Will spinning give you bulky thighs? Keep reading to find out…
A few years ago, celeb trainer Tracy Anderson said that spinning gives you bulky thighs. She’s been misquoted a few times, but what she actually meant was spinning exclusively for a few months will bulk up your thighs. Regardless of whether she was misquoted or not, those comments suddenly had every one who didn’t want “bulky” legs asking questions.
First of all, what one person sees as “bulky” isn’t necessarily what another person sees. How you want your body to look is really a personal matter, between you and your mirror. And secondly, spinning is one of the best cardio workouts I have found that helps me lose weight around my belly and legs.
If you aren’t doing very some serious strength training, then I doubt you’ll bulk up to the point of a new pants size.
Our bodies have two types of muscle fibers. Fast-twitch and slow-twitch. Strength training works your fast twitch muscles. These grow in size and can only handle short bursts of strength, which brings on those bulky muscles.
Spinning works your slow twitch muscles and don’t grow in size. They’re what allows you to keep moving your legs after 25 minutes of cadence training and are mainly endurance muscles. So if you’re on a 45-minute ride, there’s no way your fast-twitch muscles would be able keep that fly wheel spinning.
Naturally when you do a lot of leg exercises, for example, riding at high resistance for long periods of time, you’ll gain more (lean) muscle. But not to the point of the heavy weight lifters, simply because you’re not using those particular muscle fibers.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with gaining muscle either. It does lead to a faster metabolism. Also, how much muscle you gain and how quickly you gain it depends on your testosterone levels. So obviously most guys will start putting on muscle quicker than most women.
If you find that your clothes fit tighter after a spinning session, it’s because your muscles naturally become temporarily inflamed after exercise – especially when it was a tough workout. This inflammation (due to increased blood flow and higher blood pressure in your leg muscles) does go away after a couple of hours though. But if you’re still feeling tightness while fitting into your clothes, maybe check your diet, it does also play a big role in your body weight.
So to put the matter to bed, no, spinning will not bulk up your thighs.