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  1. #1
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    My upper body is getting toned, WHY???

    Hi all,

    I have been biking for a couple of month now commuting to work 3-4 times a week plus the occasional weekend ride to ran errands.

    My commute to work is 15Kilometers and relatively easy but on the way back I have 5K hill which is pretty taxing.

    Now me and my wife both noticed that my upper body is getting more buffed though I have not been to the gym at all .

    I know it sounds silly , but does your upper body get worked at all when you are biking ? could the hill be causing this?

    I am just a little puzzled so I appreciate any feedbacks.

    Cheers,
    Jerry

  2. #2
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    yes, it can.

    you naturally pull on the bars to oppose the downward force your legs apply to the pedals. On hills you can feel it more.

    But you will also be getting lean as your body burns fat. You will lose fat from everywhere, not just your legs

    a bicycle is a great fitness machine as well as a great human powered transport device

    if you got out of the saddle and really hammered that hill, you would see more upper body development from rocking the bike and pulling with the arms.

  3. #3
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    I bet you're mostly just losing fat around muscles that were already there. Bingo, more definition.
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  4. #4
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloGeezer View Post
    yes, it can.

    you naturally pull on the bars to oppose the downward force your legs apply to the pedals. On hills you can feel it more.

    But you will also be getting lean as your body burns fat. You will lose fat from everywhere, not just your legs

    a bicycle is a great fitness machine as well as a great human powered transport device

    if you got out of the saddle and really hammered that hill, you would see more upper body development from rocking the bike and pulling with the arms.
    "you naturally pull on the bars to oppose the downward force your legs apply to the pedals." If you are doing it wrong. Your upper body should be doing as little as posible. - TF

  5. #5
    Too Much Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    I bet you're mostly just losing fat around muscles that were already there. Bingo, more definition.
    yep. most people have a decent amount of muscle. just need to scrape the fat off

  6. #6
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    thank you all for your feedback.

    I think my original title was a bit misleading , what I really meant is that I appear to have gained muscle as well.

    I am naturaly a very lean person without much body fat therefore I really think that I am bulking up a little especially on the biceps and chest which is why I was so baffled.

    So I guess I am doing something wrong to stimulate those muscles ??? but no idea what it is

    Cheers,
    Rob

  7. #7
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    I have the opposite problem, my upper is going through a downer... oh well, I'm getting faster on the bike though.
    Last edited by sharptailhunter; 07-17-08 at 05:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    You have noticed a change in the scale?

  9. #9
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post
    "you naturally pull on the bars to oppose the downward force your legs apply to the pedals." If you are doing it wrong. Your upper body should be doing as little as posible. - TF
    In general riding I agree but if you are powering up a steep climb, especially standing, you will want to use your upper body as well.

  10. #10
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    cycling out of the saddle works our biceps, and riding in the saddle, and climing in the saddle works your back and shoulder muscles

  11. #11
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Do you have to carry your bike up and down stairs?

  12. #12
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    In general riding I agree but if you are powering up a steep climb, especially standing, you will want to use your upper body as well.
    The OP's climb is 5K. If he's standing and pulling, he's going to have to walk the othe 4.5K. - TF

  13. #13
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post
    The OP's climb is 5K. If he's standing and pulling, he's going to have to walk the othe 4.5K. - TF
    Fair enough, but on a 5K TT climb I will for various steeper sections stand and pull, but not over the whole thing. For shorter power climbs I will definitely stand and pull hard.

  14. #14
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    I bet you're mostly just losing fat around muscles that were already there. Bingo, more definition.

    +1

    cycling has really leaned me up.

    later.

  15. #15
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    There is a difference between lean and cut. A small amount of fat loss, especially for a naturally lean person, can translate into a visible "buffness".

    As someone else said, check the scale. Have you gained weight? If so, you're doing something to add on muscle.

    I'm inclined to think you're just cutting, not growing. Building noticeable muscle isn't usually accidental. But cutting away a layer of subcutaneous fat can go a long way in making you look studly.
    2008 Fuji Roubaix Pro2008 Redline 9-2-5 SS

  16. #16
    One legged rider
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    Buddy of mine who races cross country MTB has not lifted a weight in years and years, but has these crazy Popeye forearms.

  17. #17
    Riding for a better life! Andrea_C's Avatar
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    My upper body got very toned very fast as I started riding more:arms,shoulders!!,pecs,etc...cycling works out the upper body as well.

  18. #18
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    I started riding a lot more when I moved to the city for college (versus rural township), in addition to carrying my bike up three flights every day (very light aluminum bike..), I was watching what I ate for the first time, really. I definitely noticed that I was getting buffer arms... Riding fixed gear (I ended up with a fixed wheel and liked it, don't judge) up/down hills and around the city... Scraggly little girl when I came, was down to 105 (5'03") the first month, but when I started biking et. al... There was just muscle build, and now some fat from not riding enough, but in a good way!! And I'm up to 120- The biggest I've ever been (was always reeeally small), and very happy with my body! Now the fixie is getting its gears back for a longer commute So far as the arms though? Better than HS softball! (fiddler crab) More than I meant to write, sry... just sayin'...

  19. #19
    Raptor Custom Bicycles ZXiMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    In general riding I agree but if you are powering up a steep climb, especially standing, you will want to use your upper body as well.
    Or sprinting...

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