SUF exercises to bulk up leg muscle


Can someone suggest me exercises in SUF to build my muscle legs. You know like those sprinter muscles leg (see pic).

I know I need to do more sprinting exercises. However, SUF plans only provide very short sprints ~5 secs, don’t know if that’s enough to bulk up the muscle. Please suggest.

Another question is to bulk up muscles like that better to bike sitting down or standing?

Thanks a bunch!


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In my opinion, the best way to bulk up is doing heavy weight training sessions, enough rest and being in a calorie surplus.


I agree with Pierre about adding weights. Start with something like 5x5 and add weight to the bar each week (i.e. basic beginner program), once you can no longer do that then it’s time to get fancy with heavier weights / fewer reps and lower weights / higher reps. Plus yeah definitely need a calorie surplus (physics!)

but i think i’d first ask, what are you trying to achieve here? Do you want to have a stronger sprint? And what kind of sprint we talking? standalone sprint, or sprint at the end of a race (i.e. after having already done 4K kilojoules of work)? Or are you trying to bulk up to get buff (which is fine btw), and performance is kind of an afterthought.

If you’re performance-focused, i’d suggest to train to improve the specific parameters you’re targeting, and let the chips fall where they may in terms of how bulky you get. You’ll notice if you look at cyclists and track sprinters that their bodies all look different, and it doesn’t necessarily impact or reflect on how fast they are. Like remember Robbie McEwan? Blistering fast sprint (former BMXer) but not particularly huge, at least nothing compared to Robert Forstemann (who i think is pictured).


As someone gifted/cursed with large quads and calves, my first question is why do you want to do this? To be a better climber? A better sprinter? To look a certain way? Bigger legs does not always result in being faster or stronger.

Like the others said - using heavy weights and doing different squat, deadlift, hip hinge variations will definitely increase your strength and help add mass (heavy + slow + low reps).

There are downsides to consider - as you build strength and mass - it adds fatigue. You’ll need more recovery. Finding pants that fit and are comfortable with large quads is not easy! (Levi’s athletic cut arc my go to)

If you choose to pursue this, it may be better to work with a strength coach who specializes in endurance athletes who understands the demands the type of cycling you do.


As has been mentioned above the main thing to consider are your overall aims.

If you want to look like a track sprinter like Chris Hoy or Robert fostermann you’ll need to change up your training massively.

These cyclists are essentially body builders that happen to be good cyclists. (Which came first is up for debate). In early season they will spend the majority of their time in the gym to build up strength. For instance Jason Kenny can squat 160kg + and leg press over 250kg.

They would only use apps such a SUF later on in the season with a high focus on leg speed. Whilst also maintaining heavy weight gym sessions.

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I am looking to have more strengths and muscles as simple as that. At this moment, I can’t go to gym to do weightlifting. Plus weightlifting is always bad for my knees. For upper body, I can do pull ups and push ups. But for lower body, I am thinking about using SUF to bulk up and add the strengths there.


Check out the big gear series of NoVids

@vaans The SUF strength modules and the yoga videos might help with knee pain - especially those that target working the connective tissue around the joint. It is best to get the joint warm before lifting if you have issues.

For building muscle take a look at the low cadence videos like GOAT and Power Station. Also you can add extra air squats, jump squats, lunges and perhaps try some thrusters as well. As you progress you can add/increase the weight using household items like water bottles or sand bags or bands if you don’t have weights.

@f2f @JSampson thanks for the recommendations. Downloaded to my SUF and will start with those tomorrow. Really appreciate the recommendations.

@JSampson question: so to bulk up leg muscles… climbing exercises (e.g. GOAT) are better than sprinting exercise (e.g. Omnium)?


@vaans Theoretically both low cadence work as well as neuromuscular work could increase muscle size but each is working a bit differently and targeting different muscle fibers. Further, we all have different builds so some of us will grow muscle size more than others depending on length of muscle, insertion point, fiber composition, etc. so there probably isn’t a one size fits all answer. Also consider that eating and recovery is also a big part of the equation. If you are not getting the right nutrition and allowing your body to adapt you can compromise your progress.