Training For Functional Lean Mass: Biker


You can’t hope to bike a 50-miler without sufficient functional mass to propel you forward. With adequate strength, you can take sharper curves, balance better, and improve aerodynamics. But at the same time, you also have to be careful about the muscle you gain. Too much muscle mass only gets in the way. You become too heavy and bulky to ride quickly and efficiently.

For that reason, your focus should be on building lean, functional muscle mass. This requires slightly different techniques than a typical body builder might share with you. Here are a few tips.

1. Start with your diet.

Like any aspect of fitness, you can’t rely on bicep curls alone. You must first focus on your diet. The best foods for building lean muscle include:

  • Beef from grass-fed cattle
  • Beets
  • Brown rice
  • Oranges
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach

This is a small list, but you can ask a nutritionist or personal trainer for more suggestions. Consider developing a meal plan to help you stick with it.

2. Put variety in your lift days.

You have to challenge your body to allow it to change, and adding variety is the best way to do that. Don’t always stick with the same routine. Add different exercises here and there, and increase your repetitions when your lifts become too easy.

3. Start with big lifts and move into isolation movements.

One of the most efficient ways to build lean mass quickly is through compound movements like deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, and pull-ups. Once you’ve gotten the hang of big lifts, start working on isolation movements to tone specific muscles.

4. Feel free to supplement.

Not everyone will need to add supplements to their diets, but if you’re struggling to bulk up, this may be the right path for you. Positive results have been shown in using supplements like fish oil, multi-vitamins, protein, creatine, and specially formulated workout shakes. It doesn’t work for everyone, but if you haven’t tried it before, it could be your key to gaining that mass quickly.

5. Emphasize the recovery period.

Probably the most important part of developing functional mass is giving yourself plenty of time for recovery. You should be getting a solid eight to nine hours per sleep at night, reducing stress in your everyday life, and avoiding stressful activities directly following a workout. It’s incredible how such a simple thing can contribute to your desired body composition.

Kevin Jones is a freelance writer, researcher and fitness instructor/consultant. He had helped hundreds of people find ways to become more fit and healthy through a balanced life focusing on an individualized approach to their nutrition and fitness. In addition, Kevin has written extensively in the fitness and health industries, including writing for companies such as a ICON Fitness brand NordicTrack. Connect with Kevin online; LinkedIn - Twitter