Planning for winter…


—–John, maybe the wrong forum. Move me if needed—-

I’m in the process of putting together a winter program that will allow me to ramp down from well over 10K calories burned per week of cycling to (probably) under 5K — give or take depending on the weather.

This has actually already been a great year for me — 40 lbs lost, several thousands of miles in the saddle, etc — and it’s only going to get way better. My main goal over the winter is not to lose (much) fitness, to gain some upper body muscle back, and not to gain scale weight. (I’m at ~165 right now; in January I was a 208+ pound apathetic fat bastard who drank himself stupid every damn day.)

My calories burned will fluctuate because I can’t plan for the weather, but I need to deal along with that separately. For example, if it warms up above 20 or 30 degrees F along with no snow in the forecast, I might have actually three hours of hard riding in the saddle — well over 2500 cal. burned. On most days it will be the erg or on the rollers for HIIT (Boo!) plus weights on other days.

Two questions for those along with more experience than me:

1. There appears to be a difference of opinion when mapping our protein per pound. Do you calculate this based on lean muscle or overall weight? Do you use the 1-gram per pound figure or the .85 grams per pound multiplier. Thoughts? Edit: Found this great article after posting. Answered several of my questions, but I will still welcome opinions.…every-day.html

2. As mentioned, I have actually already found that I can’t plan for days when I need to capitalize on unexpected good weather. For example, on a planned cardio day off, I might instead burn through a ton of calories if the weather changes, leaving me in a 2K deficit for the day. I have actually been compensating for this by looking at a "day" as one along with my main calorie workout in the middle, and consuming to compensate after the ride — even the next day when my ride at night. Do you think this makes sense? I gotta get the calories back into me somehow!

3. Bonus question: Do you think it will be feasible for me to gain muscle mass over the winter but not scale weight? I would certainly therefore be losing fat while I gain muscle — the Holy Grail, which several view as BS.

Thanks for any insight!

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