How much muscle gain is possible when returning to cycling?
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  1. #1
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    How much muscle gain is possible when returning to cycling?

    Hi, I figured this was the best forum to pitch this in --

    I recently lost 20+ pounds by making sensible eating choices and cutting certain things out of my diet. My winter was relatively sedentary, I had shoulder surgery late fall and outside of PT for back shoulders didn't do any skiing or cycling.

    I started riding about a month ago (about three moderate efforts of 20-30m/2k per week) and saw my weight jump by five pounds over the course of this time.

    I may have subconsciously allowed myself to slightly increase my calorie intake but I am still cutting/hungry. I have not loosened the belt so to speak all that much. I fuel myself with gels/electrolyte mixes for rides and taking a hard pass on that large post ride meal that most feel is deserved.

    I am aware of fluctuations in weight that happen due to water loss, but is there such a thing as water retention post workout?

    How much muscle mass in my legs could I have put on by jolting my body back into cycling over 400 miles?

    Paradoxically, can the tail end of dehydration cause weight gain? I've been feeling depleted/flushed/hot as I manage the calorie/fluid intake in my recently active lifestyle.

    The five pound jump was pretty stark.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  2. #2
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    Adding 5lbs when you are 250lbs is a lot different than when you are 150lbs. Personally I wouldn't worry about it unless the gain continues. I don't think addling 5lbs with 400 miles in a month is going to be due to muscle gain, more likely fat. If you are worried about dehydration then drink more. Staying well hydrated can help with weight loss and is healthy anyway. Post workout water retention can be a temporary side effect of overloading electrolytes, but wouldn't account for anything significant over a month.
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  3. #3
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    Gaining 5 pounds of muscle would be very highly unlikely. As would the implied assumption that it was lost between when you were in cycling shape and came back to it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Gaining 5 pounds of muscle would be very highly unlikely. As would the implied assumption that it was lost between when you were in cycling shape and came back to it.

    I agree. The question is Googleable. A guy at a gym once told me 10lb in a year was roughly the max without drugs. Anything more than 10 is fat.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    I agree. The question is Googleable. A guy at a gym once told me 10lb in a year was roughly the max without drugs. Anything more than 10 is fat.
    Following up.
    I think it was a dehydration issue. I've since "lost" 3 of 5lbs and am out riding and feeling good on the bike.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post

    I started riding about a month ago (about three moderate efforts of 20-30m/2k per week) and saw my weight jump by five pounds over the course of this time.

    I may have subconsciously allowed myself to slightly increase my calorie intake but I am still cutting/hungry. I have not loosened the belt so to speak all that much. I fuel myself with gels/electrolyte mixes for rides and taking a hard pass on that large post ride meal that most feel is deserved.
    I am not sure what you mean with '20-30m/2k per week', but if your rides are shorter than 80 km, I wouldn't bother with the gels and electrolyte mixes. I only drink water on such rides.

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