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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-15-14, 09:38 AM   #1
Lanterne Rogue
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Bodies: Cyclists vs. soccer players

Cycling and soccer / football are two sports where little guys can do well. They also are two sports that require (relatively) little upper body strength. Watching the World Cup made me wonder: Why do the soccer guys have much bigger pecs / arms / upper bodies?

I am a straight man, but my wife always wanted to watch the end of World Cup matches just to see the jerseys come off. She has never been interested in seeing jerseys come off at the end of the TDF. Wouldn't the extra weight of a developed upper body hurt the explosive speed of a soccer player just as much as a cyclist? Is it just the culture of the sport, or is there a better reason why so many cyclists look like the guys who get sand kicked on them at the beach?
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Old 07-15-14, 09:47 AM   #2
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Because Soccer players get paid to be "sexy" so they work out their upper bodies. Cyclist on the other hand get paid to win races so they do all that's necessary to dismiss excess weight. Soccer players concentrate more on sprint or rather quick efforts where bigger muscles pay off better than lightweight. Cycling is all about energy expenditure and savings so the less you have to move about the better. Sprinters on the other hand are pretty darn big. Take a look at Kittel and Greipel. The dudes are pretty big all around.

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Old 07-15-14, 09:51 AM   #3
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There is also more contact in soccer so you'd be better off having some muscle mass to defend yourself against being knocked down while in possession of the ball... however, it doesn't seem like it works too well since they spend about half the match crying on the floor.
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Old 07-15-14, 09:51 AM   #4
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That Ridley is Hot.

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Old 07-15-14, 09:52 AM   #5
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Football players seem to have really delicate bodies and low pain thresholds. They are constantly getting hurt and writhing in pain. Pro cyclists crash and jump back on the bike without blinking and even ride with broken bones and concussions. In a boxing match between the two I'd bet on the cyclist every time, but they do often look pathetic with their jersey off (and sometimes even on).
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Old 07-15-14, 09:55 AM   #6
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That Ridley is Hot.
Non-DS photo and chain on small ring are clear violations.
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Old 07-15-14, 09:57 AM   #7
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You guys are crazy... cyclists look like concentration camp survivors with their shirts off. I wouldn't pick a cyclist in a boxing match unless the opponent was a 9 year old girl.
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Old 07-15-14, 09:57 AM   #8
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Having played soccer in the past, I can attest that soccer does require a degree of upper body strength, such as generating power for headers, keeping balance. While both soccer and cycling require core strength, I think soccer players work on it much more as well.
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Old 07-15-14, 09:59 AM   #9
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Sprinters on the other hand are pretty darn big. Take a look at Kittel and Greipel. The dudes are pretty big all around.

Until you stand them next to normal people, not pro bike racers. Greipel is 6' 1/2" 165lbs, which makes him a little over average height, and well under average weight for the general population.

And the sprinters are the big guys for the most part.
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Old 07-15-14, 10:00 AM   #10
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You guys are crazy... cyclists look like concentration camp survivors with their shirts off. I wouldn't pick a cyclist in a boxing match unless the opponent was a 9 year old girl.
That's my point, the footballers seem like 9 year old girls when getting hit.














(yes, I'm being sarcastic. Sure any of them could kick my ass with one hand.)
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Old 07-15-14, 10:01 AM   #11
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You guys are crazy... cyclists look like concentration camp survivors with their shirts off. I wouldn't pick a cyclist in a boxing match unless the opponent was a 9 year old girl.
Agreed... Sad but true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwKaeWkYbqk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxvNxsJzyxI
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Old 07-15-14, 10:05 AM   #12
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That's my point, the footballers seem like 9 year old girls when getting hit.
I'm not disputing that... but I offer up Clint Dempsey as a counter point. Dude broke his nose and kept going with none of the histrionics of say, anybody from Brazil or Robben. The constant diving is a definite black eye on that otherwise fine sport.

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Hilarious.
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Old 07-15-14, 10:06 AM   #13
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Football players seem to have really delicate bodies and low pain thresholds. They are constantly getting hurt and writhing in pain. Pro cyclists crash and jump back on the bike without blinking and even ride with broken bones and concussions. In a boxing match between the two I'd bet on the cyclist every time, but they do often look pathetic with their jersey off (and sometimes even on).

that "writhing" in pain is a show to sway the referees. Any incidental contact will cause any soccer player to drop to the ground like he was taken out by a sniper.
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Old 07-15-14, 10:08 AM   #14
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I think there's a lot more pushing and upper body use in soccer than the OP realizes.
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Old 07-15-14, 10:13 AM   #15
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Old 07-15-14, 10:24 AM   #16
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This is a joke right?
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Old 07-15-14, 10:28 AM   #17
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I am a straight man, but my wife always wanted to watch the end of World Cup matches just to see the jerseys come off.

Uh huh.
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Old 07-15-14, 10:37 AM   #18
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I am a straight man, but my wife always wanted to watch the end of World Cup matches just to see the jerseys come off.
If you are a straight man, why are you watching soccer in the first place?
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Old 07-15-14, 10:44 AM   #19
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If you are a straight man, why are you watching soccer in the first place?
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Old 07-15-14, 10:49 AM   #20
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If you are a straight man, why are you watching soccer in the first place?
His wife made him.
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Old 07-15-14, 11:19 AM   #21
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I do both; I play pickup games as well as an adult rec league for soccer, and ride in the hills in NorCal. There's quite a bit of physical contact in soccer (i.e. shielding the ball, going shoulder-to-shoulder on a run), and if you are skinny/weak in the upper body, you'll simply be pushed off the ball too easily.

Anyways, I like doing both sports a lot, it turns out to be a nice balance.
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Old 07-15-14, 11:31 AM   #22
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Well, without upper body muscles you can't effectively flop around on the grass like a fish out of water when you lose control of the ball near a defender.

If Cav were a soccer player, he'd still be flopping around on the pavement a month from now.
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Old 07-15-14, 11:43 AM   #23
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More upper body strength = more crabon asplosions.
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Old 07-15-14, 11:46 AM   #24
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Uh huh.
It is rather strange that he felt the need to preface "my wife" with "I'm a straight man," innit?
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Old 07-15-14, 12:12 PM   #25
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Uh huh.
I'm jealous. Wish I had a cycling bromance ala Velo Vol and PCad.
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