One of the best ways that I’ve discovered to stay in a persistent calorie deficit is to ramp up my long-distance cycling. I don’t have a ton of time during the week but on weekends I like to carve out 2 to 3 hours to knock out a 30-40 mile ride.
Remember a calorie deficit doesn’t need to happen every day. In fact, I’ve found that if I structure my week to indulge at times and restrict for periods, my adherence to a diet increases dramatically.
In general, my game plan is to track my calories throughout the week, and set my cycling needs for the weekend. If I’ve been bad, I will knock out 2-3 rides. This has the potential to burn 2500-3500 calories, which is typically 15-20% of my weekly intake.
If I’m already in a deficit for the week, I will most often just focus on sprint intervals to improve muscle density and VO2 Max (more on this in a later post).
Cycling is the Best Exercise to Shape Your Body
You cannot spot reduce fat so the best thing you can do is to stay in a fat burning zone as long as possible. The lack of ground impact allows you to ride for hours on end. After the glycogen is removed, the body turns to fat for its energy source. The first 30 minutes (if you each right–see related article) will be clearing your system, the next 2-3 hours can be straight fat reduction.
Keeping a 80-100 RPM cadence on your pedals (with appropriate tension) will start to lean out your legs really quickly. If your natural cadence is something less than this currently, you should follow this leg program, and you will quickly improve.
Looking Great on a Bike
After we get the body leaned out, it now time to go find the right outfights to show it off. Biking is unique in that aerodynamics are the name of the game, and that means the tighter the clothing the better. Here is some of the best outfits that I’ve seen.
Finding a bike outfit that contours to your curves can also help make you feel great about how you look while you bike (and after). The below outfit integrates from the shorts to the jersey. It also does a good job of compressing any areas that may be under-developed and pushing up those that are.
Social Benefits of Cycling
So with cycling set as the optimal way to control my calorie balance and some ideas on showing off your hard-earned body, let’s turn to the next major benefit. Cycling has an incredible community. And that community likes to hang out and have fun.