Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fitness News #71 - Why you want to be fat

Watching the Olympic games, there doesn't seem to be a gram of fat that's not required for their sport of expertise.  But walk around your local shopping centre and you see a completely different body image, after all we are the second fattest major country in the world.

Ask these people what they would prefer and most will say they wish they didn't have this excess fat, but is that actually true

Why you want to be fat

Before civilisation the number one survival factor was finding enough food to avoid starvation, when food supplies was lean.  So what our bodies do is store excess food as fat when supplies are good and release that fat where there is insufficient food availability.

The problems of excess fat were not a concern as pre-civilisation, you were really old by 30 and unlikely to see your 40th birthday.  So the potential problems of excess fat were minor compared with the ability to survive starvation.

Nowadays we have unlimited food supplies, but our genetics are still telling us the same story;
  1. Seek out the highest calorie foods
  2. Eat as much as possible, after all you never know what's going to be available tomorrow.
Now the food marketers know our genetics well, we have all heard the slogan "sex sells"  well "survival sells" too and don't they know it, as the constantly market high calorie, low nutritional value products at us.

Last Wednesday evening, I turned up at the class and it was 60% Male 40% Female.  I said isn't there something on tonight.... oh that's right State Of Origin.  One of the guys told me, we worked out we had enough time to do the class and still get to watch the match.

The fact is that busy people find the time to do exercise while others find time to make excuses why they don't exercise.

What you should do

You need to differentiate between the need for your daily nutrition and your primal instinct for survival.  Ask yourself some questions;
  1. Am I actually hungry, or is my body looking for excess calories to store for the future
  2. Has the desire been generated by marketing
  3. What is the nutritional value / calorie ratio.  Yes you need calories, but you want to get that nutrition in.

What if you did nothing

  Not understanding your primal genetic needs and modern day target marketing will expose you to the risk of making poor decisions, as it will be harder to differentiate between desire and actual needs.


 Last weekend was a busy one for me;

Saturday:  NSW Club Team Time Trail (TTT) Championships - 40k.  The previous week we had trained together and got a good idea of each riders strengths and challenges.  We struck a strategy, which was for me to do the bulk of the uphill work, but to push the uphill to the limits.  

We finished 10th out of 25 teams, well clear of the medals, but not a performance to be snared at.

Sunday: Nowra Road Race - 90k.  What a horrible day, the roads were wet when we started and light rain came down early into the race, only to get worse as the race progressed.  This race was a handicap race, where we work as a team in our group, chasing the group in front of us, while trying to stop the group behind us catching.

The race was out and back.  As we approached the 45k turnaround, I saw the leaders going the other way and took a reading on my bike computer.  We reached the turnaround after 800mtrs, so I knew the leaders were only 1.6k ahead.  It seemed like no time at all before we caught them and we went straight past.  

Then we went down a big winding hill in the rain.  Many riders were spooked by the not so safe conditions and the result was there was a split with about 12 riders getting off the front, being chased by 6 riders including me.  We were working hard, not gaining on them but also not loosing.  Then the fastest riders in the race caught us, we jumped on the back and got a free tow up to the front group, rolling between 55kph and 65kph with the help of some mild downhill slope and powering over the uphills.

At the front, the pace was cut to 45kph, it was looking like everyone was waiting for a bunch sprint, but as we got closer, we could see a car with flashing lights and then we realised there was a bike behind it.  All of a sudden it was game on again and we screamed towards the final turnaround, cutting his lead from something like a k to about 50mtrs, which mean this poor bloke who had probably ridden by himself for something like 40k would be swallowed buy by the peloton in the last few hundred metres, like what you see in Tour De France.

It was at this turnaround that I made my biggest mistake of the race, being too far back, as the turnaround caused a split.  I tried to ride across the gap, but ended up finishing the race in no mans land.  Though it was great result, coming in 14th out of 99 entrants, only 19 seconds behind the winner who took $1,000 for the effort.  I also came 4th in my age category, 5 seconds behind the winner.


Fitness First 
Rockdale Mon 6.00am Ride 
Pitt st Mon 11.30am RPM
Pitt st Mon 1.10pm Ride30 
Five Dock Mon 5.45pm RPM
Rockdale Tue 6.30pm RPM
Top Ryde Wed 5.45pm Ride
Walker St Thu 6.00am RPM
Bond St Fri 11.45am cover
Riverwood Mon 7.30pm RPM
Riverwood Tue 6.15am RPM

Stadium Fitness Centre Friday 6.15am RPM

Sleep Ride Eat Repeat

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