Cycling fitness tips
Getting into shape for competitive cycling can be tough. Follow our tips to stay in shape, keep your weight under control and stay strong and lean.
If you're using cycling to aid your weight loss, or simply just to maintain your current condition as you slip into your 30s or 40s, our cycling performance tips will help.
- Don't just diet - dieting alone will mean you lose a lot of weight, but some of this will be muscle. This is even more true if you currently have a large amount of muscle. This will leave you weak, slow and lethargic.
- Don't cut out too many carbohydratess - carb fasting or carb loading are advanced dieting methods. Most dieters cut down carbohydrates as this is the easiet way to cut excess calories, however you must take on carbs before and after training or you risk leaving glycogen levels too low. This will prove disastrous in the long run and will leave you with no energy whatsoever.
- Keep riding - riding will use the muscles that you need and help maintain them - even in a caloric deficit. As well as this, you'll burn off a lot of calories cycling - an excellent way to lose fat or weight overall.
- Consider weight training - weight training will only make you bulky if you eat more calories than you need for the day. However, basic weight training will have a quick impact on the way your muscles feel and work. This is known as "newbie gains" in the trade - the phenomenon that results in untrained individuals who take up resistance training. Capitalise on this early period!
- Eat well - eat low GI carbs to give you energy throughout the day. Try to avoid saturated fats as these are not as good as poly or monounsaturated ones. The exact science of this is a little outside the scope of this article however.