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Find out how to keep your bones strong and healthy

"Go running over cycling to avoid brittle bones, men told" announced a headline in The Telegraph earlier in the week, reigniting a long-running (ahem!) discussion about cycling and osteoporosis.

The article referred to a recent study: Bone Mineral Density Among Men and Women Aged 35 to 50 Years, published in the The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 

Lead researcher Martha Bass says the best way to maintain bone mineral density (BMD) is through weight-bearing exercises, like walking, running and jumping. Moderate weight lifting is also beneficial, although older adults are warned to maintain good form and avoid overly heavy weights.

Bass also notes that many of the men participating in her study had strong exercise habits, although a majority reported cycling as their workout of choice, and cycling is not weight-bearing.Running man © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

"The body [relies] on weight-bearing exercise to keep bones strong," says Martha Bass. "It really does boil down to use it or lose it."

Of course, cycling has many health benefits – improved cardiovascular fitness, reduction in mortality, reduced cardiovascular risk factors, reduced risk of cancer – but creating strong bones isn't among them. On the contrary, research suggests that a lot of cycling could even reduce your bone density, and that's not scaremongering.

In 2012, Cycling and Bone Health: a Systematic Review was published, looking at the findings of 31 studies on the subject. 

The authors said, "From our comprehensive survey of the current available literature it can be concluded that road cycling does not appear to confer any significant osteogenic [relating to the formation of bone] benefit. The cause of this may be related to spending long hours in a weight-supported position on the bike in combination with the necessary enforced recovery time that involves a large amount of time sitting or lying supine, especially at the competitive level."

Well, that's encouraged in cycling! There's that old maxim among professionals and other serious racers: don't stand if you can sit, and don't sit if you can lie down. The idea is to avoid weight bearing activities in order to maximise recovery from training and racing.

Even if you're not purposely following this advice, it's likely that if you're doing a lot of miles you'll be doing a lot of sitting around on your arse afterwards on the basis that you're knackered. It's the natural thing to do.

According to one study, two-thirds of professional cyclists had abnormally low BMD values, and it's not just the pros who are at risk. Another recent study compared recreational riders (training 3-8hrs a week) and trained male road cyclists (training more than 8hrs a week) and found, "Areal bone mineral density (aBMD, the bone mineral content divided by the area) is lower in trained male road cyclists compared with recreational, specifically at the hips. Lumbar aBMD is low in both trained and recreational cyclists."

The issue can be compounded by restrictive eating habits adopted by cyclists keen to gain a performance advantage by keeping their weight low, and by the low weight itself which reduces skeletal loading forces.  

We could go on but the bottom line is that the evidence suggests cycling won't improve your bone density and could even lead to it deteriorating. The more years you cycle, the more likely you are to develop osteoporosis and osteopenia (which is essentially a midway point on the way to osteoporosis), putting you at a higher risk of fracturing bones.

That's put a downer on your day, hasn't it? You think you're doing the right thing for your health by getting out on the bike regularly and then... bam! 

It is worth noting that most of the research is based on competitive road cyclists. What the research does at least tentatively suggest is that if you're a recreational cyclist – or any other type of cyclist – you probably don’t need to worry about your riding having a negative effect on your bone density if you ride for less than about 8hrs per week. On the other hand, no matter how much or how little you cycle, it won't have a positive effect on your bone density.

Naturally, you don't want to avoid riding your bike – and that's hardly what we'd be advocating here at road.cc – so what can cyclists do to improve their bone density? Let's go back to the research...

A review titled Exercise and Bone Mass in Adults looked at studies into training and bone measurement and said, "Cross-sectional studies show in general that exercise modalities requiring high forces and/or generating high impacts have the greatest osteogenic potential... Not all exercise modalities have shown positive effects on bone mass. For example, unloaded exercise such as swimming has no impact on bone mass, while walking or running has limited positive effects. It is not clear which training method is superior for bone stimulation in adults, although scientific evidence points to a combination of high-impact (ie jumping) and weight-lifting exercises."

Jumping? Well, some cyclists include plyometrics in their training programme – where muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time – in order to develop power. Maybe that's a good place to start. Then there's weight training...

An article was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research last year with the title: Resistance Training Is Associated With Higher Lumbar Spine and Hip Bone Mineral Density in Competitive Male Cyclists

The title pretty much gives away the plot! The researchers measured BMD at four specific points in 40 cyclists at the start of a cycling season and found: "Weight training was associated with higher BMD of the lumbar spine, hip, femoral neck [the femur being the thighbone], and femoral trochanter [at the top of the femur]. No other factor was a predictor of preseason BMD in this sample. These data emphasise the need for competitive male cyclists to participate in weight training to maintain or increase bone mass of the lumbar spine and hip."

In a review of the available literature titled Effects of Resistance Exercise on Bone Health published last year, A Ram Hong and Sang Wan Kim said, "Resistance exercise has been highlighted as the most promising intervention to maintain or increase bone mass and density. This is because a variety of muscular loads are applied on the bone during resistance exercise, which generate stimuli and promote an osteogenic response of the bone."Weight Training - licensed under CC BY 2.0 on Flickr by  Eric Astrauskas

Resistance exercise in this context refers to free weights, weight machines, medicine balls, elastic bands, and different movement velocities. More specifically, it includes "weighted lunges, hip abduction/adduction, knee extension/flexion, plantar-/dorsi-flexion, back extension, reverse chest fly, and abdominal exercises or a smaller number of compound movements of squats and deadlifts, targeting the major muscle groups attached to the hip and spine". 

"The intensity and type of resistance exercise should be individualised according to tolerance and ability of adults, particularly in the presence of pain," the report continues. "At least two sets of one exercise for each major muscle group should be performed at a target intensity of eight to 12 repetition maximum."

Repetition maximum, or reps max, is the most weight you can manage for a given number of repetitions.

It must be said that most of this literature refers to older people who have developed osteoporosis, not specifically to athletes wanting to avoid it, but the advice for maintaining strong bones is to bring resistance training into your life along with something like plyometrics. 

One study, this time based on post-menopausal women, found that power training is more effective than strength training for maintaining bone mineral density. What's the distinction? In this study, strength training repetitions were performed slowly (4secs for the concentric/ muscle shortening movement, 4secs for the eccentric/ muscle lengthening movement) whereas power training reps were fast (explosive for the concentric phase). Incorporating that into your resistance training is relatively straightforward, but build up to it slowly in order to avoid injury.

Unfortunately, there's no study out there that gives the perfect programme for cyclists who want to look after their bones, but you might want to make use of these guidelines gleaned from the available literature:

• Add resistance exercise (see examples above) and plyometrics to your training programme
• Don't be afraid of heavy weights!
• Developing bone strength is site-specific so perform two sets of a resistance exercise for each major muscle group
• Use the heaviest weight that allows you to perform 8-12 reps per set
• Rest sufficiently between sets to allow maximal efforts
• Some form of bone strengthening training is recommended 2-3 times per week
• Sports that involve unevenly applied impacts – 5 aside football, tennis, and so on – also stimulate bone strengthening

Diet

The loss of calcium through prolonged periods of sweating has been suggested as one of the reasons behind the poor bone health of many cyclists. A study from 2015 looked at: The Effects of a Calcium-Rich Pre-Exercise Meal on Biomarkers of Calcium Homeostasis in Competitive Female Cyclists

The researchers found that a calcium-rich breakfast meal (containing about 1,350mg of calcium) consumed 2hrs before a 90min high-intensity ride reduced the levels of bone breakdown during exercise. 

bone density foods - 1

The NHS suggests that most adults need around 700mg of calcium a day for healthy bones. Bear in mind that you get 544mg in a pint of whole milk. More good sources of calcium include other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.

Vitamin D is also crucial for bone health. Dietary sources of vitamin D include eggs and oily fish but we get most that we need from the action of sunlight on our skin. You might get enough from being out on your bike although everyone is advised to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

42 comments

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Rick_Rude [236 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Most people could do with some cycling first to drop weight before they start jumping about and bugger their knees.

I get at 30-40 minute a day of brisk walking on and off road, hopefully that's good enough.

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Pilot Pete [147 posts] 1 month ago
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Rick_Rude wrote:

Most people could do with some cycling first to drop weight before they start jumping about and bugger their knees.

I get at 30-40 minute a day of brisk walking on and off road, hopefully that's good enough.

Indeed Rick, osteoperosis is the least of the health problems of the ever increasing number of obese and overweight adults and children in our country. I was a PTI in the Army for twelve years and running was my sport. I was incredibly fit, could lug a rucksack over the Brecon Beacons for days on end and still conduct a fire fight at the end of it!

However, running and carrying heavy weight takes its toll and I suffered shin splints in my twenties but now in my fifties I can’t really run much at all due to a collapsed lumbar disk in my lower spine and tears in the one above. I can however cycle, and not too shibbily for a 50+ old fart!

My knees, hips and legs in general are as strong as an ox and I never get any lower limb injuries. I could do with dropping a few pounds to get better going up hills but couldn’t we all?

The only injuries I suffer from cycling are related to crashing and the worst was a broken collar bone which healed itself with no plates required. I have a sedentary job and an exemplary attendance record - 12 weeks off for the broken collar bone (due to the nature of the job it had to be fully healed and full strength returned to the shoulder muscles before I could get my medical back, but I was on the bike again after three weeks!). I have missed less than a handful of days work in the 20 years I have been in the industry other than that.

Compare this to a number of colleagues who are falling like flies having reached 50+ years of age from various ailments related to heart problems and numerous obesity related issues and all in all cycling is incredibly beneficial, even if my bones are slightly less dense these days. I’ll happily take that risk with a resting heart rate of 42bpm over a lad at work who has been off over 9 months after a heart attack in his mid 40s... or another in his late 50s who is off work as often as he is in work due to obesity, stress and numerous other issues...

PP

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BehindTheBikesheds [3255 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Typical meta-analysis that is looking for something from the off and as per helmet meta analysis fails to actually abide by the basic rules of research.

First of all any study using 23 subjects should be dismissed as bollocks, that's the one that states 2/3 of pro cyclists have "abnormally low bone density". Also ignoring that males don't have peak bone mass well into your 30s, yet this 2/3 figure is used widely and yet is based on a grand total of 23 cyclists!!

Then we have one of the other 'studies' which shows that from a general population 28% of 35-50 year olds had osteopenia at the femoral neck. 

The study that did testing on cyclists pre season didn't bother to do tests post or mid season so won't have actually measured any loss whilst in competition/sat on their arses!

Here's another little nugget "The modifiable risk factors for osteopenia and osteoporosis in adults aged 60 years or older are immobility (lack of physical activity/exercise), low body mass index (BMI), use of steroids, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, low calcium consumption, low sunlight exposure, and use of antidepressants and antacids"

So, this tells us that firstly cycling is a good thing as it's a modifiable risk factor to avoid low bone density, most cyclists don't smoke, I would think most don't go on benders/drink excessively either, low sunlight exposure is clearly another thing people riding bikes don't suffer from compared to general populations and as we know cycling is a great way to avoid depression and has a real benefit for mental health.

In one of the studies the males were overweight/very high BMI to the rate of around 50% of the total numbers, the researchers noted that this alone had an influence on the bone density however the risks for other health problems arising from obesity massively outweigh that to having low bone density by a very large factor.

So despite all the crap, cycling/being a cyclist is actually one of the best things to avoid low bone density into older age and the problems regarding independance, mobility and health into older age.

Oh and the weight bearing exercise statements, I guess riding out of the saddle (bearing your weight) doesn't count, I guess pushing down heavily on the pedals doesn't count as 'resistance', I guess pulling on the bars doesn't count as resistance

Thank god as a none running, non weight lifting just turned 50 year old cyclist that my co-masters rugby league participants will be taking it easy on me in case they snap me like a twig 

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Another_MAMIL [4 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

@Rick_Rude: Unfortunately, I think cycling can bugger your knees more than many other sports. The repetition of knee movement - all kept in the same plane of movement - can cause issues.

I’ve never had any knee problems from either weight lifting or high-impact sports that involve jumping. In contrast, my knees have truly suffered from cycling 

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Are these people riding some new resistance-free cranks that I’ve not been told about

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Jackson [429 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

Even if you can put out 1500W (you can't), even if you assume it's all generated on the downstroke (it isn't) then your pedal force is still no more than 700N i.e. less than a 75kg guy walking around. 

No one is saying cycling is resistance-free, but it isn't weight bearing. You can't argue with the physics.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3255 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Another_MAMIL wrote:

@Rick_Rude: Unfortunately, I think cycling can bugger your knees more than many other sports. The repetition of knee movement - all kept in the same plane of movement - can cause issues.

I’ve never had any knee problems from either weight lifting or high-impact sports that involve jumping. In contrast, my knees have truly suffered from cycling 

And mine haven't, even as a typical clydesdale and some rider. You also used the word "can", people can have knee problems with anything and many times they don't.

But I had a quick check and the most common lower limb injury for runners is to the knees (leisure and competitive but not elite's), IME and from what i know from others, knee problems are not a big sample for regular people who ride bikes.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3255 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Jackson wrote:

Even if you can put out 1500W (you can't), even if you assume it's all generated on the downstroke (it isn't) then your pedal force is still no more than 700N i.e. less than a 75kg guy walking around. 

No one is saying cycling is resistance-free, but it isn't weight bearing. You can't argue with the physics.

No, you can't argue with biology, how is muscle formed from cycling in the absence of resistance training/activities, you do know how muscle is formed right? Or are you of the opinion that those leg muscles that we saw on here of the pros just occured out of thin air or the pre season gym sessions?

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Jackson [429 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

The article's about bones mate.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3255 posts] 1 month ago
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Jackson wrote:

The article's about bones mate.

oh for fucks sakes, have you even bothered to read the article, have you any understanding of what's been said at all ... mate!

Does exertive/intensive cycling cause muscles to stress and from that grow, yes or no?

If your answer is no then you've clearly zero understanding and it's pointless taking this further. if your answer is yes then if muscle is grown/developed from cycling, i.e. the muscles have been stressed then how does that muscle stress?

Remember, it was you who said that cycling at 1500W is not really a resistive action, only equivalent to walking normally for a 75kg person, which of these (cycling at 1500W or gentle walking by a 75kg person) is going to cause muscles to stress and grow?

C'mon mate, you can answer the questions, they're pretty easy.

 

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Didn’t realise I was putting out 1500w on a walk to Waitrose, I’ll remember that next time I’m out the saddle halfway up Mortirolo

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
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Didn’t realise I was putting out 1500w on a walk to Waitrose, I’ll remember that next time I’m out the saddle halfway up Mortirolo

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Rich_cb [931 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Muscles and bones require different stimuli in order to increase in size.

Very simplistically, muscles need to be stretched to grow while bones need to be compressed.

Some exercises, such as swimming and cycling, can lead to muscular growth without a corresponding increase in bone density.

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
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I’m struggling to see how cycling is any different for bone or muscle growth in legs compared to squatting

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Eddie the bike [1 post] 1 month ago
1 like

Don't be fooled milk and dairy causes brittle bones ,

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Luca Patrono [43 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Nick T wrote:

I’m struggling to see how cycling is any different for bone or muscle growth in legs compared to squatting

I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll just tackle the most obvious points.

1) Cycling is very high rep, low resistance, mostly aerobic exercise. Intervals may be anaerobic but are still high rep. Rep range in weightlifting produces different muscular adaptations - strength at 1-5, hypertrophy at 6-10, muscular endurance higher up than that. Your average endurance ride is doing very little for muscular growth (and depending on the duration and your nutrition, may even cause muscle loss through the breakdown of muscular protein for use as a secondary energy source). I'm sure the cyclists you see that are packing significant muscle got it from gym work.

2) Skeletal adaptation is a result of loading - in this case, weight-bearing stress, but other types of high load will produce adaptations, as the lumps of bone on my forearms where I block strikes will attest. As a previous commenter indicated, pushing 1500W (for however long you can manage that) through your cranks is still going to produce a lower stress on your legs than simply walking. Now imagine squatting 130kg. The skeletal stress is significantly increased.

Cycling is low-impact. That is a _good_ thing. For someone like me, who had to quit running over issues with my feet because of its high-impact nature, it's a godsend. I don't see the need to pretend cycling provides benefits (or a neutrality) that it does not.

Edit for earlier point: Weightlifters of all disciplines have known how to build muscle for quite some time. You don't do it through cardio. The rep range is too high and the resistance is too low to produce adaptations for muscular strength, size or power, unless we're talking about the heart.

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
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I used to weightlift, years ago. I don’t really have the body type to gain bulk though, I got pretty strong but I never got very big. Bench my body weight etc, not very lean as my diet was all over the shop, but enough bulk to look in decent shape. I packed that in when I realised I was built for different types of sport, being all long limbs, tall and slim I can give a better show of myself in cycling and running. Thing is my legs are much bulkier now than they ever were when I did reps with a bar on my shoulder. I cycle pretty hard though, lots of grinding big gears and fast climbing. When I transition to running for winter (or now, as I’m just enjoying running more at the moment) I lose a lot of that bulk. Are my legs getting skinnier but my bones denser? I dunno, kind of curious to figure that out though 

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Luca Patrono [43 posts] 1 month ago
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Nick T wrote:

...

There was something I didn't address in my last post, which is that I believe muscles heavily used in anaerobic exercise will grow in size, not because of a great increase in power or strength, but in order to store more energy for use anaerobically. This could be the effect you're seeing.

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ConcordeCX [1117 posts] 1 month ago
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Nick T wrote:

I’m struggling to see how cycling is any different for bone or muscle growth in legs compared to squatting

from the bones' point of view, when you're cycling it's not much different to being sedentary and since you're not using the bones much they don't need to retain mass, so they lose it. When you squat heavy weights you are loading the whole chain of bones from the spine to the feet, and your skeleton responds by increasing the bone mass.

from the muscles' point of view, cycling builds endurance, squatting builds power. Muscle growth comes from power.

 

 

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
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Okay, tapping out a low gear perhaps, but what about mashing the pedals out the saddle, going up 10% climbs in the big ring? AKA my climbing technique. Granted not many find this to be fun in an age of compacts and dinner plate cassettes but I’m one of those tossers who sticks with standards and 12-25s, hill rep days aren’t about endurance for me particularly 

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Jackson [429 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Nick T wrote:

Okay, tapping out a low gear perhaps, but what about mashing the pedals out the saddle, going up 10% climbs in the big ring? AKA my climbing technique. Granted not many find this to be fun in an age of compacts and dinner plate cassettes but I’m one of those tossers who sticks with standards and 12-25s, hill rep days aren’t about endurance for me particularly 

Just think about it. Go and do a few bodyweight squats. Could you do 70 - 80 of them  a minute for four hours? Why not?

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I couldn’t turn 53x16 at 70-80rpm up a 12% climb for 4 hours either. Can you? Why not?

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ConcordeCX [1117 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Nick T wrote:

Okay, tapping out a low gear perhaps, but what about mashing the pedals out the saddle, going up 10% climbs in the big ring? AKA my climbing technique. Granted not many find this to be fun in an age of compacts and dinner plate cassettes but I’m one of those tossers who sticks with standards and 12-25s, hill rep days aren’t about endurance for me particularly 

I think you'd develop more power, more efficiently, by doing weighted squats as part of your training (not as a replacement for hill reps). You'd also strengthen your bones.

 

 

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Lifting a weight is all about resistance, we established that. You can ride a bike with little effort and have little resistance, but my point is you can also ride a bike in a way that provides high resistance. I honestly can’t see a difference, from a physiological point of view, between doing squats and pressing all your body weight as hard as you can into a crank repeatedly, one leg after the other. It’s the same effort from the same muscles and bones

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Jackson [429 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Nick T wrote:

I couldn’t turn 53x16 at 70-80rpm up a 12% climb for 4 hours either. Can you? Why not?

Nope, but I'd be limited by my cardiovascular system long before I was limited by my leg strength which is kind of the point. I'm not sure what your angle is here - you think Newtonian physics is wrong?

Have a look at this from a cyclist doing 350W @ 90rpm. It shows the peak force through your feet is only around 500N, tops (~50kg). Walking gets you about 1.5x bodyweight (say ~1100N for a 75kg man). No matter how you slice it, you're not going to be getting any decent skeletal loading from cycling.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261871567_Pedal_force_effectiveness_in_cycling_A_review_of_constraints_and_training_effects

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Jackson [429 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Nick T wrote:

Lifting a weight is all about resistance, we established that. You can ride a bike with little effort and have little resistance, but my point is you can also ride a bike in a way that provides high resistance. I honestly can’t see a difference, from a physiological point of view, between doing squats and pressing all your body weight as hard as you can into a crank repeatedly, one leg after the other. It’s the same effort from the same muscles and bones

Because the hardest you can press into a pedal is 1x your bodyweight, if you're leaning against a wall with the brakes on so the cranks don't turn. You can do that for your strength routine if you want but you'll look a bit silly. As soon as the cranks start turning then you can't be putting any more force through than that.

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ConcordeCX [1117 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Nick T wrote:

Lifting a weight is all about resistance, we established that. You can ride a bike with little effort and have little resistance, but my point is you can also ride a bike in a way that provides high resistance. I honestly can’t see a difference, from a physiological point of view, between doing squats and pressing all your body weight as hard as you can into a crank repeatedly, one leg after the other. It’s the same effort from the same muscles and bones

if you carried whatever weight you squat, say .75 of your bodyweight, you might achieve the same effect. I don't know if anyone has tested that.

cycling as you describe doesn't have the same bone-strengthening effect as weighted squats because in a squat the weight is crushing you into the ground, so the entire chain of bones responds.

i don't know if you've ever done squats - if not, try it, and you will feel the difference in your shoulders, spine and legs between that and cycling up a hill.

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slappop [55 posts] 1 month ago
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The answer, surely, is to mix a bit of cyclocross style in your riding. Or even go the whole hog and slip on your speedos...

My commute to work includes running up six flights of stairs to the office with the bike.  The bike may be light, but I'm not, so my bones get a bit of a pounding.

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Xena [57 posts] 1 month ago
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Cycling is great and I love busting my a*& on my bike , but I lift weights . It’s had no effect on my cycling performance. I’d point out that i like to climb , but not into 5 hours of flat riding zzzzzzz. If your competing in endurance events or racing pro the im sure being little and skinny will help .

but I personally like to climb one or two mountains  and that’s it for me . I do it easy ,no stress (unless I feel like putting the gas down ) and enjoy myself . I’m all about the power rather than the spinny tiny cog brigade. But  I hit the weights most days and feel so much better for it . Infact a few few years ago I did go for the power to weight ratio thing and my riding suffered for it . Doesn’t suit me at all . You have to find your own thing and imo hitting the weights is going to benefit your health . 

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Nick T [1282 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

 

Jackson wrote:
Nick T wrote:

Lifting a weight is all about resistance, we established that. You can ride a bike with little effort and have little resistance, but my point is you can also ride a bike in a way that provides high resistance. I honestly can’t see a difference, from a physiological point of view, between doing squats and pressing all your body weight as hard as you can into a crank repeatedly, one leg after the other. It’s the same effort from the same muscles and bones

Because the hardest you can press into a pedal is 1x your bodyweight, if you're leaning against a wall with the brakes on so the cranks don't turn. You can do that for your strength routine if you want but you'll look a bit silly. As soon as the cranks start turning then you can't be putting any more force through than that.

 

aha, but you’re only pressing one leg on the crank at a time so in effect you are pressing a potential maximum of 2x body weight if you compare it to a regular squat which uses double the legs. Squatting your own body weight isn’t too shabby, not competition weightlifting but better than most gym goers can do

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