Passive vs Active Weight Doping

When I recently signed into Zwift on a new device, I was presented with the reminder that I should ensure that my weight is set correctly to ensure fairness. It was but it felt reasonable to be reminded after 18 months. In fact it felt long overdue.

A Zwiftinsider survey showed that 36% of respondents were willing to admit to failing to enter weight gains.

Research has shown that people are far less likely to cheat when they have to actively do so, rather than passively not updating their weight, for instance.

Shouldn’t Zwift occasionally ask racers, in particular, if they’ve got their weight correctly set in-game? I’ve seen racers who haven’t updated their weight for years, often after months of sustained weight loss (showing they once understood the benefits of updating weight) then…nothing.

Weight doping is apparently by far the biggest source of cheating in the game. Yet virtually nothing is done about the most common form. Only those who actively change their weight get requests for weight verification in the big series it seems, yet this passive cheating is far more pervasive.

If, say, every Zwift monthiversary there was a reminder upon entering an event ‘have you set your weight correctly?’ then I think this would nudge many into choosing between being an active cheat or doing the right thing and most would do the later.

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My weight gets uploaded to Apple health whenever I step on the scale. If Zwift had an option to read my weight from the health app, I’d enable that. I agree that most people probably just set it and forget about it.

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Although it’s only a marginal difference, when resetting mine I have to acccount for bib shorts + vest. I’m not sure if this is just a ZRL requirement or generally the case, but I have to mentally add it to all weight measurements before I decide if to change my weight, usually only after about a week of constantly weighing under the new value, having accounted for clothing weight. Maybe this is taking it too far, but as I progress people seem very keen to accuse me of cheating. Usually those who’ve stopped updating their weight. I can be confident of firing out a weight-verification video almost any time,

That is less than 1kg so it is with in the accuracy of the scale. You loose that much in sweat on a ride.

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I’ve never been asked to provide one, but I thought WTRL etc say it should be correct to within 0.1kg for verification purposes anyway?

i asked WTRL once (i was A1) and they said within 3% in the community leagues is fine, though i don’t think they actually bother doing weigh ins anymore. i thought it was kind of overly generous if anything but i suppose 3% means a whole lot more when you are my size than it does when you are 90kg

3%?!?! I could try for 3 months and not lose that much!

I believe you can create a free fitbit account, choose what elements you sync ie weight and then this syncs with zwift. The only difference you will have from the video below is that you are syncing apple to fitbit rather than the scales app

PS I have the scales in the video and they seem spot on compared to my brothers Withings

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Thanks!! That looks amazing!

To be completely honest I have a Wyze scale. The last update in November saw my body fat % basically double and I know it’s wrong. At most when I’ve been obsessed with the numbers in the past, it’ll bounce around ±1kg, unless if get sick, a binge for a couple weeks without riding or I’m very hydrated. So there are two problems here. I don’t trust my scale to begin with, have no interest in spending more money for another scale and I might be passively weight doping because during the IRL racing months when I don’t really care or check my weight (pretty much stay away from the scale unless Zwift makes me do a weigh in).

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Genuinely interesting thought, thanks.

My concern around this is that weight can be a really sensitive topic and is forcing people to weigh themselves for a community event (I’m not talking large scale like ZRL here) a big OTT?

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For me, as an organiser, no.
If you wanted to get more nuanced about it, organisers could have the ability to toggle reminders on or off.

Which then runs a risk of spamming the user.

Largely playing Devil’s Advocate here. I’m not against the idea, but thinking about the level of complaints it would generate.

Easily avoided with some simple rules for when it should be shown. Have the remainders set to show every x weeks for a user in events where the organiser has toggled on.

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For me, as an organiser, no.

For the avoidance of doubt as realise it’s not clear. This is a response to @James_Zwift suggesting it might be OTT. I’d certainly be supportive of something like this, though it will do nothing to deter those actively weight doping, it may prompt those who have forgotten to update in a while. Better than nothing.

I do get that it would irk some, I think. Or maybe not? As weight is, inevitably, a key metric for the game, if it were just a box you had to enter as you entered the pen for a race, could anyone seriously object? Honesty is still required, but people are far more likely to be dishonest passively.

I think that would be overkill, but a nudge every month/quarter of ‘do you need to update your weight?’ Perhaps only if it hasn’t been updated seems unobtrusive.

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I think I’d be okay with once a quarter. I think we need to consider the fact that whilst us, as a collective, are massively invested in racing, there are an awful lot of “oh, I’ll just give this a go” and we definitely don’t want to scare them away by being too draconian.

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Since rider weight is such a key Zwift metric, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to bring this more to the fore and have update reminders.

If you read above, I agree with this. But I don’t want it to be overkill.