Which athlete type for weight loss?

Hi everyone,

I’m 50 years old and quite overweight. I’m not training for any specific cycling event and I have no concrete goals which cycling skill I want to improve. My goal is to loose weight and improve my overall fitness.

I know that weight loss is mainly determined by nutrition and not sports, but still I want to do some training to support my changed diet.
I am using Xert for quite some time, but I never thought much about the athlete type. I selected “Rouleur” because all weight related types (Climber, GC specialist, …) are so frustrating to see in the ranking.

After a longer break I re-started training a couple of weeks ago and I noticed my Threshold Power going up from 160 to 220W. Improvement is always good, but is this really the value that I should try to increase? Which other values should I try to optimize?

Could you help me select the best athlete type?
Or do you have any other suggestions how to use Xert not to become the best cyclist ever but to keep up my motivation in becoming a healthier person?

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Even if you are not racing, you might have a route/ride you want to improve. Find the last time you did that route as fast as you could in Xert and see what type of workout Xert identified this as. Pick that as your rider type, and you will improve what is relevant.


When you set ATP to Continuous and select an Athlete type, the recommendations for HIIT workouts when form is fresh will be close to that Focus Duration (Rouluer = around 6 minute power).
Considering your main interest is weight loss with general fitness improvements you should switch Athlete Type from time to time to get a wider variety of workouts suggested.
You can do this periodically under Goals or on-the-fly by selecting Focus under Filter.
Another way to look at it is would you like to work on a strength or weakness? Something you’re good at or something you struggle with?
I’ve found workouts I really like that I wouldn’t have discovered if I left my Athlete Type only on what I’m good at. If you mark those workouts as favorites they also float to top of recommended lists in the future (when suitiable).
A rising tide raises all boats. HIE will vary depending on what you focus on, but the main ship in the bay is TP. 160-220W is a marked improvement. :+1:


I heavily recommend going for endurance athlete and keep intensity as low as terrain allows during workouts. Simply for hunger management. Higher intensity workouts can make you incredibly hungry, while they only shave a neglegtible amount of additional calories. You can easily more than make up for this by riding a bit longer. Or even much longer, to lose weight faster.

Long term, what determines your success is, if you can control hunger or not.

Weight loss is determined by the kcal deficit you can sustain long term. Which comes from the sum of saved consumption and extra expenditure.
With expenditure there is an important catch, though: The longer you go, the more your body tries to return to homeostasis. Means, if you expend 1000kcal per day into the pedals, an increasing part of that will be saved throughout the rest of the day. Partly you can counter that effect by positive progression (which also makes you fitter as a nice side effect).

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I think it is worth noting that even if you try to loose weight, you should still eat/drink carbohydrates on the longer endurance rides. Even in zone 2 you burn a fair bit of carbohydrates and eventually you will run out and you will have to stop riding. To get an idea of how much to eat during various rides you can try the EatMyRide app. There you can plan your nutrition and evaluate what you ate after the ride.

Also xert has a garmin data field to show estimated fat/carb depletion IIRC.

I believe the most important thing for long term weight loss is that you like what you are doing so it is as easy as possible to stick with it. One can try to do the optimal kind of training but if it’s no fun it is hard to do consistently for a long time and losing weight is hard enough for most people.
So I’d recommend to try and find out what you like best and maybe challenge yourself to some form of improvement that you find motivating and not care too much about how many calories it will burn or if it burns more fat or carbs.
If watching the calorie/fat burn counter motivates you then by all means do that but don’t pressure yourself into only doing endurance if sprint and surges (red stuff in Xert workouts) are fun or if you want to race (virtually in Zwift or so) because competing is fun.
And keep an eye out for over training there is such a thing as too much too soon and that won’t help in the long run either as it often leads to injury or training fatigue that keeps you from improving and being motivated by that to stick with it.
Just a few thoughts.

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Thanks for your thoughts, I think you are right. It needs to be fun to be able to keep up the motivation. I am always good to start training but unfortunately loose focus after some time and stop training at all. (Christmas is coming :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ).

Ok, good idea, I’m going to play around with the athlete types and figure out which workouts I like.