How do I get more defined leg muscles?

So, engaging full vanity mode: I’m sitting at 4.6 w/kg (292 ftp@63kg, 171cm) after 5 months of structured training (prior to that 1 year with 1-2 rides per week in the summer, none in the winter) and my body fat is probably around 10%, but my leg muscles aren’t showing at all. I can see veins and stuff, but my legs still look flabby. I’m not looking to get sprinter like big muscles, just to have what I got showing more.

Is there any way to do that? Would strength training help? Or is it just my body composition? I have a hunch that I have a large percentage of slow twitch muscles, since I have no sprint to speak of, but perform really well at VO2Max.

Dehydration.

(This is a joke, obviously.)

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Might go against your weight goals but it sounds like you’re looking for mass. That’ll come from leg work and eating at a caloric surplus, with at least 2g protein per kg body weight per day to enable muscle growth. Count on adding fat mass whilst you’re at it. Perhaps you would need to do at least two bulk then two cutting cycles to get in the right place. There’s a ton of online reading and resources available about hypertrophy, intensity and ideal rep count if you want target muscular volume.

Sounds like you’re pretty damn strong as you are so the question is, what does that added weight actually give you other than some additional looks from fellow (jealous) cyclists? :smiley:

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Yea, I really don’t want to add weight. My goal for the rest of the year is to get to 5w/kg by dropping weight by 2kg to 60kg and increasing ftp to 300w.

Squats.

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Shave your legs

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Cut your riding volume and focus on a lifting/ strength program for a few months It’s hard to not gain weight and build muscle, I’m not an expert but more muscle = more weight.

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ride your bike a lot

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doing that already

And slap some fake tan on there, especially if riding indoors a lot!

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So you say you have vascularity but want definition. Seems you either have to get leaner (lose weight), increase muscle mass in the legs, or both. Dehydration is the real key lol but that will hurt your performance (this is what body builders do before show).
You should gain a lot of weight. For example, I’m 75kg 183cm. I have noticeably defined legs. If you were to have the same relative body weight to height ratio, you’d weight 70kg. So gain 7kg of muscle! Lol

Through the last few years of training I’ve noticed my leg muscles seem to have no definition during base/build blocks, and look ripped after doing specialty/sprint/VO2 max work for a few months (even at the same weight and body fat %). Currently doing polarized which is a happy medium. I’d bet that if you did a few rotations of specialty and build blocks you would see more definition without putting on weight. Might help you FTP get that final push, too.

I’m currently in a LV Specialty block and doing VO2 max pretty much every day + sweet spot or threshold on free days + long weekend rides. Maybe it’s because I’m only in my first (half a) year of training and it just needs some time?

Froome won his Tours on spindly legs. If you want to be faster, you should probably forget about bulking up and definition. This is mostly genetic.

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This. Definitely one of the reasons to shave, after all the mega aero gainz obviously /joking.

I don’t have spindly legs at all and my goal isn’t bulking up.
I think I have a lot of my fat stores in my legs. My upper body is super defined, six pack with veins visible, extreme vascularity around arms and neck. but my legs above the knee are flabby altough I’m beginning to see veins there too.

Jokes aside, don’t be too afraid of putting on a little weight if it comes with more muscle and power.

Your sprint should also improve if you have more muscle to throw at it.

Putting on muscle and being cut don’t usually go hand in hand. All your power to weight sports, like sprinting (running too), wrestling / MMA, etc. you go through a strength phase and then you cut for your season / events. Granted, you don’t crash diet, but it might mean putting on 10lbs in the offseason (combination of muscle and fat since you’ll need to eat at a calorie surplus) only to lose the fat as your volume increases for your race season. It might mean being a few lbs-5lbs+ heavier when you cut depending on how much muscle you put on.

You could also ride uphill at like 50rpm for a hour. It makes for a nice “da’ pump”, to quote a young Arnold.

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It’s hard to believe that you have flabby legs! If you have a six pack then you are already lean, And it sounds like you lift. I’m not sure there is anything you could to spot fat reduce just your legs.

You should feel fortunate that you don’t store your fat around the middle like most people. :slight_smile:

If you don’t do any strength training, try adding 2 days a week with focus on legs exercises. Squats, deadlifts, lunges etc. lots of opinions on the best way to lift but if you don’t already that’s the first step, IMO. Try to find a cycling specific program like dialed health or socalbike depot.