My bicycle story (and what I do in the gym these days)…

My Raleigh Terrain 10.
This is the ride that changed my life. From a 104.5 kg fat boy, to a lean 94.5 kg man. Just love the feeling of being able to buy clothes that fit!!

August 10, 2014, was a historic day in my life. I fulfilled one of my longstanding childhood desires – that was of owning a bicycle. Yeah, right! Have wanted one ever since I was a teen, but the reasons for acquiring one at later stage of life are completely different from what they were, during those days of adolescence.

Last year, I had reached the stage which can be best described as ‘alarmingly overweight’ at a 104.5kgs. coupled with a nasty fall at an ill fated vacation resort. With a heavy body & a bad knee I decided to buy myself a bike with the goal of losing weight. I needed something low impact and efficient. Swimming was out, because 2 years back I nearly drowned in the deep end of a pool, at another resort (A rather long story, reserved for another time); Running was out because of my weight, my knee injury, and honestly, I just found it plain simple boring.

Now, I have always been a fitness enthusiast for a very long time but I was still not able to drop off the weight simply because of a bad diet, that I had acquired in the recent past. It merits repeating here, that “you can never out exercise a bad diet” – source: the internet.

Armed with this new toy, I started riding with a great deal of hope and enthusiasm. In fact, the very first ride from the bike store to home was about 3.5kms. and it infused me with almost child like excitement. Immediately, I sat down and reworked my exercise plan to include a good deal of outdoors cycling followed by weight training (come what may, this is something, I am never going to be able to stop!!!). 6 AM on the following morning, I was off on my long and exciting weight loss journey.

Did I succeed? You betcha!! I tasted sweet success on week three of riding, when I had permanently lost 1 kg. I was elated at seeing that. I have kept my instagram feed updated with progress pictures. Slowly and gradually my riding endurance increased and what started as a 6 kilometers warm up run, has now transformed into a 14 kilometer ride each morning, followed by 30 minutes of weight training x 6 days a week. I must say that the results have been nothing but encouraging.

On the 10th of June, it will be 10 months. 10 months of relentless & passionate riding. I am officially hooked and am now looking forward to my first year anniversary on August 10, 2015. Perhaps I will commemorate the occasion with a long ride – I am scared at the thought of a 100k, so really not sure about that. But definitely longer than my everyday riding, for sure.

Will keep posting pictures of my transformation.

Here’s my current workout plan.

A. 14kms. on the bike every morning at 6:00 AM (usually finish in 46-48 minutes).

B. Strength training in the gym for 30-40 minutes as follows:

Mon – Shoulders + Triceps: I include just one exercise of triceps because that is also used, in a push movement, such as the shoulder presses.

  1. Standing barbell triceps extension. 3 sets x 12;10;8 reps
  2. Military press – 1 set warm up + 4 sets x 12;10;10;8 reps
  3. Standing dumbbell Lateral Raises – 3 sets x 10 reps
  4. Heavy barbell shrugs – 3-4 sets of 7-8 reps .
  5. Cool down

Tuesday & Thursday – Legs: I train legs twice a week because they were my weak point. Not anymore, but I just enjoy it so have not changed this schedule.

  1. Body weight OR squat with barbell without any weights (warm up) 1 set x 10 reps
  2. Dumbbell Lunges (10kg pair) 3 sets x 10 reps each leg
  3. Box Squat (I do it by improvising on a bench press station, because I neither have a proper squat rack, nor a smith machine) 4 sets x 10;10;8;4 reps
  4. Standing Machine Calf Raises 3 sets X 25 reps.
  5. Lying Leg Curls (For Hamstrings – Again, I do an improvised movement of lying on the bench press, with my face down and curling a dumbbell, by grabbing it between my feet. Provides me the extra benefit of improved balance) – 3 sets x 10 reps (with a 20kg Dumbbell).
  6. Cool down.

Wednesday – Back + Biceps: I include just one exercise of biceps because that is also used, in a pull movement, such as the lat pull down.

  1. Wide Grip Chin ups (overhand grip): As many reps per set, to reach a total of 20 (usually try to finish it in 5 or less sets).
  2. Lat pull downs (underhand grip – biceps also in play) 3 sets x 10;8;6 reps
  3. Wide grip lat pull downs (overhand grip) to the front of the neck OR one arm dumbbell rows 3 sets x 10 rep.
  4. Dead lift – 3 sets x 3-4 reps
  5. Cool Down

Friday – Chest:

  1. Floor Pushups 2 sets x 25 reps.
  2. Bench Press 4 sets x 12;10;8;6 reps.
  3. Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets x 12;10;8;6 reps
  4. Dumbbell Pullover 3 sets x 8 reps
  5. Cool down

Saturday – Arms (Biceps + Triceps): I have reserved Saturday for dedicated arms training. Also by Saturday, I am trying to wind down the training and don’t want to do something too heavy (that said, I don’t skimp on the weights for arms workout either, LOL!).

  1. Standing Barbell Curls 1 set warm up x 10 reps + 3 sets x 10;8;8 reps
  2. Lat pull downs (underhand grip – biceps also in play) 3 sets x 10;8;6 reps OR alternate Dumbbell curls 3 sets x 10;8;8 reps
  3. Concentration curls (Optional/depending on mood) 3 sets x 10 reps each hand.
  4. Standing Cable Press Downs (Triceps press downs done on a lat machine) 1 set warm up x 10 reps + 3 sets x 12;10;8 reps
  5. Standing barbell triceps extension. 4 sets x 12;10;8; reps (I sometimes do a 5th set if a feel like)
  6. Cool down

Abdominal training: I do not train abs every day. I just do it 3 times a week and give it a nice intense squeeze and be done with it. Monday/Wednesday/Friday are my training days and I do it after the bike ride, and before hitting the weights. Here’s what I do.

  1. Plank 2 sets x 1:30 minutes
  2. Cocoon hold 1 set x 1 minute
  3. Lying heel touches (for obliques) 2 sets x 15 reps each side.
  4. Any one of Crunches OR Situps with weights 2 sets x 10-15 reps each.

Sunday – total rest – No cycle; No Gym.

Hope you find some inspiration here and also find my routine above useful. Do let me know what you think!! Do you also have an interesting transformation story to share? I’d love to hear it.

Good luck and have a good year ahead.

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