Can you cycle well with a paunch?

mercalia
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Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby mercalia » 21 Mar 2015, 10:50am

This is a bit serious. but not one to get flamed over. I have lost 2 stone in the last year and my tummy getting flat ( amongst other bits losing the flab). I have noticed breathing is much easier cycling especially having eaten a meal. So wondering if the fat on the tummy acts like a strait jacket. This puzzles me as an associate who I have never seen riding a bike and in late 60's ( who does club riding ) claims he can average 12 mph over 50 miles ( I cant or maybe just dont want to do that) - and he has a pot belly that is really inflated, must be seriously obese. I dont know how he can do it ( or if it is the truth ). Any opinions?

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531colin
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby 531colin » 21 Mar 2015, 2:13pm

Basic mechanics of breathing.....you raise your ribs and lower your diaphragm....the volume of your chest increases, and air comes in to fill the space. As you lower your diaphragm, your abdomen also distends.
Leaning forward on a bicycle, with your legs pumping up and down, does rather restrict the space available for abdominal distension....lots of fat on and in the abdomen will not help.

RogerThat
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby RogerThat » 21 Mar 2015, 2:26pm

Cardiovascular fitness is not directly related to the size of your belly! I've seen some very fine athletes, who are carrying a 'bit of timber', and I've a colleague who can run sub 3hr marathons with quite a belly on him. It shouldn't make much difference really, unless you are racing as most of the time riders are on the tops or hoods of the bars and breathing should be relatively unrestricted.

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Sweep
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Sweep » 21 Mar 2015, 7:46pm

Thanks for that. The gf is telling me to lose some weight round the middle, and i definitely should. But walking up the substantial hill to my house she is far more out of breath than me. And she goes to the gym. Not sure what she gets up to there.
Sweep

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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Chiz » 21 Mar 2015, 8:14pm

Sweep wrote:Thanks for that. The gf is telling me to lose some weight round the middle, and i definitely should. But walking up the substantial hill to my house she is far more out of breath than me. And she goes to the gym. Not sure what she gets up to there.


As a cyclist, your cardio fitness is likely to be in good order. If your gf is doing weights or some other kind of strength training and neglecting cardio work (as is often the case with gym people) then you will run rings round her.

mercalia
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby mercalia » 21 Mar 2015, 10:17pm

RogerThat wrote:Cardiovascular fitness is not directly related to the size of your belly! I've seen some very fine athletes, who are carrying a 'bit of timber', and I've a colleague who can run sub 3hr marathons with quite a belly on him. It shouldn't make much difference really, unless you are racing as most of the time riders are on the tops or hoods of the bars and breathing should be relatively unrestricted.


I am surprised u say that tummy fat doesnt restrict. There used to be a extremly large guy ( probably gone now) who shopped at my local Sainsburys and the fat affected his breathing to the extent that his intakes were very shallow, limiting the room for chest expansions etc. I my self felt uncomfortable compared to now and used to get tired more so than now.

RogerThat
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby RogerThat » 22 Mar 2015, 2:14am

That was probably the effect of underlying health problems. Obesity, especially those morbidly obese can cause asthmatic disorders. He may even have been a heart attack survivor.

A paunch is no real detriment to fitness and wellness. I used to ride with a chap who would definitely (under current guidelines) be described as 'obese' yet he could give us all a complete thrashing out on almost any ride except up the steepest of hills! Of course morbidly obese people who live a completely sedentary lifestyle are doing themselves no favours, but like I've said in previous posts, even a little exercise can have significant health benefits for almost anyone, regardless of 'size'.

notme2
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby notme2 » 22 Mar 2015, 7:55am

This is depends on how your body stores fat.
There are two types FOTI Fat Outside Thin Inside, TOFI Thin Outside Fat Inside.
FOTI's tend to be classed as fit fat and TOFI's tend to get a bit puffed out due to fat around the organs restricting the amount of air you can breath due to full chest cavity.
I think there is a nice short article on it in wikipedia.

Hope it helps.
Ian

Mark1978
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Mark1978 » 22 Mar 2015, 8:30am

12mph over 50miles isn't especially fast so I wouldn't take his word necessarily. Unless you're very overweight I don't think it makes a massive difference. Losing weight will help in so much that climbing will be a lot easier due to reduced weight. The cycling will feel easier as will your breathing.

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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Vorpal » 22 Mar 2015, 9:03am

I cycled pregnant :mrgreen:

I did have to raise the bars as high as they would go, and in the later stages of my pregnancy, I could only (just) ride my hybrid.

When I was a noticeably pregnant, I was a bit slow on club runs, and I got puffed out more easily, but the hardest part was that the bump got in the way :lol:

More seriously, I've known a couple of quite heavy people who could take the fastest times on 75 mile reliability rides, and I've never been able to do that. Fat, even obesity is not necessary a sign of fitness, though unfit people are more likely to be overweight.
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mercalia
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby mercalia » 22 Mar 2015, 10:28am

notme2 wrote:This is depends on how your body stores fat.
There are two types FOTI Fat Outside Thin Inside, TOFI Thin Outside Fat Inside.
FOTI's tend to be classed as fit fat and TOFI's tend to get a bit puffed out due to fat around the organs restricting the amount of air you can breath due to full chest cavity.
I think there is a nice short article on it in wikipedia.

Hope it helps.
Ian


yes that may explain the differences of opinion here

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Cunobelin
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Mar 2015, 11:32am

Buy a recumbent.


The "endowed midsection" then acts as an "Aerobelly" providing a smooth profile for the wind and slipstream to pass over

RogerThat
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby RogerThat » 22 Mar 2015, 2:44pm

Haha, next time I look in the mirror I'll think of my 'Aerobelly!@)

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Mick F
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby Mick F » 22 Mar 2015, 4:11pm

Anyone remember Superstars on the telly?
An early winner was Geoff Capes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Capes

20odd stone............. fit a flea, cycled the fastest round the track, and could sprint and run circles round the rest of the contestants.
Mick F. Cornwall

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DaveP
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Re: Can you cycle well with a paunch?

Postby DaveP » 22 Mar 2015, 7:28pm

It is possible to be somewhat overweight and still enjoy a reasonable degree of cardiovascular fitness. A paunch doesn't have to impede your cycling - it rather depends on your position on your bike. If your bars aren't too low you'll get away with more of a belly. But your joints will thank you if you can shed some of it!
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!