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Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle (Read 6204 times)

boxmonkey

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Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 02:23:10 pm
Over the last couple of years, Iíve dropped weight by losing leg muscle. I achieved this mainly by stopping running on a regular basis. However this means that outside my core fingerboard training, Iím not doing any activity that substantially raises heart rate. Obviously fingerboarding isnít particularly aerobic

I just wondered how others addressed this? What are best activities for getting blood pumping and heart racing without building leg muscle. I obviously donít want to build a load of muscles thatís not functional for climbing.

SamT

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#1 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 02:40:45 pm
skipping?? - Its bloody knackering.

Paul B

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#2 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 02:54:07 pm
HIIT type stuff will get your heart going...

Dare I say Crossfit?  :sick:

SA Chris

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#3 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 03:33:34 pm
Swimming? Handbike?

Liamhutch89

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#4 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 03:34:16 pm
Bouldering 4x4's? It's climbing specific HIIT that will help with ancap.

SA Chris

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#5 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 04:04:06 pm
Paddleboarding. Nails the core too.

jwi

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#6 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 04:31:23 pm
Cross country skiing! Not practical unless you live in the subarctic or among high flat mountains, but if you are, nothing beats it for cardio for climbers.

I agree that somewhat intense climbing for longer periods can raise the pulse and somewhat challenge the cardiorespiratory system somewhat... but who can do training like that for 150 min every week? Week in week out during the year?

I am pretty sure that I am not getting enough cardio during periods when I am climbing on crags with short approaches, or not at all outdoors, and drive to work etc. It worries me somewhat actually.

Ballsofcottonwool

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#7 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 04:33:30 pm
Continuous climbing on an autobelay or a very understanding climbing partner. Climb up and down and pick a grade low enough that you never get pumped (2 number grades below my onsight was about right for me)

My experience is that cycling doesn't build leg muscle if done at a high cadence 90rpm+

webbo

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#8 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 04:49:58 pm
Continuous climbing on an autobelay or a very understanding climbing partner. Climb up and down and pick a grade low enough that you never get pumped (2 number grades below my onsight was about right for me)

My experience is that cycling doesn't build leg muscle if done at a high cadence 90rpm+
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

Bradders

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#9 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 05:32:45 pm
Interval running, e.g. 1 min flat out, 30s walk, 30s jog, repeat x8 is a great 20 min workout I've been doing recently.

sirlockoff

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#10 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 10:42:16 pm
I think swimming is the ultimate cardio exercise :great:

Liamhutch89

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#11 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 10:47:10 pm
I am pretty sure that I am not getting enough cardio during periods when I am climbing on crags with short approaches, or not at all outdoors, and drive to work etc. It worries me somewhat actually.

Do you worry for health concerns or maintaining fitness?

The minimum amount of exercise to reduce your all cause mortality by as much as possible is not that much. Doing more may actually increase mortality! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451435/)

dunnyg

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#12 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 10:59:45 pm
curve ball but Caving? All body work out, and bonus of being interesting in its own right. Or kayaking?

Possibly not feasible depending on location/time availability.

Footwork

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#13 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 20, 2022, 11:14:07 pm
 :shag:?

Ballsofcottonwool

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#14 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 07:49:42 am
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

Some road professionals will have big legs, puncheurs, sprinters because they spend hours in the gym lifting huge weights to maximise peak power.

A pro riding 450w at 100rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 252Nm of Torque, thats equivalent to a 26kg single leg press

An amateur like me spinning at an easy endurance pace of 200w at 90rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 125Nm, thats equivalent to a 13kg single leg press

If you think those kinds of loads build muscles you might want to reconsider your training for climbing.

SA Chris

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#15 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 08:31:36 am
I think swimming is the ultimate cardio exercise :great:

Fucks your skin though. Well, fucks mine.

SamT

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#16 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 09:00:14 am
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

Have you seen Bradley wiggins legs.. they're like bean poles.   :shrug:

SA Chris

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#17 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 09:09:56 am
likewise most long distance runners. I now run about 800 - 1000 km a year, and my legs are barely any different in size from when I used to run zero km a year.
 

Fultonius

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#18 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 09:21:33 am
Whatever you you, don't go on big expeds!  You end up with massive legs, a teeny arms and usually a small pot belly after eating everything in sight for a week on return.

SA Chris

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#19 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 09:30:07 am
A T-Rex then...

AMorris

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#20 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 10:09:13 am
Continuous climbing on an autobelay or a very understanding climbing partner. Climb up and down and pick a grade low enough that you never get pumped (2 number grades below my onsight was about right for me)

My experience is that cycling doesn't build leg muscle if done at a high cadence 90rpm+
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

They don't necessarily. Endurance climbers, such as Froome, Wiggins, G, Quintana, Contador, all have skinny legs. You don't get big bulky legs from just cycling, you have to do a lot of hard, short power building efforts to build leg muscles. I started cycling about a year ago, and became very keen on hard efforts on hills. I have certainly seen some development in the shape of my legs, but not really in the size, and I haven't put on any weight at all. For reference, I average 100-200km and 1200-2000m vertical per week.

Cycling is a fantastic way of getting fitter without building leg muscles. Look at what people have to do at the gym to build legs. Unless what you are doing is roughly equivalent in intensity and duration to that (v high intensity, v low duration), then you are unlikely to be in the process of turning into Chris Hoy.

webbo

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#21 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 10:10:08 am
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

Some road professionals will have big legs, puncheurs, sprinters because they spend hours in the gym lifting huge weights to maximise peak power.

A pro riding 450w at 100rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 252Nm of Torque, thats equivalent to a 26kg single leg press

An amateur like me spinning at an easy endurance pace of 200w at 90rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 125Nm, thats equivalent to a 13kg single leg press

If you think those kinds of loads build muscles you might want to reconsider your training for climbing.
Well my quads are bigger riding 3 times a week than they were running 3 times a week. However I guess it must that Iím on 172.5 cranks at 90rpm plus. ;)

Liamhutch89

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#22 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 10:29:43 am
So how come professional cyclists have big legs as they will be pedalling at 90 rpm+.

Some road professionals will have big legs, puncheurs, sprinters because they spend hours in the gym lifting huge weights to maximise peak power.

A pro riding 450w at 100rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 252Nm of Torque, thats equivalent to a 26kg single leg press

An amateur like me spinning at an easy endurance pace of 200w at 90rpm on 170mm cranks is only applying 125Nm, thats equivalent to a 13kg single leg press

If you think those kinds of loads build muscles you might want to reconsider your training for climbing.
Well my quads are bigger riding 3 times a week than they were running 3 times a week. However I guess it must that Iím on 172.5 cranks at 90rpm plus. ;)

If you've gained noticeable leg muscle from low intensity cycling (and I trust that you have), it suggests your legs were under-developed and the increase in muscle might actually be a benefit to your climbing? Of course, we don't want very big, overly strong legs, but there must be an optimal size and I don't think that is as small (and thus weak) as possible.

My legs are probably over-developed and no amount of low intensity cycling would add muscle to them.

Fiend

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#23 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 10:30:07 am
Alternatively, don't worry about it, apparently weight doesn't matter for climbing, heavy leg muscles are fine, strong legs are the most important thing for steep burly climbing.... ....although then you might have to go on really grim diet to start dropping the kilos for some reason  :blink:

Liamhutch89

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#24 Re: Cardio that doesnít build leg muscle
September 21, 2022, 10:47:47 am
Alternatively, don't worry about it, apparently weight doesn't matter for climbing, heavy leg muscles are fine, strong legs are the most important thing for steep burly climbing.... ....although then you might have to go on really grim diet to start dropping the kilos for some reason  :blink:

OK, so this is entirely a dig at me, based on two separate posts made in different threads maybe a month or more apart?

First thread was discussing whether leg strength was important. At the time we'd just had 2 strong young boulderers purposely put on several kilograms to get up that 8C in Cornwall. I offered an opinion that leg strength helps me on most (not all) of the boulders I climb (note: that's not the same thing as overly-big, overly-strong legs). I still stand by that and it's based on my personal experience of mostly focusing on steep boulders where there's plenty of knee bars, heels, toe hooks, etc. Others disagreed based on their unique experience. No one seemed to have any hurt feelings, other than you.

In this week's power club I mentioned losing 2kg over the week in an attempt to sneak a power endurance project over the line that I'm really close to doing. I intend to lose no muscle or strength, it's a temporary weight cut to peak for one problem. These two posts are not contradictory at all. Your comment just makes you look like a knob.

Edit: forgot the smiley -  ;D still love you Fiend
« Last Edit: September 21, 2022, 11:01:39 am by Liamhutch89 »

 

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