Stages of Fitness
Douglas Purdy wrote:
Wait a minute! You guys have been cycling a while. I've read
cyclists need to eat a lot to avoid losing too much weight. In my 3 months
of commuting 10-20 miles per day I've lost a lot of weight, so much so,
that I've been trying to eat more than I want to eat to slow the weight
loss. Last night I ate a full extra meal, tonight 2 doughnuts, muffins
for a break every weekday for the last 2 weeks ...
But you guys
are writing as if some cyclists have to limit their food intake?!?! I'm
People go through
various stages as they exercise more. This not only involves eating but
sweat and odor production as well and other aspects of our bodies.
Let's start will
someone who has never exercised before. Let's assume a woman, so I don't
have to mess with the double pronoun or singular-plural problems.
The first stage
is going to be the hardest. It's best that she not plunge into heavy exercise,
or she might discover that exercise can be dangerous. Instead, she should
gradually walk farther and farther with speed picking up as well. At this
point, her appetite might be better, not because she's exercising much,
but just because she's feeling healthier.
In stage two, she
starts riding a bike and starts building speed and distance. At first,
her appetite will drop due to the heavy load placed on her system. It really
doesn't matter at what level she was, the increase is what brings about
this change. For example, during the first days of a bicycle tour, my appetite
In stage three,
she has become accustomed to the new exercise load. Now she finds himself
terribly hungry and wanting to eat as much as two or three people. To
some extent, the body is playing catch up, but she is also having
to eat to create new muscles. Her weight continues to drop. This is my
condition on the second week of a bicycle trip.
In stage four,
the muscle growing process has largely stopped; she has stabilized at the
new level. Her body continues to fine adapt however, and she begins to feel
less hungry. Now her weight has become stable. I reach this stage in the
third week or so of a bike tour.
In stage five,
assuming that the cyclist continues exercising at the same rate, her body
continues to become more efficient. Now the cyclist is eating not much
more than she was before she started training. At this point, she
can actually start putting on weight if she continues to eat.
In addition, age,
time of year, sex, and body type all enter in, so one cyclist will have
a greater tendency to gain than another, even though they are cycling just
Someone might ask,
what's the sense of exercise if you're going to eventually have to watch
your weight anyway? 1) The cyclist is now thinner, stronger, and
healthier than before, so it's not a case of no gain, and 2) the battle
of the pounds is going to be both easier and less important than it was
and body odor also change during this time. In the
early stages, the cyclist is sweating a lot and has problems with body
odor. After the body has become adapted, she sweats and smells less than
when she started. (It's a good idea to use synthetic clothing as it doesn't
retain body odor or create odors of its own.)
another problem is that the cyclist might not ride all year long; so, during
the down season, she might have the same weight problems as ordinary mortals.