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  1. #1
    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    Anyone ride here that has a muscular body?

    Just curious if any of the members here who ride a great deal on there bike have muscular body. Like 5'9" - 6'2" and weigh about 175-220lbs <15% body fat and with you know... muscles.

    Does biking completely take away any "large" muscles you have? Is it like the oposite of going to a gym and pumping iron? Just curious what everyone opinion/feedback is and if anyone has any information on this. Thanks

  2. #2
    Semper Fidelis
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    I don't believe it does.
    I am 5'10.5" and weight 181 # and find that bicycling actually defines the muscles more and bicycling will work different muscle groups. {ex** calves, if you include different weight routines + the cycling it splits the calf muscle by that I mean it is like two different muscles instead of presenting just one, more of a definition.
    Spring and summer I ride about 4-5 days a week and will lift 1-2 days and work only 1-2 muscle group that week depending on the routine.
    Winter I will lift 2-4 days a week and ride two days do to time and weather situations.
    I have a tendency to bulk up in the winter do to heavier lifting,and then have to work harder to tone, this winter I will just do more reps andwork lighter weights
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    As long as you continue to lift weights and operate at caloric equilibrium or greater, I can't see why you'd lose muscle.

    --Steve

  4. #4
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    No. But you won't be helping to build them by doing endurance work. Focus on sprints, intervals, and short fast rides(<1hr) and you will continue to build muscle. For example, look at these guys.


    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turboem1
    Just curious if any of the members here who ride a great deal on there bike have muscular body. Like 5'9" - 6'2" and weigh about 175-220lbs <15% body fat and with you know... muscles.

    Does biking completely take away any "large" muscles you have? Is it like the oposite of going to a gym and pumping iron? Just curious what everyone opinion/feedback is and if anyone has any information on this. Thanks
    Muscles will be as large and as strong as necessary to deal with the loads imposed on them. I was very muscular from playing soccer for 13-years and after 10-years of cycling, the muscles are smaller, but more toned. Weight remained about the same.

    What are you asking? What is your goal? Do you want to stay muscular? Or are you trying to slim down? Or worried about it?

  6. #6
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on body type. If you're naturally thin & trying to build up, cycling won't help. If you keep the cycling moderate & keep up the weight lifting I don't think you'll lose ground; & depending on the mix you may still be able to add bulk.

    For natural mesomorphs (like me), I don't think cycling will cause a loss of muscle mass ( all other things being equal) unless you get over 100-150 miles a week. If you're a competitive bodybuilder, you'd probably want to stay under 50 per week.

    Just my take from experience.
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  7. #7
    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    What are you asking? What is your goal? Do you want to stay muscular? Or are you trying to slim down? Or worried about it?
    I was just curious. I am currently 6' 275lbs so Im not muscular lol. It was just something I was wondering. I am cycling to lose weight.

  8. #8
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turboem1
    I was just curious. I am currently 6' 275lbs so Im not muscular lol. It was just something I was wondering. I am cycling to lose weight.
    Then I don't think you need to worry about losing muscle mass unless you're doing mega mileage.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turboem1
    I was just curious. I am currently 6' 275lbs so Im not muscular lol. It was just something I was wondering. I am cycling to lose weight.
    Well, there will inevitably be muscle-loss that accompanies fat-loss due to the mileage and numbers of calories being burned off. But then you build back up the muscles that you want to stay buff. If you do mega-mileage like ultra-endurance events, then yes, you might end up looking like a marathon-runner. But unless you're doing more than 300-400-miles/wk, you don't have to worry about losing that much muscle. Just eat sufficient carbs on rides to prevent bonking and you'll be fine.

    As you get into better shape (with sprints & intervals), your body & muscles will be more efficient at generating power at any given speed. You'll then be further away from your max and you'll burn a higher percentage of fats. This will reduce the potential amount of muscle lost as well.

  10. #10
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    If you do mega-mileage like ultra-endurance events, then yes, you might end up looking like a marathon-runner.
    LOL. I didn't even look like a marathon runner when I was a marathon runner. Its all about body type.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinarider
    Then I don't think you need to worry about losing muscle mass unless you're doing mega mileage.

    Basically this is correct. A recreational rider won't suffer a great deal of atrophy from gym gains iif they maintain their resistance program as well as cycling.


    Ramp it up to 800-1100km a week and it's a different story.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I'm 5'10, 175lbs, 10.5%. I have a big butt, can't climb worth a lick, but I'm pretty good on the flats. Even when I was doing 200 mile weeks and hadn't lifted anything heavier than an infant, I couldn't get below 166. It's all about body type.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    It's all about body type.
    +1

    It's very hard for a genetic mesomorph to change body type (i.e., into an ectomorph.)

    I'm the rec-runner mentioned in this article in Running Times magazine (3rd paragraph from top):

    Mileage Madness by Kevin Beck

    Even when I was running 100 mile weeks, I never looked like a Kenyan or Ethiopian marathon runner. In fact, I didn't break 145 pounds at 67 inches tall until I added active dieting to lots of running.

    Here's a couple of articles about height vs. weight for runners:

    Getting it right: weight relative to height in distance running by Frank Horwill

    If you want to win some more races, lose some weight by Frank Horwill

    It would be very difficult for me to meet the criteria in these last two articles without experiencing harmful health related side effects.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  14. #14
    Reading Rocks!!! david.l.k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    It's all about body type.
    Sorry bro, but I gotta disagree, anyone can get powerful and muscular, it just takes dedicated training. You think Bruce Lee was born that way, he worked his ass off (no pun intended) to attain that level of physical fitness. I couldn't do proper push-ups last year and until 2 months ago I couldn't do pull-ups when I was 40% body fat (250 at the time) I would have laughed at anyone who said I could do pull-ups, I'm not gennetically predisposed to that I would say. Experience has changed all that. I'm probably around 15-20% now, losing more fat by the day.
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  15. #15
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david.l.k
    Sorry bro, but I gotta disagree, anyone can get powerful and muscular, it just takes dedicated training. You think Bruce Lee was born that way, he worked his ass off (no pun intended) to attain that level of physical fitness. I couldn't do proper push-ups last year and until 2 months ago I couldn't do pull-ups when I was 40% body fat (250 at the time) I would have laughed at anyone who said I could do pull-ups, I'm not gennetically predisposed to that I would say. Experience has changed all that. I'm probably around 15-20% now, losing more fat by the day.
    Yes, but to be specific we were talking about folks who were naturally disposed to be muscular and who were trying to be skinny-Minnies.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  16. #16
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david.l.k
    Sorry bro, but I gotta disagree, anyone can get powerful and muscular, it just takes dedicated training. You think Bruce Lee was born that way, he worked his ass off (no pun intended) to attain that level of physical fitness. I couldn't do proper push-ups last year and until 2 months ago I couldn't do pull-ups when I was 40% body fat (250 at the time) I would have laughed at anyone who said I could do pull-ups, I'm not gennetically predisposed to that I would say. Experience has changed all that. I'm probably around 15-20% now, losing more fat by the day.
    Yes & no. Depending on the goal, it takes body type & dedicated training. You won't get anywhere without the training, but no matter how much training some people do, they will never look like Arnold or Bruce Lee, & conversely some can never look like an Africian marathoner no matter how much they run. Similarly, anyone who is world class in a particular sport has a great deal of dedication, but they still wouldn't be world class without some genetic gifts. On the other hand there are a great many (probably most people in some respect) who have some natuaral or genetic gift which hasn't been taken advantage of by the application of hard work.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Does biking completely take away any "large" muscles you have?
    Yeah, biking takes away big muscles and give them to the easter bunny. Why do you ask?

  18. #18
    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    I have some anecdotal evidence to losing muscle.

    First photo is in early April after a winter in the gym training my whole body. I'm the rider on the far left in the grey jersey. Notice how big my upper arms are in the photo. Second photo (rider in red/white in the middle) is in late May after I completely stopped lifting and was packing on the miles. Note the upper arms again.

    By the end of the season, I really didn't have much upper body left because I wasn't maintaining it in the gym. This season I think I'm going to cut back on the upper body to only once a week, just to stay balanced. I don't think carrying around all the extra bulk in the early season did me much good.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    While you're locked into your body-type, there's still a wide variation-range within that. NoRacer's time-lapse photos over the years will show what can be done with training. When I played soccer, I had 26" thighs and 15" arms. Later after 10-years of bike-racing, I had 22" thighs and 13" arms. Weight is the same, so I'm not sure where all that muscle went.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    No. But you won't be helping to build them by doing endurance work. Focus on sprints, intervals, and short fast rides(<1hr) and you will continue to build muscle. For example, look at these guys.



    track racers spend zillions of hours in the weight room and like 2 seconds riding(comparitively speaking), they didnt get that way riding I assure you, nobody does

    I spend hours a day 5 days a week sprinting on a trackbike slinging packages and I look like most endurance people, lean, very lean, and so do the rest of the messengers I know

  21. #21
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    NoRacer's time-lapse photos over the years will show what can be done with training.
    If you haven't seen this in other 'weight loss' threads on this site, already, then this is what Danno is referring to (during my marathon training period, but third shot is when I dieted -hard-):



    But, I only got down to 'high school' weight - 145 pounds.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  22. #22
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I wonder about that track rider photo on top. I suppose his highly aerodynamic helmet is perfectly offset by his massive wind-whipped goatee!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenomad
    I wonder about that track rider photo on top. I suppose his highly aerodynamic helmet is perfectly offset by his massive wind-whipped goatee!

    Eadie grew it on a dare from Arnaud Tournant....he wasn't going to shave until he was world champion.



    When he was, Tournant got the clippers out on the podium and went to town on it.

  24. #24
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    I've been doing both for years. I'm 6'1.5" - 215 to 235 (summer/winter wts.). I'll ride 10 to 30 miles to my club, lift for 1 to 2 hours and ride another 10 to 30 home. I've been a member of the 400 club (bench), can comfortably do 30 pullups, curl 90 lbs. with one arm and maintain 20+ mph pace. I only do one muscle group (arms, back, chest, shoulders, legs) each workout and ride for the joy of it; chasing cars et al. My biker friends call me Wideload and Man of Girth. Obviously, I lose some upper body muscle girth during the warmer months (upstate NY) and gain during the cooler months. I'm not interested in miror muscles, but I do enjoy the expression on the faces of the 20+ers when a 55 year old guy passes them. Just lift and ride. You're not building a church...

  25. #25
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    i'm not quite like bikerbill, but i'm 5'10, 178, slightly muscular build... altho I've only been riding a month and a half or so, I haven't noticed a decrease in either size or strength. In fact i've been geting leaner, my endurance has been going up, and my lifts have been going up. Part of it is that I maintain the activities that I used to do before I picked up cycling while starting to cycle now. I lift 3-4 times a week and I play ball 3-4 times a week... and now i'm starting to cycle 2-3x per week... and yes, there are days when i lift and ball, and days when i lift and cycle... and yes, i'm always sore or tired, but it feels... so... GOOOOOOD...!!

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