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Leg Muscle

SpeedyGrampsSpeedyGramps Posts: 5
edited November 2017 in Health, fitness & training
Hello people, I am new to this forum and am in need of some advice.
Quick background...... 57 years old, been riding bikes since I was 15, for the last 30 years it has all been off road riding.
As one does in later life, good living has its effect on the old weight, for the last few years I have been struggling to keep up with my fellow riders. Not to the point of giving up, but it certainly has a negative impact on wanting to get out and ride.
So, i have been on a fitness drive, I brought my self a spinning bike to help with the cardio side of things. Over a period of two months I have seen a considerable weight loss and am feeling a lot better in myself. The weight loss has been most noticeable in my lower body, predominantly the Quads.

I organised a ride on Sunday and looked forward to a better performance, unfortunately I struggled after the first hour and by the end was finding it difficult to turn the pedals.

My question is ...... have I lost fat or muscle mass from my legs? I thought that the leg muscles were being toned with all the spinning and was quite surprised at how weak they were.

Any ideas?

Posts

  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    How hard are your workouts on the spinning bike? Your probably at the point where any exercise is good exercise for weight loss but your not getting much benefit out of it in real terms. Get Trainer Road or similar and follow a training plan.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,660
    Put simply, your body will adapt to the stress and load that you put it under.
    Best is to put it under a mix of stresses and loads so that it develops the ability to handle them all.

    Either a structured plan, or just make sure that you in include intervals, sprints, some higher resistance as well as steady rides to give you the range.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Most blokes first accumulate fat around the middle. That's where I noticed the losses when I shed 18 pounds by 5:2 eating. My legs stayed the same, but I noticed I was going up hills faster.

    You sure you've lost it from your quads? Do you have before and after measurements? Just how much extra weight were you carrying and how much have you lost? Have you been restricting what you eat too much? I'm just turned 60 and I'm aware that I no longer have the muscle mass I used to, and I'm consciously trying to include plenty of protein and fat in my diet.

    Your mention of being barely able to turn the pedals makes it sound like you might have gone out too fast and not been eating enough on the ride.

    My personal preference is to do as much on the road as I possibly can, work and family commitments permitting. I just know I'd find a turbo or a spin bike too boring, and I'd find excuses not to do it. I ride all year round, 2-4 times a week, in all but the very worst of the weather. From October through to April that means a couple of night rides; decent lights and reflectives, sensible kit choices, and mudguards. If anything I get a better workout in the winter.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I bet your spin sessions are less than an hour ?

    No surprise that you're tiring after an hour of its longer than you normally ride for.

    Stay with it and you'll improve as your body adapts.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,660
    keef66 wrote:
    My personal preference is to do as much on the road as I possibly can, work and family commitments permitting. I just know I'd find a turbo or a spin bike too boring, and I'd find excuses not to do it. I ride all year round, 2-4 times a week, in all but the very worst of the weather. From October through to April that means a couple of night rides; decent lights and reflectives, sensible kit choices, and mudguards. If anything I get a better workout in the winter.

    100% agree with this.
    I manage a weekly minimum of 1 evening ride and a couple of hours at the weekend.
  • Thanks for all the input.
    I must admit that since I have had the spin bike, I have opted for using that instead of getting out onto the trails (laziness I fear)
    Have been spinning 5 times a week ..... Sessions lasting between 30 - 45 mins on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then a rest day, then up to 50 mins on the Friday. That along with changing my eating habits, I have been pleased at how the weight has come off.
    The measurement around my thighs has reduced from 26" to 25" I still got a long way to go on the belly side of things though.
    I will substitute one of the spin sessions for a proper ride during the week and see if it makes a difference.
  • Uber_PodUber_Pod Posts: 110
    I'd say get out on the trails and only use the spin bike when that's not possible.
    Riding the trails is the point, after all. On top of that you must use a lot more muscles on an actual bike.

    If you're only practising for 45-50 mins, it's not surprising you get knackered after an hour.

    My biggest problem is not being able to stand up on the pedals for more than what feels like 10-30 secs at a time before needing to sit back down again. I can pedal for ages in comparison.
  • Finished work early today, so got out on the bike :)
    Set myself a circular ride which has three fairly taxing climbs over a distance of 7.8 miles, that should give the leg muscles a good workout. I wanted to set myself a bench mark so I can see how the times improve over the next few weeks. 46 minutes with an average speed of 10.03mph Quite happy with that was I :D
  • Try to cross train as well.

    I have found that since I started to run again, my cycling fitness has improved. I also find that when time is at a premium is it 'better' to go for a run rather than cycle to burn calories in a restricted time.

    If you feel your legs are not as strong as they were try some strength exercises such as squats.

    I'm no personal trainer, this is just what seems to have worked for me.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Spinning can encourage bad technique, like stamping instead of pedaling in circles. But there are lots of possible reasons:

    1. Winter clothes have more resistance - I'm always slower when it gets colder
    2. Mud vs dry trail
    3. weight loss means you have less stored energy - though this is unlikely for a 2 hour ride
    4. you aren't structuring your spinning properly so are basically just cruising
    5. tyres need some air, seat needs a raise, brakes need checking etc.

    You don't need to increase your muscle strength, you need to increase your endurance.

    Maybe do some tabata sessions:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9Ue71qqOS4
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,301
    Agree with others that say if you're training yourself for an hour, then you've developed fitness and endurance for an hours activity.

    If you were a runner (where I have more experience), you'd do 2-4 sessions in the week which were less than an hour, some of which might be hard efforts, some recovery, and then generally 1 or 2 longer runs at a very easy effort. The long runs develop endurance, the short runs can develop some speed, the combination means you can go at a decent click for longer.

    Same I would expect to apply on a bike. Get out for 2-4 hour rides at the weekend with the spinning stuff and you'll definitely find you develop the endurance to match the short-endurance fitness that you've undoubtedly improved.
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  • A quick update on proceedings ....... and once again many thanks for all your advice.

    I have been getting out on the real bike at least once a week along side my spinning training and gradually working back up to being able to push larger gears again. Along with the addition of a heart rate monitor, which has totally changed the way I structure the sessions. I am feeling pretty good at the moment and think I have built up more stamina again, this weekend will be a good test as I am off to Swinley Forest for a ride.

    Cheers Paul.
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