You may see professional cyclists with thick and muscular thighs and assume they got their physique by cycling, but for real, does cycling make thighs bigger?
For the most part, cycling does not make thighs bigger. This is because cycling is a cardio exercise that usually results in a lean and slim physique for most people. As with running, cycling works to burn fat and calories whilst toning the muscles, but cycling isn’t designed to make thighs bigger.
It all depends on what you do alongside your cycling. Building muscle takes a lot of work outside of general exercise like cycling or running, and most of the time, it comes down to an appropriate diet.
If you want to continue cycling with the aim of making your thighs bigger, you need to find a diet that is high in protein and matches the same amount of calories you intend to lose in your exercise. People are more likely to lose weight faster if they eat fewer calories and burn more calories.
The gender of a person will be a factor in how your body gains muscle. Men and people with higher levels of testosterone are more likely to gain muscle, whilst women and those who menstruate naturally have less testosterone.
They also will have more body fat to care for their menstrual needs, which is what makes building muscle harder for women.
Another important point to consider is that fat and muscle could weigh the same and look completely different. 6 pounds of fat will look much bigger compared to 6 pounds of muscle, even if they weigh the same. Therefore, cycling will burn off the fat whilst gaining muscle, but this won’t make your thighs look bigger.
If you want your thigh muscles to be large whilst keeping cycling as a key exercise, you will need to work on other exercises to increase the muscles in your thighs.
Lots of squats, weight training, and other thigh-enhancing exercises will be your new best friend. If you lose the same amount of fat as you gain in muscle, you will look leaner – which is why cycling and other forms of cardio aren’t likely to make your thighs bigger.
However, if you strictly use indoor spin machines, you will eventually begin to develop more muscle. This will take longer than specific thigh-enhancing exercises, but after several months of pure spin exercises, you may develop thicker thighs.
In short, no, cycling will not make your thighs bigger. This is because cycling is a fat-burning activity that will make your thighs look leaner – even if you do develop muscle from cycling. However, if you stick to indoor spinning with no other exercises, there’s a chance your thighs might get bigger over time.
Does Cycling Make Thighs Bigger?
If you’re looking to increase the size of your legs through muscle, you will need to do a lot more than regular biking.
Biking is a cardio exercise that works to burn fat whilst gaining muscle, which means your legs will begin to look slimmer. This is because fat and muscle can weigh the same, but the fat will always be physically larger than the muscle.
Muscle hypertrophy will occur from other factors aside from biking. Biking is a great cardio exercise that keeps the body lean and active, but it doesn’t make your legs bigger.
To achieve larger legs, you will need a high-protein diet that is as high in as many calories as you intend to lose in your exercise. When it comes to building muscle, losing calories isn’t your priority.
However, it is possible to gain larger legs if you are specific about your biking. Professional cyclists will train on high-gear bikes and a range of terrains, including steep hills and tough winds. Whilst regular biking will make your legs slimmer, hardcore and specific biking can work to target and increase muscle hypertrophy.
Therefore, it all comes down to resistance training. If you’re looking to keep your legs slim or to lose weight, biking is a great way to slim down.
If you’re looking to build muscle in your legs to make your legs look bigger, you will need to commit to some serious resistance training. This includes weight training, squats, high-gear biking, and constant training. A high-protein and high-calorie diet are also beneficial for increasing muscle hypertrophy.
In short, regular biking will not make your legs bigger. This is because biking is a cardiovascular exercise that works the body to burn fat and lose calories whilst gaining some muscle, which will make your legs look slim.
However, it is possible to gain muscle hypertrophy in your legs with biking if you are committed to harsh training conditions. This includes training with a high-gear bike in hilly terrains and harsh winds, sticking to a high-protein and high-calorie diet, and committing to other forms of exercise such as weight training and squats.
Steve Beck is a passionate cyclist and experienced writer covering the cycling industry for over a decade. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all bike-related things, from the latest products and technologies to the best routes and trails. His articles are well-researched, informative, and engaging, and he has a talent for explaining complex cycling concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Steve can be found on the road when he’s not writing about bikes, putting his knowledge and skills to the test.