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Does biking help with pull ups?

Old 02-18-21, 05:30 PM
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burritos
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Does biking help with pull ups?

I have a pull up bar in my office. I do them intermittently. I also do some gym rock wall climbing. But since I've been biking more, I feel like that has improved my pull up count the most.(even more than rock climbing). Or is it just placebo?
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Old 02-18-21, 05:33 PM
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Are you doing pull ups with your legs?
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Old 02-18-21, 05:46 PM
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How much weight has the OP dropped from cycling? Is he using a handcycle or pedaling with his arms? So many questions, so few valid reasons to ask them...
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Old 02-18-21, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
How much weight has the OP dropped from cycling? Is he using a handcycle or pedaling with his arms? So many questions, so few valid reasons to ask them...
Since I started bike commuting I've actually gained 1 lb from 129ish to 130ish. I hope it's muscle. My legs do look slightly bigger. Regular road bike with weekend mountain biking, but no hand pedaling.
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Old 02-18-21, 06:14 PM
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I am not sure I have noticed it ever help me to be honest
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Old 02-18-21, 06:26 PM
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it'll help with pulling the stuck in seat post, maybe? I wouldn't know as I haven't had the real struggle I suppose.
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Old 02-18-21, 10:46 PM
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Eating fewer burritos might help Not saying I would ever do that but...

Cycling is not a major upper body sport. You see a lot of jacked quads and legs but our upper bodies not so much (though people do upper body work and it is not to say we are all the same).

Granted I hate pull ups and push ups and sit ups and sometimes UPS (but usually because they forget to come back to pick up the package they didn't have space for ) Now burrito curls and competitive napping I can get down with.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:30 AM
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upper body

You use your upper body to balance yourself.You really notice this effect if you have your touring bike overloaded and climbing a hill you will start to snake up the hill at slow speeds .When you are snaking down the road you have to constantly pull up on the bars to balance yourself and that wears you out big time in a hurry .Touring bikes have longer wheel bases to keep you in a straight line for this reason.You will notice bikes with racing geometries will snake down the road at slow speeds but become more stable when you get up to speed.Racers who drive aggressively and fast do not notice this because the bike is always balanced
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Old 02-19-21, 04:54 AM
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Overall fitness and strength have increased, so yes, it could.
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Old 02-19-21, 06:19 AM
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Unlikely. The riders who do the most mileage---professional road racing cyclists---don't appear to gain much muscle.


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Old 02-19-21, 06:50 AM
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In my experience, I have gained some upper arm strength from riding everyday. I am riding over a bridge everyday, twice a day, plus many other hilly sections. I carry a pannier on one side that I usually have pretty loaded so it definitely adds some significant weight to the bike that I have to pull up the hills.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:33 AM
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Cyclists arent traditionally known to have the most developed of upper bodies.

And 1 pound of weight difference?...thats just daily variation.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Cyclists arent traditionally known to have the most developed of upper bodies.

And 1 pound of weight difference?...thats just daily variation.
As someone who is OCD I check my weight daily after I return from work. Yes there is variation, especially after I binge on the weekend. But weight always zeroes out to 130 as the week goes by. Where as a year ago before bike commuting I would consistently zero out at 129. And this year I havenít been ordering as much as we generally over order so I primarily work on leftovers.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Unlikely. The riders who do the most mileage---professional road racing cyclists---don't appear to gain much muscle.

I this someone famous?
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Old 02-19-21, 12:03 PM
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Cycling does improve your core strength which is your abs and back muscles. In fact doing core training is also a good way to improve your cycling. And I know BMX is very upper body intensive with lifting up to do bike jumps etc so I imagine MTB is the same way. I think the combination of the two is helping your pull ups.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I this someone famous?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michae...ussen_(cyclist)
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Old 02-19-21, 01:56 PM
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Thanks. He was a beast in this clip. I'm not sure if he could do a ton of pull ups, but he certainly could fly up a mountain compared to the best of the best.
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Old 02-20-21, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
I have a pull up bar in my office. I do them intermittently. I also do some gym rock wall climbing. But since I've been biking more, I feel like that has improved my pull up count the most.(even more than rock climbing). Or is it just placebo?

your core has probably gotten stronger.
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Old 02-20-21, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post

If you're pulling a lot on the handle bar because you're doing lots of very steep climbs or doing climbs in high gear / sprinting a lot. Then YES, you could improve your pull ups with cycling.
NO it doesn`t...Cycling and pull ups are a completely different exercise, different movement pattern. Pulling on a bicycle handlebars is not the same as pulling your entire bodyweight up on a pull up bar...The only way to get better at pull ups is to do train pull ups more often.
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Old 02-20-21, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
NO it doesn`t...Cycling and pull ups are a completely different exercise, different movement pattern. Pulling on a bicycle handlebars is not the same as pulling your entire bodyweight up on a pull up bar...The only way to get better at pull ups is to do train pull ups more often.
So when I was in high school I could do a max of 25. 30 years later, I get a pull up bar for my kids. I do mini competitions with them. On the best day I could throw up 14 and I would literally feel like throwing up after the attempt. Despite doing indoor bouldering and occasional pull ups for a year, that max doesn't budge. I stop bouldering/pullups after getting a left frozen shoulder. COVID hits. I did PT home band exercises for 6 months. More importantly, I also pick up commute cycling(20 mi rt per day). Shoulder is better. Restarted pullups 4 months ago with 5-7 reps of 5-7 pullups. The interval is scattered throughout the day depending how busy it is at work. Last week I attempted a max. 22. I can see adding 2 maybe 3 to my previous max, but not 8. My conclusion is it has to be the biking.
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Old 02-20-21, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by burritos View Post
So when I was in high school I could do a max of 25. 30 years later, I get a pull up bar for my kids. I do mini competitions with them. On the best day I could throw up 14 and I would literally feel like throwing up after the attempt. Despite doing indoor bouldering and occasional pull ups for a year, that max doesn't budge. I stop bouldering/pullups after getting a left frozen shoulder. COVID hits. I did PT home band exercises for 6 months. More importantly, I also pick up commute cycling(20 mi rt per day). Shoulder is better. Restarted pullups 4 months ago with 5-7 reps of 5-7 pullups. The interval is scattered throughout the day depending how busy it is at work. Last week I attempted a max. 22. I can see adding 2 maybe 3 to my previous max, but not 8. My conclusion is it has to be the biking.
Certainly something is helping that specific fitness, but you'd have to explain how cycling works the lats in any meaningful way. I can't imagine it. Biceps, maybe (but not much). But there's no lats involved no matter how much you pull on the handlebars from a sitting or standing position.

What are your PT band exercises?

And you don't think your DAILY MULTIPLE SETS of pull ups aren't what's causing your max to increase???

Yes, I'm pretty sure you're looking at the wrong place for your improvement.
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Old 02-20-21, 11:10 PM
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yes if you loose weight , but direct muscle use i highly doubt it , maybe it increases your ability to absorb the pain and move the lactic acid around , i do think that pull ups will allow you to create a more solid upper body position on the bike allowing you to loose less watts when you are thrashing the bike during high efforts !
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Old 02-21-21, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
yes if you loose weight , but direct muscle use i highly doubt it , maybe it increases your ability to absorb the pain and move the lactic acid around , i do think that pull ups will allow you to create a more solid upper body position on the bike allowing you to loose less watts when you are thrashing the bike during high efforts !
I didn't lose weight, but I think you hit the nail on the head with regards to lactate. I think biking has improved my ability to convert lactate back to glucose:

I believe when muscle failure happens, it's not because of the build up of lactic acid. It's because it's run out of ATP. But if the liver with biking has increased the biochemical machinery to convert serum lactate back to glucose, this glucose can then be readily available for more pull ups. So when I get to 14-15, my biceps, traps, and lats fatigue. I can hold on and rest in between each of the last 8 till my grip can no longer be maintained. I'm convinced this is due to biking. Before the biking, I did similar reps(plus more climbing) which did not move the needle on the max#.
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Old 02-21-21, 01:21 AM
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if you put a pull-up bar on your bike you could save time.

if you saw off one side of your handlebars, you will be able to do one handed pull-ups like John Bacher.

Last edited by cjenrick; 02-21-21 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 02-21-21, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Certainly something is helping that specific fitness, but you'd have to explain how cycling works the lats in any meaningful way. I can't imagine it. Biceps, maybe (but not much). But there's no lats involved no matter how much you pull on the handlebars from a sitting or standing position.

What are your PT band exercises?

And you don't think your DAILY MULTIPLE SETS of pull ups aren't what's causing your max to increase???

Yes, I'm pretty sure you're looking at the wrong place for your improvement.
Band exercises were just eccentric internal and external rotation. Not much adding of weight. The multiple sets is something that was unchanged before and after the spike in biking.
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