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  1. #1
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    Cycling every day?

    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinion is about cycling everyday, or a few days in a row, etc. I'm very new to cycling and have more of a background in weight lifting where it is very important to rest between days of working the same muscles. Is it the same way with cycling, or is it generally fine to do it every day? Thanks.

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    Depends on the intensity. Commuting 5-15 miles to work or school every day will not be an issue. Doing extremely intense intervals will probably not even be possible to do more than a few days in a row, due to general exhaustion.

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietset View Post
    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinion is about cycling everyday, or a few days in a row, etc. I'm very new to cycling and have more of a background in weight lifting where it is very important to rest between days of working the same muscles. Is it the same way with cycling, or is it generally fine to do it every day? Thanks.
    Your weightlifting experience is probably right for real training for cycling. But most competitive cyclists seem to 'ride' almost every day. But ride is a relative term. A weightlifter may 'train' every day. But training on your form with an empty bar allows the muscles to recover. Same for light recovery rides.

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    For cycling you want to develope long lean muscle like a swimmers.It's more about stamina than explosive bursts.Just look at Lance,he's not all bulked up.He's very well defined.
    I ride everyday and find that if I get out of the saddle even for a day I feel sluggish when I get back on and ride.

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    Ok, thanks for the responses. I'm doing this for exercise to help me lose weight, so it would be great for me to do it everyday. Don't get me wrong though, I really enjoy it too! I suppose if I'm just going on medium paced rides each day for exercise it should be fine to do it a few days in a row.

    I'm actually into armwrestling, and it's important to stay within specific weight classes and be as strong pound for pound as possible in the upper body, so I'm glad cycling won't bulk my legs much.

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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Many people commute 32km (round trip) or more 5 to 6 days a week. While it's impotant to get some rest cycling is low impact so doesn't cause as much physical damage as running.

    Check the commuting and touring forums for more peoples' accounts of daily mileage and rest days.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I exercise in some form or another every day of the week. I'd just recommend changing it up ... don't ride the same intensity or distance every day, and do another form of exercise now and then to use different muscles. For example, on Fridays, I don't cycle or row like I do on the other days of the week, but I still walk 3 kms (I do that Monday to Friday) ... so I feel like I'm taking a break on Fridays.

    What makes you think cycling won't bulk up your legs? I was into bodybuilding for a couple years and cycling has done a lot more for my legs (muscle development, bulking up) than weightlifting ever did. I think whether you bulk up or not has more to do with body composition and how quickly you put on muscle.

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    Speaking as a commuting racer (or is it racing commuter?), I ride nearly every day, but not every ride is a training ride. Once or twice a week I'll just ride easily to work and back or around the park with my son. I still log it as a ride, but they're really just active recovery.
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    Well for now I certainly don't expect any bulk to be added since I'm running a calorie deficit. On a more general level, I don't expect the relatively light amount of resistance for extended periods of time to do all that much in terms of bulking. Certainly nothing like heavy squats might do. Just a different sort of exercise. That's my line of thinking anyways.

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    I ride about 6 days out of the week. I used to ride 7 days per week. If I don't feel like riding hard, I don't. I usually do whatever distance I have planned, sometimes it might take a bit longer is all.

    Now it is not a good idea to ride very hard each day for several days in a row. If you want to get stronger, you need to push yourself on some of your rides. But riding every day is physically feasible.

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    i have to ride everyday, if i start to miss days i develop muscle atrophy very quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietset View Post
    Ok, thanks for the responses. I'm doing this for exercise to help me lose weight, so it would be great for me to do it everyday. Don't get me wrong though, I really enjoy it too! I suppose if I'm just going on medium paced rides each day for exercise it should be fine to do it a few days in a row.

    I'm actually into armwrestling, and it's important to stay within specific weight classes and be as strong pound for pound as possible in the upper body, so I'm glad cycling won't bulk my legs much.
    You should consider using a heart rate monitor. A simple Polar model would work well. You'd be able to use it to help you train at a specific intensity to help you reach your weight loss goal. With a monitor you won't train at too high or too low an intensity.

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    If you have a really hard cycling day, the same holds. Since, I ride most every day; but, only hard rides maybe three days a week, its ok to go out every day. I go out almost every day because I am too cheap to fill the tank with petrol. And I don't enjoy driving the way I do cycling.

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    I am increasing my mileage and have a couple recovery days to make things easier now that I am bumping back up into the 200 miles a week range.
    Typically in summer I may take a day off to recover. Especially after a long ride.
    More often than not I ride slower to recover rather than take a recovery day.
    Mixing it up is nice. That is if you have any other interests.

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    This is an oversimplication but there are two kinds of workouts. One is hard such as intervals or speedwork (or steep climbs at hard effort) to build you up. They do it by tearing down muscle fibers. Ibut you need to give those fibers up to 48 hours to repair. Once that occurs, they are stronger tahn before. However idf you fail to alloow them to repair, you gain nothing. The other is relatively workouts either for recovery or long rides to build endurance.

    If you are in good shape, you can ride every day. If you go hard, you need to take an easy day. That can be by doing nothing and rest, an easy recovery day or the bike, or an alternative sport.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    Mix it up or burn out.

    Even a 1-dimensional bike-only hack like myself switches among various types of riding through the year.
    Easy days and hard days, road and mtb, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    What makes you think cycling won't bulk up your legs? I was into bodybuilding for a couple years and cycling has done a lot more for my legs (muscle development, bulking up) than weightlifting ever did.
    Especially calves!

    Calf muscles are notoriously tough to build in the gym, but ride 100 miles a week for a year, and you'll see dramatic results.

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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I don't have a car, so I use the bike for 98% of my errands. I don't typically ride a lot of miles on any one day (10 miles is a high mileage day for me), I find that it pays to do at least a short ride every day just to keep from reverting. I have a "loop" around my neighborhood thats about 3/4 mile that I'll ride once or twice (if I haven't done any other riding). Although it's short, it seems to help a lot more than one would expect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quietset View Post
    I'm doing this for exercise to help me lose weight, so it would be great for me to do it everyday.
    The German Sports University in Cologne did a study called "Cycling and Health" that claims weight loss from cycling will be better if rest days are taken each week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietset View Post
    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinion is about cycling everyday, or a few days in a row, etc. I'm very new to cycling and have more of a background in weight lifting where it is very important to rest between days of working the same muscles. Is it the same way with cycling, or is it generally fine to do it every day? Thanks.
    In general weightlifting is quite different. You actually tear and damage the muscles some, in layman terms anyway, and you have to let them rest, otherwise you'll see no improvement, and perhaps even deterioration. Cycling, however, is an aerobic exercise that increases endurance. Strength yes, some too, but not nearly as much as a dedicated strength workout would (unless you manage to make it into a strength workout by riding up very steep hills for example where the last ten pedal strokes literally kill you).

    So, if you don't push yourself too hard, cycling everyday won't even be noticeable. If you do go for an extremely long or extremely difficult ride, you might want to give yourself time to recover. Or if you ride a somewhat intense commute Monday to Friday it's a good idea to take a break on the weekend. But while an occasional break is nice, it's not as though it's mandatory every other day or anything even remotely like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietset View Post
    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinion is about cycling everyday, or a few days in a row, etc. I'm very new to cycling and have more of a background in weight lifting where it is very important to rest between days of working the same muscles. Is it the same way with cycling, or is it generally fine to do it every day? Thanks.
    There are two kinds of muscle, bulk and string. Bulk muscle is developed by doing short bouts of very heavy work like most weight lifters do. It produces large heavy strong muscles. String muscle is developed by doing lots and lots of repetitions of light work. It produces stamina and great muscle definition and is usually also good aerobic exercise.

    Most folks seem to do one or the other, but the ideal regimen works on both. Usually by alternating exercise days, one of heavy work then one of light long duration.
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