a headline that could have come from The Onion:

    “Family and Friends Suddenly Give a Shit About Area Man’s Cycling Hobby”

  14. Speaking of Climbing weight, are any Velominati from the Seattle Area planning on going up to the Mt Baker hillclimb on Sep 9th?  I am planning on driving up the morning of and could take one other, or contribute gas/beer $ to someone with a vehicle larger than a Honda Civic if there were multiple folks heading up there.

  15. @itburns

    Never understood the visceral hatred of Pharmstrong by some here.  Seems to be a double standard when some of the same people have a Carbone for Pantani.  

    I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but Pharmy’s drug use had nothing to do with me hating him – I hated him because he seemed like a giant douche bag and the Tours that he won just weren’t entertaining bike races to watch for me, even if I admired the way he controlled them.

    Pantani and Ullrich, on the other hand, looked cool and always made the racing exciting, which is good enough for me. 

    Maybe there’s a double-standard in there, but we’re talking about being fans of cyclists here; its all about bias and contradiction. Embrace it.

  16. @imakecircles

    Speaking of Climbing weight, are any Velominati from the Seattle Area planning on going up to the Mt Baker hillclimb on Sep 9th?  I am planning on driving up the morning of and could take one other, or contribute gas/beer $ to someone with a vehicle larger than a Honda Civic if there were multiple folks heading up there.

    Several of us are planning to do it, though I’m still on the fence pending some other obligations. It would be fun to have a little beer-guzzling and pizza chowing as a V-Group after the ride!

  17. @frank

    @itburns

    Never understood the visceral hatred of Pharmstrong by some here.  Seems to be a double standard when some of the same people have a Carbone for Pantani.

    I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but Pharmy’s drug use had nothing to do with me hating him – I hated him because he seemed like a giant douche bag and the Tours that he won just weren’t entertaining bike races to watch for me, even if I admired the way he controlled them.

    Pantani and Ullrich, on the other hand, looked cool and always made the racing exciting, which is good enough for me.

    Maybe there’s a double-standard in there, but we’re talking about being fans of cyclists here; its all about bias and contradiction. Embrace it.

    I feel the same. Lance has done some cool stuff for a friend of mine that is going thru her 3rd different type of cancer at 21 y/o. I liked watching him race in the pre-cancer days. I’d met him at a stage race in Oregon when he was a amateur on Motorola. His ego barely fit in the state.

    Like Frank and others, the drug use isn’t my problem with him; it’s how he bulldozed everyone around him I guess. Had he stayed retired, and not tried to pull a “Michael Jordan” with all the ruckus with Contador (who’s bright idea was that anyway?), things probably would have been different for him.

    All that said, one of my favorite race finishes is when he won the World Champs. The way he attacked and buried a stacked field was impressive.

  18. @Dan_R

    I eat well for my weight

    I am awesome! (Let’s shed this talk of “Lance” and get on with talking about climbing weight!

    I killed my climb up to my house today and friggen Strava didn’t track it. I tracked the rest of my ride but not the only climb I was able to ride sure la plaque fucktards! It was all about how awesome I am and regaining my KOM from the one other twat that rides that hill! Probably juiced…

  19. @Dan_R

    @Dan_R

    I eat well for my weight

    I am awesome! (Let’s shed this talk of “Lance” and get on with talking about climbing weight!

    I killed my climb up to my house today and friggen Strava didn’t track it. I tracked the rest of my ride but not the only climb I was able to ride sure la plaque fucktards! It was all about how awesome I am and regaining my KOM from the one other twat that rides that hill! Probably juiced…

    Hellyeah! But this is also a great example of why Strava can be frustrating; if you didn’t have that KOM you were going after, wouldn’t you feel great about your climb? But your computer crapped out and that’s overshadowing your great ride.

    Sur la Plaque – its what its all about. Rule #90 or bust.

  20. @frank

    I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but Pharmy’s drug use had nothing to do with me hating him – I hated him because he seemed like a giant douche bag and the Tours that he won just weren’t entertaining bike races to watch for me, even if I admired the way he controlled them.

    Pantani and Ullrich, on the other hand, looked cool and always made the racing exciting, which is good enough for me.

    Maybe there’s a double-standard in there, but we’re talking about being fans of cyclists here; its all about bias and contradiction. Embrace it.

    I feel similar, Frank … didn’t like him when he was 16 and stinking up the multi-sport world. The doping and relentless vilification of those doing the right thing for the sport is just confirmation that my hatred is not only justified, but necessary. Pharmstrong is the worst of all offenders… not for what he did on the bike while doped up, but for how he acts off the bike in the face truth. Accountability can be a beautiful thing… a true hardman would find a way to man-the-fuck-up and take responsibility for his actions.

  21. @frank I still feel pretty good about the effort, regardless of what Strava says. Bunch of douchebags. Now I know why I never got a garmin. I use my GSP on my blackberry.

    I spent the weekend in Banff riding some of the lower climbs – Tunnel Mountain and Mt. Norquay, so I came home this week thinking I was fucking Pantani.

  22. @frank

    @Dan_R

    @Dan_R

    I eat well for my weight

    I am awesome! (Let’s shed this talk of “Lance” and get on with talking about climbing weight!

    I killed my climb up to my house today and friggen Strava didn’t track it. I tracked the rest of my ride but not the only climb I was able to ride sure la plaque fucktards! It was all about how awesome I am and regaining my KOM from the one other twat that rides that hill! Probably juiced…

    Hellyeah! But this is also a great example of why Strava can be frustrating; if you didn’t have that KOM you were going after, wouldn’t you feel great about your climb? But your computer crapped out and that’s overshadowing your great ride.

    Sur La Plaque – its what its all about. Rule #90 or bust.

    Agreed, I have opened a can of worms where I work, as I have put them all onto Strava. All the YJA’s there now constantly point out the (few) koms I have been losing to my kom  stalker. I just use it all to track progress, the enjoyment of the ride always comes first for me.

  23. I can’t climb. Period. Hills and rollers yes. BIG hills and mountains no. But I on the weekend I was able to stay with my group the whole time (except for the trek up the mountain). And it is definitely not a flat ride.  No falling off the back, not a once. Climbing weight be damned!

  24. @Dan_R

    @frank I still feel pretty good about the effort, regardless of what Strava says. Bunch of douchebags. Now I know why I never got a garmin. I use my GSP on my blackberry.

    I spent the weekend in Banff riding some of the lower climbs – Tunnel Mountain and Mt. Norquay, so I came home this week thinking I was fucking Pantani.

    Word up to that. Strava is a great tool – don’t get me wrong. Its a great way to measure yourself against the only thing that matters: yourself. And, if you get a KOM, then shit, how cool is that? But I got sucked in, and spend a few months overtraining as I rode every day like it was a race, trying to better my own segments and getting KOMs all over town.

    But when training properly, you have a few targets along the road that you train towards, and you work up to them. I keep all my rides private and study them to see how I’m doing. When I feel I’m up to killing it one day, I’ll drill it and see how I’m doing on the segments I care about. I keep most of them private, except where I take a KOM or do a major ride like a Cogal or some such. The rest is just for me to consume and study.

    That’s the way for me to maximally enjoy the service. Just my view. Oh, and GPS stats are usually a few km/h slower than people riding with sensors, so keep that in mind.

  25. @girl

    I can’t climb. Period. Hills and rollers yes. BIG hills and mountains no. But I on the weekend I was able to stay with my group the whole time (except for the trek up the mountain). And it is definitely not a flat ride.  No falling off the back, not a once. Climbing weight be damned!

    That, sister, is all about The V and Dime. Weight, BMI, all that stuff is great, but it goes out the window when you need to Survive on V.

  26. Great article in The New Yorker about a dentist who cheated at marathons all over the USA. He managed to show up at all the timing checkpoints without actually running the full race.

    And to think that he spent thousands of dollars flying all over the country, registering for races, staying in hotels, just to cheat. But apparently he was quite good at it and even now, no one can figure out how he did it.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/06/120806fa_fact_singer

  27. @G’rilla

    Interesting read and strange guy but the most common oddity of his marathons was that he wasn’t posting at many of the time mats and would almost never be in photos along the routes.

  28. @G’rilla

    @Nate
    Hilarious and more than a little sad. I guess doing a Kip Litton might be a potential lexicon entry? Or maybe Lance should engage Kip’s services to provide hime with a few alibis when the drug evidence comes out.

    Come to think of it, I have never seen Armstrong and Litton in the same place at the same time…

     

  29. @Marcus

    @G’rilla

    @Nate
    Hilarious and more than a little sad. I guess doing a Kip Litton might be a potential lexicon entry? Or maybe Lance should engage Kip’s services to provide hime with a few alibis when the drug evidence comes out.

    Come to think of it, I have never seen Armstrong and Litton in the same place at the same time…

    Rasmussen clearly was on the Kip Litton plan.

    @Marcus

    @G’rilla @itburns @Nate @unversio
    Do you think Frank could organize a VSP for the West Wyoming Marathon?

    Fuck no, running is for criminals.

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan.

  30. @Nate

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan

    No worries. Down here we think that America is just New York and the places that have Disneylands. The rest of the joint is where the cowboy and civil war movies are made. 

  31. @frank LOL, I just realized that I wrote GSP instead of GPS.

    Yeah, I ride with George St.Pierre on my handlebars. Whenever I get weak, he punches me in the mellon.

  32. @RedRanger

    New Yorker store has them but not cheap.

    When I was a kid, my grandfather had a 1/2 bathroom in his house wallpapered with old New Yorker covers from the 1940s-1970s.  I could spend an hour in there looking at old covers.

  33. @Marcus

    @Nate

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan

    No worries. Down here we think that America is just New York and the places that have Disneylands. The rest of the joint is where the cowboy and civil war movies are made.

    We could draw a parallel to Americans’ views of Australia.  Sydney, and all the other places infested with marsupials.

  34. @Nate

    @Marcus

    @Nate

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan

    No worries. Down here we think that America is just New York and the places that have Disneylands. The rest of the joint is where the cowboy and civil war movies are made.

    We could draw a parallel to Americans’ views of Australia.  Sydney, and all the other places infested with marsupials.

    You should try explaining being Scottish to an American sometime…

  35. @the Engine

    @Nate

    @Marcus

    @Nate

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan

    No worries. Down here we think that America is just New York and the places that have Disneylands. The rest of the joint is where the cowboy and civil war movies are made.

    We could draw a parallel to Americans’ views of Australia.  Sydney, and all the other places infested with marsupials.

    You should try explaining being Scottish to an American

    For starters you need to understand what an average American knows about being Scottish.

  36. @Nate

    @Marcus

    @Nate

    By the way, I had no idea that antipodeans read the New Yorker as those parts are not visible from Manhattan

    No worries. Down here we think that America is just New York and the places that have Disneylands. The rest of the joint is where the cowboy and civil war movies are made.

    We could draw a parallel to Americans’ views of Australia.  Sydney, and all the other places infested with marsupials.

    it is a huge step forward for the average American to have even a thought of Australia. It is always quite amusing when travelling in the States to start telling lies to Americans about Australia. Last year I was in a lounge at LAX (where you would think people would know better) and  started telling this American couple (only because of the sheer stupidity and ignorance that they displayed) how psyched I was to have arrived in the US so I could start using the internet – “because we dont really have it back home”.

    To then have the stupid fuckers start showing me how to access the net on my iPhone was priceless. To then see Pammy Anderson in the same lounge made my trip before it had started.

    And of course you can always tell them about the Drop Bears…

  37. Australia is across the water from that place where they filmed Lord of the Rings. About sums it up!

  38. ‘squeak – I was lucky enough to see Lord of the Rings in the theatre while being on the south island of NZ. Pretty sweet as experience!

  39. Why Kiwis would have any desire to go to the West Island is beyond me. North and South islands are perfect. The West Island has too many bugs, spiders, and kangaroos.

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