I need to gain weight

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I am lean by nature and an avid cyclist at that. I noticed that any food I eat gets put to work during my extended spinning session. I would like to gain some more muscle in my leg area to give me more power during hill climbing and accelaration in a race. I don't know what kind of muscles I have but it lets me sustain extremely high cadance for a sustained period of time.

I sort of want to exchange some of thoes muscles for short term "power house" muscles.

I have tried eating a lot and then going to bed ( I read that it is what sumo wrestlers do) that doesn't seem to be working.


Any suggestions ?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
lisab
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How much protein do you eat?
 
  • #3
Evo
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I am lean by nature and an avid cyclist at that. I noticed that any food I eat gets put to work during my extended spinning session. I would like to gain some more muscle in my leg area to give me more power during hill climbing and accelaration in a race. I don't know what kind of muscles I have but it lets me sustain extremely high cadance for a sustained period of time.

I sort of want to exchange some of thoes muscles for short term "power house" muscles.

I have tried eating a lot and then going to bed ( I read that it is what sumo wrestlers do) that doesn't seem to be working.


Any suggestions ?
I think leg muscles are genetic. My ex has bulging thigh muscles no matter what he does, eating and exersize have nothing to do with it, they always look like he's some super athlete.

My legs never change, they are always thin and muscular even if I gain weight and do nothing. My aerobics instructor once fell to the floor and grabbed my legs, she said that even if she worked out 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, she would never have the perfect hamstrings I had. It's genetic. She once said "alright everyone, we're all going to lose 2 inches from our thighs, except for Evo, she needs to gain 2 inches". I have toothpick legs with incredible hamstrings and muscle definition. I have always been a great cyclist.
 
  • #4
Borek
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My legs never change, they are always thin and muscular even if I gain weight and do nothing. My aerobics instructor once fell to the floor and grabbed my legs, she said that even if she worked out 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, she would never have the perfect hamstrings I had. It's genetic. She once said "alright everyone, we're all going to lose 2 inches from our thighs, except for Evo, she needs to gain 2 inches". I have toothpick legs with incredible hamstrings and muscle definition. I have always been a great cyclist.
Sigh. I will have problems sleeping now.
 
  • #6
How much protein do you eat?
A lot.

My diet is mostly carbs and protein.

I think leg muscles are genetic. My ex has bulging thigh muscles no matter what he does, eating and exersize have nothing to do with it, they always look like he's some super athlete.

My legs never change, they are always thin and muscular even if I gain weight and do nothing. My aerobics instructor once fell to the floor and grabbed my legs, she said that even if she worked out 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, she would never have the perfect hamstrings I had. It's genetic. She once said "alright everyone, we're all going to lose 2 inches from our thighs, except for Evo, she needs to gain 2 inches". I have toothpick legs with incredible hamstrings and muscle definition. I have always been a great cyclist.
This is exactly my problem! I have amazing muscle tone on my leg but it neither increases nor decreases.

The thing is that my brother has the type of muscle I want. He has good acceleration but low cadance hence, in a long race I can counter his acceleration with my fast cadence.
However, I would like to sort of be an all-rounder ( A little of everything) since it is important in the real race.

If I can't accelerate fast I can fall behind when some joker starts a break from the pack.

Do you do "real" cycling like TT training stuff etc... ?

I already have extremely high cadence and this article seems to be incorrrect. Larger muscle tone decreases your cadence not the opposite.
 
  • #7
EnumaElish
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After some fast reading on this subject, I see the genetics <==> fast/slow twitch, an/aerobic relation. For some reason when I looked at that article I had in mind power, not speed. I'm not a med. specialist or a trainer; I used to cycle "for fun", the NYC "burroughs" tour, and the like, before my upper back gave in and I stopped. I do pilates, plus strength/balance for "maintenance."
 
  • #8
After some fast reading on this subject, I see the genetics <==> fast/slow twitch, an/aerobic relation. For some reason when I looked at that article I had in mind power, not speed. I'm not a med. specialist or a trainer; I used to cycle "for fun", the NYC "burroughs" tour, and the like, before my upper back gave in and I stopped. I do pilates, plus strength/balance for "maintenance."
Oh... I see. Well, I want a combination of both like 60% speed and the rest simply raw power.
 
  • #9
Borek
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There was an interesting article on muscles several years ago, I think in Scientific American. From what I remember there are two types of threads (or cells) in muscles, one are responsible for fast action, others for endurance. Their ratio in an individual is genetic. But I can be wrong, my memory is blurry to say the least.
 
  • #10
epenguin
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Yes I think that is right, one is for running or flying the other type used for e.g. standing, red and white muscles, giving you the black and white meat on your Christmas turkey; maybe they still have turkeys like that in Poland, more to the west there is nowadays a lot less black meat on turkeys than I remember. :frown:sigh
 
  • #11
bobze
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I am lean by nature and an avid cyclist at that. I noticed that any food I eat gets put to work during my extended spinning session. I would like to gain some more muscle in my leg area to give me more power during hill climbing and accelaration in a race. I don't know what kind of muscles I have but it lets me sustain extremely high cadance for a sustained period of time.

I sort of want to exchange some of thoes muscles for short term "power house" muscles.

I have tried eating a lot and then going to bed ( I read that it is what sumo wrestlers do) that doesn't seem to be working.


Any suggestions ?
To build muscle you need to change up your workout. If you repeat the same workout over and over, it becomes a matter endurance for your muscles and building those slow-twitch muscles you already have.

I'd suggest 4 things. Firstly, GoogleBing any workout website and try and find 30-35 leg workouts, working the muscle groups you want to build.

Second, make yourself a lifting schedule in Excel. Each workout with ~10 lifts, 3 times a week. You want to switch it up from week to week, like a 2 week rotation. So you have week 1; day 1, 2, 3, week 2; day 1, 2, 3. Then you'll repeat at the end of the two weeks. Maybe even mixing days up for the next cycle through. I say do it in Excel also, so you can keep track of your strength gains.

Three, make sure you are lifting to build muscle--Not tone muscle. This generally means a higher weight and lower rep number. Depending on the time you have available you can switch up the rep style on any of the work outs. For instance, you may do leg presses and put enough weight on you can only get 5 reps per lift and do that 3 or 4 times.

You may try pyramiding some of the lifts. Like doing leg presses where your reps per set look like 4, 5, 6, 5, 4. Or decreasing reps per set, like 6, 5, 4, 3, etc.

Finally, Protein, protein, protein. If you go to all this trouble to build muscle but aren't adequate in your protein consumption, you'll only end up toning muscle. I'd suggest protein supplements to make sure you're getting enough. Like on top of the meals you eat, make time for protein snacks. Either easy to digest shakes or bars (if you want to easy way) or prep your own high protein snacks if you want the cheaper, but more time consuming, alternative. Chocolate milk (none of that wussy low-fat kind either) makes a great recovery drink. I'd try to eat 2-3 protein snacks per day.

There are lots of structured routines you can find online also, if you've never made your own and are not comfortable. They'd be easy enough to find in the age of Google and also there are many, many lifting forums you could also seek customized routines as well. Hope that helps, let us know if you get the progress you are looking for!

Edit: And don't forget your stretching and warming up!
 
  • #12
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Well for what it's worth I had the same problem a few years ago. I started doing things like heavy squats, sprints, and power cleans, and my weight shot up (I was 75Kg and I'm now 95Kg without a lot of excess fat). I didn't really bother with protein powder as I found that's basically a waste of money; I mostly had eggs. Oh and the supplement 'creatine' works wonders for this type of thing as well. And if you need some more ideas, I sometimes train for power and size from: www.crossfitfootball.com
Oh and power snatches are arguably some of the best power and speed exercises to do as well.

Hope this helps!
 
  • #13
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i think bobze is closest here. you're going to have to change your workout to be more specific to the type of strength you want to achieve. that means less endurance, and more heavy work. normally, i'd say squats and deads, but being a cyclist, you probably want to limit upper body mass. so that means sticking with mostly machines, doing leg extensions and curls, hip extensions, leg presses, and calf raises.

general recipe for gaining muscle mass is
  • lift
  • eat
  • sleep
  • rest
  • repeat

you want to ease into it. general mass gaining range is about 6-8 reps @ 3-4 sets, but as a beginner, you don't want to max anything out. a generic 3 sets of 10 that you can complete easily is a good place to start. most of your initial gains will be neural learning. and you will get sore at first, which is why the soft start. over several weeks, you can start applying progressive overload, increasing weight and decreasing reps/set. and you can't do this every day. lifting is going to initiate a repair process, and the muscle needs to recover. two to three times a week is sufficient for any exercise. progress will be initially swift, and you may find yourself getting discouraged in 2-3 months. this is the nature of the beast. real changes take a long-term commitment.

you must eat more calories than you expend to gain weight. this is basic thermo, and building muscle is expensive. do not be afraid of the fats here. whole eggs work great, and they are cheap. watch the scale and track your weight. if you're not gaining weight, then you must eat more, even if it isn't pleasant.

you must sleep. if you don't get enough sleep, your hormones will not be ideal for this.

for something more specific, i'd suggest you check out Lyle McDonald's forums. this same question has probably already been addressed numerous times in the forum or one of the articles on the site. Lyle is a pubmed nerd and generally ornery aspie, so expect some impatience if you go in asking stupid questions that you could have found in the stickies or search that have already been answered a hundred times over.
 
  • #14
bobze
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Well for what it's worth I had the same problem a few years ago. I started doing things like heavy squats, sprints, and power cleans, and my weight shot up (I was 75Kg and I'm now 95Kg without a lot of excess fat). I didn't really bother with protein powder as I found that's basically a waste of money; I mostly had eggs. Oh and the supplement 'creatine' works wonders for this type of thing as well. And if you need some more ideas, I sometimes train for power and size from: www.crossfitfootball.com[/URL]
Oh and power snatches are arguably some of the best power and speed exercises to do as well.

Hope this helps![/QUOTE]



I agree. Protein supplements for many people would be a waste of money. But what I've found from the gym scene for many years, is that people don't have a problem with the lifting--The problem is with diet. And most people (at least starting off) aren't disciplined enough to get the amount of calories and protein they need.

Which is generally why I would suggest protein supplements to people just going into it. Once you have a routine down though, yeah--I'd say dump the supp's for sure.

Eggs, chicken, fish, and everyone's favorite; Chocolate milk (no skim cow stuff) can you get all the proteins you need. You just have to take the time out of your day to make sure you're eating enough of it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #15
squats squats and more squats, and protein, (supplements are useless in my experience this includes whey protein) eat the real deal(3 boiled eggs after the workout)
 
  • #16
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Protein shakes are critical for post work outs if you are serious. The quicker you can get protein in your system the better. A steak 15min after a post work out is not nearly as good as a shake. Plus who can eat a steak right after a workout?
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/proteinshakebenefits.htm
 
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  • #17
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Heavy squats.

Then eat 4 hamburgers. Start a food log, you probably aren't eating as much as you think.
 
  • #18
berkeman
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Oh... I see. Well, I want a combination of both like 60% speed and the rest simply raw power.
What cycling training resources have you been reading?

This is the cycling section of a triathlon training website that I like:

http://www.active.com/cycling/

.
 

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