With all the benefits of riding your e-Bike, it’s natural to wonder whether this form of exercise can contribute to transforming your body shape.
Questions among riders tend to come up as to whether e-Biking, a sport that predominantly focuses on your lower body, will help to bulk up your muscles, will help you lose weight, or will help you to become lean. The short answer? Yes, to all of them.
However, it’s a little more complicated than that, as there are many factors at play here. Physiological differences between genders and natural body shapes, the consistency in which you ride, the type of training you do on your e-Bike, and other factors all contribute to the way e-Biking can change your body shape.
Biological differences between men and women
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are natural physiological differences between male and female bodies.
For example, women tend to have much less testosterone and a higher percentage of body fat than men. Since testosterone is the hormone that helps to build bigger muscles (source), it’s the reason that men are generally more able to easily build muscle and have naturally more muscular physiques than women.
Thus, if you’re a woman who is worried about “bulking up” up your legs too much – a common concern among many female cyclists—don’t worry, because even if you’re doing intense strength training on your e-Bike, it is typically harder for women to gain as much muscle as it is for men.
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Think of it this way: if a male and female are riding their e-Bikes and doing the same level of resistance training, it is unlikely that they will build the same level of muscle mass simply because of basic biological differences.
For men and women alike, it’s also important to remember that riding your e-bike alone will likely not result in building massive leg muscles. If you are looking to bulk up, you’ll have to modify your diet and do extra strength work at the gym accordingly.
However, remember that there is no “quick fix” when it comes to transforming your body: most of the time, it will take patience. While many e-bike riders have noted that cycling has improved their overall fitness and, in some cases, has either helped them lose a lot of weight or gain a lot of muscle, there are some who have noted no major body shape change at all.
Read also: Does riding an e-bike help lose belly fat? And, Does riding an electric bike help train strength and endurance?
This can be due to a variety of factors, such as poor diet or a diet that involves a caloric surplus with not enough calories burned, a person’s metabolism, or a lower consistency in which they ride. The amount of weight or muscle loss or gain varies on a person-by-person basis, so though your body shape has the potential to change via your e-Bike, it largely depends on your lifestyle, consistency, genetic structure, and diet.
Natural body shape
Aside from the biological aspect of gender differences and how that plays a big role in the way your physique may change, there is also another genetic factor: natural body shapes. There are three major categories of natural body types that humans fall under, and these categories are Endomorphs, Ectomorphs, and Mesomorphs.
While you shouldn’t feel like your natural body type will limit the progress you are aiming for, these genetic factors definitely play a role in how our metabolisms vary, and the way fat and muscle are distributed and affected.
For example, Endomorphs typically have larger frames due to a higher percentage of body fat (source), as well as less muscle mass. Due to these factors, Endomorphs are generally more easily affected by caloric intake than other body types (ie. easily fluctuating weight based on a diet).
Ectomorphs, on the other hand, typically have smaller frames and very little body fat (source): often, Ectomorphs are longer, leaner, and have less muscle mass. Opposite of Ectomorphs, people with this body type have a harder time gaining weight and muscle and are not easily affected by caloric intake.
Lastly, Mesomorphs straddle the line between the two others (source): people with this frame tend to have medium builds, can develop muscles easily, and tend to have more muscle, as opposed to fat, on their bodies.
Because of these different body shapes and their respective advantages and disadvantages, Ectomorphs tend to excel at aerobic and endurance-focused exercises, whereas Endomorphs and Mesomorphs tend to excel at the strength and power-focused exercises.
Read also: Are electric bikes good for cardio exercise? And, Here is why riding an e-bike is probably the best exercise for asthma.
Where Ectomorphs may find it hard to build muscle, Endomorphs may find it hard to lose weight. So when it comes to e-Biking and utilizing that form of exercise, Ectomorphs will benefit from focusing more on the strength training side to transform their bodies to build more muscle. Whereas Endomorphs and Mesomorphs will benefit from focusing on the endurance training side and improving their cardiovascular health as well as fat-burning capabilities to become leaner and trimmer.
Based on your weight gain, loss, eating, and exercise habits, you can probably easily figure out which body type you fall under. Needless to say, the way your body shape changes over the course of an exercise regime such as e-Biking will vary depending on your natural body shape as well as your lifestyle.
Don’t think of your natural body shape as something that will hold you back, but rather, use it to understand which methods will best target the issues you face when it comes to reaching your health goals.
Bulking vs. leaning
If you are looking to change your body shape by building muscle, strength training on your e-Bike will certainly help. This includes riding on uneven terrain such as riding uphill with high intensity, cycle sprinting, standing while cycling, and increasing resistance levels on your e-Bike to ensure that your muscles are working hard.
That being said, you should consider doing other strength training workouts – such as using weights at the gym or at home – if you’re looking to seriously increase your muscle mass. Depending on whether you want to build lean muscle or if you want to bulk up considerably, you will also have to up your protein as well as calorie intake accordingly.
Since e-Biking is mainly an aerobic sport, it is generally easier to build endurance (or, aerobic strength) while you cycle. This means that while your legs are definitely the primary muscles being targeted, your whole body benefits from cycling, particularly your heart and lungs.
E-Biking is a sport that helps you to boost your metabolism, and in turn burn calories more effectively, which means you can significantly slim down and become leaner and more toned if you have a consistent regimen in place.
The best type of e-Bike workout to do when looking to build endurance is by doing long rides at a low but steady intensity, or to do high-intensity interval training, which requires you to alternate between higher resistance and higher intensity spurts of cycling with easier “rest” periods.
In conjunction with a healthy, nutritional diet (and typically a caloric deficit if you are looking to lose weight), your body has a higher chance of becoming leaner with regular endurance training on your e-Bike.
The most optimal option is to try and incorporate both strength and endurance training into your e-Bike regimen. This way, you will better be able to lose weight and become leaner while still maintaining muscle mass.
A few words in conclusion
The great thing about exercises like cycling, and riding your e-Bike, is that even if the scale doesn’t reflect drastic weight changes, oftentimes the muscle you gain will replace the fat you have lost. Muscle gained and fat lost means that you’re getting a healthier body that is better able to function, improved endurance, decreased fatigue or exhaustion, and just overall feeling (and looking) better.
So remember, even if you’re not seeing the numbers change, riding your e-Bike consistently will still result in your body and muscles transforming for the better.
When it comes to setting your health and exercise goals, particularly if they are focused on changing your body’s shape in one way or another, your e-Bike is a great resource to turn to. Once you keep in mind factors like genetics, physiology, and the types of training that will best benefit you, customizing your e-Bike workout according to your body goals will be easy!