Gaining Weight to Get Faster, Motivation, Fasting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 348

The original crew is back! Amber, Chad, Nate and Jonathan discuss the concept of gaining weight to get faster, how to manage motivation amidst canceled goal events, how to keep your training on track while fasting and much more.

Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

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Gaining Weight to Get Faster, Motivation, Fasting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 348

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Tri challenge update from the hosts
  • Should you gain weight to get faster?
  • How to keep your training on track while fasting
  • Rapid Fire questions
  • How to do the most work possible for 10 minutes
  • How to maintain motivation when your events get cancelled
  • How to swap out weekend workouts for long rides with Adaptive Training
  • Is there an ideal cadence for climbing?


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@Nate_Pearson, @ambermalika, @chad I’m always debating this as race season gets closer month by month. I’m a few pounds heavier than I’ve been in previous race seasons (currently 177 lbs but “ideal” race weight is closer to 170 lbs). However, according to “SeasonMatch” I’m trending stronger. So should I slowly lose weight over the next 2-3 months or continue to focus on the work and ignore weight? BTW, focus for 2022 is the NUE Series, so five 100 mile MTB events with 10k+ climbing.

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Let’s hope the paradigm shift is better explained in the podcast than the change in weight lifting plans.

Meh, two different goals there which can apply to the same or different people at different phases in their life and/or training lifecycle. Just like any tool in this world, there are times to use it and others to avoid it. I suspect there will be context applied as appropriate.


I’m interested to hear as much information about swapping Sunday sweet spot rides for endurance rides or just adding endurance to those rides? If I have a 5 hour climbing race would it be better to ride long every Sunday vs following the planned ride and adding a couple hours of endurance to that ride?
I know it depends how I feel and listen to signs of doing to much. I feel I maxed out benefits of low volume and added endurance, maybe I didn’t.
Any info from you guys will help regardless if you answer my question or not!

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I’m the same way, I seem to gain a couple pounds but my power also goes up. Can’t wait to hear what they say.

I have tons of free advice about gaining weight :stuck_out_tongue:


I mainly just appreciate that clicking the link for tomorrow, YT curated the perfect podcast as a second recommendation.

Again, as long as they go in depth on explaining the differences in opinion between the past and new advice it should be good. Last time I think a lot of confusion came from not addressing the different reasons for doing different weight routines which was explained more in the forum later.

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We’re covering this exact thing tomorrow.


@MI-XC It will be really interesting to hear what everyone has to say.

It all comes down to the trade off between loss in strength relative to gain in w/kg, assuming the weight is muscle and not just water weight and or fat. I was touching on the question from another angle in this thread and it seems like it might be best to stay stronger rather than lighter:

I posted this on the YT vid, but to make sure and cover the bases…

Alternate suggestion for Coach Chad… follow me into BMX racing this year :stuck_out_tongue:

I am returning after a 20 year absence, and getting to apply some of the TR training I’ve had for so long with some more exciting and super short races (1 minute or less) is a refreshing and different direction. I am pretty sure there are a number of BMX tracks within reach over there, so might be worth a trip to the tracks just to see at least :wink:

It can take so much of his foundation and be a great building block. His current preference for strength training plays right into the short, sharp and powerful nature of BMX starts and riding the track. He’s got the great handling skills from his MTB riding, and could just learn to apply that to jumps and rollers on a track. This would also leave the gravel side untouched so he can scratch the competitive itch without negatively impacting the other fun side he wants to preserve.

I’m happy to help with any tips, finding tracks or other questions if he is even interested. Either way, hope he finds something fun and motivating to compete in if that is what he wants.


If I have to listen to BMX talk on the podcast there is a near 100% chance I’d tell my parents to bring my circa 1994 TNT down next visit, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

I request a trigger warning if this happens.


If I have learned anything about Coach Chad over the years (bold proclamation I admit, but with particular attention to the season end podcast), it’s that any competitive venture he is likely to take will be more private than public.

I think there is notable stress and distraction from taking on their prior challenges in such a public light. I know I’d have a hard time being that open with the whole process and could totally see taking a much more reserved and private approach with stuff like that in the future.

I’d wager to guess that any coverage of his events will be minimal at best, and be easily dwarfed by the impending onslaught of run & swim coverage that we are sure to see in the coming year+ :wink:


For event ideas, I am sure you have seen this already, @Jonathan, but the just announced USAT gravel tri is something different to consider.

The Sprint and Oly distance ones could be a nice, short option to do with minimal “extra” prep vs the longer road ones (HIM, IM).

I’m as mesomorph as they come, since I started training, eat and fuel consistently the last 3 years, I gained 6 kg in weight. Gradually my weight went up, performance went up as well. Since I’m 95kg right now, with 12% of fat, which I tend the get lower to 10% every spring, I don’t worry to much about a little less or more.

And even though i outweigh everyone I compete or ride with, I’m far from the slowest climber. With 188 cm in length and this bulk, I still manage to stand my ground in Amstel Gold Race and Ronde Van Vlaanderen terrain. And I did the Alpe d’Huez in 64 minutes. Even if I wanted to, getting below 90 kg is extremely difficult, and I wouldn’t know why either.

Being diligent with what I eat and keeping it in line with my training brought me far more than the years chasing lower weight.

In the “who would win in a fight between…” discussion, I was bitterly disappointed that Nate’s bar fight story didn’t end with “…and that’s how I met Brandon!”

Alternate suggestion for @chad Coach Chad, now that you are in the PNW, check out the 2022 Vicious Cycle Gravel Fondos (, the BEST gravel rides I have done, particularly VGF Ephrata and VGF Goldendale are 2 epic local ~80mile gravel rides that are run like races to be as competitive as you can stand. These are what I miss most about living in the area. Tell Jake I said, “Hi”, he and his crew put on amazing events.


Fantastic, @aenewton! Will do.

Now that’s interesting, @mcneese.chad. I just bought a Mongoose California Special both as a throwback to my childhood and as a jump bike to play on/learn on out in my long-ass driveway. If the skills come right back, maybe I’ll see you out there. :wink:


If you can find a pump track, those can be really fun with that bike!

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