Adding Z2 to help with weight loss

Is there any guidance or are there any limits to how or how much you add Z2 for more volume without burning yourself out?

I’m really trying to add an hour of Z2 to every day to help with weight loss. I don’t want to do anything to put too much stress on the system

Anything different on recovery weeks?


An hour a day is a BIG bump in volume. I would start with 2 days / week and then see how you feel. Add in extra days as you progress and adapt.


What does your diet look like?

My suggestion would be to be listen to the last couple of podcasts where the team speak about this very topic. Some great advice there that may answer this question and some others you may have. Especially around adding volume visa vie cutting calories.


As above, increase duration incrementally but ensure the quality, compliance and completion of your weekly interval sessions.

Diet and quality sleep are the other pillars for a successful outcome.

If you are using the polarised training model initially keep the extra z2 workouts at the lower end of the spectrum.


I wouldnt add volume to your recovery week. Thats the quickest way to burn out on top of adding volume to your normal weeks. Take the recovery weeks seriously. You can probably read hundreds of posts on this forum with people adding volume or not sticking to z2 when adding volume, or not taking recovery serously and then wondering why TrainerRoad doesn’t work.

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Adding low intensity volume can be beneficial on multiple fronts (including weight loss). As others have said, ease into it and see how your body/recovery responds. Also, don’t feel like you have to hit Z2 if the fatigue is too great (Z1 burns calories and has benefits as well). Particularly during recovery weeks, don’t pile on a bunch of extra Z2. Z2 is still work/stress and is not the same as recovery. Also, think about timing of the extra rides and how that might align with eating habits. An hour Z2 easy spin immediately after a quick breakfast is a great way to get the day started for me. Some people get very hungry after riding, but I’m the opposite and lose my appetite after riding. If you get hungry after a ride, you may not want to make a habit of doing your extra rides at 7PM and then end up with snacking before bed. An hour at Z2 will burn some calories, but not that many (so make sure the additional riding promotes good nutrition habits). If your goal is to drop weight, you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you burn 450 calories on your extra ride and then reward yourself with a 600 calorie bowl of ice cream.

Pretty good day to day, 250c 95f 180p but add a couple beers in there a couple days a week

This is the kind of explanation that doesn’t help me at all

I really listen to each podcast and feel like I can add z2 without limit, is there guidance on how to limit it? I haven’t heed it on the pod?

What I was referring to is the choice between calorie restriction for weight loss v adding volume to achieve the same caloric deficit.

I dropped a lot of weight last yr (45Lbs+) and I did it purely by added volume to achieve the surplus. that said, in hindsight, I’m not sure that was the best way. I recommend you take a listen and choose what works best for your goals.

Sorry, I can’t be more specific.

Ramp up slowly.

Adding 1hr per day to what base? Have you been averaging 0, 5 or 10 hrs training for the last six weeks?

Use plan builder.


Think you are answering your own query here.

“Pretty good” and “couple beers” a few times a week add up. Sometimes you need to focus in and commit to a diet phase with tighter nutritional control, if you are currently struggling.

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I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone on the podcast say you can add z2 without limit. You need to add it incrementally. Start by adding one ride per week and go from there.

For weight loss, the biggest factor will be diet.


It was pretty good rule of thumb guidance you’re asking for. Also, consume carbs while riding. It’ll help suppress the ravenous hunger when you get off.


i’m assuming you’re regularly training?? since you’re on here??

is this a temporary measure just to lose weight then resume normal training volume? i dunno. I say just do it. if you think it’s too much back off.

seriously can’t see how 1 hour Z2 a day can cause someone who’s regularly training to overwork.

maybe start with adding an hour 6 days a week and take a rest day.

also if you’re gonna go to the trouble of spending an extra 5-7 hours on a bicycle, I would get on an A+++ diet for a pre-defined period of time. so say 12 weeks or 7% of your body weight lost…something like that.

Let’s say they are doing 10 hrs / week on 6 days of riding……if they add 1 hour / ride, they have just gone from 10 hrs to 16 hours of riding without building up to it. That is a huge increase in volume and brings with it the risk of burnout.

Add the time incrementally and your body can adjust and respond to it.


I train 10-12 hrs a week already.

+1 on diet focus first, depending on starting body comp.

Referencing Training Peaks, Joe Friel and other coaches 10% per week seems to still be valid. I think this is conservative for experienced athletes but, assuming you’re new to endurance training and considering calorie deficit is a goal, I’d start here.

As an aside I too am attempting to get leaner this season. Currently counting calories and weighing food to get a handle on where the line is between too little and too much. I’m very experienced but, older (55) and a mesomorph. I can handle an insane amount of volume increase when not in deficit, however, in deficit I’ve found to rapid increase IME leads to one or two days a week where I completely and utterly fail in my calorie deficit. Those days i fail have made getting leaner difficult. So, I guess my point is even for experienced riders with career/family just because you have time may not mean ride all the time.

Also to help lose weight, pure technique here, between meals keep busy AF. Don’t sit down unless your job requires it. Just keep busy. Helps to keep the mind off the hunger. Best of luck!

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