If you want to lose weight, indoor cycling might not be the best way to do so, at least according to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who told Redbook magazine that exercisers who cycle only build bulkier thighs.
“Spin may burn calories in the short term, but if that's all you're doing, it'll bulk up your thighs,” said Anderson. “I have women who come into my office after spinning exclusively for six months, wondering why they can’t fit into their jeans.”
It makes sense, because when the muscles in your legs get stronger, they tend to increase in size. “If you were to ride at heavy resistance for a long duration of time, there is a possibility that you may gain more muscle,’” says Keoni Hudoba, creator of the Cyc Method, and spinning instructor at NYC’s Cyc Fitness. Also, if you’re not losing fat as you gain muscle, your jean size is going to go up.
When Harvard School of Public Health researchers studied more than 18,000 women over a period of 16 years, they found that those who biked as few as five minutes a day gained less weight than those who didn’t ride. And if cycling at a comfortable pace, a 135-pound woman can expect to burn through nearly 500 calories in a single hour. The more muscle you gain, the faster your metabolism.
But according to the American Council on Exercise, strength training generally doesn't make women swell the way men do, due to our low levels of testosterone that make it harder to build bulging muscles. So if you're into spinning, you needn't worry so much about getting chunky thighs.
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