Upper body mass?

LOVE the podcast guys and my question is about weight and my upper body composition. I have just recently gotten back into cycling after a 4-5 year break during my college years where I played rugby and was all around lifting to get stronger. Now that I am graduated and fully committed to getting faster on the bike again, how much (fitness or leg adaptations) do you think, if any, would be able to gain from scaling back my gym sessions and shedding off the extra upper body muscle I am not using. I am 5’10” and 162 pounds and most of my riding/races are done in southern New Jersey where the biggest hill you can find lasts about 30 seconds at the most. Really looking forward to hearing what the TrainerRoad guys have to say about this one and keep up the great content!

I see little reason to shed upper body mass given that your local territory features no sustained climbs. Now if you raced in some other region that really rewarded w/kg I could see a case for it.

I think one of the biggest mistakes amateur cyclists make is thinking they need to lean up in the upper body as if it’s going to somehow make a huge difference in their ability to go fast on a bike, when in reality, if you’re probably better off having a healthier body composition and focusing on building raw watts.

That doesn’t mean you can’t lean up, just don’t over do it.

Edit to add: 5’10” 162lb isn’t really that thick


I played rugby from age 6 to 21 and got into endurance sports during uni. You will lose the mass over time, just do some light maintenance like pull ups and push ups (but keep doing the lower body strength work :wink: ).

Use your upper body strength to your advantage though man… you will be able to sustain good core/upper body stability during harder rides or towards the end of longer rides.

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Just to add to the chorus, a few kilos over the length most bike courses are at doesnt make much difference, if you play with the values at bestbikesplit its surprising how little dofference it can make.


I completely agree with @anthonylane. If you are not a pro why loose upper body mass?

Unless you like the T-Rex look? :crazy_face::crazy_face::clown_face::clown_face:

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162 isn’t that heavy. I wouldn’t worry.