How good is cycling on the body?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by elyob, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. elyob

    elyob Guest

    Having taken up a new sport recently ... (tennis) ...

    I've found a lot of my muscles aren't used to running around. I've even
    considered splinter shins ;)

    In the gym tonight, I found my inner thighs were rubbish. Outer's, they are
    excellent.

    Any advice?
     
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  2. elyob wrote:

    > Having taken up a new sport recently ... (tennis) ...
    >
    > I've found a lot of my muscles aren't used to running around. I've even
    > considered splinter shins ;)
    >
    > In the gym tonight, I found my inner thighs were rubbish. Outer's, they are
    > excellent.
    >
    > Any advice?


    Do multiple forms of sport. Cycling is excellent cardiovascular
    exercise, but very selective on muscle improvement. You can always tell
    a keen cyclist from calf shape and that funny lump on the inside of the
    knee joint.

    --
    Mark.
    http://tranchant.plus.com/
     
  3. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    elyob wrote:
    > Having taken up a new sport recently ... (tennis) ...
    >
    > I've found a lot of my muscles aren't used to running around. I've even
    > considered splinter shins ;)
    >
    > In the gym tonight, I found my inner thighs were rubbish. Outer's, they are
    > excellent.
    >
    > Any advice?
    >


    My experience? Every new physical activity discovers new muscles.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  4. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > My experience? Every new physical activity discovers new muscles.


    Quite so. Though the reserves of basic cardiovascular Oooomph are
    almost always useful.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  5. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Mark Tranchant wrote:
    > elyob wrote:
    >
    > > Having taken up a new sport recently ... (tennis) ...
    > >
    > > I've found a lot of my muscles aren't used to running around. I've even
    > > considered splinter shins ;)
    > >
    > > In the gym tonight, I found my inner thighs were rubbish. Outer's, they are
    > > excellent.
    > >
    > > Any advice?

    >

    Stick to cycling (this is a cycling newsgroup after all)
     
  6. daren

    daren Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > > My experience? Every new physical activity discovers new muscles.

    >
    > Quite so. Though the reserves of basic cardiovascular Oooomph are
    > almost always useful.
    >

    I found them to be positively harmful!

    Played a game of serious football after about 20 years of not playing.
    The CV reserves allowed me to run and run (winger), but I suffered for
    days after, could hardly walk! Being CV fit has its benefits, but it is
    easy to overdo other exercise as a consequence.

    Even learning to unicycle has discovered new muscles

    regards
    daren
    --
    remove outer garment for reply
     
  7. > In the gym tonight, I found my inner thighs were rubbish. Outer's,
    > they are excellent.
    >
    > Any advice?


    You know that exercise you were doing when you founnd your inner thighs
    were useless? Keep doing it.


    Few times against lots of resistence = builds up strength and bulk in the
    muscle.
    Lots of times against less resistence = builds up stamina and tone in the
    muscle.

    If you're just bothered about inner thighs weak and outer strong, then
    consider cycling inside out for half your rides.

    Happy to help.

    Mark.
     
  8. Blonde

    Blonde Guest


    > Few times against lots of resistence = builds up strength and bulk in the
    > muscle.
    > Lots of times against less resistence = builds up stamina and tone in the
    > muscle.


    The forner is much the best AFAIK. I've seen various research articles
    suggesting that the latter has little effect on 'tone' as this is
    determined by the size of the muscle (which is increased in size by
    strength training with heavier weights) and also by how much fat
    surrounds the muscle (which is detrmined by genetics to some extrent,
    and also calorie input and output). I think it's a better use of time
    to lift as heavy a weight as I can rather than fannying about with
    light weights for a longer time period, but to smaller effect.
     
  9. Blonde

    Blonde Guest

    It's funny you should mention about inner thighs being weaker. All my
    leg muscle groups seem to actually be stronger since I stopped
    bothering with the abducter, adducter and quadracep machines at the gym
    and started riding the bike up hills in a larger gear than I used to.
    The inner and outer tops of the thighs now bulge in a very muscular and
    rather pleasing way, which they didn't before! I went to the gym last
    night fo teh first time ina month and tried the same machines and my
    inner thighs have got stronger from cycling than from weight training.
    The same is very definitely noticable for my quadraceps. I think
    cycling has actually strengthened all my lower body muscles more than
    weight training ever did, and I have weight trained on and off for the
    past ten years but only cycled for the past two and a half years.
     
  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Blonde wrote:

    > The forner is much the best AFAIK. I've seen various research articles
    > suggesting that the latter has little effect on 'tone' as this is
    > determined by the size of the muscle (which is increased in size by
    > strength training with heavier weights) and also by how much fat
    > surrounds the muscle (which is detrmined by genetics to some extrent,
    > and also calorie input and output). I think it's a better use of time
    > to lift as heavy a weight as I can rather than fannying about with
    > light weights for a longer time period, but to smaller effect.


    Well, it depends to what ultimate goal you're doing the muscle building.
    If it's for an endurance thing then your muscles /need/ to be used to
    doing minor jobs one helluva lot of times. The best training for
    spinning up hills is spinning up hills, not mashing big gears up hills...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Blonde wrote:
    >
    > > The forner is much the best AFAIK. I've seen various research articles
    > > suggesting that the latter has little effect on 'tone' as this is
    > > determined by the size of the muscle (which is increased in size by
    > > strength training with heavier weights) and also by how much fat
    > > surrounds the muscle (which is detrmined by genetics to some extrent,
    > > and also calorie input and output). I think it's a better use of time
    > > to lift as heavy a weight as I can rather than fannying about with
    > > light weights for a longer time period, but to smaller effect.

    >
    > Well, it depends to what ultimate goal you're doing the muscle building.
    > If it's for an endurance thing then your muscles /need/ to be used to
    > doing minor jobs one helluva lot of times. The best training for
    > spinning up hills is spinning up hills, not mashing big gears up hills...


    Up to a point Lord Copper.. If you define endurance as, say, how long
    you can go at 50% strength and envisage a plot of time versus %max
    strength you'd get something like a reciprocal plot (ie at max strength
    you can do virtually no time, but at 5% strength you can go on all day
    and beyond.) then there are two ways to improve performance.

    1 stretch the graph horizontally (ie increase the amount of time you
    can hold X effort for. This works fine up to a point.
    2. Stretch the graph vertically. reduce the % effort required to reach
    x distance by increasing the maximum strength.

    So the best training for hills is 'climb short hills hard and fast' and
    'climb lots of long hills gently'.

    In practice a combination of both is important to get the desired
    result. If you have x amount of time then ideally one should seek
    tomaximise the use of that time. 4 60 min ambles do not equal a 4 hour
    amble in terms of endurance. IMHO 'tis best (in the absence of specific
    training such as intervals) to go at the speed that is fastest whilst
    allowing you to just about complete the ride. For training purposes
    that is.

    ...d
     
  12. Not very good for the body that's being cycled on, I suggest you stick to the roads.
     
  13. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > The best training for
    > spinning up hills is spinning up hills, not mashing big gears up hills...


    Got to disagree with you here.

    The best option is to mix mashing a *really* big gear up hills (say ~50
    cadence) for short periods (~1-2 mins max) with spinning the rest of the
    time.

    The former will be slower but will build muscle in a way the latter won't.

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > The best option is to mix mashing a *really* big gear up hills (say ~50
    > cadence) for short periods (~1-2 mins max) with spinning the rest of the
    > time.
    >
    > The former will be slower but will build muscle in a way the latter won't.


    But if it's muscle that doesn't do what I'm interested in then so what?
    Would Paula Radcliffe run faster marathons if she built big muscles to
    let her sprint faster 100m? Doubt it...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Blonde

    Blonde Guest

    Agree with Arthur. I do both. It's difficult to avoid doing both,
    really, since the UK has many short and steep as well as long and
    shallow climbs. My point was that AFACIT cycling has strengthened my
    legs better than weight training alone ever did, and certainly in terms
    of cycling specific muscles. I'm not dissing weight training totally -
    It's still useful to me for upper body work, but I have noticed much
    better results in terms of leg muscle strength from cycling as opposed
    to weights. Perhaps this is because I do so much cycling, day in day
    out - it is more sustainable to cycle every day, whereas weight
    training every day (using the same muscle groups) is not reccommended,
    as the recovery time required from weight training seems to be longer,
    and cycle rides are carried out over much longer time periods than any
    gym work out could ever be.

    It has been pointed out to me also, that in cycling the muscles are
    under most load when lengthening, (pushing, on the down stroke of the
    pedalling action) which is the opposite (usually) to weight training,
    where the muscles are under load (with most excercises) when
    contracting. They are such different forms of strength training that
    its not surprising that cycling appears to be the best way to increase
    cycling-specific strength.
     
  16. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Peter Clinch
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Arthur Clune wrote:
    >
    >> The best option is to mix mashing a *really* big gear up hills (say
    >> ~50 cadence) for short periods (~1-2 mins max) with spinning the rest
    >> of the time.
    >>
    >> The former will be slower but will build muscle in a way the latter
    >> won't.

    >
    > But if it's muscle that doesn't do what I'm interested in then so what?
    > Would Paula Radcliffe run faster marathons if she built big muscles
    > to let her sprint faster 100m? Doubt it...


    Just so. I don't want big muscles, I want to be fit and to be able to
    keep going for a long time.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Diplomacy, American: see Intelligence, Military
     
  17. >> The former will be slower but will build muscle in a way the latter
    >> won't.

    >
    > But if it's muscle that doesn't do what I'm interested in then so
    > what?


    Because it'll build muscle that women are interest in?


    Also, don't forget more muscle = more calories burnt = more pies/BEER.
     
  18. LSMike

    LSMike Guest

    Quite a few people here have mentioned strength, when it seems fairly
    obvious they mean power. IMO cycling, especially up hills, is power
    limited, not strength limited, and that's best trained through riding.

    Elyob, the human body is amazingly good at adapting to the stresses
    placed upon it, and no more, so that's why you were suffering doing
    different exercises. All around fitness and health is good for most of
    us, which means doing more than just cycling to achieve that. If you
    want maximum performance in a specific sport, though, you'll be best
    off spending all your exercise time in that sport and not clogging up
    recovery time with other training.
     
  19. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    Peter Clinch <[email protected]> writes:

    >Arthur Clune wrote:


    >> The best option is to mix mashing a *really* big gear up hills (say ~50
    >> cadence) for short periods (~1-2 mins max) with spinning the rest of the
    >> time.
    >>
    >> The former will be slower but will build muscle in a way the latter won't.


    >But if it's muscle that doesn't do what I'm interested in then so what?
    > Would Paula Radcliffe run faster marathons if she built big muscles to
    >let her sprint faster 100m? Doubt it...


    You're talking extremes here. She probably does fast training runs over 5
    km to build speed, or interval training type sessions.

    Different types of training train different aspects of the whole system,
    not just muscles or heartlung condition, also the blood supply and the
    chemical processes underlying performance.

    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?SP=&v=3&UAN=110
    This is a general marathon training schedule and it includes for example
    sessions like this:
    8M inc intervals: 10 x 400m at 10K pace or 12 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow

    Doesn't mean real full out sprinting, but it does mean running a lot
    faster than your marathon pace.

    When I was rowing we did weight training focussing on strength-endurance
    rather than bulk. Typically that would be 2x15 reps, more than the <5
    done by the bulky people, but a lot less than the 200 reps of a typical
    rowing race.

    Roos
     
  20. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    Mark Thompson wrote:

    >
    > Because it'll build muscle that women are interest in?
    >
    >
    > Also, don't forget more muscle = more calories burnt = more pies/BEER.


    That's an interesting equation you have there. The pies/BEER part
    concerns me.

    Do we assume that beer consumption is constant and that therefore the
    muscular cyclist can eat more pies; which would be a moderately good
    result in my book?

    Or, do we assume that pies are constant and therefore the muscular
    cyclist would drink less beer, which would be very, very, very bad?

    May I suggest a slight modification, to replace the divide sign with an
    '&'? Strictly only appropriate in boolean algebra where things only
    ever seem to equal 1 or 0, but I feel that it allows me the best of both
    worlds; viz., more pies _and_ more BEER.

    Cheers,
    Al
     
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