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What is Good Cyclists Weight and Body Fat Level?


As each of us knows perfectly well in competitive sport, medals count. However, in amateur movement, competition and striving to improve one’s performance. In both cases, the key to achieving the highest possible place on the finish line is the popular phrase – “give your best”. “Everything”.

What does that mean?

Well-planned and overworked workout cycle, contributing to ensuring regeneration, avoiding the risk of injury, taking care of individualized nutrition, taking care of proper bodyweight.

The correct bodyweight because it will be mentioned in this article is a relative concept. Is the correct bodyweight for each athlete within one range?

If we define this range as 45-150kg then we can certainly say yes. Seriously, however, there is no single range for the correct bodyweight for athletes. For this reason, in many sports we have a division into weight categories such as combat sports or weight lifting.

Are the numbers on the scale sufficient to determine the correct bodyweight? At this point you should stop and imagine two people with the same bodyweight and the same height. The first one is 80kg, 185cm tall, 18kg (22.5%) of body fat. The second is 80kg, 185cm tall, 6kg (7.5%) of body fat. It is not difficult to guess which of them will achieve better sports results.

For this reason, the answer to the question about correct bodyweight is not the value shown on the weight, but how the body composition looks like.

The main component that we take into account in the analysis of body composition results is the weight of body fat and its distribution in the body. The amount of adipose tissue for each person is strongly individual and it cannot be said that a given weight will be the best for every person in the world. N. Boisseau has developed standards for body fat content for athletes.

For men, the corresponding fat percentage range is 8-12% and for women 18-22%.

Standard range Men (% body fat) Women (% body fat)
Low < 8% < 18%
Optimal 8-10% 18-20%
Correct 10-12% 20-22%
High 12-14% 22-24%
Very High > 14% > 24%

In the case of the distribution of fat tissue in the body, magnetic resonance imaging is useful. It helps to distinguish whether most of the body fat is located in the folds of the skin and fat or in the area of internal organs.

In the first case, we are dealing with the FOTI phenotype (Fat Outside Thin Inside), and in the second variant, with a higher mass of internal fat at the organs with the TOFI phenotype (Thin Outside Fat Inside). The TOFI phenotype is more difficult to diagnose and requires advanced research and poses a greater health risk.

The second component of the body composition that we should pay attention to is the amount of muscle tissue. Not in every sport a large amount of muscle tissue will be beneficial. A good example to distinguish this aspect is track and road cycling. In track cycling the riders have strong legs, which help them in sprinting over short distances. Road cycling, on the other hand, is characterized by long distance races, where having strong legs means that the muscles need more oxygen and energy, and consequently a faster feeling of tiredness and an increased risk of not reaching the finish line.

How can you check your body composition?


Body composition can be examined using the following methods: bioelectrical impedance, hydrodensitometry, isotopic evaluation of total water content, anthropometric measurements, double beam X-ray absorber (DXA), computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

The greater the number of components considered, the more accurate the result will be, but it also increases the cost, health risk of the subject and the requirements for the ability to interpret the results.

The most common technique used in dietetics is bioelectrical impedance, which is based on dependence on the flow of current through individual tissues. It uses resistance to the current flow in adipose tissue.

The result of fat mass is presented as the difference between lean body mass and total body mass. However, this technique has certain limitations which affect the reliability of the results. The measurement is influenced by: alcohol consumption, body posture during the measurement, menstrual cycle, skin temperature in the examined person, state of hydration, physical activity undertaken immediately before or the day before the test, amount of food and drink consumed before the test.  Therefore, in order to compare measurements taken with bioimpedance, a similar physiological state should be sought in both measurements.

The most accurate method is double beam X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), however, it involves more money and exposure to radiation.

In the case of road cycling, if we take care of the right amount of fat tissue in our body, it will help us to get the best results at the finish line.

Would you like to know how to lose weight by Cycling?

Coach Damian

Damian is a head coach and founder of Cyklopedia, which was created with one goal to help everyone be faster cyclists by structured training plans, healthy recipes, and nutrition plans. Damian is racing and coaching for over 10 years, working with athletes all around the world.

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