Cycling comes with multiple benefits for your body. If you’re new to this exercise, it’s pretty natural to wonder if cycling can change your body shape. As a sport that focuses mostly on the lower part of the body, it is quite understandable to wonder if it can lead to weight loss or bulked-up muscles in the leg. Well, the truth is yes, cycling will make you lose weight and increase the size of the muscles in your lower body.
However, it’s not as straightforward as you may think. Many factors come into play to determine how much change your body will undergo when you start cycling. These factors include the specific kind of training you do on your electric bike, such as track or road cycling, your consistency with riding, the amount of time you spend riding, the biological differences between sexes and natural body shapes, etc.
The body shape changes often associated with cycling are either of two –weight loss and an increase in muscle size in the lower body. This article is aimed at helping you understand how cycling can affect your body shape.
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Will cycling make me lose weight?
A cyclist expends energy from his/her body, which in turn burns calories. This loss of calories is, however, not enough to lead to weight loss. Weight loss occurs when there’s a calorie deficit in the body. This means that the number of calories going out from your body must be higher than the amount you’re ingesting. Many times, people consume foods without knowing the number of calories they’re ingesting. If you’re interested in losing weight, cycling is a good sport for you. Except, by itself, cycling is not enough. Cycling will only help you burn calories faster than your body usually would but if you don’t ensure that you’re burning more calories than you’re ingesting, your weight will remain the same –or, you could even add more weight.
You should note that you must eat enough food to generate energy for your exercise if you intend to undergo intense training. You can customize your diet plan to fit the needs of your exercise routine. Doing this will ensure that you eat more carbohydrates when you have intense exercise sessions, and the remaining days can be used to achieve the calorie deficit. All in all, weight loss is a lot easier if an exercise such as cycling is accompanied by an appropriate and healthy diet plan that leads to a calorie deficit.
Will cycling make my leg muscles bigger?
It’s pretty obvious that cycling focuses predominantly on putting the leg muscles to work, but riding on your bike does not mean you would notice a leg transformation as automatic as that of the Hulk. Other factors contribute to the increase in the size of the cyclist's legs before and after. While you should expect to see some definition in leg shapes when you start cycling, engaging in the sport alone is not enough to greatly increase the size of your leg muscles. It has a lot to do with the kind of training you choose and your nutrition.
Track cyclists usually have larger and more defined muscles when compared to road riders. This is because track cycling involves putting in intense efforts for a short period, usually between 2 to 5 minutes. The bigger muscles can put out more energy to fuel the short intensive exercise session. To build these muscles, track cyclists lift heavy weights in the gym. This can also be achieved on the electric bike by taking hill sprints or standing starts that involve sprinting from a slow speed.
Road riders, on the other hand, focus on stability and endurance to fuel their longer sessions. They do not have to lift heavy weights in the gym to build bigger muscles. Instead, their training focuses on achieving maximum stability on the bike and enduring for an extended period. So, a road cyclist aims to build an aerobic-based muscle with more aerobic cells to power the efforts for a long while.
Having a protein-rich diet will also boost muscle growth as protein is the major building block of muscle in the human body. While you may need to eat more carbohydrates on the days you train hard, you should try to balance it out with enough protein on your rest days to achieve a body change, if that’s what you want.
How does the biological difference between the sexes and natural body shape play a role
The biological differences between the bodies of men and women dictate how both sexes gain muscle mass. The hormone that helps to develop bigger muscles is testosterone. This hormone is popularly known as the male sex hormone as its amount is higher in men than women. This is why men's body physiques are more muscular than women's, and men tend to build muscle mass easily. Instead of testosterone, women have more estrogen and progesterone. So, they do not have to worry about their legs getting bulked up from regular cycling.
Diet also plays a pivotal role in determining body shape and can be modified to achieve the desired result. Testosterone aids the development of bigger muscles in males, which explains how men easily build muscular physiques compared to women. Therefore, women can ride their electric bikes as often as possible without bothering about bulking up and having "ugly legs", as the muscle gain is usually very much lesser than that of men.
A person's natural body type can be divided into ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph. Ectomorphs are generally lean and tall and can quickly lose weight. Endomorphs are larger and carry more fat, while mesomorphs are capable of gaining muscle more quickly. So, these genetic predispositions greatly influence biker's body shape and how cycling affects their muscles before and after.
It is vital to maintain one's weight within normal limits to ensure good health and avoid cardiovascular diseases. Cycling is a rigorous sport that helps you keep an excellent body shape, burn excess fat, and enjoy exercising regularly. So, you can use it as a tool to either change your body shape if so desired or maintain it. You can even attempt a 6-month body transformation for more long-term changes. Furthermore, unlike regular bike, an electric bicycles can help with ease the knee pain caused by cycling. It's the best e-bike for dad as a gift, for whom has a knee problem, but wants to lose weight.