Bradley Wiggins weightloss = Tour De france SuccessBy
If you’ve been following the Tour De France this year or know anything about British sports you probably recognise the name Bradley Wiggins, he’s won 3 gold medals at the past 2 Olympic Games in Athens and Bejing.
He is tearing it up in the Tour De France this year and is currently in 3rd position overall, with Lance Armstrong less than 10 seconds ahead of him.
In a sport like cycling any dramatic increase in performance usually comes with ‘raised eyebrows’, but Wiggins has put his new found success on the road down to good old fashioned fat loss!
I know his nutritionist Nigel Mitchell – who is doing a fantastic job.
Wiggins won his cycling gold medals on the track in a race that lasts around 4 minutes, the individual and team pursuit. You have to have a different body shape and composition to excel at that distance than you do a race like the Tour, that lasts for 3 weeks and is up and down some of the highest mountains in Europe.
In the recent reports I have read Wiggins has said that when he won the Olympics last summer in Bejing he weighed 82Kg, when he had competed in the tour in previous years he had weighed around 76kg, this year he is down to 72Kg and 4% body fat.
He said he lost some muscle mass from his upper body as this is not important to have while racing in the tour, where to do well in the overall standings you have to be able to get up and over the Alps and other mountain ranges.
Let’s look at the amount he has actually lost as this has implications for many sports…
It always surprises me that when I work with professional athletes and serious amateurs just how many pay little attention to their body composition. They will spend on average anything from 10-25 hours a week training to get fit for their sport, always looking to improve, to be that little bit faster, to be able to last that little bit longer but all the while because they haven’t got their diet sorted out they are competing with excess weight strapped onto them.
Just this last week I had a message from a serious triathlete who was telling me that he needs to lose weight and was worried about being in a ‘fat burning zone’ because that would mean that he would have less energy when he is training.
Lets cover some practicalities…
In order to lose fat fast, you first need to deplete your carbohydrate stores (stored in the form of glycogen which is found in the muscle and liver), when these have been depleted that is when your body turns primarily to fat to start providing energy to keep it going. I explain this in greater detail in 4 Week Fat Loss. If you are an endurance athlete like a marathon runner, cyclist or tri-athlete then when you are going on a long training session you will most likely take an energy bar or drink so that you can keep your energy levels up and keep going at the same pace.
What is going to happen if you don’t consume the extra sugar in the energy bar or drink?
You are going to slow down and find it impossible to keep the same pace because you are now burning fat instead of carbohydrate. Obviously you do not want to be doing this close to a race or a competition (3 days prior would be a cut off). However as part of an overall strategy to lose fat and become leaner it makes a great deal of sense.
What you need to do is to prioritise fat loss as the effect it’ll have on your longer term performance will be dramatic.
What you have to weigh up is this, am I going to go faster in the long term,
By losing 1 lb of excess fat and completing this training session at 80-90% of my potential
I know what Bradley Wiggins would say!
This is what I would advise if you can afford to lose a significant amount of weight anything over 5 lbs then don’t measure your times and performances for a week or two and focus on fat burning as it is going to make a bigger difference to your results and performances in the longer term.
Sign up now and get FREE
5 Free Sports Nutrition Reports
Weekly e-mail notifications of new posts / Access to Most Popular Posts
Discounts on Supplements
Just enter your details and click Free Instant Access and I'll give you the free reports.