Cycling and muscle loss :Arms

HillNo
HillNo Posts: 6
Hi people,
Want to know if my arms have lost muscle mass or just been toned down. I suspect latter but in all honesty can you lose upper body muscle mass with cycling. Even lose fat on arms etc?
My arms seem toned and I don't even ride that much. My rides are less than 20 miles if that but at least 5 days a week. So does cycling help with muscle toning or muscle development in upper body or is it due to cycling exercise and a little less nutrition that's contributed to arms/biceps becoming smaller. I was not Schwarznegger to begin with btw. :mrgreen:

Comments

  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Your body will adapt to the environment you put it in so it can do its job as efficiently as possible ... if you don't use your arms, you will lose muscle in them ... why would your body spend its energy maintaining unused muscle ?

    Your arms look toned as you are losing fat all over your body and giving you more definition

    If you want to keep upper body mass you need to use those muscles so lift something a couple of times a week and keep up your Protien intake to maintain muscle mass
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,238
    This is a perennial issue for me since when I lose weight I seem to lose it from my upper body preferentially and keep hold of the saddlebags at all costs. To the point where friends and family tell me I look gaunt in normal clothes but still have a stupid roll in cycling gear (although I know cycling gear is nobody's best look).

    This season I am experimenting with doing sets of fairly light weights and press ups a few times a week to try and preserve the upper body mass.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Another way to look at is, will I really slow down that much if I have a few excess kg of muscle in my upper body?

    2 times a week - bench press / push ups, dips and pull ups for about 40 minutes with sets of no more than 10 reps each (ideally dropping to 5-6 as the weight increases) will probably balance you out a bit.
  • twist83
    twist83 Posts: 761
    My advice (IMO of course!) is to do a mixture of strength/weights and cycling.

    Back 5 years ago when I really got into road cycling, I gradually over the course of a year stopped weight training. I then spent the past 3 or so years just cycling.

    This winter I decided to get a program which focused on strength in relation to cycling. 3 days a week program. Due to various reasons I have done probably 700 miles less since the beginning of the year on the bike. But have kept up the gym work.

    When I road on Sunday I felt stronger than I did last year even with more miles in the legs. Doing a lot of work on the core, legs, supporting muscles and muscles that aren't used a great deal cycling seems to have made a huge huge impact.

    It also helps to avoid that cyclists physique which I personally feel looks awful.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    HillNo wrote:
    Hi people,
    Want to know if my arms have lost muscle mass or just been toned down. I suspect latter but in all honesty can you lose upper body muscle mass with cycling. Even lose fat on arms etc?
    My arms seem toned and I don't even ride that much. My rides are less than 20 miles if that but at least 5 days a week. So does cycling help with muscle toning or muscle development in upper body or is it due to cycling exercise and a little less nutrition that's contributed to arms/biceps becoming smaller. I was not Schwarznegger to begin with btw. :mrgreen:

    Cycling doesn't promote 'muscle loss' anywhere in the body. It may help with weight loss, which is possibly what you are experiencing.
  • reacher
    reacher Posts: 416
    Imposter wrote:
    HillNo wrote:
    Hi people,
    Want to know if my arms have lost muscle mass or just been toned down. I suspect latter but in all honesty can you lose upper body muscle mass with cycling. Even lose fat on arms etc?
    My arms seem toned and I don't even ride that much. My rides are less than 20 miles if that but at least 5 days a week. So does cycling help with muscle toning or muscle development in upper body or is it due to cycling exercise and a little less nutrition that's contributed to arms/biceps becoming smaller. I was not Schwarznegger to begin with btw. :mrgreen:

    Cycling doesn't promote 'muscle loss' anywhere in the body. It may help with weight loss, which is possibly what you are experiencing.
    Nonsense, course it does why do you think pro cyclists who do huge mileage have arms like matchsticks, you stop useing muscles they gradually deteriate just like an old person who does nothing but sit in a chair, this attitude that cycling alone will develop upper bodys is simply not true, only exercise will develop muscles, sitting on a saddle holding your handle bars won't because your not doing anything with them, get up on the pedals climb some mountains do some hard assed sprints and you will work them to some degree, other than that your loseing fat and muscle at the same time
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Those with body image issues are most definitely in the 'wrong' sport when it comes to cycling.
    I can still schlepp 2 heavy shopping bags back home from the supermarket, so I aint that bothered.
    I would be worried if I lost my hard earned 5min ***watt peak power from my legs though.
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    diy wrote:
    Another way to look at is, will I really slow down that much if I have a few excess kg of muscle in my upper body?

    2 times a week - bench press / push ups, dips and pull ups for about 40 minutes with sets of no more than 10 reps each (ideally dropping to 5-6 as the weight increases) will probably balance you out a bit.
    The weight might not make that much difference, devoting that time and energy to arms certainly would for me.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    reacher wrote:
    Imposter wrote:

    Cycling doesn't promote 'muscle loss' anywhere in the body. It may help with weight loss, which is possibly what you are experiencing.
    Nonsense, course it does why do you think pro cyclists who do huge mileage have arms like matchsticks, you stop useing muscles they gradually deteriate just like an old person who does nothing but sit in a chair, this attitude that cycling alone will develop upper bodys is simply not true, only exercise will develop muscles, sitting on a saddle holding your handle bars won't because your not doing anything with them, get up on the pedals climb some mountains do some hard assed sprints and you will work them to some degree, other than that your loseing fat and muscle at the same time

    Not sure if you have understood what I'm saying. Arms like 'matchsticks' in this sense are just 'normal' arms connected to someone who does little/no upper body lifting or strenuous exercise. But if your gym-developed Arnie-style arms suddely stop getting their workouts, they will go the same way. If your arms are trained and you stop training them, you will lose muscle bulk. If your arms are untrained and you start cycling, nothing will happen to the muscles in them.

    Cycling does not 'promote' muscle loss in the arms any more than walking does. It certainly does not provide much benefit to the arms, but that is not the same as actively promoting muscle 'loss'. Big difference. It's an important point, which you don't seem to have grasped.