Exercise Bikes: Pedaling Your Way to Better Gains Stationary cycling has as much potential to induce muscle building as traditional resistance training. A 12-week study conducted by Adam R. Konopka and Matthew P. Harbe showed both resistance training and stationary cycling promoted up to a 9% increase in the overall thigh muscle volume of the subjects. That’s right, contrary to popular belief, cardio is not just great for fat burning, it can also help you get bigger and stronger. Cycling for hypertrophy Of course, simply adding cycling into your routine will not automatically make you bigger. If you want results, you need to be able to control the difficulty of your cardio workout and keep adding more resistance as you become bigger and stronger. Keep in mind that your body is very good at adapting to whatever challenges you throw at it so you need to keep throwing it bigger ones if you want to keep progressing. The good news is that most modern exercise bikes allow you to easily add more resistance to your workouts so you’ll be able to keep pushing your body to grow for a long, long time. And even if you hit max resistance, you can easily add a whole new level of difficulty to your sessions by simply pedaling faster. Pedaling for better performance Studies show that cardio training can increase your total work capacity. It does this by making your body more efficient at using the resources, like nutrients and oxygen, available to it during bouts of intense physical activity like heavy lifting or sprinting. Of course, the better your body becomes at doing this, the harder you’ll be able to work in the gym—which is exactly what you need to do if you want to make gains. Keep in mind that for your body to change, you need to give it a compelling enough reason to do so, and cardio training gives you the energy to do just that. Biking for fat loss At the end of the day, even if cardio is not the most efficient way to lose fat, it still uses up calories. This means that it’s still a great add-on whatever it is you’re already doing to trigger fat loss. But what does all of this have to do with seeing better gains? Well, the less fat you have on your body, the easier it is to look ripped. Keep in mind that no matter how big you get, you still won’t look as fit as you want if you have, say, 30% body fat. But don’t overdo it For all this to work, however, you need to just do enough cardio to get the benefits. Doing more puts you at risk of not only burning too much lean muscle, but also not having enough calories to make progress. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, training is only meant to elicit a response from your body. It is during periods of rest that the improvements you want to see actually happen. About the Author: Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.