T Nation

Cardio Recovery


How damaging would 1-2 90-120 mountain bike rides per week be to strength/size gains overall? I usually ride with a group at a moderate/fast pace a couple times per week. Is something I should just experiment with or does anyone else have experience with this. Also how should I adjust my cals/macros? I consume 40/40/20 p/c/f on training days and 40/30/30 on non-training/cardio days currently


I would say that if you can assume you're burning more calories on the days you ride, bump up your calories on those days. Bump up your consumption of calories, particularly carbs for the meal before you ride and after you ride to compensate. Another idea instead of sipping water is to just sip gatorade during your ride. Besides that, I wouldn't alter the remainder of your day.


*meant to say 90-120 minute rides.

thanks for the input. I really like to ride during the summer for cardio, but I don't want to jepordize my squat/deadlift strength gains.


I would take BCAA's and Gatorade like Da Vinci suggested, or gels, just before and during the ride, ideally exactly as many calories as you burn during the ride. The closer you time the carb/BCAA intake to the expenditure, the better.

I've found I can do a lot more cardio than I thought without eating up muscle or harming recovery, as long as I fuel the cardio while I do it.

Obviously, for those doing cardio for fat loss, they don't wanna take in carbs to fuel it, so that's a whole different story.


Better yet, use Surge Workout Fuel before and during your rides.

I've found that using it allows me a higher workload outside the gym without losing muscle.


I was concerned when I would do INterval work on a bike, but I never exceeded 30 mins. Of course you're probably in much better overall shape from doing this on a regular basis. I think the above suggestions are sound, but the bottom line will be to reassess how you're holding up after a couple of weeks.

Everyone has a different thresthold. I know that there's no way in hell I could gain, or even maintain a adequate amount of muscle if I was subjecting myself to that.



For six summers (mid 90's) I would train road work two/three days a week for 8-10 weeks ending with a 50 mile rally in Italy, TX. My best time was just under 2.5 hours. I was also a competitive powerlifter and found it impossible to achive strength increases in the low rep ranges (<5). I gennerally worked higher rep ranges (>10) during these periods.

I also found it very challanging to maintain my muscle mass, let alone add to it! The first three years I surrended 4-6lbs during these periods, the last three I managed to maintain what I started with, but it required seven days a week w/seven meals a day to do so.


Thank you for the suggestions. I'm thinking I'll just limit myself to 1 ride per week in exchange for my barbell complex/kettlebell cardio sessions. I'll also make sure to get in extra carbs/bcaas before the ride