Muscle Mass

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Muscle Mass

Postby chain_reaction » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:32 am

One of my other hobbies is body building. Now don't get me wropng i'm not arnold nor do i have aspirations to be huge but i have succeeded in increasing muscle mass and i'm happy with my progress.

Now i work my legs on a seperate day to my upper body and now im cycling i have to schedule my work outs a bit better for recovery.

Now for the question, do you guys think you can add mass in the legs by cycling alone? Because i really prefer a hard training session on my bike compared to the squat rack!

Thoughts?

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by BNA » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:24 am

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Postby Hotdog » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:24 am

Based on my own entirely unscientific and subjectic experiences I would say yes, but it probably depends on how you go about your cycling.

I seem to have bulked up in the legs quite noticeably over recent months and pretty much the only exercise I do is cycling, most of which is my daily commute. This is either a 21km ride over a traffic impeded hour if I'm heading to work from my place, or a 6km blast of under 20 minutes if I'm going in from my girlfriend's place. I think it's the latter which has done most for my leg strength, it's almost entirely uphill in one direction and because it's such a short distance I can really attack the climbs and haul my heavy loaded commuter up the slopes without worrying too much about pacing myself for the rest of the journey.

I expect mikesbytes and others more versed in the theory and practice of this sort of thing will doubtless weigh in with a more comprehensive answer shortly :)
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Postby DrEvil123 » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:26 am

Cycling will help bulk up your legs, but only to a certain point and nowhere near what squats will do over time.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:36 am

Hi Dave, I road race and I'm training to enter the 2008 powerlifting chamionships.

Do you live in Sydney? We should meet.

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Postby sogood » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:16 pm

Just take a look at those pro cyclists and you'll know what you can expect with cycling. Th key issue differential is that cycling alone won't bulk up too much upper body muscles.
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Postby gururug » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:36 pm

Think of runners

Long distance = lean
Fast and powerful = bulky

So if you want to add mass you have to do more power / sprint like work
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Postby sogood » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:52 pm

gururug wrote:So if you want to add mass you have to do more power / sprint like work

But riders don't get their upper body bulk just by riding bikes. Those sprinters also do weights.
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Postby gururug » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:01 pm

Interesting add on to this;

I used to power up stairs two at a time before I started cycling. Now i've been riding for a few months I don't have the low down juice when walking up stairs two at a time. Kind of like my musles are acting dumb or something.

I know i'm fiiter than I as and my legs are definatly more defined, but the cycling alone has made them develop to work in a different way.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:56 pm

Dave,

Exactly what are you doing on leg day? Which exercises and what weights?

Which squat do you do;
- Saftey squat
- Squat
- Full/AFT Squat

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
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Postby beauyboy » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:50 am

Like Mike and u I go to the gym mostly to put muscle on my slim body. If you are doing riding and lower body workouts try to do the lower body one or two days before your next ride. If you workout your lower body then ride the next day you will feel it and be slowed down. Remember those muscles at the gym you tore to build apon need time to repair.

My gym routen when i have time to do it is upper on Monday/Tuesday, ride to desinations(eg Tafe) during the week then Lower Body on Thursday, then work (coles) Friday Saturday Sunday.

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Postby wndrdr1111 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:56 am

I'd say you should hit the legs at the gym too. I'm a bodybuilder and recently started cycling and I still believe that nothing beats heavy squats at the gym.

Generally sprinters will also do a fair amount of work with weights in addition to their cycling training (and that includes legs not just upper body).

In fact, long rides will make you lose weight (fat and muscle) everywhere including your legs. That's why I keep my rides to around 60 - 80kms (unless training for a longer event), twice a week and I take loads of food with me on those rides.

Cheers,
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Postby chain_reaction » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:05 pm

Hey guys thanks for the feedback!
I'm in penrith mate, u?

I generally do smith machine squats, leg presses, standing and seated calf raises. Occassionally leg extensions and other seat machines but not often though...

I usually leg press around 70 % 1 rep max and squat probaly 50%

Gururug i think you'll find you've trained your muscles to become a more slow twitch fibre, basically meaning they're more prone for endurance rather than power nowadays.

Yeah i think shorter more intense rides combined with my normal leg rourine is probaly the go

what gym do you guys go too?
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:22 pm

I've got a Fitness First membership, as I work in mutiple locations and need to switch gyms regulary.

I usually work out in the morning somewhere in the range of Chatswood thru CBD and Rockdale or west to Straitfield.

Cycling hits a whole host of muscles, particulally the quads, glutes and calfs.

I would say that you could, if you want, reduce the amount of isolation leg exercises, as you will be cycling.

I'd recommend that you keep the squats as this compound exercise is probably the best weights exercise there is for legs bar none, but replace the smith machine with a free bar for squats, I'm assuming your gym has a squat rack or cage. Using a free bar will add additional muscles acting as stabilisers.

You didn't mention how low you were going with the squats, put a light weight on the bar and start with a set of ATF's. Learn to do low squats and this will compliment your cycling well, where most of the action is where the leg is nearly straight.

Cheers, Michael.

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Postby chain_reaction » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:06 pm

Yeah squats are defintly the no.1 leg exercise. I'll probaly include my calf raises into my squats also, i do enjoy the leg press but it's not real good for the back.

Yeah i should definlty get off the smith, it's just a confidence thing i think. I'll probaly re-work my whole leg routine now that i'm cycling.

Yeah that's the good thing about fitness first, they're the mcdonalds of the health industry!

I guess for a power lifter you'd be doing quite low reps, huh?
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Postby timbo » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:13 pm

I know the subject is leg muscles, but don't forget the core muscles which actually support the rider on the bike. Abdominal muscle and back muscle strength is important especially over longer distances when fatigue can set in, and srtong shoulder and arm muscles can actually help hillclimbing as well. For complete fitness its an all round thing I know, and if cycling was the only concern, then the answer would be a lot easier, however we have a life outside of cycling, so its a bit of a compromise. Don't forget your stretching exercises at the end of a ride or workout as well.
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Postby chain_reaction » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:29 pm

Nice point timbo, a strong midsection helps just about all human activity
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Postby pospete » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:51 pm

I can't wait till I can get a real job so I can afford to go pump some iron!
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:55 pm

chain_reaction wrote:Yeah squats are defintly the no.1 leg exercise. I'll probaly include my calf raises into my squats also, i do enjoy the leg press but it's not real good for the back.

Yeah i should definlty get off the smith, it's just a confidence thing i think. I'll probaly re-work my whole leg routine now that i'm cycling.

Yeah that's the good thing about fitness first, they're the mcdonalds of the health industry!

I guess for a power lifter you'd be doing quite low reps, huh?


FF is the dominate chain, I looked at some of the other chains, but none of them were suitable for mobile employees.

I've got a fair way to go before I can call myself a power lifter, I've had to deal with a shoulder injury that was impairing my BP, but now have that under control. I never did leg work because I cycled and then when I did start squating, I was doing that 1/2 baked ones you see most people doing, so I'm in the process of learning proper squating. I think I'll have them under control in time for Jan 08 competition. DL's are fine apart from some hand grip issues that I'm working on.

Rep wise, I'm transisting some of sets from the typical 3*10 to 5*5, so to put a bit more emphansis on higher weights.

What kind of cycling are you doing?

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Postby wndrdr1111 » Tue May 01, 2007 7:45 am

chain_reaction wrote:Yeah squats are defintly the no.1 leg exercise. I'll probaly include my calf raises into my squats also, i do enjoy the leg press but it's not real good for the back.

Yeah i should definlty get off the smith, it's just a confidence thing i think. I'll probaly re-work my whole leg routine now that i'm cycling.

Yeah that's the good thing about fitness first, they're the mcdonalds of the health industry!

I guess for a power lifter you'd be doing quite low reps, huh?


Do squats inside a rack. Worst case scenario you just drop the bar on the safety rails.

My typical leg day would be squats, stiff leg deadlifts. On top of that I would usuallu throw in leg press, or lunges. Sometimes front squats.

I follow MAX OT principles and it has been working fairly well for me. I train 8 weeks and then have 1 week recovery. Occasionally I will also do power lifting training where I train only 3 times a week (instead of 5 as usual) and do only chest, legs and back and focus on heavy singles rather then sets of 4-6 reps.

Cheers,
Tom
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