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  1. #1
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    Weight and muscle gain

    Hi,

    I started road riding about 4 months ago now, after previously having no riding experience. I was very fit to begin with as I had been running for years and think I am fast making progress on the bike. I was very lean before I started riding, although my legs (thighs) and bum have always been the biggest part of me. In the past four months that I have been riding I have put on about 3 kilos. I eat more as my appetite is larger but by no means binge. My thighs and bum have absolutely blown up- my jeans are very tight now! I am pretty sure the weight gain is due to the muscle gain........opinions!? I am good at and enjoy climbing hills but I also do longer rides so its not like i'm climbing all the time. I want to have the lean/low body fat body of a cyclist, as I am small and think this would make me quicker...and I am worried the weight gain is detrimental. Suggestions!? How do i get better and stronger and quicker and faster but without the thunder thighs????

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    What did you weight 4 months ago?
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  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I take it that this is an aesthetic issue with you? Some people find it very easy to develop powerful lower bodies. Hence cycling and rowing can be attractive sports. Probably best to concentrate on people who appreciate mental and physical strength, since you do already.

    Thinking about the power to weight ratio necessary to climb fast, this is something you'll just have to experiment with. I've always found that at least initially, it's best to concentrate on increasing power and not worry so much about the weight. After you think you have maxed out your climbing power, say in 5 years, it's time to worry about getting the weight down to see if you can go faster yet.

    It's possible that you are eating too much in response to your increased cycling activity, and are just eating more than you're burning. This happens. And you might have the pear body type, so you're putting it on in your lower body. Hard to say from here, but you could use a skinfold caliper to get some idea of whether it's fat or muscle. So just try to keep the eating in check, but make sure you are getting plenty of protein so your legs aren't sore all the time. You can try to develop a strategy to keep from overdoing it when you come home starving after a ride. Usually a recovery drink right away - sugared or chocolate milk is good - then sort of a slow drip of carbs for an hour, and then a smallish high protein, high carb dinner.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Cycling uses more specific muscles than running. So you'll build more noticeable muscles as you become a fit cyclist.

    If you are worried about weight gain, get your body fat tested. Or just look at yourself and pinch some skin. It should be pretty obvious if your larger lower body mass is muscle or fat.

    As far as weight goes, power/weight ratio is important on climbs (assuming you want to race). But its power/aerodynamic drag for flat terrain. You may do better in races with a heavier but more powerful build. It depends on the kind of races you want to do and your riding style.

  5. #5
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    I used to weigh 50.5, now weighing in at about 53.5...
    It is muscle..i can tell- i have rock solid thighs and bum! It is an aesthetic thing but also a performance thing... and being strong is more important to me than looking good, but I gues i wanted to know if there are any ways to develop lean muscle rather than bulky muscle!?!?!

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    oh, and its more obvious because I am a pretty tiny build- only 157cm and very small and toned everywhere else apart from thighs and bum!

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    oh! and one more thing- anyone know where to get a body fat test in sydney?

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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beccii87 View Post
    oh! and one more thing- anyone know where to get a body fat test in sydney?
    http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/sydneyacad...rt_fitness.asp

    Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation
    Wakehurst Parkway Narrabeen NSW 2101
    PO Box 57, Narrabeen NSW 2101
    Phone (02) 9454 0222
    Fax (02) 9454 0133


    Cycling should certainly be very beneficial for toning thighs & bum. Just keep riding, keep strengthening, eat healthily but not excessively, stay strong, you will start feeling much better.

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    I get this too! My thighs and rear get bigger from lots of miles on the bike. Probably mostly due to increased glycogen storage and muscle gain. My upper body is and always has been fairly lean, and I have a small waist, but I have problems fitting into jeans meant for my waist size due to the big legs In the off-season when I back off training, I loose the lower body "weight". I guess it's just the body's way of adapting to cycling. I get the same problem if I start lifting weights - my upper body expands out in no-time!
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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    yeah cycling is way different than running. look at pics of top running athletes compared to the physique of top cycling athletes. while there are exceptions runners tend to be thin where cyclist tend to have thicker thighs and more robust glutes.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Nothing you can do about it, it's all genetic. You have what my friend calls a "squatty" body shape. Kind of like Mark Cavendish but I'm guessing even more squatty.

    If you want to look like Contador, you'll have to grow 20cm first.
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  12. #12
    Faster than yesterday
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    Build is certainly genetic. There really isn't any healthy way I, at 6'1", could ever be the 140 lb Andy Schleck is listed at. I'm already about 5% BF, and at 165 lb I'm as small as I'd want to be.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    It's possible that you are eating too much in response to your increased cycling activity, and are just eating more than you're burning.
    This.
    Distance/endurance cycling, which is what I'm assuming you are doing, places the body in a very aerobic and catabolic state. Muscle growth just does not happen in that state and usually the exact opposite is the outcome of such training.
    Watch your diet, count your calories (use an online nutrition log) and train better to avoid the mass gain!
    Personally, I'm very proud of my 'thunder thighs' and am sad to see them shrink as the result of my endurance training. But I must admit, it does make shopping for jeans easier since I used to have to buy the most 'relaxed' cut to avoid looking like I was wearing girl-pants.

  14. #14
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    You can not necessarily gain muscle without gaining some fat as well.Without your diet supplying the raw materials your body needs to build muscle, all the hard work you do in the gym will be wasted.If you are a teenager, you'll have a hard time changing your body dramatically. It is changing constantly and it will change even more as the years pass.

  15. #15
    Senior Member High_Ram's Avatar
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    wish i had that problem. my legs get smaller when I ride...

  16. #16
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Shave your legs? That is why road riders do it. Oh the vanity!

    Really though, spot reduction is a myth and I bet these cyclists whose legs you're jealous of have been at it a looong time.

    3lbs of muscle in 4 months is a lot of muscle, especially lean slow-twitch muscle, that is 9lbs a year of pure lean muscle?? Hmm.

    You can always get implants if it's just the aesthetic you're after.

  17. #17
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    I'm built very similarly to you at 160cm/48kg, have always been a small skinny guy. It isn't something I worry about, but my legs have always seemed oversized on me compared to other people my size, and certainly so in relation to my upper body (which as always, could use some strength work). I do think I tend to average a kilo or so heavier when in top cycling shape as compared to peak running condition. If you have good reason to think it's mostly lean muscle mass that you're gaining, I wouldn't be concerned.
    Last edited by rnorris; 08-16-10 at 05:47 PM.

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