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Can You Burn 10,000 Calories In One Ride? | The 10,000 Calorie Challenge

Can You Burn 10,000 Calories In One Ride? | The 10,000 Calorie Challenge


– How many calories? A hundred and thirty-four. You got another one up there, James? Thanks, pal. You got another box? – I did just neck three. Sorry. – That’s all right. Good thinking, that. That’s 390 calories. (James laughs) (dramatic music) We could just keep going. Will we be able to? I am really, really suffering now. I was focused on the top
of this little climb, it was like my treat point,
so just kept going to here, but the wattage was starting to go. Nine hours ten, 197 Watts average. That means I’ve got about
two and a half hours to go. I’m not sure I’m going to make it. (exciting music) We can thank our colleague Jack for this particular challenge. It was his bright idea. Is it possible to burn 10,000 calories in a single bike ride? We didn’t know, but it did sound like something we should try, so firstly, we asked our friend,
Professor Louis Passfield how we could measure it, and secondly, just how long and how hard
would we have to ride? Well, firstly, he said, outside
of a laboratory setting, we can use a power meter to
simply measure our output because 1 Watt of power
is 1 Joule per second and 10,000 calories equates
to 41,840,000 Joules. Which sounds like a lot,
but fortunately though we humans are relatively inefficient. 80% of the energy we use
is just lost as heat. So we actually only need to produce one fifth of that figure
as power on the bike. Which means that it would
take just 8,368,000 seconds or 2,324 hours of riding at one Watt. Now, fortunately, I
think even we can sustain a bit more than that, so
we can divide 2,324 by the power that we do sustain. 150 Watts, that’s 16 hours of riding time. 200 Watts? 11 hours, 40 minutes. Either way, we might need an early start. It’s 4.15. That’s no time to even
think about riding a bike. (calm music) James. – Mmm? – Have you ever ridden this
kind of distance before? – No. Longest I’ve done
is at least five hours, so I’ve never really
thought about eating for a 10,000 calorie ride. But yeah, this is quite difficult. Eating at 4am is not top of
my list of best things to do. – [Simon] How are you actually
feeling about today, James? – I’m actually really nervous. I mean, we’re starting off in the dark. It looks like we’re going
to be finishing in the dark. And I’ve just got no idea
how I’m going to get on, how my body’s going to cope, how I’m going to feel
talking to you for 15 hours. – No. (James laughs) – I just don’t know how
I’m going to get on. – There is this massive
physical element to it, isn’t it, cause we’re trying to go for a ridiculously long bike
ride, at a certain wattage. But I think it’s going
to be mentally, isn’t it? We could just keep going
but will we be able to? – Will we ever get there? (dramatic music) – [James] What are we doing? – [Simon] I think the
sun’s coming up, mate. – [James] No. – [Simon] (laughing) Heh, no, it’s not. – Already started burning calories. – Okay, buddy, are you ready? – Let’s do this. – All right then. 9,999
calories to go-o-o-o-o! Start right. – Yes. Although this is likely
to be a super long ride, distance is, of course, not the goal here, it’s hours in the saddle. So, when I was planning this route, I wanted something to keep it interesting but without too much descending because then we’d struggle to keep the power up. And without taking us too far from base just in case we did all grind to a halt. So, using the route planning app, Komoot, I created a 160km loop north from Calpe, before turning inland into the mountains and then back to the coast. Then a second loop of 160km, going further north along the coast, before a final, emergency finish circuit just in case we hadn’t
burned 10,000 calories already by that point. Something that we really,
really wanted to avoid. (upbeat music) – All right, we’ve made it
to our first town: Xabia. I’m on 640 calories after an hour riding, how are you doing Simon? – Yeah, don’t ask me
what’s showing on my Wahoo, it’s not good. We’re struggling a little bit to find the right tempo, aren’t we? It’s strange. It feels
like we’re not going at training speed but we’re going faster than we would if we we were trying to ride as far as we possibly could in a day. It’s like a balance of
trying to burn calories but not burn matches. – Yeah, exactly, it’s a bit of an uncomfortable pace, actually. – Certainly is, mate. – But we’re enjoying it. (upbeat music) It’s ten to eight and we’ve been riding for about two hours and 45 minutes. – Yeah, we’ve only done
65km, but we’ve been battering against, well, it’s been quite a strong headwind. But, the good news is that that means the average power is pretty good. So, 195 Watts, which means
that we should have burned quite a few calories. Morale is quite high, particularly because of the background. You can see…
– It’s beautiful. – … that is the first bit of daylight. It’s been quite long hasn’t
it, riding through the dark. (serious music) Right, we’ve now finally
caught up with you guys. We can explain a little
bit about our strategy. So, we’ve taken a leaf out
of Mark Beaumont’s book, haven’t we? – We did – a man that
knows more about this than most people. – Well, exactly. So, we’re going to split our
day up into four segments. Now the plan is, if we can
sustain just under 200 Watts, we should get it done in 12 hours, meaning that we’re going to
have four three-hour rides. Unfortunately, we’re
not as good at planning as Mark Beaumont, and so
we still haven’t reached our first stop yet and we’ve got four and a half hours in the saddle. – Yeah, that’s right, and I think, I think you were looking for a Snickers… – Oh my God. – … at every opportunity,
but never really found one. – No.
– Huh. (energetic music) We’ve just stopped at our first stop, four and a half hours in and, yeah, I’m feeling it, are you? – Yeah, this stop should
have been an hour ago. We totally, totally messed
up, but anyway, here we are. The good news, I suppose,
is that we’ve burned just shy of 4,000 calories already which, given that this is
technically second breakfast, that’s not a bad thing
to get under your belt by, what, 10am. – Yeah, I think that’s pretty good. – But, the bad news is
we’ve got 6,000 more to go. And I’m kind of running on fumes already. – It is kind of daunting. I can, yeah, still feel it in my legs, I can feel that throbbing pain and I have a feeling that’s just going to get worse and worse and worse. But morale is still good. – What have we done, mate? – It wasn’t my choice. – What have we done? This is going to be all
head and not legs isn’t it? This is like a mental challenge. – I think you’re absolutely right. I think we’re going to find
out more about ourselves that we ever thought we probably would. – There’s a thought, isn’t it? I don’t really want to
know much about myself let alone you. (upbeat music) While we’re still relatively fresh, let’s address a fundamental
point to this challenge. What even is a calorie? Strangely, perhaps, it’s
defined as the amount of energy used to heat one millilitre of water by one degree centigrade. That, however, is a
calorie with a little c. A Calorie is 1,000 small calories and that’s typically what’s used
in reference to nutrition. When we talk about calories in food, we’re referring to their energy content. Energy which is stored in chemical bonds which we can then break
or re-form in our bodies to release the energy that we need to breathe and think and pedal. Resting, we typically burn about 60 to 80 calories per hour
depending on our size. An hour walk will burn about 300 calories, again, depending on your size, and then cycling, we’ve seen, depends on our power output as well. An easy ride, perhaps, would be about 500 calories per hour. Now, to put that in the context of food, a banana contains about 105 calories. A large bowl of plain pasta, 400 calories. And a kilo of body fat, meanwhile,
is about 7,700 calories. (bouncy rock music) – Right, Si, we haven’t
spoken in at least an hour. But don’t worry because I’ve thought long and hard about this. And I take a leaf out
of my old school days, with flash cards. – Flash cards? – So… – What are you on? – I’ve got some questions for you. – Oh yeah. – First question: Favourite presenter. – Wow. – Yeah. – That’s a tough one isn’t it? – Yeah it is. – Oh wow… – Question number 40. Favourite GCN video, of all time. – Oh, mate, that’s a great question… – Right, question number 43, bud. – Yo. – Your favourite place to ride. – Ah, man, that’s a great question. – I have thought about these, mate. – I’m going to split it… Like, I love riding my
road bike in mountains but the Alps is a bit busy… I’m going to say Bristol, where I live. – Ah, that’s interesting,
I wasn’t expecting that. (sunny pop music) Hello – It’s weird, you know, when we set out, I was thinking that
I’d probably be craving like salt, and like starchy carbs, but, as you can see from this haul, all I want at the moment is sugar. – Yeah. – Loads of sugar. Just desperate for sugar. – Yeah, it is strange, and it’s like we don’t really know how far we can go and where our body’s– and
how it’s going to react in three, four hours. – [Simon] In another departure from the Mark Beaumont school
of strict planning we’re also now changing our route. Yes, that’s right,
James’s careful Komooting has gone out the window. Why? Well, honestly because I liked the first loop so much that I wanted to do it all over again. Sorry James. (slow music) – So, I think this is our second stop? – Third stop. – Third? Is it third? – Second and a half stop? – Yeah.
– Kind of lost count. – Yeah.
– Basically we are no Mark Beaumonts. Turns out we have nowhere
near the discipline required to do four hour stints. – Absolutely not. – So, we’ve stopped where needed but the flip-side is
we’ve found this amazing tapas bar in Denia, so don’t know how many calories we’ve just eaten
but the flavour was great. Patatas bravas, Serrano ham. – Yeah, we’ve been
tucking into everything. I’ve had some ravioli,
we’ve had Mars bar sweets. – Not here, they didn’t sell
Mars bars at the tapas place. – No, I’m afraid not, but
we’ve been really filling up because we’ve got another
four and a half hour leg to go and we’ve done seven and a half hours. – Yeah. After my sugar hit,
at the supermarket stop, this, like the potatoes,
the salty potatoes just hit the spot like
you wouldn’t believe. – How are you feeling it now? You feeling good, or excited? – I’m not feeling good. What? I’ve done seven hours, 40 minutes. I’ve burned 6,144 calories. – [James] My legs are
aching and I couldn’t think of anything worse than
getting on the bike right now. – Yeah, I can keep the tempo
at the moment, that’s fine. But, we’ve still got four
hours to go, haven’t we? (James laughs) Shall we go? – Oh, don’t. We just finished our third
stop, little lunch break, and we’re leaving Denia now and we’ve got four and a half hours to go. You ready buddy? – No. – Ha. Nor me. – I think this is a joke. – Oh, it’s a really bad one. It’s a really bad joke. (serious music) We’ve got a big headwind and drag. I’m not going to lie, I’m
going to be honest with you. I’m hurting. – Yeah.
– I’m really hurting. My legs are sore and they’ve had enough
of putting out 215 Watts. I’m getting out of breath, I’m over-heating, I’ve had enough of Simon’s chat. Ran out of flash cards. – Yeah, mate. For me, I’ve got a really sore back. Like, every time I jump off the bike I kind of have to hobble around. – Whoa, I’m setting the pace to 270 Watts. – Go on, mate. Yeah, every time I get off
the bike I’m hobbling around. Otherwise, I’m kind of okay, it’s that weird feeling isn’t it, we’re still getting the power out, there’s no reason to stop, it’s just uncomfortable. I think we just need
something else to take our mind off it. You say you’ve run out of flash cards? – Yeah, I’ve run out of flash cards. – Okay, mate, I’ve got an idea. – Have you? – Do you know what we need? – What do we need, mate? – We need a montage. Yeah! (upbeat music starts) – Oh my God. – Now we’re talking. Can we have a montage? Yeah! (upbeat rock music) Did that help? – To be honest, mate. No. – No, me neither. – Still hurting. – Well, never mind. Four hours to go. – Four hours to go? – Yeah. – No. – Yeah. – Oh. Break it to me lightly, Si. (happy pop music) Gone past the nine hour mark. I’ve passed my longest ever distance, my longest ever time on the bike, and I’m kind of in no man’s land now. I don’t really know how my
body’s gonna really cope. My brain’s gone a bit
funny, I feel a bit drunk because– it’s a weird
feeling, it’s hard to explain. You feel, like, cloudy, your
brain feels a bit cloudy so forgive me if I slur my words. But yeah, we’ve been
setting about 230 Watts for the last hour and a half, hour and 45, up this bit of a climb into a headwind. But Si’s doing a fantastic job. He’s kind of been this
pace-setter all day really. He’s been better at just
sitting at certain Watts than I am, I’m kind of
stop-start, stop-start, I just want to go. He’s very much helped
sit at a constant pace. But I think we’re both really
kinda starting to struggle. Don’t really know what else to say. I’m going to eat this Mars bar and I’m going to really enjoy it because we’ve got three hours left. – I am really really suffering now. I was focused on the top
of this little climb, it was like my treat point so I just kept going to here, but the wattage was starting to go. Really feels like James is holding back to stay with me, which
I feel a bit bad about. But yeah, every time I try
and get out of the saddle, my back goes. Not had that before. I think it’s just the
relentlessness, you know? Long rides, like that 16
hours with Mark Beaumont, there’s a lot of time we
weren’t even pedalling, so you can stretch your back. But here it’s just on all the time, even to the point where
we’re riding downhill with our brakes on to keep the wattage up. But, er… Yeah… Nine hours ten, 197 Watts average. That means we’ve got about
two and a half hours to go. I’m not sure I’m going to make it. (serious music) – [James] Do you know what it’s called? The golden hour. Do you want me to hold your bike, mate? – I think I need it like a Zimmer frame. You got another box? – I did just neck three. Sorry. – That’s all right. Good thinking that. That’s 390 calories. (James laughs) (“For the Record” by HDBeenDope) We’re nearly there, buddy. – Yeah, man, you’ve done good. – Thanks, pal, and yourself. Right, we’ve been riding in the dark now for about an hour which
hasn’t been too bad, has it? They’re nice roads, the only bummer is having to put your brakes on. But we’re in a bit of a pickle now. Because we’ve done 312km, we’ve averaged 199 Watts
and we’ve been riding for 11 hours and 26 minutes, meaning that we have just 18 minutes
remaining of riding before we hit 10,000 calories but we have to sustain 199 Watts but the problem is it’s
all downhill to Calpe and our route finishes at 324km, so the question is, mate,
can we sustain 200 Watts downhill into Calpe and yet still get 11 hours and 42 minutes on the clock? – First thing, mate, I’m
glad you’re a mathematician because I just wouldn’t be able to do that with my head as it is now. I reckon we just absolutely
smash on our brakes, crank out the power
because there’s going to be nothing more demoralising
that having to get to Calpe and then do another loop. – That is a very good point. – And I don’t know if I could hack that. It’s been a mental battle, this. – It has. – It’s been an absolute mental battle but we’re nearly there. – That sums it up perfectly, James. Right, come on buddy, let’s do it. – 18 more minutes– (Simon cries out in pain) How’s that back? (ominous music) – James, we’re done, mate. Well done. – Mate, that was brutal. – How are you feeling? – Mate, I’m depleted
in, I think, everything, physically, mentally destroyed. That’s hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. – Yeah.
– And that’s saying something. – I cannot tell you how much pain I’m in. – I am holding him up,
just to let everyone know. – He literally is. My back is in bits. But just the sensation from my legs, I’ve never felt it before in my life. – Good work, bud, yeah.

100 comments on “Can You Burn 10,000 Calories In One Ride? | The 10,000 Calorie Challenge

  1. I just did a stationary bike ride and burned 500 cals and I was proud of my self, then I see this, fuck.

  2. Or you could do the Queen Stage, or the longest stage, in the TdF like Impey did the other day. Off the front from km 0. With the average watts at 319 for the TdF, I am sure Impey burned more than 319 on average! Or the stage Dylan Groenewegen won. Of course, I doubt either burned 10k but, probably 7 or 8k, but they did it in 4 hours.

  3. There was survey from Duke University and University of Aberdeen that says human limit of burning calories is 2.5 of its rest energy a day

  4. So, I've noticed someone at GCN is a fan of Mattie Maguire. You've used his songs for montages in several of your videos. I just want to say that I approve of this music choice. Cycling and positive 80's style music goes together like peanut butter and jelly 😊👍

  5. I'm beginning to think some people have forgotten that the more you use/abuse something the shorter it's overall lifespan tends to be.
    Oh yes it will be a well oiled efficient machine/body in the short term but in the long run…all worn out before it time.
    I'd like to see a study on the life expectancy of folks that overdo physical things a WEE bit, in my observations they tend to look 60yrs. old when 50, 50 when 40, 40 when 30…etc.
    Keep it real folks…and when you see obsession rear it's excited head…pour a bucket of water over it and relax, on a bike it's good to slap yourself around a bit, but don't kick the shit out of yourself, because your body has a number of ways of saying F-U!!…back at ya.
    Come on!… our guts are delicate stuff, don't treat 'em like a punching bag.

  6. The montage, lol. You guys are funny! And quite insane. I've done 7 hour rides before, I know how they feel. The thought of having 4 hours left at the 7 hour mark seems excruciating.

  7. I usually burn about 1,000 kcal on a 50-km ride. So, to burn 10,000 kcal I'd just need to stretch the single ride to 500 km.

  8. Great video ✌😁 I wonder if you two or one of you were fat adapted, running the body on ketones 🤔 instead of sugar, no foggy brain, no insulin spikes, steady pase, more endurance. Yeah, one on sugar and the other on ketones, I wonder how it would be

  9. Would you consider re-doing this by prepping your body on a keto diet and see if you can do this 10k calorie challenge on minimal food intake?

  10. Why does the Taillights of bikes have to blink always? In my opion thats a pain for every bike/pedestrian/car driver behind.

  11. Are you guys still on youtube? After all the censorship and demonitorization? Well nice. I hope you aren't counting on it for the future.

  12. Amazing. I think burning that many calories over the course of a week is pretty good. If we could get half the people in the USA to do that kind of weekly exercise we could solve our health care crisis by putting a big dent in our obesity rate.

  13. oh boy, these guys rode for almost 12 hours at an 199w avg… I did yesterday a total one hour WO that required some VO2max intervals and ONLY 10 minutes at 200w (that's on my Threshold Zone) and I almost die 😛
    You guys are rockstars!

  14. ive only just started getting into exercise, watching videos like this is so motivating since I can barely ride a bike for 30 minutes currently. I'm more into running than cycling but seeing how strong and dedicated you guys are is very inspiring for me 🙂

  15. We have a roadrace in Norway which starts in Trondheim and ends in Oslo, called Styrkeprøven (translates neatly to "the strenght test"). Its approx 540 km long. I did it as a 15-year old in 2006 together with my dad and granddad, with an avg pace of 27 km/h, or 20hrs 17mins. And I can totally relate to the feelings you describe when you are having stops and breaks. You just dread getting back on the bike, but you know you have to. We only had short stops every 80-100k to stack up food and go to the toilets. Night racing is crazy, especially 12-14 hours in. Man that was such a mental experience. Would of loved to know my stats in terms of avg watts and calories.

    Anyways, great video and really really really cool production. Love your vids to death.

  16. Now as a mountain biker I’m not the biggest fan of road bikes or road bikers but I have mad respect for you in this
    video 💪🏽💯🔥

  17. I'm always impressed to see how polite the drivers are where you guys live.
    Here in Brazil they would simply roll over you no thinking.

  18. Psssh. A walk in the park compared to real athletes. I give you an Iditarod sled dog. Top dogs burn 10,000 calories a day. Day in day out. And they weigh a max of 45 lbs. (20 kg). Let that sink in lol.

  19. Im about to ride a century this weekend… This video is just inspiring me to push it further without worrying if I can (especially since it's a straight line and backtrack) XD

  20. unfair calculation of calories burnt due to loss of heat. if thats the case, ironman Kona would lose more than 10k calories in 7 hours

  21. Been cycling for about 2 months now. I do about ~1,700 calories a day. Nowhere near 10k! Awesome video! Amazing feat. If you're ever cycling in Arizona, hit me up!

  22. Dear god, you guys are beasts ! But would you say this ride was harder than the "Back in time Tour de France" stage ? Cause you looked pretty burnt up at the end of that challenge too !
    Anyway you guys are doing great as always !

  23. I realize you guys have top of the line gear /kits etc but I think my legs would be the last thing to go. My back, shoulders, crotch always are the 1st to go. How did you guys deal with cramps? Did you guys get off and stretch often? Great vid!

  24. I've done 8081 and 8334 during the 2 full distance irons I've done this year. Surprisingly the 8081 event took a lot longer to complete than the 8334.

  25. it is not completely impossible to burn so many kcal, I drove the Vätteren Runda 300km in 14:23 hours and the final burn was 8200 kcal and I am not a pro cyclist

  26. You guys are super-freaks!!! Six hours in the saddle at 180-190 watts is a killer!! Can't imagine over 11 hours at that power output!

  27. If GCN would ever put out a long documentary film for cinema, I would watch it! Great videos, much fun watching you guys do these challenges!

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