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Does Cycling Make your Legs Bigger?

Does Cycling Make your Legs Bigger

A quick Google search for ‘can cycling make your thighs bigger?’ validates what we already knew. There are a lot of ladies who want to cycle but are afraid of turning into the Hulk. The simple response is “No.” Cycling, along with a good diet, will result in a lean physique for most people. We’d all be World Sprint Champions and riding in the Olympics if Robert Forstemann’s quads appeared as soon as the average Joe hopped on a bike and rode around the block. So, if you’re concerned about getting tree-trunk legs, here’s what you need to know.


Massive quads aren’t merely the result of a lifetime of biking:

Do you believe the velodrome riders just ride their bikes all day? Track cyclists (and many riders who specialize in shorter distance rides, where top-end power reigns supreme over power-to-weight ratio) devote a significant amount of time to the gym. Cycling, for example, stimulates your endurance muscle fibers, which grow more resistant to exhaustion with training but do not bulk up. You need to do the regular heavy lifting to elicit a response from the muscles responsible for power. Read about Cyclist legs vs. Runner’s legs.


Building muscle requires a lot of refueling.

Athletes looking to bulk up require a lot of calories, and we don’t mean, “I completely had a three-egg omelette.” If you want to gain lean muscle, simply consume enough calories to replenish what you’re burning; if you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories to create a calorie deficit. But to grow muscle, you must consume a lot of high-quality protein.


Women grow muscle in a different way than men.

Does Cycling Make your Legs Bigger

Women have lower testosterone levels (about 15% lower) and higher body fat levels (approximately 10% higher) than men. Body fat is required for a healthy menstrual cycle, and it’s just how we are. Testosterone promotes the growth of bulging muscles, which is why sedentary males naturally have more muscle than sedentary women. Women who engage in strength training or resistance exercise will grow muscle, but not as much as men.


Body type is really important.

How your body changes while working out is heavily influenced by your body type. There are three broad categories to consider:

Does Cycling Make your Legs Bigger

Endomorphs have difficulty losing body fat and are less likely to gain muscle mass. Short, hard interval bike rides will help them lose additional fat if they choose, yet fat storage would have benefitted them when food was scarce.

Mesomorphs: are the most likely to gain muscle. These are the people who might become sprinters or track riders since their bodies are naturally predisposed to generate power. If this is your body type, embrace it and use it to your advantage on the bike rather than “fear” it.

Endomorphs: are tall and slim; strength training will help them grow muscle mass but at a considerably slower rate. These individuals are typically strong climbers who benefit from endurance rides because they have less body weight to carry through undulations.


Muscle is heavier than fat.

You might not know, but muscle weighs far more than fat. You’d weigh the same if you shed 5lb of fat and gained 5lb of muscle, but you’d look leaner: Cycling will modify the structure of your legs, but unless you do a lot of squats and keep the same levels of fat (by eating a lot), you’re unlikely to get “larger.”


Muscle burns more calories than fat.

Gaining muscle makes it more difficult to retain fat because muscle burns more calories even when you’re not doing anything. At rest, ten pounds of muscle consumes 50 calories each day, whereas the same weight of fat burns only 20. Extra muscle effectively acts as a calorie furnace, so you’re not likely to gain more fat if you’re loading on the muscle.


The body is more than what we see in the mirror.

So, we’ve established that you’re unlikely to transform into the Incredible Hulk without a lot of work. But what if you’re making an effort? Muscly women look absolutely stunning! Also, read about the effect of Cycling on the Body Transformation of Females.

Even if a hard-earned muscle didn’t look fantastic, the sense of doing something new, pushing a boundary, reaching the summit of that long-desired climb, or simply enjoying time on your bike is more important.


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