How do I build bulk while maintaining high-intensity biking exercise? Can this goal of mine be assisted with better nutrition/eating habits on my part?

– Bowie B.


Building bulk will largely come from resistance training to promote muscle adaptation (growth) to meet a higher workload. Interval sessions are great to boost power and promote weight loss. The two are not mutually exclusive. Speak with a Pro Results® trainer for how to incorporate strength training around your cycling.

Better nutrition can only help! Support your exercise of either type with adequate pre-workout snacks and recovery nutrition. Your goal is to build muscle and preventing any catabolism will contribute to your net positive. Fuel up beforehand with a small snack (e.g. a piece of fruit or handful of crackers) if your meal was recent, and larger snack (e.g. yogurt/granola plus berries, or ½ sandwich) if it’s been a couple of hours since your last meal. Replace depleted energy stores within 30 minutes following an hour-long workout by consuming about 30-50 grams of carbohydrates. Add protein (about 10-20 grams) to prevent breakdown and enhance muscle repair.

Practice good eating habits the rest of your day to keep your metabolism ready for your next cycling or bulk-building workout.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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