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-   -   Cycling Is A Poor Form of Exercise :-( (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1213627-cycling-poor-form-exercise.html)

djcookie 09-22-20 03:55 PM

Cycling Is A Poor Form of Exercise :-(
 
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs. One was a social meet up, and the members seemed far more fit than the average person of their ages (most were older). At the second meet, everyone was ready for a ride in their gear. I was shocked by their appearance. In full lycra kit, they had comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs.

Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. Your bones become weaker as you sweat away minerals over long miles. Your muscles and bones don't become any stronger because they don't have to bear any weight. As a matter of fact, any additional weight is a liability, so additional muscle mass only penalizes you on climbs.

Even when I was riding many miles a week, I never lost any significant weight. In the past couple of weeks, I've been walking and hiking instead. I've lost more weight in these past couple of weeks than I did when I was riding upwards of 200 miles a week cycling!

Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.

Cyclist0108 09-22-20 04:00 PM

Unplug the battery and try it again.

Mojo31 09-22-20 04:01 PM

Seeing those comically oversized pot bellies with some frequency gave me the courage to be seen in public with Lycra on since my pot belly is not comically oversized..

genejockey 09-22-20 04:02 PM


Originally Posted by djcookie (Post 21708022)
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs. One was a social meet up, and the members seemed far more fit than the average person of their ages (most were older). At the second meet, everyone was ready for a ride in their gear. I was shocked by their appearance. In full lycra kit, they had comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs.

Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. Your bones become weaker as you sweat away minerals over long miles. Your muscles and bones don't become any stronger because they don't have to bear any weight. As a matter of fact, any additional weight is a liability, so additional muscle mass only penalizes you on climbs.

Even when I was riding many miles a week, I never lost any significant weight. In the past couple of weeks, I've been walking and hiking instead. I've lost more weight in these past couple of weeks than I did when I was riding upwards of 200 miles a week cycling!

Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.

You also have to stop eating so much.

CAT7RDR 09-22-20 04:27 PM

To the OP: Funny, I was going on more hilly hikes and dog walks due to extreme heat and smoke. Rode 38 miles and climbed 5K ft for my first ride in two weeks and it was a damn struggle. I now realize how hikes really were far lower on the aerobic rating than hilly bike rides.

jay4usc 09-22-20 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by djcookie (Post 21708022)
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs. One was a social meet up, and the members seemed far more fit than the average person of their ages (most were older). At the second meet, everyone was ready for a ride in their gear. I was shocked by their appearance. In full lycra kit, they had comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs.

Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. Your bones become weaker as you sweat away minerals over long miles. Your muscles and bones don't become any stronger because they don't have to bear any weight. As a matter of fact, any additional weight is a liability, so additional muscle mass only penalizes you on climbs.

Even when I was riding many miles a week, I never lost any significant weight. In the past couple of weeks, I've been walking and hiking instead. I've lost more weight in these past couple of weeks than I did when I was riding upwards of 200 miles a week cycling!

Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.

maybe you should find a group that are in their 20s and 30s?

wolfchild 09-22-20 04:39 PM


Originally Posted by djcookie (Post 21708022)
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs. One was a social meet up, and the members seemed far more fit than the average person of their ages (most were older). At the second meet, everyone was ready for a ride in their gear. I was shocked by their appearance. In full lycra kit, they had comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs.

Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. Your bones become weaker as you sweat away minerals over long miles. Your muscles and bones don't become any stronger because they don't have to bear any weight. As a matter of fact, any additional weight is a liability, so additional muscle mass only penalizes you on climbs.

Even when I was riding many miles a week, I never lost any significant weight. In the past couple of weeks, I've been walking and hiking instead. I've lost more weight in these past couple of weeks than I did when I was riding upwards of 200 miles a week cycling!

Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.

Fitness is sport specific or activity specific and just because somebody is fit at one particular activity doesn't mean that they're fit at other activities...The word "fitness" has a very broad meaning and means different things to different people. There are many different types of fitness... I agree that strength training is extremely important and I do it myself...but being strong and lifting a heavy weight doesn't mean that you're fit enough to perform in other activities.

hubcyclist 09-22-20 04:40 PM

Personally, I think people overestimate the calories required to cycle and so they probably end up eating in excess of what they burn. If you're burning 300-500 calories per hour and then loading up on pastries and such, then no, the weight isn't going to come off.

As for cycling not being good exercise, I'd challenge some folks to do 10-12hrs a week of structured workouts like I and many more fitness/competitive minded cyclists do and then reassess whether they think it's good exercise or not.

BobbyG 09-22-20 04:48 PM

Basically walking and hiking are just standing.

caloso 09-22-20 04:49 PM

There are many kinds of cycling clubs, some are more social than others. If you went to a race or a race-oriented group ride, you'd see some very fit riders. Even the older ones.

surak 09-22-20 04:49 PM

What a sweeping, oversimplified statement. Within months of changing nothing in my routine except adding some bike commuting trips each week, I went from an already light BMI of a shade over 21, which I'd kept for over a decade, to under 20, and my waist slimmed down to narrower than my smallest belt size. My legs went from looking like sticks barely wider than my biceps to, well, normal sized. :lol:

wolfchild 09-22-20 04:49 PM


Originally Posted by hubcyclist (Post 21708113)
Personally, I think people overestimate the calories required to cycle and so they probably end up eating in excess of what they burn..

Calorie counting is unnecessary. I don't even count how many calories I burn... I eat by feel and can eat quite a lot on most days and have never been overweight yet.

mstateglfr 09-22-20 05:01 PM

Perhaps reality is not on the extreme ends of the spectrum.
Maybe cycling is good exercise, but it should be supplemented with other forms of exercise if you want a full body workout.


...and to be clear, mountain biking can use a lot more than just your legs. There can be a lot of core work thru balancing and throwing the bike around singletrack. Core, arms, legs- thats about everything.

But yeah, to have overall balanced strength and fitness, you should target more than just one area.
whoda thunk?

mstateglfr 09-22-20 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by hubcyclist (Post 21708113)
Personally, I think people overestimate the calories required to cycle and so they probably end up eating in excess of what they burn. If you're burning 300-500 calories per hour and then loading up on pastries and such, then no, the weight isn't going to come off.

As for cycling not being good exercise, I'd challenge some folks to do 10-12hrs a week of structured workouts like I and many more fitness/competitive minded cyclists do and then reassess whether they think it's good exercise or not.

300-500 calories an hour? Are they riding a dead flat path at 7mph?

My burn range is a lot higher.

genejockey 09-22-20 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by wolfchild (Post 21708137)
Calorie counting is unnecessary. I don't even count how many calories I burn... I eat by feel and can eat quite a lot on most days and have never been overweight yet.

Then it's more accurate to say calorie counting is unnecessary FOR YOU. Not everyone is so fortunate. Trust me on this.

mstateglfr 09-22-20 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by wolfchild (Post 21708137)
Calorie counting is unnecessary. I don't even count how many calories I burn... I eat by feel and can eat quite a lot on most days and have never been overweight yet.

And that works for you, which is fantastic. Its absurd to say counting calories is unnecessary though. While you don't need it, others do.
Everyone has different ways to find and maintain healthy bodies and weight.

I religiously count calories, to the point that it is exhausting. But it is also what has worked to allow me to maintain a healthy weight as well as healthy body.
Religiously track calories in and religiously track calories burned. I'd love to not track and eat 'by feel', but that hasn't been a recipe for success so far.

In case you haven't heard, there are also multiple ways people learn best. Crazy, right?! I'm sure you figure your learning style is the only necessary way.

vespasianus 09-22-20 05:21 PM

Why do people respond to these absolutely asinine posts?

hubcyclist 09-22-20 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by mstateglfr (Post 21708177)
300-500 calories an hour? Are they riding a dead flat path at 7mph?

My burn range is a lot higher.

Well, just basing it on my own power. endurance watts for me (~200w) is about 750/hr (my 100 mile ride a few weeks ago was 3750 over 5:14). Going around the neighborhood with my 9y/o at 12ish mph at 275 cal/hr (we have a flat .25 mile loop we ride around for an hour). So the 300-500 is what I'd consider somewhere average folks would be.

downhillmaster 09-22-20 05:34 PM

Maybe you should read a book instead...
:rolleyes:

unterhausen 09-22-20 05:40 PM

I never quite understood how cycling can be considered not to be weight-bearing. Sure, nothing in your upper body gets much of a workout.

indyfabz 09-22-20 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by hubcyclist (Post 21708113)
Personally, I think people overestimate the calories required to cycle and so they probably end up eating in excess of what they burn. If you're burning 300-500 calories per hour and then loading up on pastries and such, then no, the weight isn't going to come off.

Having one been a frequent poster in the Clyde forum, I agree based on what numerous people thought they were burning per hour on slow rides.

Personally, while cycling across the country unsupported I managed to put on fat pounds because in the Midwest I was still eating like I had been in the mountains of the west. Also, we ate out more often because of the horrible heat and humidity. Food choices at restaurants were often calorie ladened. When I realized what was happening I dialed it back and lost the weight in the mountains of NY and New England.

Over the years I have lowered my calories while touring without sacrificing performance. This past Sunday I finished a 9 day trip. 64 miles with some pretty good hills in the first 40 miles. For breakfast I had a bottled juice drink and a muffin from a c-store. On the road I had 3 Cliff bars and a package of Truvita crackers. Never one felt fatigued despite a headwind much of the way.

indyfabz 09-22-20 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by vespasianus (Post 21708225)
Why do people respond to these absolutely asinine posts?

Seems to be a new one from a noob every day. I smell socks.

GlennR 09-22-20 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by HD3andMe (Post 21708369)

3 posts and 17 quotes... seems a bit backwards.

MntnMan62 09-22-20 06:44 PM

I've learned that generalizations are as helpful as, well, dog excrement.


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