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  1. #1
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    (Positive) Long Term effects on the body from long road rides.

    Myself and a friend had a 75 mile ride around the Yorkshire Dales in England yesterday, great ride with varied roads and amazing scenery. Some serious elevation, killer climbs and fast drops.

    Usual commuting in the week through our hilly environment has probably prepared me for this 75 miles.

    It is the longest ride I have had since I cycled from Leeds to Paris 4 years ago (520 miles approx in 7 days).

    Fueled by a good hearty breakfast, flapjacks, hi5 energy tabs and some essential fruit.

    I plan to get out twice a week for dedicated rides (40-60 miles each time).

    From yesterdays ride, my entire mid-section feels awesomely tight, as well as the lower body.

    What kind of physique could I expect to see after 3-4 months of cycling. Where we live is rather hilly and high, so lots of climbing!

    I won't be signed up to a gym this year, cost as well as quality of gyms.. So plan to be cycling a lot!

  2. #2
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    The gym is still not a bad place to hit every now an then. Weights for bone mass.

    Cycling is low impact. In fact, people that ride and do not much else for exercise can lose bone mass. Even if you run a couple miles 2-3 times per week, it's good balance for your body.

    Especially true if you are older.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    You'll develop 3 of your 4 quads really well. Unfortunately cycling doesn't develop that 4th quad all that well, and that's where cross training comes in.

    You'll develop a little bit of core strength, but that isn't cycling's strength ... it's good to include some yoga/pilates or other core work into your routine.

    You'll develop a little bit of upper body strength, but that certainly isn't cycling's strength ... if you don't want to go to the gym, you might want to pick up some freeweights and do something of an upper body workout now and then. I row at the gym once or twice a week, plus I've got some freeweights.

    And as mentioned, cycling is low impact, so it is a good idea to do some walking or running. I walk for 30-60 minutes most lunches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You'll develop 3 of your 4 quads really well. Unfortunately cycling doesn't develop that 4th quad all that well, and that's where cross training comes in.

    You'll develop a little bit of core strength, but that isn't cycling's strength ... it's good to include some yoga/pilates or other core work into your routine.

    You'll develop a little bit of upper body strength, but that certainly isn't cycling's strength ... if you don't want to go to the gym, you might want to pick up some freeweights and do something of an upper body workout now and then. I row at the gym once or twice a week, plus I've got some freeweights.

    And as mentioned, cycling is low impact, so it is a good idea to do some walking or running. I walk for 30-60 minutes most lunches.
    And quite often you'll develop muscle imbalances by cyclings selective muscle training that can cause problems if you don't do some sort of cross training.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkano View Post
    What kind of physique could I expect to see after 3-4 months of cycling. Where we live is rather hilly and high, so lots of climbing!
    Cycling is an aerobic sport and will develop your heart, lungs and legs but, sadly, if you're looking for an Adonis like physique you'll need to do something extra.

  6. #6
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    if you're looking for an Adonis like physique you'll need to do something extra.
    Damn... Ha..

    Yeah good advice here.

    I might try fit 1 45 min run in in the week as well as possibly some basic free weight/kettlebell work out at home maybe..

    Those kettlebell workouts are lethal apparently.

  7. #7
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    You lose most of the fat on your body, develop massive legs, lose a lot of muscle mass up top, and have a ridiculuously healthy cardiovascular system. Its an oddly unbalanced look. I ride 200km+ every week sometimes out 500km if I do a long ride or a brevet on top of commuting. I need to eat twice as much as I used to in order to work and cycle everywhere. Also I suffer from cycling withdrawl if I don't cycle more than two days in a row. After three years I look like a death camp survivor above the waist, and a power lifter below. Personally don't care but if you want a balanced look.. cross training.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkano View Post
    Damn... Ha..

    Yeah good advice here.

    I might try fit 1 45 min run in in the week as well as possibly some basic free weight/kettlebell work out at home maybe..

    Those kettlebell workouts are lethal apparently.
    An hour of strength training a couple days a week is a good idea. Don't bother running unless it's something you really enjoy -- in which case seek therapy -- it's too much like cycling from a fitness perspective. Kettlebells are a great low-cost option for strength training. Barbell workouts are better, but the equipment is more costly and takes up a lot more space (bar, bench, squat rack, etc.). Even bodyweight exercises can be surprisingly effective (100 burpees in 5 min is a hell of a good strength challenge).

    If you want to LOOK fit, you also have to work the diet side of things. Proper macros and a caloric intake that closely matches your TDEE are a must if you don't want to burn muscle or build muscle buried under layers of fat. The old saying couldn't be more true -- abs aren't built in the gym, they're built in the kitchen.

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    Picture a skinny dude who's all "legs & lungs" and there's your endgame if you become an obsessive cyclist for an extended period of time.

    There's worse looks!
    Every time that wheel turn 'round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground!

  10. #10
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    It really depends on how seriously you take things. Pro cyclists can look freakish:





    ...but I also have a Cat 2 buddy who has pretty huge legs and otherwise totally normal proportions.

  11. #11
    Keep calm, Cycle on Panza's Avatar
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    Added bonus of duathalon and the triathalon, well rounded training : )!
    Your bike reflects your attitude and your personality.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    After a few years, I had to take my suits to the tailor. He had to narrow the coats and on the pants to let out the seat and take in the waist.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    After a few years, I had to take my suits to the tailor. He had to narrow the coats and on the pants to let out the seat and take in the waist.
    Sounds about right. Now if only I had a reason to wear a suit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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