Being more agile on the bike is just simply more fun, and riding big hills easily is on most peoples agenda. Although power-to-weight ratio is a helpful number for those focused on high performance and racing, aerobic endurance through cycling is an ideal tool to drop a few kilos when executed with a controlled diet. Blending interval training and dedicated ride sessions at effective fat metabolising pace/power or heart-rate is a potent way of influencing body composition outside of nutrition. In many situations, increasing power is more productive and healthier than significant weight loss, unless the percentage fat mass is excessive or an over-balance of lean mass exists. Establishing your Fat(max) intensity through a full lactate threshold profile provides the perfect tool for achieving rapid fat loss, while enjoying ride sessions on precious free time.
In general, reducing fat mass is achieved even more quickly through increasing the percentage of metabolically active lean mass which fuels itself from excessive stores of adipose tissue. An optimal combination of strength and endurance training through general conditioning is necessary before a specific period of conditioning is prescribed for even greater performance. Recruiting greater volumes of muscle fibers without forming extra mass is a key objective for re-modelling a critical proportion of Type II glycolytic inefficient fibers to Type I oxidative and fatigue resistant forms, depending on your unique physiological profile.
Cross-training is usually employed to accelerate this process, which can then be made cycling specific through relevant exercises. A flexible periodisation programme is easily tailored to your desired body composition goals.
Many athletes who have not previously performed resistance training in the off-season are unknowingly placing themselves at a performance disadvantage. Rigourous endurance training without appropriate neuromuscular stimulation and recovery is ultimately a catabolic process, meaning that wasting (atrophy) of crucial muscle groups may be advanced.
Recovering from an accident or rehabilitation for a medical condition can take its time. Motivated athletes are always keen to jump back on the bike quite quickly…..although this is sometimes detrimental to both the healing process and development of a baseline fitness to advance rapidly from, with more certainty.