What is the perfect weight for different types of cycling?

Monday, March 21, 2016

There isn't a single perfect weight for each of the different types of cycling and no magic formula for calculating your ideal performance weight.  Human beings are so different in their height and skeleton size and shape, that it would be impossible to choose an ideal weight.

However, it's definitely true that the lower your body weight is, the faster you'll be able to ride.

Medical study 

Medical experts who did a study of mountain biking worked out that for every 4.5 kilos (or 10 lbs) of excess weight you lose, you'll be able to cycle 1.6 k.p.h. (or 1 m.p.h.) faster,  particularly uphill – without making any other changes in your training.

Body Fat Percentage

What you should be aiming for is a totally body fat of 6% - 8%.  You can use the handy online calculators to check your body fat percentage using the measurements of your waist, hips, wrists and arms plus your height and weight. 

For men between the ages of 20 – 40, a total body fat of 6% - 8% is classed as good – excellent, because it means that 92% - 94% of your body is lean mass made of muscle, bone and tissue. 

Body Mass Index

Your Body Mass Index or BMI number is also a good way to check whether you're underweight, ideal weight, overweight or obese.  You can calculate this quite simply online, too.  The Metric BMI formula uses weight in kilograms and height measurements in either metres or centimetres.

Ideal Race Weight

The best way to reach your perfect weight for competitive races is to combine a healthy diet, exercise and training to produce 6% - 8% body fat.  Food balancing is critical and you need to be sure your body gets energy from carbs, fats and proteins in a healthy balance.

Cut down on the number of reps in strength training exercises, because more reps increase your muscle mass over a period of time increasing your overall body weight.  Fewer reps avoid this problem. 

The best overall advice is to concentrate on keeping your body at peak fitness all the through the season and every time you win a race weigh yourself – and that'll be your perfect race weight!

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