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Cycling for Massive Quads

Why isn’t bike riding for massive quad pump more talked about or known?

I’m not talking about cycling on a machine at the gym
I’m talking about literally going to Walmart buying a mountain bike and biking as far from your house and back again as you can in an hour.

Not measuring HR or speed or anything but keeping the gear ratio set for a very high perceived level of exertion. I’d argue if done right it counts as HIIT cardio.

Take a scoop of stim free pump pre-workout and/or beet supplement for nitrates. Maybe a coffee with that.

Dude the pump i get absolutely obliterates anything I can get in the gym even doing g 5/3/1 boring but big with your 5 sets of 10 at the end.

Probably because time under tension is king and bike riding is constant tension?

I just don’t understand why you never hear people go yeah I threw this end for hypertrophy this week. Ive known like 2 guys with massive quads who knew about cycling for that pump.

The idea isn’t to replace squats or deadlifts. You do it once or twice a week in the same week to force blood into them and blow them up. If anything just help them grow faster and recovery quicker.

If your paranoid about cortisol or your natrual and don’t want to burn your muscle just drink syrup with a scoop of protein powder before hand (joking on the syrup)

I might be asking for some flame right now because I’m def too excited about posting this. I really just don’t understand why more people don’t regularly incorporate this. Very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on incorporating bike riding for quad/leg hypertrophy.

Posted here because atleast with the way I do this. It hits my system like HIIT and a strength leg workout. Im positive if not overdone can greatly contribute to a bigger stronger leaner goal.

I used to MTB a lot as my cardio for weight lifting. Kept the legs nice but cycling itself wouldn’t do anything.

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Cycling is not building massive quads.

Sure but, no one does HIIT cardio to build muscle

Then you are training wrong. Drop set hack squats or leg press will leave you on the ground.

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I’ve never seen a person who ONLY cycles with big legs.

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I was a cyclist for 10 years and none of the guys in any of the groups I rode in had big legs. They were all skinny.

I live in western PA. All bike riding is Hiit.

Ride like these crazy bastards.


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Obviously cyclists don’t have massive quads. If you eat to build muscle and lift to build muscle and you bike ride really aggressively (i did say a mountain bike with high gear ratios, not a speed bike) for an hour twice a week its going to do different things to your quads than the guy who cycles for hours a day 7 days a week.

I also did state you cant replace leg training with cycling. Not gonna repeat that.

I basically stated that in addition to heavy compound movements, adding an hour of cycling once or twice a week gives you a stupid ridiculous pump and I personally think increases the hypertrophy of the quads.

When the gear ratio is set right, you’re basically leg pressing your pedals into the ground. It 100% is a strength workout with constant time under tension.

I’d like to hear thoughtful criticism, like nahh too much cortisol, nah the pump isn’t as useful as you think. Equivilant to doing 500 reps with just the bar on a squat. Etc.

Not cyclists are skinny. Obviously. I did not advocate cycling like a cyclist. Already stated max gear ratio on a mountain bike. Which isn’t efficient for distance for an hour. Most of us already do that much cardio atleast once a week and we maintain big legs.

Not cycling only won’t build your legs. Obviously already stated that.

Not trying to be a dick. Im 100% serious about this. I think if some of you guys tried it. Ya might be surprised. The pumps pretty crippling if done right.

Man, after the day I had I needed a thread like this.

I am intrigued by the thought that pedaling for an hour on a mountain bike is any different than doing the same thing on a road bike or bike machine from a leg pump standpoint.

I’ve road both a decent amount. Road bike was more constant, sure you’ve got some slight climbs and the occasional real climb, but it’s fairly steady.

MTB has a lot of short punchy bursts mixed in with the constant peddling.

I’ve got some hours in the saddle of each too. No doubt they’re different activities. Sounds like OP isn’t talking about road biking or MTB though, just peddling hard for an hour to achieve a leg pump.

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I could see that in theory. But I’m going to say a non-cyclist can’t push hard for an hour straight. An all out effort for an hour is hard. Of course I’m looking at it from a cyclist point of view. What does he consider a hard effort? The only time I can remember my legs burning is when I first started cycling.

Then there is fast twitch vs slow twitch muscle fibers. Wouldn’t that come into play when discussing cycling.

Also want to point out that Track Cyclist do have big legs. I don’t know how they train or if they lift weights.

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Wait, Hill repeats are good for a quad pump. But not what was suggested.


It’s just not what people like to bike for. Anything can build muscle if there is a progressive overload. But people don’t structure their biking workouts in a way that has progressive overload because biking that way is boring. But it’s still doable.

FTR lots of cyclists have huge quads but they’re mostly competitive track cyclists, so of course they’re weight training as well. Still, it might be interesting to find a velodrome somewhere and try out sprints sometime.

When you have a visible goal like reaching the top of an extremely steep hill, you might find that can dig much deeper and push through more lactate buildup than you would if you were just riding on a flat stretch or stationary bike.


I’ll say I know a biker with big legs. I have squatted 507 with wraps and he blows my legs away. He also squats, and does the faster type races. He also has great leg genetics, and is strong. He can bench 430 weighing 210, and had only been training for a bit.

People do not discuss cycling for massive quads for the same reasons that people do not discuss performing automotive repair for massive forearms or farming for a strong back.

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Certain styles of cycling incorporate a training style that is similar to powerlifting. Generally the guys that do this have the genetics for strength, and many have big legs. I think the guys doing the slope track stuff do a lot of this training.

One wanting big strong legs would likely get better results doing more traditional training though.

You a city slicker aintcha boy

As a strongman competitor, I’ve met a lot of dudes with freaky huge hands, with the muscles on every finger fully developed, but the BIGGEST hands I ever saw belonged to my grandfather-in-law: a 5’4 barely 100lb man with diabetes who had been farming since he was old enough to walk. It was like shaking a boxing glove when we shook hands.

I remain too pretty for such a lifestyle.


I’d guess people here don’t talk about cycling for big quads because this is a site focused on weightlifting as the primary activity. Biking of any type often gets relegated to cardio or conditioning status.

As for whether cycling can build massive quads, I think it depends on the individual’s genetics. That said, I’m convinced biking will build at least some mass, at least a little definition, and definitely strengthens the legs.

From my experience, one of the most physically difficult tasks I’ve attempted was biking up the packed dirt road of a 14’er in Colorado. Riding only uphill, often at very steep gradients, for several hours was absolutely grueling. Think one-day Tour de France on a dirt road.The two people I went with were also fried for the rest of the day.

The person who introduced me to distance biking cycles 35 miles per day to and from work. His weekend hobby is biking 50+ miles each Saturday and Sunday. He rarely or never works his upper body, has a lack of muscle to show for it :joy: but his thighs and calves have what I’d call serious meat on them.

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