How to modify my plan to help lose weight

we are talking about weight loss. Not improving your your FTP or Vo2Max…for weight loss trainers are pretty poor.

why is that? weight loss is based on calorie expenditure. You can handle weight loss without riding a bike at all.

assuming equal time spent mtb riding vs riding the trainer, you will spend more time pedalling on a trainer which equates to higher expenditure

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Well the OP was also looking to maintain his FTP if possible.

I think it also depends on how much training (structured) the person did before whether or not a trainer is going to work.

I was 95KG+ in Feb’18, was able to drop down to around 85/86KG when I started with TR in Oct’18 and was 80KG in Feb’19 when following the plan.

My FTP went up in that time, of course this wasn’t only due to the trainer.
Looking after my nutrition, rest and doing strength training helped.

But a one point my weight loss plateaued which isn’t a surprise, I think when that happens it’s time to change things up a bit if someone wants to break through the plateau.

I love mountain biking, but a trainer is more time efficient for me plus gets me in good base shape to enjoy the times I am on the mountain bike more.


I fundamentally disagree with you on this point. If we set aside the idea of caloric deficit and focus solely on caloric expenditure - reasonable to do since we aren’t talking diet changes, only changes in training methodology - there is a significant gap in what you can burn on an indoor trainer as opposed to almost all outdoor rides.

Whether riding outdoors on a mountain bike, road bike, or just about any other sort of bike (perhaps riding on a track excluded) you will invariably have times where you are coasting and burning minimal watts. Whereas on an indoor trainer you are always pedaling and always putting out power.

If we accept your premise (a reasonable one) that you burn more calories while riding a mountain bike due to the upper body engagement you also have to take into account the decrease in caloric expenditure while descending. Certainly you are still burning calories by engaging your core and upper body as you descend but compared to the caloric burn of pushing even something sub threshold like 200 watts this is a lesser amount.

I don’t think you’re wrong that getting out and riding a mountain bike is a great way to burn calories - I just think if you are looking to maximize your caloric burn in a set amount of riding time there is nothing more efficient than riding the trainer

Hi all,

All I can add is that I’ve dropped from 85kg to 66kg and now an FTP around 290w, but I didn’t do this all at the same time. I lost the weight really gradually, over the course of 2 years, first the initial 15kg, then the rest from just riding lots. I strongly believe that doing it gradually, making a lifestyle change, is the only sustainable way. This anyway is more my proper body shape I’d say, bit I was in a bad life point before. Training hard once reaching or close to the desired weight worked for me. Good luck to all embarking on this. Pain in the ass but well worth it!


Note my FTP is now ca. 315w :wink:

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Welcome to the forum. FWIW, you are replying to posts that haven’t been active for years. Maybe take note of when the last post was for context?

I can see that you are interested in weight loss. It may be more helpful to stick to the currently active topics.

Being almost the exact same stats both weight and watts, I can empathise.

My personal thoughts, which may not be popular, are that it is extremely hard to lose weight and focus on performance on the bike and in the gym.

My philosophy is to program deloads/rest periods (7-10 days) and aggressively diet in this period. Typically I use Lyle McDonalds RFL protocol which you CANNOT sustain whilst doing anything more than minor exercise. It works for me so I stick with it. Most people that say its simple, are usually people that maintain weight or are naturally smaller.

Weight loss is simple. But simple is not the same as easy.

FWIW I’m also not sure that anybody is naturally smaller. Anybody who consumes more than they burn is going to pile the pounds on eventually. Those who maintain a healthy weight do so because through some combo of luck, planning and experimentation they’ve hit upon an approach to nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc that is balanced and which is sustainable for them. I would guess the people for whom that comes naturally are the ones who are lucky enough to have been brought up with good eating and exercise habits from an early age so don’t have to work too hard at it as adults.

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This literally proves my point.