I decided to write this article on whether or not you can lose weight mountain biking because of a radical change in my exercise and fitness life. Regulars to this website will know that I’m a dedicated distance runner…but all of that has changed over recent months!
I LOVE running and I love the effect it has on my overall weight – I feel good with it and I look good with it!
Unfortunately, the last decade of (rather hard) running has resulted in me seeing a lot of new injuries pop up in the leg and feet areas. Could this be something to do with the fact that I’m now in my early 40’s?
Maybe, but all I know is that I’m sick to death of the pain I’m causing myself through road running.
My most recent injury was an especially painful one, that lasted just over a month – something called metatarsalgia (and MAN did it hurt!).
The initial injury was bad enough…but as soon as I got rid of it…it returned…TWICE!
Anyway, all this pain pushed me down the road to change – I needed to put another form of cardio into my life, and the only one I liked the sound of was mountain biking.
So, is this form of exercise really any good for tackling that flab?
Can you lose weight with a mountain bike?
Let’s take a closer look…
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First Things First…
Okay, before we go any further – I really should throw a little warning out there!
In the past, I’ve considered myself a strong, strong runner. At one point – I was running over 8 miles every morning.
Now, I don’t know what it is about converting your cardio to a bike, but something’s not quite right!
I’ve come to the conclusion that you are concentrating on different leg muscles with both – you’ll get a sudden shock when you get on a bike (where has all my energy gone?).
Seriously – it doesn’t matter how fit you think you are, or how far you run every day – if you haven’t been on a bike for a while – you are going to pay (well, over the first few days anyway!).
Biking For Weight Loss
Okay – after reading the paragraph above, this first step should come as no surprise to you…
Start off moderately.
Your aim is to get at least 100 minutes of riding under your belt in the first seven days, but ONLY at a pace you feel is comfortable.
Gradually increase the length of your bike rides and aim for 150 minutes of bike riding a week…but if you feel you can go an extra 50 minutes or so…go for it!
As with all cardio – more is better.
Up until this point – I would stick to country/rural roads. Once you have got up to the 150 minute mark, then it’s time to challenge yourself a little further.
Choose more challenging, less developed trails and include more hills in your workouts. This may slow down your cycling, but it will increase the intensity of your workout.
Boosting the intensity like this, will eat into the calories faster.
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Biking Weight Loss Results
As a general guideline, know that a 190-pound person will burn about 649 calories in an hour of mountain biking, while a 133-pound individual will burn about 433 calories.
Now, most people reading this are going to think that mountain biking for weight loss is a magic bullet – just get on the bike and watch the weight fall off. Never the case, I’m afraid.
If you go out for a two hour ride, get a load of miles under your belt, then return to demolish a kebab and four pints of beer – you have just killed your exercise efforts!
Cardio must go hand in hand with a relatively healthy diet. You don’t have to hit up a Weight Watchers program, but you do need to eat slightly more sensibly than before.
Three decent meals a day is fine – but don’t graze, and stay away from fizzy drinks and ‘snack’ food.