Bodyweight vs Performance

Recently joined TR and performance has improved greatly! Recently my body fat has also risen from 21% to 24% :cry:
I have a climbing event in about 3 weeks and wondering if I try to reduce body fat will it affect performance? I’ve been riding so well lately I don’t want to sabotage myself. I’m 50 years old, maybe I need to accept this level of fat? I don’t really want to, but in the past, trying to reduce calories just makes me tired.

If your event is in 3 weeks, my $.02 is to just focus on your power and form between now and then. (I have read on this forum that) Changing body composition without harming your performance is a sloooooow process - something you’d try to accomplish over a season, or multiple seasons.


In 3 weeks you are likely to do more harm than good in an attempt to lose weight. Just focus on good quality food and fueling your workouts and recovery. Weight loss and body composition happens over months and seasons, not weeks.


A very rough estimation of weight vs power up a decent road climb, e.g. 8%, is 1 lb = 2 watts, at a VO2max-ish effort level.

You can use something like BikeCalculator to get better numbers for your specific weight, power, and race course profile, but the 1:2 pounds to watts ratio at least gives you some perspective.

So if you were to lose 3 lbs in 3 weeks, it would be like gaining 6 watts at pVO2max. Or maybe 3 watts, or maybe 9 watts. Regardless, not a lot, and you might lose a bunch of watts in the process.

That said, if you’re 20 lbs overweight, that’s equivalent to a lot of watts and losing it might be a good long term goal.

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I think w/kg is completely overblown in terms of importance for most people and most racing situations.

The exception would be very climby events which is sounds like applies directly to you in this case.

So on your non-workout days or days where your training intensity is low why not create a small calorie deficit?

It may not impact this event much but if you can accumulate small deficits over a long period of time you will end up in a much better place than you are today.

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