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Riding to Burn Fat

Thomas Whitley

As a (pseudo) cyclist I ride my bike to stay healthy, stay in shape, and hopefully to lose some weight. I'm not overweight, per se, but I do weigh more than what I consider to be my ideal weight. That said, even with all the riding I've done over the past year, which, admittedly, isn't as much as I should have done, I have not noticed a drastic drop in weight. Now, I've had tough rides (like my ride Monday) where I've lost a handful of pounds from the beginning of the ride to the end of the ride. That is usually "water weight," though, and at least some of it tends to come back. So, my recent question has been, with the reality of being able to ride hundreds of miles and still have negligible weight-loss, how does one ride and noticeably lose weight?

Luck for me, Bicycling.com has an article out today on just that. Here is their prescription for "High-Intensity Training" to lose weight:

Blast off your bacon by pushing your body into the red and firing up your metabolism. You'll burn more calories as you exercise, but more important your body will need more energy to recover, so you'll continue frying fat long after you're done. Lose your love handles with One-Two Punch intervals. Warm up with an easy spin for 10 to 15 minutes. Crank up the intensity to more than 90 percent of your max heart rate for one minute. Recover for two minutes. Repeat this one-two cycle for a total of 10 intervals. Work up to 20 for an hour-long pound-shedding session. Cool down for 10 minutes.

Brad, my good friend and favorite riding partner, frequently talks about the benefits of riding intervals, but I've yet to take his advice. Starting tomorrow that's going to change.

NOTE: Make sure to consult your physician before beginning any new training regimen. Also, it is very hot out there right now (record-breaking temperatures all over the country). Drink lots of water before, during, and after workouts.