Baggy shorts have become a staple in many men's wardrobes, especially during the summer months. They are comfortable, relaxed, and easy to wear, bu...
Is it really faster for skinny people to ride a bike?
"There's an assumption implicit in the fact that skinny people are riding faster - that output power doesn't go down with weight." Greg Whyte, a professor of exercise science at Liverpool John Moores University, "If your weight and output go down together, it means nothing."
"Also skinny guys aren't as powerful on the flats and aren't as dominant as they are on the climbs. The flatter the stage, the less weight matters."
Fat VS Muscle
"When we talk about weight, we're talking about either muscle or fat." Paul Butler, coach of the PB Cycling Team, has been managing athletes' weight for more than a decade, "My view on muscle is not too much, it should be just enough for your impact and climbing needs, and that's a point only you can find."
"Fat is another thing, people are always worried about all the diseases and decreased athletic performance that can come with more fat, when in reality, a low fat rate is even more deadly. According to the American Athletic Association, male athletes tend to have 6-13 percent fat, while the figure for women is 14-20 percent. They recommend that to stay healthy, women should be no lower than 10-13% and men no lower than 2-5%."
"Less than 10 percent body fat in women can lead to loss of menstrual function and decreased bone mineral density, while too low a body fat percentage can make male athletes in endurance events underperform." Extreme body fat percentage can also affect immune function, and it takes away your enthusiasm for training," White said. That's why athletic performance is a balance of physical output power and health, and the pursuit of extreme weight loss can lead to serious health problems."
The problem of too-low body fat percentage is especially dangerous among amateur cyclists because they don't have a professional nutritionist around them and because they love nothing more than to show off those eight angular abs.
Former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins once attributed his Tour de France win to his dramatic weight loss before the race, saying, "The weight I lost meant one less mountain to climb."
Sir Wiggins in his prime was also a weight-loss man, and with his slender frame, he was no better than Fromm
But when amateurs tried to emulate him, they all ended up getting sick or developing anorexia. In an article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 20 percent of male cyclists showed signs of abnormal eating behavior, but less than half thought they had a problem with their diet.
Will Newton, coach of the British cycling team, said, "More than any other sport, I think cyclists are more concerned about weight and body image. A lot of cyclists almost always have eating disorders. Young cyclists are told to lose weight as soon as they get into the sport, when in reality, they should be thinking more about having a stronger output."
Athletes also refer to BMI
When we look at photos of Froome, who won the Tour de France four times, the question that comes up inside us is, is he too skinny?
The truth is, he has the perfect biker's physique. His arms can even be described as slender, and he doesn't have bulging pecs or arms, but his thighs provide everything an all-time big group racer needs.
At 1'85", Fromm weighs 132 pounds, which translates to a BMI of 20.7, a value that is close to underweight but still considered to be in the healthy range.
You can also calculate your BMI by following the formula, body mass index (BMI) = weight (kg) ÷ square of height (m).
BMI values for adults.
Underweight: less than 18.5
Very obese, above 32
"Professional riders are able to lose weight from specific parts of the body, and unless you spend all your time on the bike, that fat loss is very difficult." White says, "A lot of people think there are shortcuts to take. If you ask me, the shortcut is to stay on the bike every day."
Overall, enthusiasts don't ride bikes for a living; we work in the gym. So eat well, drink well, ride your bike on weekends, and stay away from the sports geeks.
If you're determined to cut back, then slow and steady is the key
Butler says, "If you provide your body with all the micronutrients and micronutrients it needs, then the body will start to burn fat."
"Following a progressive training plan, which I've been doing for eight years, I've lost 48 kilos so far. Each week I watch the relationship between weight and athletic performance, and if you don't lose more than 1 kilogram in a week, then you don't sacrifice strength."
So can you get thinner? White says 100 percent can, though at the cost of both athletic performance and health loss.