View Full Version : Trail fitness: How's your weight?

07-05-2004, 00:57
Couch potato to lean, mean hiking machine? Are you ideal weight, underweight, or overweight?



07-05-2004, 03:03
I am in shape and happy with myself:)
BUT. I've noticed my "winter layer" hasn't left yet.
I'd have to say that I'm in perfect shape to start at Springer though.
I'd be a lean mean mile crunching machine in about two weeks on the trail.

07-05-2004, 04:44
Ideal weight is a fantasy!! Theres no such thing!! The idea of ideal weight overlooks to many factors. Metabolism(sp) bone density etc . I looked at one of those exersize books once and it said my ideal weight was about 164lbs. At 6'4" I dont think sooo!!! I get below 240-250 and I feel like crap! I actually feel like Im getting out of shape again at that point. Im right around that weight now so its more of a conditioning thing than loosing weight.I just wish the weight I have was more evenly distributed over my body and legs!LOL I could be dead for 6 months and still have a gut! Streamweaver

Hammock Hanger
07-05-2004, 07:59
I am at a good weight for a bear ready to go into hibernation... unfortunately winter is over and I am about ready to leave my den. Looks like I'll be carrying some extra pounds up the mountains, probably a whole packs worth!! Damn! Hope it comes off quickly on the trail. SUe/HH

07-05-2004, 09:21
"I'm in my prime" ;)

07-05-2004, 09:52
WOW...trail fitness...ideal weight...this could be a LOOOOONNNNGGG Forum!

I just turned the BIG 5-0...& getting off the winter weight is getting harder to do as the years pass....i have to really work hard to get a pound or two off now...where, just a few years ago...i could....lose 10 lbs in a week to get ready for an activity (like hiking/bicycling, etc).

i just have to cut back on my meal portions, more protein than bread & maybe bicycle & lift some weights more often.

i wuz born a "COUCH POTATO"...but have been in recovery with help from my 12-Step-C.A. program for over 5 years now...with SUCCESS!

(i wuz 20 lbs lighter this past May than i wuz a year ago for my previous section-hike!)

07-05-2004, 10:16
I think ideal weight is all relative. I am 6"0 and 195 lbs. I run 4 times a week and have a low body fat % (10-12%) The links provided below say I am overweight. I have a large frame and if I lost any more weight would probably look sickly. As far as conditioning, I know I can hold my own on the trail and do big miles if I want to. :banana

07-05-2004, 15:16
120 views, and only 23 have voted? Cmon couch potatos, the poll is anonymous.:rolleyes:

07-05-2004, 23:52
I think ideal weight is all relative.
Agreed. :) As long as you feel good and are healthy, it's all relative. I, for one, refuse to get on a scale because it's too easy to get wrapped up in "the number" which doesn't reflect anything. The scale may say I've gained weight, when I've really gained muscle mass. As a woman...I don't need that kind of stress.... :D

Besides, I have a few friends that are "ideal" and while by the numbers I may or may not be, I leave them in the dust when I hike. ;)

Pencil Pusher
07-06-2004, 00:42
120 views, and only 23 have voted? Cmon couch potatos, the poll is anonymous.:rolleyes:I don't agree with the poll, 'anonymous' has nothing to do with it. Don't want to rain on the parade, just giving my opinion.:)

Kozmic Zian
07-06-2004, 09:52
Yea.....Dum Poll. Dum Post. What's the point? Somebody else wanna say they's bettern' somebody else? Sorry if I misunderstand this one, but, um, err. Look's like the object of this one is to belittle those who are 'weight challenged' to me. Why not take a poll on who can hike the most miles or who can do this or that, or who's the strongest.... or the smartest (beginning to sound a bit like 'Somebody' on another net). These kind o' post rankle my rankor. What's the point? Couchpotatoes vs. the ultra-lightweight, speed hikin, 3 month doin, physically fit, healthy, no-fat chewin', go so fast you can't see anything whiteblazer purists? Give me a [email protected]:confused:

07-06-2004, 11:49
I know a grossly overweight, not flabby "obese", man that consistently out hikes me, for both speed and distance. I saw a woman fall over backwards, before I could react, and I am fast, he is so strong he actually put his hand under the woman's back between the hard rocky ground and her back and set her back up on her feet, all with one hand. He was sitting down, and he just reached over and down then set her up on her feet, himself kinda standing up, using his huge legs and huge arms. He sat again, smiling and saying, "You're welcome, mam.

From him, I learned to get to and maintain my "fighting weight". I have endurance, but now I have strength, real strength.

I never liked charts.

Speer Carrier
07-06-2004, 12:51
I agree that everyone's ideal wight varys, and being fit is probably more important than weight. But for what its worth, I lost 30+ pounds from a probably 45 pounds over ideal weight condition and found that I had more energy, could hike faster, and further as a result.


07-06-2004, 20:51
"While several accepted classifications and definitions exist for degrees of obesity, the most widely accepted is the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria based on BMI. Under this convention for adults, grade 1 overweight (commonly and simply called overweight) is a BMI of 25-29.9 kg/m2. Grade 2 overweight (commonly called obesity) is a BMI of 30-39.9 kg/m2. Grade 3 overweight (commonly called severe or morbid obesity) is a BMI greater than or equal to 40 kg/m2."


07-06-2004, 22:25
297 views, and only 40 votes in the poll? That's barely 1 in 10 fessing up. Cmon people, belly up to the bar and be counted!:D

Really folks, I'm not trying to make anyone miserable with this poll. Just wondering how the Whiteblaze community compares to the general population. And it's no big deal if you're a little over ideal, since most Americans are. Including me. I eat too much, shamelessly chow down too much ice cream and other sweets, and me belly bulges under my shirt. And as we speak, I'm killing a 10 oz. bag of Fritos @ 1600 calories, just for the hell of it.

So take the test and weigh in (heehee, couldn't resist that one:bse ). After all, the poll is totally anonymous.

07-06-2004, 23:09
Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey....ay yi yi....:)

07-07-2004, 00:49
Well, 3 months ago I weighed 185 or so, and I'm only 5'4" (roughly). That would put me at around a BMI of 31. I was starting to feel disgusted with myself. I've since stopped drinking soda, and I've been exercising more, and trying to eat better. So far I've lost over 10lbs, and I hope to be in a lot better shape by the time I start my hike. Supposedly my ideal weight is around 125 or 130, but I'm aiming at about 150, to account for muscle and frame size. If I don't get to 150 before the hike, I know I will sometime after I start.

07-07-2004, 07:11
I've got no problem telling everybody I'm overweight and for me excess weight does decrease my hiking ability. As to the charts, I agree that there are too many variables and that % body fat is what I am comfortable with as an indicator of ideal weight. Also despite the higher weight I do feel that I can still cover miles and move at a good pace, but I know I could do this more easily and likely knock out additional mileage if I was around 10% body fat. I have a fairly good basis for direct comparison as about a year ago I was around 7%, for me that was about 202 pounds which is still a tad high on some charts, but I was nearly as thin as I could get. Then due to an injury/condition and ensuing depressions I gained a bunch of weight, which now I have to lose AGAIN!!!

My main concern about the excess weight is stress to the joints. I'm quit sure that even at 260 I can cover 20 miles a day, but I don't think my ankles would handle it. If I were closer to 200-210 I don't think I would have those problems. Cardio-wise I still have a fair bit of conditioning, but again I do seem to pull those hills a bit slower, kind of like a tractor trailer... I can however keep up with others 100 pounds lighter than me... At this weight I'm just not sure for how many days I could do that.

Weight is a BIG issue for me and frankly one of the biggest struggles of my life. I'm hoping to get the upper hand again soon... it gets harder each time.

Hammock Hanger
07-07-2004, 08:15
I'm hoping to get the upper hand again soon... it gets harder each time.
:o Isn't that the truth!!! Sue/HH

09-03-2004, 10:40
I intentionally put on 20lbs in 7 months before a 30day hike in Jasper NP in Canada. Things went wrong and I didn't get my hike, but I did get to keep my excess baggage. It took me 14 months to get back to my original weight. I now wish I had hiked the AT for the 30 days I had off. My all time weight variation was on thru-hiking the AT. Started out at 202lbs ended up at 172lbs (bmi says this is my upper ideal weight). The BIG problem: is when the hiking stops and the "eating everything in site" continues!!! Big BIG problem.

09-03-2004, 11:48
I don't see how i can have 9% body fat and still be considered over weight.:-?

09-03-2004, 12:03
BMI doesn't take into account % of body fat, so it's easy to have a high BMI if you are muscular.

My BMI is just slightly over 19 but it doesn't take into account that my body fat % is about 18%. I've been working out at the gym about ten to twelve hours a week and doing lots of weight training over the past six months to try and get it down to about 15%. Those last few pounds are hard to lose, especially since we women tend to have that fine layer of body fat that just won't go away. Even a body fat % reading can be misleading since muscular people tend be dehydrated which means their body fat % can be overstated.

I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in years, I just wish I had the time to put my body to use on the trail!! :banana

Crash! Bang!
10-11-2004, 12:41
seeing as how i just finished my thru-hike yesterday, id say im at my ideal weight

SGT Rock
10-11-2004, 12:55
Congratulations man!

Crash! Bang!
10-11-2004, 13:26
i just weighed myself on my friends scale and im 149, down from my starting weight of 195. holy anorexia, batman! i just wonder how accurate that is

The Solemates
10-11-2004, 14:18
Ive always hated these "ideal weight" engines that spit out a weight for 'in-shape" people. Show me a guy that is 6'4" like myself and under 190 lbs (which your link says is good for that height), and I guarantee that he is a rail. Come on, I was a rail on my thru-hike at 185 lbs, the lowest I have ever weighed. I lift weights 2x a week and run 2x a week. I would consider myself very in-shape, almost up to triathlete standards, and I am considered overweight by this scale. Perhaps it is more accurate for people of average height, but anything above and it goes crazy.

10-11-2004, 15:29
The notion of BMI is totally and completely worthless as a measurement of fitness. As an example of its stupidity, consider the example of Curtis Martin. If you do not know who he is, then just think of a powerful athlete who is 5' 1" and weighs 205 lbs. This makes his BMI 28.6. A BMI of 25 is considered overweight and 30 is considered obese. Or, how about Brian Urlacher, the mighty Bears linebacker. At 6' 4" and 258 lbs, Senor Urlacher has a BMI of 31.4, making him quite the tub of lard according to the numbers. Even Michael Jordan at 6' 6" and 216 lbs is overweight with a BMI of 25.

Why do these examples show BMI's weakness? Simple: Muscle. The BMI is too simple minded about body composition or frame size. Thinking that simple numbers like height and weight can predict fitness is like thinking that knowing someone has blond hair and green eyes makes them attractive.

Peronally, I have three tests. First, do I look like a lardboy when I get out of the shower in the morning (subjective, vain). Second, do my clothes fit. Third, can I do the things that I want to do, in the style I want to do them. This last is actually the best. So, can I thump up a 5 mile, 5500 ft gain to the top of a mountain without a break and in less than 3 hours? Can I hike in the mountains for 12 hours without feeling beat?

Deciding if you are fit or not isn't hard. Go out for a hike. If you are beat at the end (different from tired), then you are not fit enough. If your bodies exhaustion detracts from your outdoor experience, then you are not fit enough.

10-11-2004, 18:32
... First, do I look like a lardboy when I get out of the shower in the morning (subjective, vain)...
Or, assuming your are a guy, can you look down and see anything below your naval? :rolleyes:

The BMI is basically derived from the insurance company charts based on weights and heights of folks who lived through the 1930's. These really don't tell one anything about fitness, but can be a good way to educate some folks about the need to get weight and fitness under control.


10-11-2004, 19:04
Well Im a little overweight but I'll tell you one thing!give me two weeks on the trail and its on! I work on a horse farm and do alot of chores but its not like hiking 8hrs a day or 6 nowadays slacked a little.Kentucky:bse

10-31-2004, 10:04
You body is a temple of god, repect it, respect others. There is no such thing as the perfect horse. So get out there and train like a horse for all your worth.
Why don't you see any skinny Eskimo's? Does the deer always outrun the fat lazy grizzly?

steve hiker
11-01-2004, 01:55
Grizzlies are not always fat, nor are they lazy. A griz can sprint from 0 to 40 in just a few seconds.

Most Americans though are fat and lazy. We drive our cars and trucks everywhere and look at exercise like its some sort of recreation.

swamp dawg
11-14-2004, 14:02
Sad to say a bit over but once out on the trail it goes away. I get back home and want to eat everything in sight then the weight comes back. I find my excuse for getting back on the trail is to get off what weight I put on since the last hike.
Life is good.....Sawmp Dawg

04-29-2005, 03:00
i just weighed myself on my friends scale and im 149, down from my starting weight of 195. holy anorexia, batman! i just wonder how accurate that is
Congrats on the 2004 thru-hike. the weight loss might be ok, depending on height. Just wondering how much has been put back on since the finish? my hubby slapped it back on, but his current PCT trip might take it back off. Assuming they increase their 5 mile days. hikerwife

07-05-2005, 15:34
i've been out hiking some this week and a weigh about 310 with a 60 + dana design longbed K2 backpack, not anymore.....

07-05-2005, 15:40
I watch my weight ...but at 55 I focus much more on muscle tone, range of motion and endurance (cardiovascular). Not sure what my "ideal weight" should be in someone else's opinion. I know when the clothes start getting a little snug that it's time to push back.


07-05-2005, 21:27
5 foot seven and a half inches tall, and I weigh about 185. In fair shape from hiking, biking, and lots of pushups. I've got fifteen pounds of flab distributed over my body, due to my love of burgers, bacon and eggs, and dark German beer.
Last year, I hiked from Vermont to NY, and gained five pounds. Then I went from Harpers Ferry to NJ, and lost the five pounds. I stopped in every town I could for burgers and bacon and eggs, and substituted Yeungling for the German beer. I have a little belly and love handles, but I think it's cute. My doctor says it isn't.

07-06-2005, 03:18
I don't really know what ideal weight is.
I am the same as i was 30 years ago.
some say i'm skinny, some say i'm fit, sometimes i think i'm getting a beer gut.
I think when one finishes a thru-hike, he is at his ideal weight.
Keeping it there is important to me.

07-06-2005, 04:52
My idea weight at 6'0'' is 175. This is what I weighed back in the days when I actually worked for a living as opposed to sitting at a computer terminal.

Right now I am around 200# but usually I wind up the summer at 190# or so.
I don't excercise but get a moderate amount of outdoor activity from July through October. So, It's kind of a natural Yo-Yo type thing.