How Cycling Changed My Relationship With Body Building

You may have noticed I changed the blog and Facebook page from “body building beginnings” back to its original state of Healthy & Nutritiously Sweet.

Let’s back up for a second shall we? Since I started cycling, my upper body and back (which is my weakest area) have become stronger and more muscularHere is  a snippet from my AAAI/ISMA cycling studies:

“The postural muscles; these include the neck, chest, back and abdominal muscles. These muscles are active during cycling to maintain the body in a stable position of the saddle and to resist the effects of gravity thus allowing the lower body muscles to generate the power needed to rotate the pedals.”We all know that the lower body muscles such as the quads, calves and glutes are going to benefit from cycling, but would you have expected the upper body and back muscles too?

I knew my arms were getting a workout because when you jog out of the saddle, your body is holding yourself up to balance on a the bike. It would make sense that your back muscles are getting a workout too!Now cycling has allowed me to tone up not only in my upper and lower body, but also the abs and waist. I noticed I am developing a  “two pack” as well as the outline of the abs. I have extra skin from my 100lbs+ weight loss, but for the first time I feel very comfortable in my skin because I know progress isn’t going to happen overnight. I am happy being strong and healthier then I have ever been before.

The reason I started cycling was because back in April, I got injured (and sick) and I had to take a break from body building. I still did some workouts here and there, but not to the fullest of my program. I then decided to take a chance on my friend’s spin class. He told me that he would give me a better experience then my previous spin class (since I was traumatized from my first!).

From the moment I took his class, I fell in love with the spin bike. For once in my life I didn’t have any limitation, cycling is much easier on the joints. I have two rotator’s cuff, an elbow spur and had hip and knee surgery over 10 years ago. While I love body building, I was limited with the exercises I could do and had to modify quite a bit. I ended up over deadlifting and injured my back very badly, on top of being sick.

I started incorporating the body building plan while I was cycling and I noticed a few changes; the more I did heavy resistance on the spin bike for a short time, the better my strength training. The more I did sprints on the bike at a longer distance, my performance body building declined. I also didn’t feel like I had the proper energy since I my “diet” was still following the bodybuilding plan; I needed more carbs.

I decided to keep studying cycling and do my own research as well. I decided that I was going to discontinue following the body building plan that I was doing. I went on to create/revamp my own eight week coaching and strength training plan where I could include body building type exercises and still enjoy other activities like cycling and yoga. I managed to drop 10lbs in one month, which was not my intention at all.

But I felt great, energized, nourished and healthy. My youngest brother lives with me and he has noticed that I have been happier and healthier. I don’t view food as strict as I did with bodybuilding, but rather I view it as nourishment and fuel for my health and workouts.

There were times during body building where I feared carbs because you are conditioned to think in “protein.” But as a person who has a bit of kidney problems, too much protein isn’t really a good thing. 

I can enjoy my protein truffles as a pre and post workout snack again. Not that I didn’t eat them during my body building plan, but they just weren’t as enjoyable as when I’d add in pure maple syrup or cranberries for some simple sugar and carbs fuel-age.It’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Had I not became injured, my love for cycling would not have happened. Cycling even allows me to listen to my body more because I know if I am sore or tired, it ain’t gonna happen. I have never loved something as much as I love baking and yoga.

I feel the healthiest, leanest and strongest then I ever have post weight loss. This September marks the 5th year of my weight loss anniversary and I can say moving forward things are only going to get better.

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