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Cyclist body fat - answering the questions

How much body fat do pro cyclists have?

Body Composition

An elite endurance cyclist would fall anywhere from 4% and 15%. A typical healthy male upper body fat percentage would be up to 20%.



Diet is so incredibly important to professional cyclists that it cannot be underestimated. And that's why World Tour teams invest heavily in nutrition. You will all have at least one chef traveling with the team plus at least one nutritionist.

It's pretty clear what a chef does, but what about a nutritionist? Well, I'll find out by pretending to be a professional cyclist again and asking Nigel Mitchell, who is the Nutritionistat Team EF Education First and also a friend of GCN for writing our book, The Plant-Based Cyclist. Door creak) (Heavy Bass) (whoosh) I guess I've never been so nervous about going to the GCN studio. All right Nigel? - Hiya Si, I heard that.

You don't have to be nervous at all, you should know you have known me for a long time.- Well that's true, that's true.But anyway the scales never lie and I think that will be part of that.- But it's interesting that you say that because your focus is as Athlete on the weight lies? - Yes. - Although my focus as a nutritionist is much broader.



My focus is on your overall health and performance, and weight is only a small part of that. - Right, that's interesting because that was my first question. What does a nutritionist do for a World Tour team? - Well, that's a question a lot of people would like an answer to. (laughs) No, seriously, it is really quite exhausting and deep work and it works on many different levels.

So there is a strategic level where we are trying to really develop a positive culture around food and nutrition and health and performance. And that includes working with the cook, working with the hotels, with the soigneurs, and working with the nutrition partners in the team. And what I believe is, if you have the right environment and the right kind of culture, then drivers actually learn from that experience and that has a big impact on how they eat and behave.

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And part of my job is that I always have individual meetings with the drivers, especially in the training camps, and when a new driver joins the teams, I do a little one-on-one introduction with them, which is usually between takes an hour and two, so it's pretty profound. - Yes! - And what I'm going to do there is really try and understand, do you have any food intolerances? do you have any preferences? do you have any medical history issues related to diet? How iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency? D, things like that, so we can look at some of the historical bloods, what they have there and how the diet and nutrition can do this. Do you have any problems with certain foods? Do you also talk to them about the philosophy in the team, huh? we with food.



I'm going to talk about how amazing the team chef is and how he needs to communicate with this chef about the foods he offers at the races we are from a body composition standpoint - Okay. So, should we go ahead and then look at body composition? - Well, interestingly Si, what I did, I dug up my notes from you from 2005 when you were a mountain biker. So we have some historical data so we can actually see how you've changed over the last 15 years - yes, so today we're not only going to find out what a world traveler nutritionist does, but today we're going to find out how I get into the declined last 15 years.- So you have to strip down to your pants.- Well, it's your lucky day, isn't it? (laughs) (bell rings) Well, as interesting as it would have been to read the comments, if I was sitting here in my pants, I found a couple of gym shorts that I think Nigel could probably be from 2005 - Yeah , I think you could check out the fashion.

The other thing is that I hardly recognize you without your GCN hoodie, you have a t-shirt - I have, it's also GCN written on it, I guess I have to get rid of that, right? - Yes, so basically, what we do? Here's, I'm going to take some measurements on your body, and we're going to measure eight spots on your body and what we're doing is, we're just looking at the total, we're not working out a body fat equation. or something like that, although people are often used to doing that. I don't like using it because you have to use certain regression equations and if you don't use the same equations you get completely different numbers.

And there's a lot more the goal is that when we just have a total, we're not saying this is good or bad, we're saying you are right here. And what we do over time is that we can monitor that, so then, you know, we can look at where the athlete is at different stages of the season. Sometimes we work on goals for people who need a certain weight.



But it's just as much about protecting the rider as what it's about achieving performance goals because it's really easy to take the weight too far, and if we take the weight too far we have both health and performance issues with a single driver.- Okay.- So if we want to get started, please take off your t-shirt and get up.- Alright.Woohoo! (Wolf whistles) - Okay, so first things first, we have to weigh you - Okay - So stand on the scales - Wow! - 72.1.- Yes! - Well, interestingly, you were on August 8th 2005 70.9.- That was probably my biceps, I guess, which has grown since then. (laughs) I can tense anything, Nigel, but I guess you won't be fooled. - No, I actually need you to relax.

So all we're going to do here is I use this pair of skinfold calipers, so this is a scientifically engineered device that has a certain amount on the feathers that puts a certain amount of pressure on the skin. And all we do is just measure in millimeters, show a lot of the skin and underlying tissue that we have there constant, the thickness of the skin really stays constant, it's the things below that change and it's the things underneath, which represent the body fat. And like I said earlier, I wouldn't use this to actually estimate how much fat someone was wearing because it is pretty imprecise to do so, but what it is useful for is helping us map an athlete's weight changes so that we can get one get good idea of ​​are we losing muscle? are we losing fat? and how we measure that over time to protect us the rider.

And I'm trained to make skin fold under an organization called ISAK and when people pay attention To wrinkle skin, they really need to question people's education. Well the way I'm going to do this with you is not the way it's done in the ISAK manual and that's really just for the sake of brevity.- Okay.- But the first thing I do would is that I would look at you visually, and I have a photographic memory for men's bodies- oh that's useful. (laughs) - So you don't actually look that much different, back to 2005, to be honest Si - Phew! - Well, if I just look at you there, I can see that you've started to look at this middle-aged guy get the spread a little around the back, around the kidneys there. (laughs) - Right, okay. - It's nothing too dramatic, nothing too dramatic, so I've always --- you heard it here as the first GCN viewer.

The thing about age is interesting, Nigel, you know, a driver like Valverde, you know, in his forties, - Yes.- You know, he's going to fight, and I know we can't go into details, but we will he fight against the spread of middle age? Top athletes? - I'm telling you, which I find pretty interesting, I don't necessarily think it's that much harder because I've worked with people in their forties, fifties and they were really, really slim. I think it's the consistency - right. - So, I think if people have sustained themselves like Valverde then it can get harder for him every year, or he has to adjust every year, but he kind of doesn't let it go himself, gained 10 pounds, then he tries to correct that.

So he held out the whole time. So, I think it can be a challenge, but I think if people stay that way it will be a lot easier to try and fight again. So what we always do is measure the right side exactly like this, that's the default side we would measure - Okay - And one of the things that is often very interesting with cyclists is that when we are working on the side , quite often, when they crash, they have a lot of scar tissue, and that's why we often have to try to measure around that scar tissue because that actually adds quite a bit to it I look at how your bodies are spread out, but I also see if you are a little shaky because if you are a little shaky how many drivers there are then i say please make sure you go and check out the chiro.

Well, we work pretty integrated as a team. And I'm just looking for the center point on your arm there, then we take a circumference and then just take these measurements through there. - Okay. - So let me take this measurement there.

Quick mental calculation. Okay, we marked your arms, so now i'm just going to take the skin folds with me, what i do is i take three different measurements and basically just take an average. So again, under the strictest protocol, I would write down every single different measurement, but for time constraints, I'll just take this one and measure it.

So what I'm doing here is just pull the meat off your arm, leave the caliper on, just let it sit down, take it off, do the same thing over again, do the same thing over again, that's great. (Relaxing music) You can put your t-shirt back on to stay warm - you can all breathe a sigh of relief. (laughs) - Then we'll do your legs, so all you have to do is sit in the chair over there.

Now, 15 years ago, you didn't. You don't have hairy legs, do you? - No, that's right. Three months ago I didn't have such hairy legs, but it's a winter thing - it's a winter thing, isn't it? So all I'm doing here is just really go from the hip to the top of the knee and just go to the center point there.

And that only gives us, if we increase the girth, when someone increases girth and the skin folds decrease, that's suggestive because they build more muscle on the thigh-- - Yes.- When the skin fold goes up and the leg gets smaller, that means that they put on more fat and lose muscle, which is not what we want. - no.

So these kind of measurements can be very helpful to the driver because they only help us understand some of the changes with them. - Yeah, I can imagine that it's actually a bit of a marker of training effectiveness, right? - It is, yes. I mean, a lot of drivers are really interested if, like us using this, they are really interested in having this data collected on a regular basis so that they can easily monitor and see where they are at different stages so when I am drivers I've worked with for several years who come back and say, 'Ooh, where was I last May Nige?' 'Ooh, oh yeah, then I really went (beeps). 'Or' Oh yeah, I really wanted - 'And so they just use it as part of their matrix with it - So, could you do that in a race then? - Yeah, absolutely! So races can be really good place to collect some of that data, but what's really important about it is that we don't really, somehow, subjectively, somehow, make calls about it.

It's that we're fine, here it is. We are not saying that this is good, this is bad, a success or a failure, we are just using it as a monitoring tool. But I also find it very protective to prevent drivers from being really too light and too thin-- - Yes - And like on a Grand Tour, we tend to measure this at the beginning, in the middle, at the end.

Again, it's really about helping us understand the energy balance, so the riders are again making sure we're getting enough calories in them. I've been in races where the riders lost weight too quickly so that we were then able to intervene to help them and feed them more over the past few weeks. So, you know, it's all about the support, not the judgment. - Yes.

I have an inkling that the skin folds have gone up and the muscle mass has decreased. But I'll be pretty interested. All right, Nigel, how do we look? - Well, what does it all mean? It's like I said before, I'm not saying if things are good or bad, it's just the moment we're in.

We're interested in what we can do, compare this to the data you had almost 15 years ago. and interestingly there is no massive weight change, you are only a pound heavier, but what does that mean for your body? So in some ways they are within the measurement error, the girth, but the really interesting thing is that the skin folds have gone up pretty noticeably. Back in 2005 the total of seven was 36 millimeters, and today they are 53.4 millimeters. - Okay. - So what does that mean? - Hopefully not that I'm 80 percent thicker than I was (laughs) - It is like I said, I don't do a body fat percentage.

But what it means is that because the weight is pretty much the same, the girth is pretty much the same, but the skin folds are really a little bit higher then that really means what you did is you lost muscle mass and some fat mass And if I look at the levels you get here, within a team you would probably find two or three riders in December who have similar skinfolds to now in December, and when they get into the racing season they would be very similar to yours. So actually, if you look at the timing now, we do this in winter, and we did it before in summer, it may be that these went back down to 36 millimeters in summer. - Okay, so I'm only six Months away from peak form .- But to be completely honest, you know, we're not talking about where these are right now, that this is something that is bad for your health, or for who the type of driving, that you do will also negatively affect your driving.

So you are in an okay zone. - Okay, that's cool from a personal point of view, of course, but what really interests me is actually you wouldn't judge a driver when they walked in, in terms of: Okay, we have to sort you out now because your skin folds are higher than all of yours Teammates .- No, judgments like this may be quite dangerous and I'm really trying to keep drivers from comparing themselves to other drivers.

And I don't really like to make the right judgment until we have a set of dates and we could see how the athletes have done. If we have a driver who comes in in December and then has really high skin folds, we'll say we'll be completely honest with him and say, look, you know, for the time of year, where does it sit normally, how you're in of the season? then they usually go, well, I'm a few pounds where I should be and okay, let's help you with that, so when we meet again in January this is something to work towards. again, it's a supportive process, instead of, you know, you're really overweight, go away and sort yourself out - some of these methods of getting someone to lose a little weight I can think of under close supervision be incredibly effective, and after all, weight is very important to a professional cyclist.

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But even a driver will be on his own for a large part of the year and take care of himself. I can also imagine it's pretty easy not only to make mistakes, but also to make mistakes on a regular basis. So is it part of your job to take care of your diet from this perspective too? - Yeah - For example, eating disorders? - Yeah, so if we look at cycling, not just cycling, you know, I've had experience with a lot of sports, and eating disorders are pretty common in most sports.

My approach and thoughts are actually related to eating disorders. So if you think about it, what we ask athletes to do isn't entirely normal, so you know when people are doing something like a faster workout, right? Running out of really limited energy for a long journey is not entirely normal, so there is something wrong with it. But that doesn't mean it's pathological, and what I mean by that is, if from an emotional or physiological standpoint, it is negative for the athlete.

So if we introduce changes in diet and training to help them improve performance, then this disordered pattern is not necessarily unhealthy driven by emotional goals and makes these disordered patterns with no real logic from a performance or physical point of view then if we start getting into danger areas, then when people get more into eating disorders then eating disorders can prevent them from becoming an eating disorder. (Doorcracks) - Well, I have to say a huge thank you to Nigel, firstly for making it so easy for me, I'm pretty sure he lied about my skin folds, but we don't need to know that anyway, but also for his amazing insights and his knowledge as always that we shot with him, based on the Plant-Based Cyclist book. If you want to see one you can click the screen now, otherwise please give this article a big thumbs up.

Does cycling lower body fat percentage?

It's easy to build up unwanted fat on the waistline, but getting on a bike can help you shift those extra pounds and along the way lose belly fat, helping you get fitter and leaner.Jan 2, 2020

Why are cyclists so skinny?

At the same time, endurance cyclists will burn a lot of fat. All that's left is muscle. So they're skinny, but athletic. The upper body typically is less developed than the lower body, too.

Whats a good weight for a cyclist?

Rule of thumb equation for appropriate weight is to take 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height (for women) and 106 pounds (for men). Then, add 4-6 pounds per inch of height above this base (women), and 5-7 pounds per inch (men).Sep 5, 2016

It's often believed that cycling performance is a really simple equation. It's all about strength to weight. So just train your FTP, stop snacking, go faster, easy.

Well, actually no, it's a bit more complicated than finding power to weight nonsense. I mean, well, obviously not completely rubbish, just overemphasized. (upbeat music) We all know these cyclists who may not be slim.

Or you could even call them generous who are still extremely strong on the bike. This is super annoying now that you have a salad for dinner, a snack on celery and a sip of black coffee. How do they do it? Well, it It is important to remember that your weight on the bike is only an obstacle when you are walking uphill or accelerating.

So if you run evenly on the flat, it doesn't matter if you weigh a lot. What matters is your absolute power. Even if the road starts to go uphill and your weight counts against it, remember that gravity is not the only thing h.You still need to overcome running resistance and aerodynamic drag.

So if you're climbing five percent and rolling at 20-30km per hour, go deep, get aerodynamic and sit on the steering wheel, it will really help, really. Of course, the faster you go, the more important aerodynamic drag is the more important. So on steeper climbs, your weight will hold you back more.

The steeper the ascent, the more power counts. Therefore on Angeroo I I really would have liked to have been a little more disciplined with my chocolate consumption. (soft music) What goes up usually comes down too.

Downhill, gravity goes on your side. The more weight you have, the more it will help you when it is so fast that you don't have to pedal. Well then the strength doesn't matter and the weight is definitely meaningless.

Heavier riders have a real advantage on fast descents. (soft music) Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to dumping people on the bike or when you're on the receiving end of ped, it's very rarely about your ftp-to-weight ratio, it unless you're riding a long, steady climb. What matters is how well you can attack or mask attacks, and those are very short bursts of force.

You can have amazing FTP-to-weight ratios and still you may not be able to generate short bursts of force. So sometimes your strength-to-weight ratio over 15 seconds or a minute is more important to you than on long climbs the weight of you, your bike and your helmet and shoes and your clothes, which count against you. So if you're a smaller, lighter rider with a better FTP, that weight will make up a greater proportion of the total weight.

So you could actually say that lighter drivers with better FTP are actually penalized. That sounds like the wing of the little driver who had to race with the inserts with a minimum weight of 6.8 kg, then you're right, I swing and I'm very happy that I now have a day I don't have to be more concerned about this weight. (Joy music) Finally we come to what I consider to be the most important factor in cycling performance, physiology.

The best cyclists aren't just those with good power to weight ratio. They are the ones who can push yourself the hard booth, which is really very difficult to measure in a laboratory, and give you a number. Basically, if you suffer longer and can hold on to this bike, then you could do better than someone who just has a better power-to-weight ratio than you.

So there you go the power-to-weight ratio isn't too bee or theendue or even though it is is pretty important. Let us know in the comments if you know what your strength to weight ratio is. You can click below to subscribe to more great content, and if you want to see some GCN articles on how to improve your strength even though you may not have your weight, click here.

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Are bikers skinny?

Serious bicyclists usually have very low body fat. Road biking is steady, hard, long duration exercise. That kind of exercise burns a LOT of body fat. So you see long distance runners and road bikers that are very thin.

Is an FTP of 200 good?

FTP in watts for females

There is less resolution for this data because there are a lot more males than females that use Cycling Analytics. 46% of people have an FTP below 200W. 44% of people have an FTP of 210W or more. 10% of people have an FTP between 200W and 210W.
Jun 7, 2018

Will cycling for 30 minutes a day help me lose weight?

Steady, moderate cycling burns about 300 calories in 60 minutes, but you can burn more than that if you increase the intensity. In fact, according to the Harvard Health Letter, a 155-pound person can burn as many as 298 calories in a 30-minute bike ride, if they pedal at a 12-to-13.9 mile-per-hour pace.Jul 17, 2020

Does cycling reduce back fat?

Cycling to lose belly fat

Cycling is therefore a good option to lose weight. But that's not only because of the calories you burn, it also affects your basal metabolic rate and muscle mass. As you push down or pull up on the pedals you are meeting resistance so you will be building muscle.
May 14, 2020

Do cyclists poop themselves?

Today, elite athletes will just poop their pants and continue on. Keep in mind what's happening when cyclists are forced to poop their pants. Professionals compete to the point that their body is beyond stressed – it feels likes it is dying.Jul 21, 2015

Are cyclists anorexic?

A sports dietician has reported an increase in the number of cyclists suffering from eating disorders. Renee McGregor says she has seen a five-fold increase in the number of male riders being referred with disordered eating in the last year, while every new male client she has seen has been a cyclist.Jan 2, 2020

How much body fat does a cyclist have?

Cyclists range from 6-11% body fat for men and 12-16% body fat for women. The average elite climber is 5′ 7″ and 130 pounds. The typical time trialist body is 6 feet and 147 lbs.

Why does cycling reduce your ability to burn fat?

The results suggested a shift towards body fat oxidation for energy. Besides, the study warned that consuming a snack that’s rich in carbohydrates during cycling or other workouts will reduce your body’s ability to burn fat. It will prompt your body to shift from burning fat to burning carbs for energy.

Which is better for burning belly fat running or cycling?

If you are physically fit, your body will blaze less calories as your body is efficient at utilizing energy. Both running and cycling can aid in burning body fat. However, they are not some magic bullet to melt away all your belly fat and reveal your washboard abs.

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