Weight gain with Crit Racing Training

I recently have transitioned towards the end of summer from a more volume oriented plan and race schedule (rides and races from 80-160 miles) throughout the summer. To finishing the summer with a couple of crits. With the crit plan, the intensity consists of quite a few Vo2 max workouts and more focused on shorter but more intense rides. My question is, I have gained about 3 kilos since transitioning to this plan, along with some gain (3%) in FTP. I am wondering what the cause of the weight gain is? I generally try and track and keep up with caloric intake, and have only dropped about 200 kcal burned per day on average since changing training plans. Is this just due to the reduced caloric needs, or does it have something to do with my body’s adaptation to energy expenditure from more aerobic needs to more anaerobic and more work above lactate threshold?

200 Calories adds up
I roughly estimate 3000 Calorie / 1 lb fat. That means you can gain about 1kg per month if you are truly 200 calories over per day. Crazy, right!?

1 Like

I agree, but it has only been six weeks and i have also been aiming to reduce my caloric intake over the past 2 weeks by that same 200 calories. So thats 4 weeks roughly. Not saying it doesnt add up, but I think it has more to do with the training type than a caloric intake issue. It could be more muscle build up potentially with more sprint work, but i also doubt that would happen either. I am wondering if it is tied in with the change in energy usage from burning more fat at lower but longer volume against high intensity intervals. Maybe a correlation with lactate and muscle glycogen levels and how they are using energy?

How so you track your intake? Do you weigh your food, etc? If not you would be very surprised how off you are counting calories.

If you’re getting beat up by the high intensity intervals that might be in. But 3kg is a lot

Gaining/losing weight is part art and science - first two things I learned are that the body is not a machine, and everything is an estimate (calorie burn and nutrition labels). Things like stress and sleep appears to impact my weight, and in turn my dialing portion sizes slightly up and down.


I use my whoop for calories burned, etc… have over 2 years of data, so fairly accurate for a wearable. And yes, generally weigh and monitor my portions as best I can. I was reading an article last night about Wout Van Aert needing to lose the mass he put on from CX training and im wondering (not that im comparing myself to Wout!) If there is a correlation with that type of training change and an initial weight gain and why that occurs.

Glucose storage in the muscles come with associated water, which results in weight gain. Maybe when you did long endurance rides, your muscles were basically always “empty”, with little stores of glucose and water left, so your baseline weight was actually a little low.

1 Like

Is crit training making you more muscular? Boom, there’s your answer.

3kg muscle in 6 weeks seems a lot.

I could do with that, lol!

ITs gonna be a lot of factors, not just one.

Lets say you actually now eating at least 200 cals over baseline, maybe you’re packing a few more carbs, maybe you’re holding water, maybe you weighed yourself post ablutions prior and pre ablutions this time. Whats your frequency, whats the trend? Is it as cut and dry 3kg as you think?

I can fluctuate nearly 2kg over a weekend if its a terrible one :smile:

1 Like

Without being glued to exact numbers, i would say i just generally put on 3 kgs. So something of a law of averages. Generally in that same time the biggest overall change has been the type of training emphasis and a roughly 9% reduction on average in calories burned. But again, i have been trying to keep up with that caloric change. It just seems like on average i have put on quite a few kgs in a short span without much other changes other than training type. I am already pretty muscular so i doubt it is that drastic of a muscle mass change. A lot of factors at play, but was just curious if this has happened or has been observed with others and for what reason.

This could actually be part of the problem? I wear whoop to sleep, but as far as calorie tracking it is woefully inaccurate. Maybe your data is better than mine, but I’d go out for 3500kj rides (measured by power meter) with hr 110-120 measured by Polar H10, and I’d look at my whoop graph noting my calorie usage was from midnight forward to the end of the noted rides and it’d say I’ve burned 1900 calories for the day. Then other times I’d go for an easy walk with the dogs and somehow I’d burn 400 calories in a 35 minute stroll