Cycling’s Body Weight Obsession – How Light Is Right For You?

Cycling’s Body Weight Obsession – How Light Is Right For You?


– In this video, we’ll set out how you find your optimum cycling weight, and how you maintain it, but
in answering that question, we’ll also land on one of
cycling’s biggest issues, one that’s rarely talked about. So, you’re gonna hear from
an expert on this subject who will advise on how to
find your right weight, and we’ll also hear from a
rider who’s pushed it too far, but has fortunately
come out the other side. As cyclists, we want to be light. On a bike, light is generally fast, that much is basic physics,
and it’s because of this that cycling has become obsessed by it, both in terms of technology,
and also our own bodies. Seemingly, every cyclist
you speak to will say that they feel that they can lose weight. Now, that feeling might
be based partly on dreams of improved performance,
but probably also, a little bit about looks. There is nowhere to hide
in Lycra, and so it’s perhaps not surprising that we might feel the need to look a certain way. And so starts the obsession,
train more eat less, perhaps even skipping meals
altogether, or riding longer and harder, specifically
to burn off calories. It is all to easy to lose perspective. We lose track of what we really look like, why food can actually
make us fast and not slow, and why being light is
only a really small part of being a bike rider. Firstly though, leaving aside aesthetics, let’s look at the science,
why is weight so important? Well, power-to-weight is the
measure of cycling performance. Put out more power and be lighter and you’ve got the secret of
success, a simple physics. On a flat road, your
frontal area holds you back by generating aerodynamic drag, but as soon as the gradient begins to tip, your weight begins to
impact on your speed. So, carrying less weight up
hills means you ride faster. Carrying more weight
means you need to put out more power to go the same speed. Now unfortunately, we all have a limit as to how much power we can produce, no matter how much we train,
but with weight loss though, well how do you know where the limit is? Most of us have no
idea, and that’s perhaps where the problem lies. Ben King of Team Dimension
Data is a double-stage winner of the Vuelta a Espana,
and about to go into his ninth season as a World
Tour pro, but as a young rider, he developed an eating disorder
as a result of his pursuit of increasing performance
and decreasing weight. I’m wondering whether you’d
be happy just to sort of talk us through the
situation, how that came about and what the issues
were that arose from it. – Yeah, for sure, and I
really appreciate you guys giving this the attention
that I think it deserves, in cycling and endurance
sports in general, because I think it’s not something that’s talked about often,
but it is a big issue. I think it’s seen as sort
of a women’s disease, and something that’s all about body image, and people comparing
themselves to fashion magazines and everything like
that, but then, I think there are these young
cyclists, and I was a case of kinda comparing myself to body images of the Chris Froomes
and the Michael Rasmussens and guys like that, but
I was watching on TV and looking how skinny they
were, so yeah, I think it’s definitely something that
deserves some attention. When I was a junior cyclist, then pretty dominant on the local scene and raced for a Hot Tubes
Developmental Cycling team, a junior team that got to race in Europe, and really an incredible
organization, incredible support, took us to Europe, and
because we’d been so dominant in the States, we thought we
were gonna go over to Europe and just kick butt, and I just remember never having suffered so much
just to finish races that, in the past, I was just
winning easily, or at least in the mix and then went
over there and realized, oh wait a second, like,
either I don’t train as hard as these guys or I’m not
as talented as these guys, and I think it’s kind of
a combination of both. I came home and was like,
“Wow, what just hit me?” and determined that I needed
to make up the difference over the winter in my training. In high school, (sighing) I
was running cross-country, and then in the winter
I was on the swim team and the indoor track team,
and I worked that out with the coaches because
swim practice started at nine o’clock, whereas track practice was right after school, so
I never missed a practice unless I had a meet for one or the other. I was taking a weight lifting
independent study credit, so around lunchtime, I was in the gym, and then as we approached
the spring cycling season, I was setting my alarm for 6 a.m. and waking up to ride a
trainer before school. – Wow.
– So, I was working out four times a day, and got
to the point where I was really kind of abusing my body. I wanted to do everything I could to be as good as I could be,
and I’m still kind of leaned toward the mindset
whereas I feel like if I’m not tired all
the time, then I’m not trying hard enough, which is a lie, and it’s something that I
have to be conscious of. But, I felt like if I had any
little bit of energy left, I needed to put that into my training, but it got to the point where, (sighing) and my dad, he was coaching me
at the time, and he knew it. He saw very clearly that
I was over-training, and he used to hide my cycling shoes so that I would wake up in
the morning and I’d go down to ride a trainer, and I
couldn’t find my cycling shoes ’cause he was like, “You’re
over-training, don’t do it, “don’t do it,” and I would
go and do it anyways, but once I got to the point where I knew I couldn’t train anymore,
it’s power-to-weight, so I thought, okay, well
the only thing I can do now is to lose weight, and
I was very, very thin. I had muscles from swimming and lifting, but I was also a junior, and I don’t, it’s certainly not healthy for
a junior to compare himself to a 35-year-old World
Tour cyclist’s body image. I would come back from these
epic kind of training days and sit down to do my
homework, and around the time dinner came by, I was starving,
and would just pretty much binge eat, and then I would
have to go to swim practice, and I found myself kinda
regurgitating in the pool, and that was not a nice
feeling, and one day, I knew I had overeaten
before practice and that, so I made myself throw up,
and it was an extremely shameful feeling, made me aware that every time I felt like I’d
overeaten, I could just erase it, which also wasn’t true,
and so I developed a habit over a few months of, even at
times when I hadn’t overeaten, I was making myself throw
up and I was basically starving myself on top
of all of that training that I was doing.
– That’s a monumental amount of training for anyone,
I think, and particularly for a teenager.
– Mm-hmm. – Your mindset at the time,
were you thinking that those training sessions were
gonna be beneficial, or had you sort of lost track
of how you might be benefiting from those training sessions?
– I had lost track of what was actually
beneficial because, clearly, what would’ve benefited me
was to take a few days off, but (sighing) it’s a
really difficult balance of when you should push through fatigue and when you need to
give your body the rest that it needs in order to recover. So, I think for young
athletes, coaches, and mentors, and my dad was that
person in my life that, he’d get to sit down at the
dinner table, look at my eyes, and say, like, you’re over-training, tomorrow you take a day off,
and this is the same guy who, we’d be out on motor pacing sessions and I’d be doubled over
on the side of the road, and he’d say, like, get
back on, we’ve got another 30 minutes to do, so he knew
me better than I knew myself, I think, and he could
tell me when was the time to push through and when was
the time to respect my body and to take rests, so I
think it’s really important for athletes of any level
to have those people in their lives that can say,
now you need to take a break, hang up your bike for three or four days. It’s not gonna hurt you. – It’s clearly a really
complex issue, then. Perhaps, it’s impossible
to separate weight loss from performance and training. The question is, though,
how do we get it right? What is your optimal weight? Well, we’re turning to Renee McGregor who is a sports and eating
disorder specialist dietician. So firstly, how would
a cyclist actually find that optimum weight?
– That’s a really good question, and I think, I
suppose the first thing to say is that most people have,
are probably already at that kind of lower end of normal. If you do regular
training, you cycle a lot, you do endurance training,
you probably find that you’re already where your
body is most comfortable at. If you’re new to it, perhaps
you’ve taken up cycling because it is a way of wanting
to lose a bit of weight, but its’ also something you
enjoy, then you may find that initially you do notice some
changes in your body weight, and so if you’ve been
carrying a few extra pounds, you’ll probably find you do drop that. So, to answer your question
about how do you find the optimal weight of
performance, is a lot of trial and error, and when I
work with professional athletes, it is a really, really fine
line between them being light enough to perform
well, and then too light, where they start to actually
have negative consequences, and a lot of that is around, kind of, looking at their body type. There’s no magic formula,
like, there’s no kind of magic equation to go,
right, if you do this and subtract that and add this, you’re gonna get to an optimal weight. It is a case of trial
and error in terms of actually looking at the numbers, so looking at your performance tests and finding out are they improving, are they not improving,
what have you noticed? It’s about being consistent
as well in your performance, so consistence in your training,
and that’s something that I don’t think a lot of
cyclists, or even athletes, generally take on board that
you need to be able to be consistent every single day to see adaptation and progression. That means you actually
need to fuel your body appropriately, not always be cutting back, so I do tend to use a mixture
when I’m working with people, a mixture of what their BMI
is, and I know people will go BMI, there’s no science behind it. There’s a lot of science
behind BMI, and particularly when you work with people
who are on the very low end, you can definitely get some
ideas of when they’re going too low, so at the moment,
the general guidelines, 18.5 to 25 is being that
kind of normal range. If I see anybody drop
below 18.5, I get twitchy, I’m not gonna lie, but
then also at the same time, I would look at biomarkers,
so I’d be looking at particular hormonal
aspects, thyroid function, inflammation markers,
so you can start to see what is going on within the
body, and alongside that, you’d also look at body fat percentage, so we’ve gotta remember
that weight’s just a number. It’s not really telling us
what the body composition of an individual is, so
that’s also quite critical. – Most of us, I guess, don’t
have access, or perhaps even the desire to get that
support team behind us, the professional team, and so
what should we be aware of? What are the, sort of, the
risk signs that perhaps things are not going
in the right direction, whether that’s from a
performance perspective or whether it’s perhaps
a mental perspective? – So, that’s a really
good point to bring up. Annoyingly, often when
people do initially lose a little bit of weight, they
may find their performance improves a bit, and that’s
where we get into trouble because people think, oh, I lost two kilos and I had the best
performance I’ve ever had. Maybe if I lose more,
I’ll be even quicker, or I’ll be even better,
and this is where it can kind of spiral out of control, I guess. So, performance is not always the best indicator to look at, initially. What you will find is that you can’t maintain that performance. You may get two adequate
results, and then you’ll start to notice that your performance declines, but some of the things
that you will notice, sort of physically and mentally, will be, like physically, you
may start to find that you can’t concentrate very well, you may find you’re a bit more irritable, you might find that
your sleep is affected. You may find that, actually,
you don’t really wanna hang out with people, you
actually become quite withdrawn and you could become very,
very obsessive about numbers. One big sign is often
that people can become quite evangelistic about their
training and their nutrition, so they’re really focused
about macros and numbers, and am I doing it correctly,
and they never wanna deviate. So like, I eat really
well, I like good food, but if my friend rang me
up this evening and said, do you fancy a pizza and a glass of wine, I’m not gonna say no. I’m not gonna deviate
from my healthy eating, but a lot of people can’t do that. They become very fixed that
something awful will happen, so it almost creates an
anxiety, a heightened anxiety, and that’s the other
thing you might notice that actually start to
physically feel quite anxious, like something awful’s
gonna happen all the time, and there’s a lot of
evidence and a lot of science around there that actually
demonstrates that actually one way to numb that
anxiety is actually training and restrictive eating, so what happens is you almost have this
self-perpetuating cycle. Every time you feel
anxious and uncomfortable, you go out and train because
it does momentarily fix it, and then you stop, and
then you get anxious again, and so you can get into this
kind of over-training mode. – And so, what then, if anyone watching is recognizing themselves in some of those classic warning signs that
you’ve just been talking about, what can they do to
try and stop themselves going down this sort of cycle? – So, there’s a lot more
emerging now, I mean, this has become a problem, a
widespread problem that we’re starting to become aware
of in the world of sport. I mean, I’ve been working in
it for several years anyway, but I think there are more and more people becoming aware of it,
and there’s a lot more coach education going on. One of the things that
I’ve been working on is I’ve been involved in
an advisory group board, in an advisory group, where we’ve created the Health for Performance website, which is a really, really useful resource. I really recommend people
go and check that out because we’ve done pages
for health professionals, individuals, parents, carers,
so there’s kind of like, a kind of friendly version
for wherever you are, and it helps you to identify
symptoms, and then it also gives you someone posting
to what you should do next, and there’s a lot of
resources on there as well. There’s a lot of kind of
books and presentations, and also kind of access to practitioners that are specialists in this field. – We’ve talked a lot about performance, but there is this very
aesthetic side to cycling. We have to wear Lycra, and
that’s not very forgiving, and we’re bombarded of images
of professional athletes, looking as professional athletes do. I mean, not everyone, I
assume, can get ripped, can get that physique, and
so is there a reason why certain people will carry
fat in certain areas, like why you can’t necessarily
get chiseled calf muscles, or whatever?
– I do think we are a society obsessed
with visual images. I think social media hasn’t helped that, and so we find ourselves
constantly comparing ourselves to what we believe are ideals,
but I’m also a big believer in the fact that we’re all unique, we all have our own genetic makeup, so there’s no real ideal
for every single person because every single person on
this planet is so different. So yes, we have these
professionals that area very sleek, and lean, and may look the perfect part. You’ve gotta also remember, they are also a very, very, very small
minority of our population. They’re, what I would call, outliers, and probably their body
can achieve those extremes. They do put themselves under an awful lot of physical and psychological
stress to get to that point. I think it’s really important
for people to understand that. It’s not just a natural
physique for a lot of them. They may have the kind of raw
material but it’s not natural. I’ve worked with younger cyclists who were sort of 18 to 20, and
they had been told to kind of get a body fat percentage
of X, and that can be quite difficult for some
of them because, naturally, their body is not gonna go there, and it can leave a real
kind of legacy in them that, well I’m not good enough
because I’m not reaching what I’ve been told to, even
though they’re improving performing brilliantly,
they’re getting the results, they’re not working to their strengths. So, we’re not all ectomorphs. Some of us are more kind
of muscular, naturally. We need to use that to
our strength, so I guess a lot of the education I
do is around acceptance, and body acceptance, that
we can’t all be perfect. There is no perfect, we
can’t all look the same. When I look at a lot
of my friends and peers who are good runners, and I’d
put myself in that category, but I’m never gonna have the
legs that some of them have got because genetically
I’m not built that way, but it doesn’t mean I don’t perform well. You learn to work with your
strengths, and so yeah, some people are gonna hold
body fat in different places, and it’s about, kind of, an acceptance of, well this is as good as it’s gonna get. – I’ll be honest, I’d not
expected our conversation to go down that route,
but I’m glad that it did. I mean, yes, we all should know, at least, that we’re all different. Some people naturally carry more muscle, others might carry more
fat, others always just look super lean, but I don’t
think I’ve ever really considered the limits of weight loss in such stark terms before. Now it is your health and
happiness that’s on the line here, but even so, I think it’s still worth putting the performance side of things into perspective as well. We know that weight
affects our climbing speed, but actually how much of
an effect does it have? If you’re carrying a lot of extra weight, then it actually is quite significant. So, if you’re maybe 110
kilos, and you were to shift 20 kilos of fat, then on a 6% gradient, to ride at the same 12
kilometer per hour speed would actually require 50 watts less, so that’s a reduction of 20%. However, if you’re at the
other end of the spectrum and maybe you’re 71 kilos
and you’re battling to lose one last kilo, it’s just three watts. Yeah, three watts can sometimes matter, but not at the expense of
being able to ride your bike. By far, in a way, the most important part of being a successful
cyclist is robustness, so the ability to ride in all weathers, the ability to ride hard,
and the ability to recover, and that is something
that we should all try and not lose sight of.
– But, for a guy like me, especially, I need to be on
kind of a high level year round, and I need to find a
weight that I can maintain, whether it be competitive
or in support of a teammate, I need to be kind of a durable guy, and when you get that light,
you’re certainly less durable. You’re prone to illness and injury, and I used to fight to stay
just as light as possible and that usually ended
up being 67, 68 kilos, and now I’ve just held onto
70, 71, and since then, I’ve had the best results of my career, so I’m not fighting it as much. I’m more focused on power.
– In terms of body image, I completely sympathize with that, and I don’t think there
are any easy answers. I mean, eating disorders in the
wider context beyond cycling are becoming increasingly prevalent. 6% of people have, or have
had, an eating disorder at some time, and it’s a
figure that’s on the increase. So, if you feel that might be you, or you perhaps know someone who you feel could do with a bit of help, then there are resources out
there, and we’ll put some links in the description beneath
this video as well. So, I hope you feel this
has been of some benefit. It’s certainly been
thought-provoking for me. I’d like to thank Ben and Renee as well for their time and their honesty. In the meantime, if you wanna
see another video here at GCN where we’re looking into some
health implications of cycling then there is one onscreen now.

100 thoughts on “Cycling’s Body Weight Obsession – How Light Is Right For You?

  1. I have an exercise bike but the handle bars can move so you can exercise your arms too. So would that be better, worse or no different than a cycling exercise/training bike? I can't afford a fancy bike, only under $100. $100 at the very very most! Mine was $90 & I actually love it! ☺️ It's simple, light, easy to use, adjustable, strong, nice big clear easy to see/touch buttons & obviously affordable. I don't do professional anything (just barely beginning) so I don't need crazy serious expensive equipment. I want to start small & pace myself. Plus it's more fun & less pressure. Like crawling to walking instead of crawling to full speed.

  2. Well done Ben. For airing a problem you had. good luck for the future. look forward to seeing you win some stages or even a grand tour.

  3. This channel is just crushing it from every angle. Obviously this one is an emotional topic where you left the cheekiness behind and simply displayed how professional you guys are. Just superb.

  4. Every video put out by GCN is a great advice,since these gentlemen have the knowledge and and access to get questions answered.

  5. Can't imagine the lady in the green jacket appearing from behind Simon when he's talking about being thin or fat at 1:20 not being a paid extra😉.

  6. Why do people look at female models for motivation? They have way more fat than male cyclists! (breast/ass fat, etc) Females are the dead LAST place to look for motivation. Male cyclists literally have no fat, not on their chest, butt, no where.

  7. I just previously watched ollies piece on caloric intake and nutrition. I really like these more in depth articles like these. Very informative and enlightening.

  8. Some pros are on crash diets to put weight on after hard stage races. I think aspiring to pro weight without pro support eco system is an ask.

  9. Are you aware that should you completely stay away from your favorite carbohydrate most of the times since you believe they’re harmful or that you believe that they’re the reason for your own abdominal fat, it could be unhealthy for your hormone amounts as well as wreak havoc on your rate of metabolism? see more helpful suggestions in this article https://tinyurl.com/yb8rc3hy

  10. Elephant in the room ! If you look like Chris Froome, you look like a bell end. Also, girls don't like you. And…. you have low self respect. If you are not a pro and earn a living from it, just look good and worry about the times later .

  11. I like to lift heavy and I like to ride bike. I'm gonna be bigger than the average rider. I'm 205lbs/~92kgs. Probably going to stay the solely because I like to lift but if biking is your main goal, this was a good video.

    Theres also the thought of, what if you increased your leg strength by squatting, would that increase your power while riding? It would increase your weight but does the positive of increased power outweigh the negative of increased weight?

  12. The Dutch female cyclist Leontien van Moorsel also had a eating disorder, and that at the height of her career. In such a way that she couldnt really enjoy her multi triumps. So sad. When you look at pro cyclists everyone knows their thin but dont say it, but instead they say they look are sharp looking??

  13. I'd like to think optimal weight would be where you can operate at peak performance throughout everything.
    I saw a guy on a road bike with aero kit on built like a bodybuilder man he was fast as….

  14. Yes it is important to know when to take time off the bike. Its been fifteen years now and I still feel knackered.

  15. I did exactly what that young american rider did. I was training 30 hrs a week plus a 40 hr a week job. I cycled, I ran I swam, did exercise classes, skipped a rope, did weight training, did exhaustive power endurance training. At 188cm I knew I would have to have a high power to weight ratio to compete. I got down to 78kgs and was still trying to lose weight. This is while having a 36 resting heart rate, 28in waist, 25in thighs and 18in calves and very little fat. I TORE MY RIGHT CALF MUSCLE WHILE DOING A SHALLOW 370KG LEG PRESS FOR REPS! I was too tired to keep good form! I was taking pills and diuretics to try and speed up the weight loss also.

    I punished myself with a harder workout if I under-performed or did not reach my expectations. What for? I was trying to earn the respect of my Mother! If someone becomes obsessed with their training, they need to really ask themselves (honestly) who they are doing it for and is it worth it!

  16. "If I'm not tired, I'm not doing enough." Mindset of the overtrained. 'When your body is resting is when you're getting stronger' is the antidote.

  17. Did anyone else have a flashback to Scotty … I giving it all she's got captain? … Simon you really are Great about talking about these things Thank you … certainly an emotional peace and excellent work … I am certainly going to watch out as I am in the dropping weight to improve performance but I am also 91kg at present so I have some healthy stones I can drop with a few more months of effort 'slow and steady is the speed I look at' as lose too fast I'll just balloon up again … this last winter I watched 10lbs creep back in because winter snow kept me off the bike – but I am back at it now… at 5' 8" I am targeting 74kg which is reasonable ….

  18. Recovery is part of the training, not something you do on the day off. Unfortunately, some people forget that and really waste so much time overtraining and gaining nothing from it.

  19. You really did a good job with this video. It's an important topic to talk about and I think you put it into the right words. I have got a bmi of 18.9 and I didn't even start cycling jet. I hope I'm not going to lose any wheight, I already started to eat high calorin stuff in advance. (I usually do so anyway because I'd like to weight a kilo more) because it is not nice nor usefull nor beautiful to be to thin! It really isn't, it looks ugly, people make jokes on you, you are weak and you become easily tired. You can't find propper clothing (apart from lycra) and in worst case you become seriously ill like e.g. osteoporosis which can end your sportscarreer pretty fast.

  20. I watch gcn videos because there funny and entertaining but this video has a serious message well done guys

  21. my body fat percentage is pretty low but i am a bit of a gym rat so i'm carrying a fair amount of muscle mass and weigh more than your typical skinny cyclist, i've never really felt like it's held me back i can keep up with everyone on club rides and i've even won a couple of races, the point is just don't get obsessed about weight

  22. Man. Exactly. If i dont feel tired – i feel like i am not training enough. Every bit of food i dont resist i train more to loose and burn it…damn!

  23. I'm more conscious of body fat percentage than overall weight. For the MTB riding I do, I'd rather put on some pounds for power (i.e. muscle) and keep my body fat percentage low than strictly loose weight.

  24. I do train in this manner. Eating less, going faster and further. I treat myself that I am not working hard enough if I am not blacking out by dinnertime.

    This video has really given me some points to think about

    Also, its a beautiful video essay

  25. I use a handcycle and I've had some rapid weight loss lately, but I've also been doing really well sprinting at 27.5 mph. I have since changed my training regimen these past few months to utilize zones 1 and 2, but my diet is what has been difficult to dial in, but is generally getting better. This is probably my favorite GCN video (and the 1903 giro de Italia).

  26. Thank you so much for making this video. Its a very important topic and is important in sports overall. Please make it a regular topic to reach as many people as possible. <3

  27. When I was racing as a junior because I'm 192 cm I was always heavier than my rivals. In the end I reached a weight of 72 kg which isn't absurd but seeing as I was a sprinter it was very low looking back. I did go faster than ever before by going from the 76 kg ish I had been on, down to 72 kg but I was in hindsight too thin. looking at pro's the sprinters are often closer to 80 kg and I feel like I could have benefitted from adding more power and therefore some weight. It's always hard because it wasn't until I reached 72 kg I could really make a difference on the hills that had always been my weak point but I lost all my abilities on TT's with it as well. I think for any young cyclist getting the right guidance in terms of where they should be is essential and it's probably the point where the biggest impact can be made for Junior cyclists heading into their senior careers.

  28. This video is great,I wrestled for a few years and I got obsessed with weight and now that I have transitioned to cycling I started to think about the same things but this video put it into perspective and made me realize that the best way to be successful is to be happy and health rather than thin

  29. Well done video and I'm happy this stuff is getting some attention. It's always been one of those "dark secrets" that doesn't get out there and talked about openly, but it's a problem, and not just in cycling. The point they make about the perpetual cycle of you lose weight, you win a race, you win another race, you lose more weight, then you eventually have a bad race, so you think you have to lose more weight, and then you're in a bad way very quickly.

  30. When I started bike riding six years ago, I was still a little bit fat. Then I got an handmade road bike from 1983 with a Campagnolo Nuovo Record as a gift, which I then drove almost every day.
    Within a year, I was already at the limit of underweight, because of my training. My only goal was weight loss.
    In the 3 years of my apprenticeship I got 10 kilos again and now I drive every day with my current road bike to work to get back to normal weight.

  31. Annoyingly, I think like most late bloomers I’ve had to dig out blind to get up most hills over 20% and I know I need to get below 79kg to improve my climbing ability without loosing strength (harder than it sounds). Great info/reminder to us mere mortals – thanks GCN 👍

  32. I decided to take up cycling after I burned 800 cals on an enjoyable two hour spin on a bike. I deduced this hobby will enable me keep drinking beer and eating enthusiastically.

  33. Seems like a dark subject, but at the end of the day does being light matter of you dont feed your familywith your cycling performance?

  34. In my opinion there is no such thing as having a too low body fat %. In any case the problem is not that the person doesnt have enough fat,the problem is that they dont have enough muscle and thats why they look unhealthy ,Im not a cyclist,I just commute to work and university on my bike and I go to the gym ,thats why I dont get this.

    Just look at the guy from ATHLEAN-X fitness youtube channel,the guy is 5 foot 10,178lbs super shredded,he is at 5.8% body fat but I dont think anyone would call him unhealthy since he is all muscle. I dont think the problem is ever too low body fat but more like too little muscle.

  35. Such an important discussion! Thank you for utilizing a registered dietitian as your nutrition resource – it improves the reputation of the dietetic profession and allows someone with legitimate training and experience to shed light on these difficult topics. Thanks for bringing more awareness to this issue.

  36. Me (15lb overweight) 'I better be careful not to develop an eating disorder'!
    Thank you, brain! I don't think we need to worry too much!

  37. Excellent video!!! Awesome work guys! I think that you should share with another GCN countries partners. Regards from argentina.

  38. Cycling is the most awesomest :):):) fitness activity in the world. You can eat whatever you want and still be fit as long as you do your 200-300 km per week.
    And you get to meet girls in lycra on the way.
    What's not to like here?

    P.S. I lost 35 kg in about 3 years by basically doing nothing at all, no diets no nothing, just riding my bike….a lot.

  39. I kinda miss my old body though, skinny and light, agile and I could cycle for 50kms like it's nothing. Now I'm a buffier and felt like I need to stop every 20km 🙁

  40. BMI as a science for a 6 foot 1 large framed male? by "large frame" I mean when I try to grab my left wrist with my right hand, the right hand cannot touch fingers around the bony part of the wrist. isn't that an indicator that the BMI should be on the high side? Like if I wanted to obtain 25 BMI.. i would need to lose 35 lbs or 15.6% of my current body weight.. i find that highly UNLIKELY to make me a happy/healthy individual. My research from a single reference. Livestrong.org They say a medium framed male adult's ideal body weight is around 24 to 25 BMI.. and if you are a large framed male adult then you should add 10% to that… so In my case i would want to target 27 BMI.. from my current 30 BMI, this is a much more realistic goal for me. as an adult my lowest ever achieved weight was around 209… and i managed to hold that for only a short while before lifestyle changes brought on by moving closer to family drove my weight up..

  41. Excellent article Simon, very informative and thoughtful. Your guest speakers were great. More of this on GCN please.

  42. I found with eating properly, I need to get a bit obsessive with it because if I let it slide a bit I go completely off the rails and it is very difficult to get the proper habits back. I am not talking a destructive diet but a proper one without soda drinks, pizza, fried foods. I go for long periods doing the right thing and one slip up and its on.

  43. Im a stick because my weight is 35KG and my height is 175cm although I eat alot then I watch one of GCN video about how to do a century then i started sleeping early and i gained some weight

  44. Health and Cycling on GCN section is probably the best video list you have ever created! Congratulations. We need more of that.

  45. BMI is bullshit. I used to be 184cm @ 73kg with 6% body fat but that is just in the “healthy” BMI range at 21.6 and below 62.9kg is considered unhealthy. There is no way I would get down below 70kg. BMI doesn’t apply to athletes with muscle mass.

  46. Brilliant work….. a very important issue tackled in a sensible, considered, fashion. A valuable contribution sitting in the general sea of fluff that is most of YouTube…..

  47. this topic is very relevant in more worlds than just the world of cycling. The obsession on weight and performance completely overshadows the joy of non competitive cycling. You should always aim for good health, but you should not try to over reach towards unachievable results. Be realistic. Very well done and open minded video!

  48. For decades we were told to be very careful about going under 6% body fat. But back in the day that test was very expensive & involved a swimming pool. I have a 'barefoot scale' that purports to give a fairly accurate body fat percentage. I'd like to know if body fat is actually being measured or if its just going by BMI & estimating body fat.

  49. Absolutely spot on with the whole ideal of how we should perform or look.. we are all different..
    Thankyou for your advice.

  50. Aesthetics..? Surely that isn't the issue with skeletally thin men. Sure, low bodyfat all the way but trading all of your lean mass for a little more speed is ridiculous outside of true professionals.

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