T Nation

Moutain biking

Would mountain biking be considered interval training? I’m thinking it would be because the intensity is constanly changing due to the varying inclines and declines of the trail. Is this a good fat burning activity? Please help!

Here in fla. we have a few really good trails. The trails I use the most have sections that are intense and then lead out to flats. I’ve used this like HIIT before. But overall, if i push the ride all the way through, I get too much work/ latic acid pain in my legs for an extended period of time.

Mountain Biking is a good interval training exercise involving the whole body and u will burn bodyfat without a doubt. Don’t worry about heartrate too much if your doing recreational riding. Just drink your water.

Hell yes.

Find something near your house with MTBR.com. Time yourself the first time around and beat it every succeeding run. Try to hang on.


VolYanks, where do you ride?

Thanks for the input guys, Im very interested in the HIIT training, but I was just trying to find a way to make it more fun. Just to clarify, I was pretty sure that interval training utilizes the anaroebic energy system which does not use fat as a source of energy. So how exactly does it burn fat? Maybe im not understaning this correctly. Could someone please explain?

live on Long Island so I like to think of it more as hill riding, the trails here are actually pretty fun, very technical. Once in a while I’ll try to get upstate, but I ride more for the exercise than for the adrenaline rush.

Went MTBing for the first time in 92 at Patapsco. I remember a long uphill by the train tracks that ended at a road.

You can lose body fat pretty easy MTb’n but u can lose ur lbm easy to. I would build upper body mass in the winter to compensate for that. I would be 170lbs 12%bf in spring and by summer starts Iwould be 155lbs 6%bf.

You bet mountain biking will burn fat! You’ll be constantly moving between aerobic and anaerobic, it’s incredible cardio, and about a thousand times more fun than any cardio you can do in the gym, and much more work. I race mountain bikes competitively here in Wisconsin, and will lean out from about 208 to 190 or so in the next few weeks (spring is just springing here).

VolYanks - that type of riding sounds like it could be similar to HIIT. If you have lots of little hills that you are putting a lot of effort into to go up, followed by a dwonhill, then another uphill, etc.

I bike in the various areas of Patapsco St. Prak in MD, where most of the trails are pretty flat or with long uphills/downhills, with only
the occasional steep uphill, so this type of riding is definately more aerobic. I don’t really notice any fat loss from biking. In fact,
I have to be careful to preserve my lbm from all the biking I do.

HIIT is supposed to make you burn more calories over a long period of time. The net result is is more calories used than if you did regular cardio.

If you haven’t already, read http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/251run2.html

I’m jealous that you guys say biking helps you burn fat! I just never noticed it. I remember biking for 7 days in a row, and lost 4 lbs. - alll muscle!

When you guys are riding a lot, how do you train? I’m looking to set up a program to preserve lbm. I’d like the workout to be short (half hour to 45 min.), in case I have a chance to go biking in the same days. And if possible, minimal DOMS, so that I’m not suffering on the trails. Am I asking for too much?

I think the best way to handle that would unfortunately be to ride less. Your weight workouts should be about an hour and try to cut back on riding just a little. Also check out your diet and make sure your getting enough calories (riding burns a tremendous amount)and protein(at least 1g per pound of body weight). Also make sure your getting plenty of rest.

Solojobber, I know that trail well. The challenge is two go up it in your middle chainring!

John Michael Koenig, I’m really curious to your training, since you race (both in the gym and on the bike.) I usually just trail ride, but occasionaly race XC.

VolYanks, when the weather cooperates, I usually ride 3-5 days a week for 1.5 - 2.5 hours.