Strength Exercises for Cyclists, High Volume, Goal Setting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 345
We covered the science behind mixing strength training and endurance training in Episode 341, and now we’ll cover practical suggestions of how you can best fit them into your training schedule, which exercises are best, and get input from pro athletes on what they do. Join us for a discussion on this, high volume training, goal setting and much more in Episode 345 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!
More show notes and discussion in the TrainerRoad Forum.
Topics covered in this episode
Resources From Today’s Episode
Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
Successful Athletes Podcast
Science of Getting Faster Podcast
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[00:00:00] Jonathan Lee: Welcome to the podcast is dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. The ask a cycling coach podcast presented by trainer road and coach Jonathan Lee. And joining you from the home studio today. Instead of joining you from the train of road studios, we also have Chad, Tim or head coach had to remain joining us from his home studio.
So Chad are ready and we also have ice friction and specialized Alex wild. It’s up, Alex, everyone. Uh, it’s going to look a little weird today cause I don’t have my normal setups. I’m going to be like looking down at you guys and looking up at the camera. So if you’re joining us on YouTube, which you can it’s every Thursday at 8:00 AM Pacific, you can watch us as well.
Uh, so, um, I’m not sure you want to see our ugly mugs. Just the same. It’s just the three of us today, but Hey, uh, you’re welcome to join us there. Joining in, on the live chat and uh, we’re happy to have everybody joining us there on YouTube. If you’re listening to this now, one of the best ways you can do to best ways you can help this podcast is to share it with other people.
It makes other cyclists faster. Uh, it’ll make your friends faster. So maybe you want to be careful who you share it with. If you want to beat your friends, but Hey, just the same, uh, share it with them. Let them know we’re going to talk a lot about strength training today. We’re also going to talk about, uh, some high volume training from Alex’s experience and stuff he’s doing and kind of play back and forth on that.
And also some goal setting, but first we wanted to wish Ivy, well, she was supposed to be with us today, but she’s feeling under the weather. Uh, so she’s not with us. Um, before we start one quick suggestion or request, I guess I would say for anybody listening to this, if, uh, adaptive training has been hugely successful at helping athletes get faster, it’s awesome to see.
And if you’ve accomplished anything, whether that’s an improvement in fitness or whether it’s a race that you’ve done, or any other goal with the help of adaptive training, I’d love to have you reach out and let us know you can do so. Just go to train a road.com/podcast, the same spot where you submit your questions and let us know.
I would love to hear those stories and maybe we could share them on the successful athletes podcast.
The Host’s New Year’s Resolutions
Uh, with that said, let’s jump into, I guess, a discussion on new year’s resolutions. Why not? Uh, we typically did like a whole thing where we had a proper reckoning where we reviewed the previous years and went forward and I did not prepare that.
And that seemed to add a whole lot of stress to a lot of people. Nate, it seemed to, you know, Nate thrived on that, but it seemed to add a whole lot of stress. So instead we’re going to keep it more forward-looking right now. Uh, and we’ll all assume that we’re great at following up and measuring success, uh, cause those are keys.
Uh, but Chad, do you want to kick us off? Do you have any goals for the year, uh, for this year coming up in terms of
[00:02:40] Chad Timmerman: cycling or anything else? I actually don’t. I, I have zero goals and there’s a couple of reasons for that first, first off I’m gun shy because I don’t like being held accountable for things that we’re
[00:02:49] Jonathan Lee: in front of, in front of tens of tens and tens and tens of thousands of people.
Chad, you don’t like, no,
[00:02:54] Chad Timmerman: I mean that, that influences it, but not as much as being held accountable by Nate, he’s pretty cruel with his judgment. Um, and frankly I’m turning 50 in a couple of weeks here and I feel like kind of over this whole resolving to do things differently. I figured out what works for me and then we’re just going to stay the course.
[00:03:14] Jonathan Lee: I like it. How about you Alex? Um,
[00:03:18] Alex Wild: This may seem very Grinchy at me, but I I’ll go with that time as a human construct and new years isn’t necessarily a time to set goals. Okay. I kind of just set goals has as time goes on. So I’ve never really participated in new year’s resolution, so to speak. Um, I will say I very much enjoyed the increase in cyclists to weigh that on the roads over the last five days.
So for everybody who’s resolution was to ride more bikes hates
[00:03:48] Jonathan Lee: working. That’s cool. I have, I have three. So, uh, first it’s strength training last year, I was pretty good at hitting one to two strength sessions a week. This year, I want to hit three strength sessions a week. That doesn’t mean I’m going to get really swole.
I just noticed a really big improvement on the bike. I also noticed a big improvement in terms of just general life, uh, removing soreness and everything else that comes with it. I was also more flexible. I could do more things outside of just riding my bike. Um, When I did three strength sessions a week, versus when I did two or one, I felt better.
So a goal of mine is to hit three strength sessions every week, and it’s timely for today’s podcast. So that’s one, uh, that’s one thing that I can do as well. That’s different than me saying, like, I want to increase my bicep circumference to X or something like that, but we’ll do it right. That would be an unimpressive number anyway.
But instead it’s about what I can control sewing. You want to hit those three sessions. So that’s one thing the next
[00:04:47] Alex Wild: to measure the core to Swiss sleep, but it’s not bigger than this extra smalls
[00:04:53] Jonathan Lee: consumed. Yeah, exactly. Uh, next one is to, and this is gonna probably, I don’t know, probably not be a shock to podcast sisters, but to complete a triathlon this year, uh, is a goal of mine.
So, uh, this year, and this is going to be news to everybody listening on the podcast. Uh, it will, I think also be news maybe to you guys as well, but we have a little one coming, another addition to our family and Midsummer, uh, which is super exciting. So with that coming and having gone through that before, uh, just with one kid, I know that, you know, everything else goes out the window when you have a child and it’s super important to be able to prioritize your child, your child’s care and time with your child.
So as a result, what I’ve found is that over the years to move the PR needle, in other words, to like to reach unprecedented territory, I have to put in high volume training plans, then I have to add maybe out on some extra time. And that all that time on the bike pulls me away from family, because I can’t be like, Hey son, like let’s go out and do 10 by 10 today.
He’s not really, you know, my five-year-old is not going to be into that much less the baby, uh, or let’s go out and do a four-hour five-hour ride on the Saturday. And that, that time tends to take away from my family. So I know this sounds weird to a lot of people, cause they’re like, all right, so now you’ll do three sports, but with triathlon I can do less.
I can probably maintain a decent amount of bike fitness with a lot less volume. Uh, I can mix the running side with pushing a stroller with the kids, right. Or having Simon my, our five-year-old. He can ride his bike alongside me while I jog with the stroller with. For swimming. Uh, we have a pool in our neighborhood and I can go swim there and play around with the kids and just mix in because it’s not just swimming laps.
That helps me at this point. It’s just being more familiar and comfortable in the water. That also helps me at this point. So there’s a lot of things I can do to kind of mix those things and make it so that endurance sport doesn’t pull me away from my family, uh, at a time where it’s really critical. So, uh, I’m pivoting over to triathlon for the year X Tara would be my main focus.
Uh, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do a race just because of the schedule that X Tara has. I’m not going to travel for races this year. Um, after, uh, you know, once we get a few months in more into the pregnancy and I’m not going to travel any more so than I can be home. Uh, and the only one that’s close to us is not August like late August.
So that’ll be kind of a that’s once the baby will be here. So I’m not planning on doing that. I might just do a solo try. So I know the course that they use for extra like Tahoe really well. So I’m, I end up just doing that one. So. Maybe doing like a sprint or an Olympic or something else before then?
That’s a on-road I don’t know. But anyways, uh, if y’all want to give me try tips, I’m welcomed. Uh, I welcome all of them. So please head over, uh, follow me on Instagram. Be Jonathan underscore, uh, follow all of us on there and make fun of me for defecting, from cycling and going to triathlon. I will retain my socks.
Don’t worry, Chad. So, um, but that’s the other goal is to do a triathlon. And then the last goal that I have is to beat a PR on a local segment that we have called Geiger, not the work trainer rope workout, but it’s a climb. Uh, my fastest time of the climb is 34 minutes. Uh it’s like, uh, Hmm. I guess context on this climb.
I think Chad, isn’t it about six miles. Is that right? I think it’s six miles. It’s been a while for
[00:08:24] Chad Timmerman: you. Six, seven ish. Yeah, yeah,
[00:08:27] Jonathan Lee: yeah. Some are six to seven miles and it climbs, you know, about 2,500 feet somewhere. And it’s like a benchmark climb is who knows that this is actually true, Greg Lamond, I’m sure you’re listening so you can tell us, but, uh, he’s it, it said that like, it was his, uh, benchmark climb for the tour de France and everything else back in the day.
And if he could climb it and something like under 32 minutes or under 30 minutes, he was in with a shot sort of a thing. So my goal is to climb it in 32 minutes this year. So it’s going to involve me, uh, with the try stuff. I don’t know. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t know if it’s possible, but that’s a goal.
So those are my three, uh, for the bike. Um, yeah. And if anybody wants to share their goals or anything else that doesn’t ask about goal setting, but it’s now, but we’ve talked a bunch about that in the past. Uh, maybe we’ll talk about that in the upcoming episode with the Amber and Nate and everybody else where we talk a bit more about measuring their goals and how they go through with that.
Strength Training Deep Dive Part 2
But that’d be good. One tab, deep dive time. Let’s uh, oh, wait, one thing before we go any further too, I should mentioned, I just did a mini training camp for a week down with, uh, I went down to Tucson, Arizona to go, to, to get out of the cold and to get to the warm and everything. Rarely climbed above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
And it was just raining on us and blowing wind and cold and miserable. Uh, but it was a good training camp just trying to hold on to Keegan’s wheel for the whole week. Um, I just wanted to share some learnings. Uh, pros are, once again, I’ve said this many times they will eat you under the table. Uh, they eat more than you.
They are really good at keeping up on nutrition while they’re on the bike. This goes for Sophia and Keegan. Um, they’re also really good at the process that makes you faster. Their whole entire life is modeled around it. And they’re really good at that. So they simply don’t miss their stretching, uh, and mobility session in the evenings.
They simply just don’t miss the gym time and they get done with their rides. They clean their stuff up and they get it ready for the next day. It’s just, you know, it’s, it’s doing all the right things and it was just really inspiring and cool to see athletes so focused in their craft, uh, being able to accomplish all that.
And I did the Tucson shootout, the famous group ride that they had. It was a C it was Quinn Simmons, his younger brother, Colby Simmons, which everybody should absolutely watch out for. Um, he’s incredibly strong, uh, Who else? Um, Matthew, Matthew, , he’s an up and coming a road racer. That’s going to absolutely, uh, make, uh, put the U S in a great spot in the road scenes.
Jimmy, Rick, tell us kid. Yeah. Yep. Jimmy Rick tell his kid, uh, he might be one of the best climb time trialists that our country will ever have. Uh, who knows. We’ll see, that’s the, that’s the word on the streets? He’s, uh, incredibly small and still has a high power or high amount of power. And boy that kid can time trial.
So pretty exciting. Uh, Kyle Trudeau’s Sophia and like a handful of other people. And, uh, it turns out that Quinn Simmons and Colby Simmons are really fast and they hurt a lot and they dropped me like a bad habit. So, uh, but it was still fun, a good time riding with those, with that group, really fast athletes.
So, uh, okay. With all that said, let’s get into the deep dive chat. Uh, we talked a few episodes ago. I want to say that maybe it was 3 42 43 43. Thanks Jen. We talked all about strength training, uh, from the science and basically the mechanism level. We talked about that overlap that exists where people, the fear is that if you do strengthen.
Andy do aerobic conditioning at the same time. And Durance training that they overlap, the signals get crossed and you don’t get the desired adaptations. Other either we kind of debunked that we showed that while mechanistically, that may look like that’s the case in terms of performance, outcomes and studies, it hasn’t backed that up.
We haven’t been able to find that now, today, we want to take that and kind of make the rubber, meet the road a bit, if you will. So talk about how we apply all that knowledge and Alex, I know that you are a regular strength trainer. You share that on your Instagram. And you’ve talked about it here on the podcast before
[00:12:42] Alex Wild: photos of my gym three times a week, and then there’s where it would
[00:12:46] Jonathan Lee: work out.
So let’s talk, well, we’ll talk all about strength training, Chad, where do you want to kick it off? All three of us will be able to contribute here, but where do you want to start? Sure. So
[00:12:57] Chad Timmerman: first off it may be 3 42. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember the last time I was on here. It’s been a week or two weeks, but it’s 3 42 or 3 43.
Shouldn’t be too hard to track down, but it is a part, one of this two-parter and it dealt with the interference effect and I wanted to make this one a bit more practical. So, uh, do trust that all of this is science backed. I have done the reading quite literally over the last couple of decades, really, but super hard over the last month or so, just trying to refresh.
And discover what new learnings may have surfaced. And then of course I’m a huge proponent or very avid reader of the mass. Uh, what is it? Monthly applications in strength, sport from science and, uh, sorry, stronger by science. Those guys handle handle the strength side of things. I hope as well as we handle the endurance side of things, we’re probably a lot better considering they’re all legit researchers.
Uh, in any case, if you’re interested in this strength, science side of things, that is a fantastic resource. Okay. So first off I need to set the stage. What we’re going to do today is go through just a host of questions that we’ve gotten, that all relate to strength training. Um, these are questions that we’ve seen cropped up again and again and again and again, and now we’re finally gonna address them all in one fell swoop because each of them didn’t really merit a deep dive, but they definitely merited a thoughtful answer.
So going to going to do that before we get to the questions though, I just want to kind of set the stage with a, with a bit of a preamble, starting with the value of strength training for endurance athletes, not to get too scientific on it, but we’re, we’re chasing particular adaptations. Um, some of them are musculotendinous stiffness.
You know, we don’t want the, the work we’re putting into the pedals or into the road as a runner to be absorbed by our joints. So a certain level of stiffness is, is a sought after desired thing, muscle unit recruitment and synchronization. Basically, we want to get a lot of muscles and we want them to work effectively together, not against one another rate coding, which is basically the rate of which they feel.
Uh, intra and inter muscular coordination. So get rid of those two big words and just coordination, neural inhibition. We want muscles to shut off when we’re done with them. We don’t want antagonist muscles to resist them. And, and all of these things basically improve our neuromuscular communication. So the communication that takes place between our neural system, so our central nervous system and the muscles themselves, and the takeaway here is that all of this plays into something that’s very relatable to us.
Something we seek cycling economy. So we’re trying to improve our efficiency on top of that bigger muscles, bigger muscle fibers can do more work. And really the, the simple takeaway there is that when we increase our anaerobic power and then our anaerobic capacity, which is simply the buffering, so that we can draw that power out to longer, longer durations.
These are, these are things we’re looking for via strength training. These are things we can affect. The why of strength training for endurance athletes is that low force or really endurance contractions are pretty ineffective in this neuromuscular realm. They’re also pretty ineffective in promoting bone growth.
And this is especially true for roadies is less true for. Mountain bikers for a multi-sport athletes who do running for track sprinters or sprinters, because, you know, they’re, they’re doing harder contractions in, and it does extend a bit to interval work, but no topic for another time. So, but if you’re a roadie and you’re largely doing long days, you’re never exerting yourself in terms of, in terms of the force necessary to turn a Pell each time.
I mean, thousands and thousands and thousands of repetitions, but none of them are high force. So they don’t carry with them. The benefits that we’re seeking when we strength, train
[00:16:36] Jonathan Lee: one quick thing really quick on, on the high force part, because a lot of people would say that like, yeah, well, you know, I mix into sprint or I do like, you know, some sprints and that’s high force, but we’ve talked about that before.
That’s still very different than, than specific strength training efforts, right. It’s still not as hard as you think it would be in terms of what fits for structure still doesn’t get the job done like you, like you want,
[00:17:01] Chad Timmerman: yeah, it might be useful in some ways, and it might kind of lean towards some of these objectives or these physiological adaptations that we’re seeking, but it’s not going to carry the weight of it.
It’s just not enough, frankly. And really, I mean, even a sprint, if it’s carried out over anything more than like five or six seconds is starting to become increasingly a rope mic anyway. So, so just apples and oranges. Okay. So there are many goals of adding strength, training workouts to earn endurance training, but primarily we’re after one thing and that’s functional strength.
And I know that’s kind of a buzzy term, but we want functional strength that leads to improved endurance performance. We’re not concerned with greater force Cal capabilities when we lift heavy or by lifting heavy, we’re not increased with, or we’re not fascinated or see. Increased rate of force development.
We’re not trying to be able to bring more muscles onboard, more rapidly through plyometric and explosive activities. Those are things we can seek once the foundation is laid, but research supporting the claims of endurance performance improvement via these methods, heavy strength, training, explosive strength, strength training is not as unequivocal.
It’s still a bit ambiguous as we’re led to believe. Um, and for a number of reasons that in the studies are always small. Th they’ll take, you know, 15 subjects and split them into a, uh, a control side. So an endurance side, and then an endurance and strength side. And you’re left with seven athletes. And that’s not nothing they’re still useful findings, but it is a small data pool, um, various designs.
They’re just there they’re incomparable. So when you try to sum these up in a systematic review, pretty tough, uh, confounding factors, whether they’re controlled or uncontrolled make their way into it. Um, the rep ranges are well outside the heavy range. I mean, when we talk about heavy strength training, we’re talking about one to three reps, maybe three to five reps.
And a lot of these studies are talking about eight to 10 reps. It’s just not the same thing. So I just can’t place as much faith in those studies as I used to. Um, and, and that’s influenced by other findings as well. So in my humble opinion, I do believe that a lot of these studies miss the mark by misattributing their performance increases to the wrong factors.
And that’s, that’s a topic for a whole other time. In fact, that’d be a great science of getting faster topic. In addition to that strength training benefits are far wider ranging than the literature would have us belief. They try to pin it down to things that are just too specific. And I believe that benefits are just wider period.
So it’s my contention that the forms of strength training that lay the stage for this heavier, this explosive lifting are the true benefactors to endurance performance. And whether you agree with me or disagree with me, these are the forms of strength training that have to be done anyway, because if you’re going to work up to those other forms of lifting, you have to lay the foundation.
So do them worry about going heavy if when you get to the place where you can lift heavy without a high risk of injury. So I know
[00:19:58] Jonathan Lee: this is like a Alex, were you tempted when you first started strength training to cause so typically it’s like, all right, get your one rep max. And from your one rep max, you scale everything out.
And then from the strength training side, not the cyclist side, the strength training side, there’s like this temptation to, to dwell closer to your one rep max. And to look at those days where, you know, from the uneducated strength training side, I should say from the newbie side to it, it’s like, yeah, well, you know, if you’re doing eight to 12 reps or something like that, then that’s not even really, that’s not even making you a really strong or that’s not accomplishing the objectives.
That’s kind of the newbie perspective. Did you face that temptation Alex, when you started strength training as an endurance athlete, Uh,
[00:20:41] Alex Wild: yeah, I mean, I just load all the plates on, take the photo and then afterwards, but, um, yeah, I think, I think everybody falls into that trap and with most things being honest with yourselves is super useful and it’s not obviously necessarily for Instagram, but it’s like, you want to be able to lift more, you know, we’re so used to watch more Watts is, is better.
So more weight must be better as well, but really understanding that doing the motion incorrectly with more weight is worse than not achieving what you’re looking for. Then less weight doing the motion correctly. So it’s like if you’re, you know, jerky through the motion or, you know, not getting the full range of motion on the workout or, you know, and it exacerbates anything.
Like what if your right knee is kicking out just a little bit. It’s like, if you’re doing that with a ton of weight, you’re going to feel it. But if you really go, like when I first hopped in the gym, after my two weeks off, I’m doing just the bar on most things, and that’s just watching form, like I have the mirror in front of my squat rack, making sure knees are tracking well, making sure like just the, like the mental cues are there.
Like I’m driving through my heels that like I’m stacked at the top when we’re, when it’s coming to deadlifts or squats that, you know, for dead lifts, like I’m scraping the bar against my shins. Like just those cues each time I’ll do probably a couple of weeks of, of just body weight focused exercises. So that it’s, it’s mental, like fits just memory after that.
And then I’ll slowly stack on weight. Um, I think it’s a good opportunity too, because as you first get in the gym, that bar can still feel heavy. And then as Chad’s talked about in the past, you get that, um, is that neuromuscular connection. When, when you get the big jump in, in weight, even though you haven’t gotten any stronger as your body kind of re gets into the gym.
And so it’s a good opportunity during that time where you can’t lift as much to use it to, to really focus on form so that when you do start stacking on weight, the form’s already there.
[00:22:42] Chad Timmerman: Yeah. That’s he teed me up perfectly because that’s those neural neural reinforcement that you received by starting light and just drilling the movements is one of the key ways in, in basically focused on what I want most athletes to take away from this talk is that one of our two objectives, and I’m getting a little ahead of myself as a minimizing injury.
This should be at the forefront of all our all athletes minds. It doesn’t matter if you’re strength, training, endurance training in current training that applies to all. So in line with that, to what I believe to be the two most overlooked objectives, when it comes to strength, training should be injury, avoidance and fatigue management.
And the fatigue management is bit more geared toward endurance athletes. So when it comes to injury, that can derail everything. I mean, even the smallest injuries can be just a tremendous setback when it comes to fatigue. If you mismanage your fatigue, that can compromise the quality of all your workouts.
So you’re doing the work, but you’re just not gaining as much of the benefit from it. As you could be. If you manage your fatigue better, both of these require patients, big word or a big important word there, this is a process and it’s a gradual one. And we as endurance athletes can come into strength, training and other things that are forms of endurance training and be misled because we’ve got big engines, we’ve got big fitness, and we’ve talked many times about how the cycling and running interaction are a perfect example of this.
You got a big engine, you can do a lot of work, but this results in connective tissue damage or injury, and often enough long recovery trajectories, because first off that tissue takes a long time to heal. Secondly, most of us don’t want to wait for it to heal completely. So as soon as we’re feeling reasonably good, again, we’re going to start to pile load on.
And if we’re getting through that, even if it takes five minutes to get through that first rough patch, we’re back on track. Everything’s good. I’m healed. So I’m really going to go for it today. And we just prolong that recovery process. And the reason for this, this injury is that muscle tissue responds relatively quickly to strength training, but connective tissue does not.
And because of this, it’s the, it’s the first of many reasons that I favor kind of what Alex just described, lighter load, higher rep schemes. And he described it for a brief period. I’m going to take it even further and we’ll get to that. But these are connected. Tissue responds best to frequent loading.
And really, I believe it comes down to increased doses of blood and there for nutrients. And while we’re on this topic, I do suggest that for the readers out there, a book by Matt Paramin titled squat every day is Jonathan alluded to this. The more frequently he lifts the better he feels, the better he moves.
And there are reasons behind that. And there are a lot of interesting insights in this book. Honestly, it sounds so flattering, but this is the book I would have written because I’m so aligned with the way this guy thinks it’s, it’s fascinating, really good rate. Okay. So, so that’s running, but it’s also easy to overdo strength training, uh, in particular, it’s too much volume.
In addition to the volume of endurance training we’re already doing, and a couple of things are gonna happen. A lot of things are gonna happen, but a couple of them are that central fatigue and SUSE, and that means everything suffers. If your brain doesn’t have both hands on the wheel, everything’s going to suffer to some extent, peripheral fatigue in suits when the muscles.
And that means what I just talked about is that your quality suffers and on top of that, the likelihood of injury is going to escalate. So. Because of these two things and a number of others, a real focus on fatigue management is absolutely necessary. And it’s for this reason. And I’m getting a little ahead of myself again, that I kept strength training workouts at 30 minutes, I even tried to keep them closer to 20 minutes in the beginning.
It doesn’t mean you can’t grow and pass that, but starting any more than that is a recipe for burnout, potential injury, discouragement, all of
[00:26:25] Jonathan Lee: that. That’s like a huge trigger point for cyclist too, because it’s like, well, I’m used to doing something for two hours. Totally. And especially if you go to a gym and there’s so many things you can do at that gym, right?
Like so many different pieces of equipment that you could use and you could spend the whole game, spend the whole day there. So it’s really easy if we see this with running to when cyclists get out there and they’re like, I only ran for 15 minutes. Like, no, I run, you know, I ride my bike for two hours and that’s a normal workout.
So I’m going to keep going. And then you end up destroying your legs completely. You have to start out small. And even then like with strength training, they’re really for the intents and purposes of a cyclist that is using strength training. There’s no benefit to you putting in a long, big, gigantic set in there, like, you know, a circuit, anything else that you’re doing there at the gym, it’s just about being strategic about it.
You know, it’s a totally different
[00:27:20] Chad Timmerman: approach. When I was going through the document, I did come across one question that we didn’t include in the 14 that are coming up by the way.
It said something about my next string training session, blah, blah, blah, 60 to 90 minutes. And as soon as I saw that, but the, are you a strength athlete? Because if you’re an endurance athlete, you are getting it wrong. That is too much time to spend in the gym because unless you’re doing it once a week and then what’s the point of it anyway, but yet 20 to 30 minutes, I mean, it start there.
You can always grow it later. Same goes with running as Jonathan just mentioned. I mean, I, when I started training for triathlon, they were 15 minute runs and I was pretty stack a few of those in a week and I had sore knees or hips. I mean, things were not ready for that type of abuse. I had never exposed my body to it, even though I was very fit as a cyclist, my joints were not prepared, but I did it slowly.
Then I paid attention to the people who had a lot of experience than it did pay
[00:28:16] Jonathan Lee: off. Yeah. It’s a, yeah. Fantastic points to make Chad, I’m going to read verse the first question. Everybody ready. Here we go. When should I schedule my strength training in relation to my trainer road, endurance training days?
So this is probably the most common question we get with strength training and I’m going to start to close my blinds cause I’m looking washed out here. I apologize everybody on YouTube. I mean, it’s honest, but
[00:28:43] Chad Timmerman: okay. So, um, in the context of trainer road, training plans, low mid high volume, uh, w with low volume, it’s really pretty straightforward because you’re on for three days and you’re off for four days.
So as long as you separate your strength training by 48 hours, which the literature does say. All point to that’s an optimal range for muscle recovery and not too long before we start to D train, uh, that, that would mean something like a Monday, Wednesday, since you’re riding the bike Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, or a Wednesday, Sunday, obviously, if you’re not endurance training on those days, move things around, but do try to give yourself a couple of days between strength training sessions gets a little trickier.
When you move into mid volume and high volume, you’re faced with basically two options. You either have to double up cause we’re we’re shooting for, and we’ll get to this, but a couple of days a week, maybe three, but let’s just focus on two for now. You’re either going to have to double up or you’re going to have to use your recovery days.
Now, recovery day, strength training is always an option, but you have to be mindful because even a low quality kind of fatigue, strength training session can interrupt your endurance training recovery. It can also place a bit of stress on your whole nutrition recovery, really, if you’re trying to reload stores, but you’re doing more work on top of it.
Well, you better be eating more to get on top of it. And also hoping that you’re assimilating that knowledge, that nutrition, and it’s the right kind. And it gets a little tricky. So do do, do recognize that there are nutritional challenges on top of the recovery ones to really do go hand in hand.
Additionally, a single workout can actually impact many that follow and this ties to the same things, fatigue and energy stores. So once you’re behind it, it’s really hard to get back in front of it unless you’re cognizant of it.
[00:30:20] Jonathan Lee: So, Alex, how do you stack your, uh, strength training workouts in relation to the endurance training work?
[00:30:27] Alex Wild: Um, I normally do strength training. So my cycling week is Tuesday through Sunday with Monday, always off. Um, and then I do my strength training Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Um, and that tends to normally fall that Tuesday and Saturday are more structured, bigger days. And Thursday is normally like, uh, some, some sort of zone to workout
[00:30:52] Jonathan Lee: and so structured bigger days.
Are you talking higher intensity interval
[00:30:56] Alex Wild: work? Yeah. More, more like threshold or sweet-spot stuff. Um, everything’s structured obviously, but more like going above zone to on those days. And then Thursday tends to be more of a zone two in Durham’s red. So what I’ll do is I’ll do gym first thing in the morning.
And then try to get three hours between gym and riding and ride in the afternoon.
[00:31:20] Jonathan Lee: One thing that we’ve mentioned is that if you’re new to strength training, you don’t want to go into lifting that bar and doing these movements if you’re fatigued. Right? So, uh, Alex has time doing strength training. So he understands the proper technique.
If you do a work, uh, workout on your bike and you’re just completely thrashed, and then you go and you try to have coordination and be able to lift properly with good technique, that can be tricky. You’ll, you’ll get used to it over time and you’ll be able to do it afterward. If you need to, it’ll be no issue.
You’ll be able to do it beforehand. Vice-versa and it really will come down to preference of what you want to do for me. I like putting my bike work first when possible. Like if I, if my schedule allows it, I prefer to put my bike work first and then strength training second. Cause I’m not pushing my one rep max and not doing anything where I’m like, oh, this is really like a, you know, I’m compromising my ability to complete my strength, workout with my bike work.
That’s never the case. Uh, I just like, I just like to usually get the bike stuff done better. That said my routine and my schedule usually favors doing strength training earlier in the morning versus riding the bike and doing a longer workout earlier than the morning. So you have to experiment and see what works best.
And along the lines of experimentation, you also have to find out what works best for you in terms of pairing it with intense days or pairing it with less intense days. And for me, if I’m doing a higher volume plan, I am not going to stack the strength training on easy days. I’m going to stack it on the harder days, and that may seem counterintuitive.
But what I’m going for there is that I want those easier days to be more easy. I don’t want to make an easy day harder than it should because I need that midweek replenishment, right? I need to be able to carry a little less fatigue into the subsequent workouts. So in that case, I’ll do it on the harder days.
Um, I’ll do it afterward in that case too. If the bike work has really strenuous yet, like you never want to let strength training compromise your bike training. If bike training is your main goal, that’s just the number one rule to keep in mind. So however you need to structure it. It all depends on that, right?
[00:33:35] Chad Timmerman: Born to recognize that there’s, there’s a neural component with everything we do in terms of physical stress, but there’s a far greater neuro component, typically on the strength training side of things so that neuro fatigue can have to have to li impact everything you’re trying to do, which may not be a big deal if you’re neurally fatigued and you’re just going to go out and ride for an hour and a half, that’s 60% of your FTP.
But if you have to muster a lot of focus, a lot of, uh, Mental resources. That’s going to be a tougher thing to do if you really just spent yourself in the gym.
[00:34:07] Jonathan Lee: If I add some
[00:34:09] Chad Timmerman: athletes, some athletes can do it. So, and this does speak to the subjectivity. We’re going to talk quite a bit about in the, in the subsequent questions.
[00:34:18] Alex Wild: Yeah. I agree with what Alex, go ahead. But Jonathan is say, um, so Friday tends to be like, if I have a midweek spin, like if we’re not doing like six weeks straight Friday tends to be that easy day. Very rarely is Thursday that easy day. So I try not to stack those as well, but if that does happen, the nice thing is normally the way those three strength training sessions go is Tuesday is more of what you’d consider, I guess, a leg day.
And then Thursday is more of an arm day and then Saturday is more of a mix. So if that Thursday does fall on the recovery spin day, then at least it’s arms. And so the like still have time to, to recover there. And then the reason I chose morning is I’m not really a morning person. So getting up and riding at sunrise doesn’t really suit my brain.
I’m much rather chase the sunset. And then also back to Jonathan’s point, our thought was just, if I come back from, if we’re stacking them on interval days and I come back and the form’s not there, cause I’m I’m cracked from the ride, then that could cause more damage than being fatigued on an interval.
[00:35:26] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, great points. So I’m going to recap it for people. If I’m on a low volume plan, I’m going to fit it into strength training on the days that I’m not training on the bike. That’s what Chad’s recommendation was. Right. If I’m on a mid volume plan, I’ll still see if it’s possible for me to do the strength training on the days that I’m not on the bike.
However, if I feel like I need that recuperative element of a day off, then I won’t do that instead. I’ll be likely to stack it onto a day where I’m doing something that’s going to be like, sub-threshold, uh, if I’m doing a high volume plan and I feel like I’m bumping up against the stops, I’m going to try to keep the days that are sub thresholds, keep them as they are to allow my body to recuperate a bit more.
And instead I’ll be tacking it on to a day when I’m doing a bit more work. Regardless if you have like one recovery day a week, I don’t think it’s a good day to do gym work. Uh, if you’re doing six days of training and then going into that, it might work for you and you can try it for sure. But if you’re training six days a week, then you probably want to give yourself one day fully off.
Um, that’s just, it would be tough to go seven. You know, I’d be very careful about
[00:36:31] Alex Wild: compromising that one day off. You might be able to do it two, three, maybe four weeks, and then three months down the road. You’re like, why am I so
[00:36:39] Jonathan Lee: tired? So that’s the hardest part about all of this is that when you make these changes, you can’t judge it based on how you feel.
One week, you have to look at how you feel four weeks later after doing it with consistency. Cause that’s going to start to see the compounding of. Yeah,
[00:36:54] Alex Wild: my brother does the first example, which seems to work for him is he’s on more of a low volume and he’ll do either a ride or a Lyft. And I think he does two lifting days a week, and then he still does Monday completely off.
So he’s able to get those rides in and then do gym days on the days. He’s not riding, which for somebody with his goals is actually great for winter as well. Cause what he’ll do is he can move those sessions around and like, oh, it’s raining on Thursday. I’ll do my gym on Thursday and I’ll ride on Friday or whatever.
So having that flexibility is also helpful and I’m sure a T can, can do those calculations for you if you move stuff around.
[00:37:30] Jonathan Lee: Yes, sir. Second there. Thanks Alex. Adapt the training train road.com. Uh, Chad, I’m going to read the next one are the rules for separating strength training from endurance training, different when you’re lifting heavy versus higher endurance reps versus core strength and activation exercises.
[00:37:49] Chad Timmerman: Okay. So brief point first off let’s let’s move away from the use of endurance reps. Uh, you have strength training, you have endurance training, never the Twain shall meet. Okay. So it sounds like semantics, but it’s not because they are different things and we’re chasing different effects. Excuse me. So if you’re, if you’re going into the gym and you’re doing things like wall balls and burpees and body, weight, squats, jumping rope, all that I, that actually does qualify as endurance work because of its nature.
And that is what it is, but that’s, that’s not strength training. So you may be in a gym, but that’s not strictly. Uh, weightlifting, anytime you’re moving a load, other than your, your legs against the pedals or your feet against the ground strength training, doesn’t typically happen at 50 to 60 repetitions per minute.
We’re never moving weight that rapidly. And that’s, that’s a super low turnover on the run cadence on the bike. So it’s not even really practical, but that does still qualify for sure as endurance work. That’s not something that translates to the gym. So really, if you’re, if you’re asking for rules, there’s really just one rule that I’ve already mentioned.
It’s fatigue management. So fatigue compounds, if you don’t get on top of it. And while nutrition can be a really big component of managing your fatigue, I hardly believe that you can’t eat your way out of too much training stress. And I know Nate would probably like to argue otherwise Keegan and Sophia they’re really good at nourishing.
So it may give you the impression that you can, but no, their bodies have adapted to that stress and they nourish it very well. Okay. So you have to ask yourself what sort of combined training load will I face or really a better question might be how fatigued will this particular combination leave me.
And yes, that doesn’t mean there’s going to be a bit of trial and error, but that’s because there’s no one right way there just isn’t. You have to personalize these combinations based on personal training responses. And in this case training notes or really good memory is vital. When you’re beginning this, this merge between strength, training and endurance training, or more simply concurrent.
[00:39:49] Alex Wild: I’ve gotten a lot of questions on Instagram when I post screenshots, because I started using it recently. But train heroic is actually a really good app for tracking this stuff. Cause it’ll tell you what you did. Like the last time you did this exercise at the top, it’ll tell you like you did five reps at eight and you did this weight and it’ll tell you exactly what you did like at the top.
So I used to try to track it in notes, but it was like, wait, when’s the last time I did Bulgarian split squats, you know? So it’s like, it, it recognizes the exercise you’re doing and tells you what you were, you were doing last time. You did it. So it’s a good benchmark of, okay, where should I start? So that’s been super helpful.
And honestly, every time I post a screenshot, I get like 10 messages. What app is that stuff
[00:40:34] Jonathan Lee: that I would share it here. Trainer road athlete and strength trainer, Derek teal. He has a strength training company focused on psychos called dialed health. His service does that too. Now, Alex, it’s pretty sweet.
So then that allows you to keep track of that and to be able to see when you did things at different times and how much it was, you know, um, one thing that I’m looking at with this is the discussion of core strength versus activation versus higher endurance versus lifting heavy. It’s kind of like segmenting all of the strength training stuff in there.
And if you like lifting just to lift, then you’re probably going to want to segment your strength, training a bit more, right. In the sense that. If you have days, like I’m thinking of Roman, he’s an, uh, another trainer road user extremely fit cyclist from New York and also a really, really strong strength athlete.
Like he can lift some serious stuff and he loves that. He loves having days where he goes and lifts heavy. So I know that there are a lot of you listening to this that like to lift heavy and also like to be fast on the bike. Uh, that combination I absolutely exists. And in that case, yeah, you’re going to have to separate those, your strength training a bit more in my personal experience, I’m not going for one rep.
Max is or anything like that. And my personal experience, what I’ve found is that I don’t get a whole lot of benefit from being too selective on separating my strength training, like being like today’s a core exercise so I can overlap it with anything. But since tomorrow’s a leg exercise, I can’t overlap it with anything.
And I have not found that to be the case because I don’t think I’m pushing it too hard on the strength side. Um, if you’re doing body weight, work, that sort of thing, you probably don’t have to worry a whole lot. The beginning you’ll be super sore if you haven’t started doing it because it will be a change in stimulus and something your body’s not used to, if you’re doing body weight, work and stuff, that’s relatively light.
I haven’t noticed any sort of like benefit and being like, Nope, only legs today or only, you know, anything but legs today. So it’s, that’s just a, I guess, a personal anecdote ongoing with that. They’re my three strengths to the whole ride. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. At first. Right. And then they’ll get used to it.
Um, for my three strength sessions a week, uh, one of those is just a day dedicated to core work, but I’ll say trunk work. Cause I know Chad likes that we’re better than core. Um, so that’s involving everything basically from here and it’s involving it down to my, below my butt basically. Um, and that’s, so it’s a lot of work there and then the other days will be stuff that works everything across my whole body.
So it’ll be a mix of upper body and lower body, mostly functional movements, which we’ll cover in a bit here after these questions. So, um, you don’t have to be too strict about like, uh, if you’re a cyclist and you’re not trying to move the needle too much, you don’t have to be too strict about separating everything with your strength work, just an anecdote.
Okay. Third one, is there a combination of specific type of interval training and a specific type of strength training that should be avoided or perhaps another that pairs particularly well?
[00:43:38] Chad Timmerman: Okay. So from the first part of this two part, the strength training, deep dive and 33 42 or 3 43, we discussed the interference effect and there’s some, it addresses this question in great depth, but to sum it up or sum up some of the findings when it comes to same-day training, sweet spot work prior to core training, it seems to work quite well.
VO two max training, following heavy strength. Apparently pairs pretty nicely, at least in the research doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, but it does mean it worked significantly well for
[00:44:10] Alex Wild: to get results. People not nicely as if it’s going to be any fun, just very, very improbable. I can speak from experience.
[00:44:18] Chad Timmerman: And on that note, same day, heavy strength training followed immediately by high intensity interval training. There was a study of the back that up a Wells as well. So again, works for some doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Maybe other won’t
[00:44:30] Alex Wild: try that one
[00:44:32] Jonathan Lee: and one, and one of the things that you talked about Chad is like, I think was it a three or four hour window was like getting to that kind of like the preferred spacing, if you can.
[00:44:42] Chad Timmerman: Yep. Yep. Yeah. So strength training followed immediately by endurance riding didn’t didn’t exhibit any of the endurance effects. And I think that was across athletes, not even high-level from, from beginner, strength training, immediately following endurance training or endurance riding exhibit exerted, or exhibited a positive endurance training effect.
Oddly enough. So I think these four examples. I don’t want people to sweat the combination nourish appropriately separate by, and this is literature based three to six hours seems to be a necessary window. 24 hours is optimal, but you can make really short spans of time between your endurance training and your strength training still work really well, but benefits on both sides of it.
[00:45:26] Alex Wild: I want to stress this point. As we deep dive into strength training, it’s going to make you try to achieve perfection, but if you are not strength training, just strength train first, like just get it in your schedule where you can, and it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be better than
[00:45:39] Chad Timmerman: not.
We’re going to talk about that for sure. So, so again, this is, this goes back to probably taking notes, but you have to pay attention to your strength training and your endurance training, workout pairings. And for example, my best strength training workout seemed to come about 12 hours after I’ve done.
work specifically on ops for whatever reason. If I do those in the afternoon, the next day, I consistently have really good days and. So, so this is something that has worked for me. So also note though that the tolerable volume, so combining these two things together is super subjective and it depends on so many things.
And we’ve already touched on a lot of it. One is training history, because if you’re not an experienced lifter, you’re new to lifting. You need to baby step into this. Don’t be bold. Be, be err, on the side of, uh, err on the conservative side, what’s your Alyse static load. You know, what, what sort of stressors are you facing in the moment in the day and the weak muscle fiber composition, something you probably won’t know, but athletes who are predominantly fast Twitch typically take longer to bounce back from strength, training sessions.
Gender has shown to have an influence though, a subtle one, still one. And it could tie back to that muscle fiber composition issue age. No one needs to be told that age will influence their recovery trajectory. This is real, especially when you add strength training on top of endurance training.
[00:46:56] Jonathan Lee: Uh, next question.
Should I feel my strength training work like I do my endurance training work.
[00:47:02] Chad Timmerman: Okay. So this will come down to really two things, right? Protein and carbohydrate. So protein, the typical recommendation, CSM, whatever acronym is is behind it is 0.8 grams per kilogram, all the way up to about 1.2 grams per kilogram.
Um, with the addition of endurance training, strength training that can rise as high as two grams per kilogram. All I’m trying to point out here is that it’s a big topic. And because of that, we’re going to do, I’m going to do a protein deep dive, uh, the next podcast that I’m on thing a couple of weeks down the road.
So this is a bigger topic than we can sum up, but those are the general recommendations when it comes to training more metabolically and Alex talked about, we had a talk before the podcast started, he’s done, he’s doing some very metabolic conditioning and that’s all good and fine. If you’re low, uh, piling it on top of what you’re already doing.
I hope, you know, it works or you’re substituting of the two max work workout in the gym for VO two max workout that was to take place on the bike. Um, in, in this case, you feel like your endurance training just recognize the short duration. I mean, if you’re going to be in the gym, God forbid for two hours, you’re probably going to need some nourishment during that two hours, but really come into it.
Preloaded. If you’re straight out of bed, it’s the banana or the gel 10 minutes before getting on the bike during it’s gonna depend on the duration of the workout. But if you’re doing 20 to 30 minutes, it’s not going to be an issue at all. And then post. It’s obviously a big concern and post brings us to the next question, which I’ll go ahead and read it as an endurance athlete.
I’m worried about bulking up and messing up my Watts per kg. Should I be worried about this? So this, this has to do with protein intake, right? Nourishment in general protein specifically, my words of advice are don’t fear, hypertrophy, bigger muscles are not a bad thing. Um, and getting bigger muscles are way harder than you think they are.
Especially as an endurance athlete. First off more muscle mass needs to be nourished. So if you’re already probably not feeding yourself well enough, don’t expect a bunch of muscle to just suddenly appear on your frame. Secondly, uh, hypertrophy greater, you know, bigger muscles needs, high strength training loads.
So if you’re not really focused on strength training, you’re probably not going to bulk up. It’s so unlikely. Thirdly, uh, hypertrophy needs sufficient recovery, and let’s be honest us as endurance athletes. We kind of suck at this we’re we’re go, go, go type a, gotta do this workout on this day at this time.
And I got to follow it up with this one. And now we’re trying to mesh this with strength training, which means there’s going to be less recovery and more work. Chances are you’re probably going to sadly under the. And then finally, if you can swing it, if you can actually add a little mass to your body, most of us can benefit from the addition of a little lean mass.
I can’t think of any athlete that I interact with or see that couldn’t deal with another kilogram of lean mass distributed all across the body. I mean, that’s 2.2 pounds of muscle that drives versus flab that rides. I mean, why wouldn’t you want that it’s worthwhile.
[00:50:09] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, honestly, it’s when you talk about, uh, Chad going back to the neuromuscular coordination that a cyclist needs to be able to, whether it’s, uh, effectively produce power in a TT position or sprint or do so on a climb or do so for long periods of time, more muscle within reason, you don’t want to be, you know, some big muscle bound, ninja turtle, but more muscle helps in that regard.
And especially what strength training does above all. Is, it allows different muscles to work in different ways that ends up making them more capable. So you talked about that point where you have muscles that kind of like work against each other. And as a result, you’re unable to produce as much power as much speed on the bike as you’d like to.
And I know that seems really silly, but that is really common. And that’s what you feel that lack of efficiency after you take time off or after you’ve been training without strength training or doing anything else, just other than riding your bike for a long time, that happens. Like we build up those bad habits when our quad is trying to extend or trying to contract, and then we have our hamstrings and everything else also at the same time pulling kind of in the opposite direction, rather than working together, it happens like this is not uncommon.
And when you strength train, it allows you to build this levels of coordination that you just simply can’t when you, all you do is pedal the bike. It’s super. Yeah, super important stuff. You’ll feel the difference. Everything just works better. Um, okay. So next question. Uh, as an endurance athlete, how much of the following strength, strength training, should I be doing legs core and upper body?
Because there’s an, a pop, there’s a popular opinion on this chat that like, all you need to do is core work as a cyclist. And that’s it. I mean, there was a whole book about that, really? So, uh, yeah. Yeah.
[00:51:53] Chad Timmerman: There’s a lot of books about it and there’s man, there’s just so many different directions to go. So I try to remind people, I think over the course of my training career, when I actually worked directly with people, I trained four or five times as many endurance athletes on the strength side of thing.
As I did train their endurance and of things, they had that down or couldn’t afford both sides of it, whatever I trained a lot of people in the gym and nine out of 10 of them were endurance athletes. What I try to remind them on a consistent basis is that we are endurance athletes. We’re not strength, athletes.
Complexity has no place here. Split routines, push, pull routine, undulating, periodization, all these things that you can do with your strength training. That’s all good and fine from the strength side of things. If you’re a strength athlete, trying to be the best strength athlete you can be. But for us super simple, when it comes to the movements, press pull hinge, squat, more details on that, we’ll follow, but it is that simple.
We seek modest improvements in our strength capabilities. We’re not looking for maximum. So keep it simple total body every time, any more than that. And you’re committing yourself to more time in the gym and less time on the bike. So that’s your dilemma to weigh based on your current and indeed in your long-term goals.
This, this may work for you. This may be what you’re after, but you know, ask yourself, what am I first in endurance athlete? Because if that’s the case too much time in the gym is productive. And of course there are special cases and they know they know who they are. I mean, track sprinters. They’re not going to apologize for bulking up for spending inordinate amounts of time in the gym.
It’s a necessary trait for them. They have to, they have to have those big muscles, but for most of us, in my opinion, I see it as compound movements done with moderate loads and high repetitions. And I’m talking somewhere in the 15 to 20 repetition range, no problem, no reason to not push even further than that into the 20 to 30 range.
I know it sounds ridiculously high and now we’re thinking, oh my God, these are endurance reps. Again, they’re not what we’re after here is perhaps you’ve heard the term greasing the groove. You know, we’re trying to bed in proper mechanics and that happens with repetition and it’s easier to achieve when you’re not moving big loads, loads, big enough to make your muscles burn, to make you really want to be done with that set of exercises to make you fear.
The next one that all happens with those reps. You just, just do more times with a little less weight, but again, injury avoidance. And we address this with these lighter loads, these better movement patterns being reinforced and fatigue. Leaving reps in repetition marketing to get to that shortly, or the objectives, the move us toward this functional strength goal.
[00:54:31] Jonathan Lee: Uh, well said, Chad, the seventh question, sweet spot sessions in addition to weights completely frightened me, but I really want to weight train this time of year and this time of year being hinted that as the post race season. So, uh, this is a common, I guess, a request for
[00:54:48] Chad Timmerman: it is in what what’s the temptation here, but to apply your big engine, I mean, you’re really good at doing more metabolic workouts.
I mean, most of us not great at strength training, but we’re super good at banging out the repetitions. So we lean toward circuit style training, right. And there’s not a problem with that depending on what you’re after, but if you’re doing a whole bunch of extra sizes and moving from one to the next to the next, with little recovery, you’re kind of turning this into a VO two max last metabolic workout, and that’s all good and fine.
But again, what are your goals? Um, compound movements like man makers or Turkish get-ups or those Renegade pushups or thrusters, uh, explosive movements like wall balls, jump rope, whether it’s the double unders or singles box jumps, depth, jumps, burpees, all of these things have their place, but, and they check a lot of boxes, but, but they have to be ways that you have to be training movements and not muscles.
So, um, kind of lost the plot there, but what I’m trying to get, get back to is that. It’s an easy temptation to fall into the rut of, I do hard metabolic work on the bike and I’m good at it. So I’m going to do hard metabolic work in the gym because it just feels right to me, but it takes a, it takes a big toll.
So, um, and this is a side point and I’m not sure how I got here from where we are right now, but strength training is a year round commitment, or really don’t bother. Um, but, but, but don’t worry because maintenance training, which we’re going to get to also requires very little, sorry, I went a little off, off track on that one.
[00:56:22] Jonathan Lee: No worries. I think Alex, you’ve noticed this, you mentioned this in the beginning, right? About sweet spot sessions or like, you know, those sort of like harder sessions and addition to training can hurt. Did you find an adaptation period where you got to the point where like, okay, my body’s used to this level of compounding stress from these two different things.
[00:56:40] Alex Wild: Um, do you use to mentally? I guess, yeah. I feel like the, the goals in the gym are right now in the off season are pretty big. And we were, you were talking earlier about, I’m not a strength athlete or my cycling athlete. And with this section in cycling being, I guess, relatively aerobic in the grand scheme of things, higher volume.
Zone two, as well as some sweet spot and threshold, we have the capacity and room to push it in the gym. I think as soon as I get used to anything, that’s the day that the workout changes the next week and I no longer used to it. So
[00:57:19] Chad Timmerman: for sure, and I don’t want to pretend that there isn’t benefit from, from training this way, but piling really metabolic conditioning on top of sweet spot work, both of which are really take a heavy, heavy toll on energy stores.
I mean, again, you can say on your nutrition to an extent, but again, you can’t eat your way out of too much stress
[00:57:38] Alex Wild: for sure. Maybe the misconception is that the entire workout has to be one or the other. Like we may have one metabolic circuit within a workout, but the workout started with Romanian deadlifts and we’ll get into split squats and workouts like that.
And then it finishes off with a circuit. So it’s like you said, we’re trying to get after a little bit of everything, but also with my goals being oriented towards the lifetime grand Prix and longer stuff, we’ve identified a gap being my fat you desire visitation. And that I was a very glycolytic athlete coming out of XTO racing.
So this combined with some facet rides like no breakfast, not even for the first hour and then going into feeling regularly and stuff like that, we’re looking for a metabolic shift to push up the wattage. I can push while burning primarily fat. So again, keep in mind the goals you have and make sure that those are aligned.
[00:58:34] Jonathan Lee: So you just, it caused a landslide of things to come in for people that are not even remotely close to your level. Alex saying, I need you to fast to training. I need to do all this stuff. I need to get that adapted. Gosh, dang it, Alex. Why’d you do that? No,
[00:58:47] Chad Timmerman: that is a good opportunity to point out the fact that Alex is, is a different subset of even strength athlete in this context.
He’s, uh, he’s an experienced one. He’s got a lot of experience to build any, any training tweaks, anything he decides he wants to try is not just based on the latest insert magazine name here. Yeah, this is, this is true personal experience.
[00:59:11] Alex Wild: If you have any questions on facet rides, just go to Lee, underscore Jonathan and press send message and ask him.
[00:59:18] Jonathan Lee: It’s great. Cause that’s not my ID handle. That’s wonderful, but mess it up. That’s great. Okay. Um, back to his main core part of the question, sweet spot sessions, in addition, in addition to weights completely frying you in this case, go back to what we discussed about spacing things out. That’s one of the most productive things you can do if you’re finding that that combination is difficult for you, change it up.
Try pairing sweet spot work with, uh, or sorry, try, try pairing your strength training, work with something other than sweet spot work. Um,
[00:59:48] Chad Timmerman: yeah, honestly, there might be athletes out there who have great workouts following sweet-spot work. They come into it, nourish the nurse on the bike. They, they nourished during their strength training.
However, it may work out for them. This isn’t to say, this is a bad way to go. But as you pointed out, it’s tough to pair those two things.
[01:00:03] Alex Wild: Yeah. You got to find out what works for you. I personally don’t. Uh, sweet-spot session the day after gym in my head. It’s because my body has time to have DMS. So if I just put it all in one day, it doesn’t have time to react.
It’s just like freaked out.
[01:00:19] Jonathan Lee: So sound sight and sound scientific to me
[01:00:22] Alex Wild: by the time I get to the next day. And it’s like, oh wow, that gym session was hard. And then I do sweet spot, then we’re in trouble. So I kind of just put it all in one day and let my body
[01:00:32] Jonathan Lee: suffer. Let’s go to the eighth question.
Thoughts on sticking to body weight only as an endurance athlete. I think it’s a great approach myself, Chad. Okay.
[01:00:41] Chad Timmerman: There are a lot of upsides. First off mastering body weight movements. Calisthenics is they’re typically called, is a high high bar. And if you don’t understand this, pick up a copy of overcoming gravity, it’s in its second edition right now written by Stephen lo it’ll it’ll blow your mind, or just go to YouTube or the website Kelly move and watch some things that truly body strong athletes can do with just body weight.
So, I mean, what I’m saying here is that if a generally strong body is your goal, this is an excellent solution. I do see at least one potential limitation in the body weight at some point is probably not going to load your bones sufficiently enough to promote bone growth and very likely you’re going to, you’re going to top out, but I just don’t think it’s a bad way to go.
If we’re talking about the goal of having a strong body, simply simply a strong body so that you can ride your bike better, you know, resist fatigue, longer, maintain coordination, longer, all those things that come with having a generally strong body, I don’t think there’s anything wrong. Bodyweight strength movements, except it, they’re probably going to top out where they will top out sooner than a loaded
[01:01:43] Alex Wild: ones.
I think about it, that extra kilo you were worried about is now an extra kilo you’re listening.
[01:01:52] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Um, one thing to add to this, uh, I just want to incorporate a live question that just came in. It says during recovery weeks, what is the right level of strength training? And once again, you have to keep intentions in mind. So the goal of our recovery week is to de-load your system, right? You’ve been progressively loading your body with more over the loading weeks that you had.
Now you have a de-load week, you being your recovery week. So for strength training, uh, keep in mind that the goal of that week is to accomplish deloading. Uh, in other words, make yourself, uh, get a bit of freshness. So then you can take on more load moving forward. So this is going to vary for each athlete.
For me, I found that I can keep my strength training consistent throughout this time period, uh, throughout the load and de-load weeks. And I’m just fine, unless I’m going through like a really difficult, uh, training block where it’s, you know, I’m really pushing up against the stops. And in that case, I’ll likely do less strenuous strength training, but I’m still going to do something I’ve even replaced strength sessions with mobility sessions, um, something that’s more like a more akin to yoga as well.
Uh, yoga can still completely fry you depending on what you’re doing by the way. So, um, but. I’ll make adjustments as I go, but whatever the goal or whatever the outcome is, your focus should be to not load your body with too much work. So that probably means that if you’re new to strength training, you might go a little bit lighter during those recovery weeks.
If you are very experienced with strength training and you aren’t trying to push your one rep max or something like that, you can likely just carry on and be okay. Okay.
[01:03:29] Chad Timmerman: There’s a volume consideration to be made here too, because if you’re a low volume athlete or a low volume endurance athlete training three times a week, I’ve found that I can have athletes train strength, train, continue to strength, train almost as usual during a recovery week.
Because those three days a week that they were on the bike doing hard work. They’re not doing easy work. They recover faster. The train though is not as high so that the volume might influence it to you. Step into higher volume plans. Then everything Jonathan just said is probably applicable. You’re the goal of that week is to shed the fatigue and it’s going to be hard to shed it in the face of ample strength work.
[01:04:05] Alex Wild: Yeah, sure. Hey, you just gotta be as, as with all things we’ve been talking about, just honest with yourself, like if you can handle it, you can handle it. If you can’t there’s there’s no. Ego involved or shame yeah. To, to step away or plug it with something else. I do like Jonathan’s idea of putting in mobility or some other type, even if it’s just foam rolling or yoga or whatever it is, yoga can wreck you by the way.
Um, just to save that time, I’ve talked about it before, but time management is super useful. So if you spend a week and you give up those strength training sessions, you’ll easily find something else that’s creeped into its place. So I like still kind of carving out that time on those gym days to do something productive, even if it’s an hour long
[01:04:50] Jonathan Lee: nap.
Hey exactly. Right. Uh, ninth question thoughts on suspension steps, strap, style training, like TRX systems. So these are like the straps that you would hang from a bar or from some sort of hook something from this from above you, and then you either hook those to your feet or your hands or anything else, anywhere else on your body to be able to do movements where you are partially suspended.
[01:05:15] Chad Timmerman: So effectively what I just said all the same stuff, because we’re still talking about body weight training here. The only difference I think is that it might top out a little bit sooner than if you have a pair of parallettes and a pull up bar and you’re doing handstand push-ups and pistols. I think this might be just slightly more limited.
I’m not savvy in TRX systems or suspension based systems, but I do recognize. It’s pretty hard to load those outside of body weight. So they’re probably going to, and they’re a little more limited in what you can do with them. So I guess that center top,
[01:05:47] Alex Wild: they are awesome for maintenance and traveling though.
They do so ones that just go on the top of doors. So like in a hotel room or wherever you just put it on the door and close the door and you can use that as like a mobile gym, like say you’re going somewhere where you don’t have a gym in the hotel or whatever, but you still want to get that maintenance session.
There’s some, some good movements in there to not necessarily, like you said, push the, the highway, but to keep that, that muscle memory going and to keep those movements in your routine.
[01:06:14] Jonathan Lee: I really don’t like pack one of those. I like them for, so mountain biking in particular, you do a lot of very dynamic movement where your body is unstable and not on its particular or a typical axis and position that it sits on a bike.
You’re dealing with like a lot of lateral movement and like kind of cross functional movement from one side to the other. And it’s, I really like it for that level of specificity. You can make your body pretty unstable with those, and then there’s no need to add extra weight. Um, you don’t need to do like, you know, a Bosu ball with like a, a board on top of that, and then another ball on top of that, and then add weights.
Like you don’t have to go crazy with your gym work, keep it simple. Um, but these things in a simple way, create instability that forces you to work on, uh, a whole lot of coordination as well. So that can be really helpful that says this same thing can be said with, with any sort of way to exercise as well.
[01:07:08] Chad Timmerman: And that’s what I was going to say. I mean, anything that brings about improvement absolutely do it. I just think both of these things could top out before they get us to where we want to be for
[01:07:16] Alex Wild: sure. Yeah. I don’t think it’s an avenue. To be a good strain attorney athlete, but it is a good alternative when you don’t have a full gym available, which brings us to,
[01:07:28] Jonathan Lee: should I consider yoga as strength training since I’m an endurance athlete?
[01:07:32] Chad Timmerman: So yoga is a lot of isometric contractions, right? You know, contracting the muscle without lengthening or shortening it. It can also add elements of heat if you’re doing the beak REM or some offshoot of that, uh, odd positions lead to flexibility. I mean, it’s very much about improving flexibility, but I see yoga as less strength training than flexibility and or core training, the loading of the spine, the joints, the muscles, et cetera.
I don’t think it’s going to be sufficient for very long so, and hit you with a couple opinions here. First off, do yoga because you like yoga. Not because you want to be a faster cyclist. And secondly, I prioritize mobility work, you know, flossing muscles doing joint extractions, rolling them, smashing them, all this stuff.
I think in the case of an endurance athlete should be prioritized ahead of something like yoga.
[01:08:21] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. I think that they can compliment well, um, if you have time for all of it,
[01:08:25] Chad Timmerman: do it all, but for sure.
[01:08:28] Jonathan Lee: The mobility work. We’ve mentioned this so many times. Are you going to recorded a podcast with him, with Kelly stir at he’s incredible a fantastic resource.
He’s a, I know that when you look at him, you’ll be like, that is a huge rugby player or power lifter guy, but he also loves to ride bikes and he knows what he’s talking about and he’s trained and worked with some of the best cyclists really ever. So he’s, uh, he’s a great resource on this and his book, uh, becoming a supple leopard should be used like a manual to be able to figure out how to, uh, open up different ranges of motion and address problems that you have with your body.
It’s just incredible. So, you know, uh, Derek teal, again, mentioning him dialed health guy. Uh, he, he has mentioned even just spending, like, if you’re listening to this and you don’t do strength training, he’s like just exploring your full range of motion, even just like, start with that. Uh, G even, and that’s something Kelly Seretta said as well.
He’s like, you know, did your shoulders explore their range of motion today? How about your hips? You know, and it’s those little things that a lot of the time we, we get so focused on the fact that like, I need to be doing weights and I need to be doing these specific exercises. And then we lose, we lose the plot instead.
It’s just focused on making our body more capable. So if that looks like yoga and that’s what you can do, that’s great. If that looks like anything else like that, like Chad said, that’s great. Sure. There might be limitations. It might pop out sooner, but the goal is just to make you a more capable, durable, healthier, So one thing I like with
[01:09:53] Alex Wild: this stuff too, is trying to find ways to incorporate it into like, day-to-day life, like, like, like exploring this range of motion.
Like if you can like work like with your laptop in like a couch stretch or something like that. I think it’s, it’s nice because you’re, you’re able to incorporate these things in the first thing most people do. And they’re like, oh, I gotta add this. Like, where do I have time to dedicate to, to this new thing that may or may not add speed where it’s like, oh, I can go ride my bike and see a power meter and get my instant gratification.
So I like finding ways throughout the day to see if I can incorporate a couch stretch while I’m in a meeting or, you know, different things and like walking the dog or whatever it is. And, and just focusing on those things, trying to try to incorporate them into their everyday life. So it becomes a habit when I, when I do those everyday things,
[01:10:47] Jonathan Lee: uh, next question says, how should I change?
My strengths training is the season progresses, uh, fantastical and another words, periodization. Chad, does it apply here as well? Yeah,
[01:10:57] Chad Timmerman: it does. But traditionally, let me walk you through this traditionally. And this is even for endurance athletes, you have a period of anatomical adaptation training, right?
Where you’re getting your body ready to deal with heavier loads. And that can be anywhere from four weeks for your experienced up to 12 weeks. If you’re not, then you segue into strengthened. Durance where the loads come up a bit and you spend four to six weeks there. And then you eventually moved toward that sought after max strength phase for another four to six weeks.
And then if you’re gonna throw in some max power phase, that’s another two to four weeks. And then finally you get to maintenance training where you only have to train once a week. So, oh, so many phases. First, first that max strength training is all about developing maximum force. Right? I find that applicability to be minimal and not really irrelevant ceiling, not the one that it’s portrayed as being.
So I don’t have much use for it, except in specialized situations. Same goes for max power. We’re trying to improve that rate of force development. Again, I find the applicability minimal. I think better time is spent on developing your anaerobic and aerobic capacity because as endurance athletes, those are far more relevant.
All I’m saying is there are other boxes to check first. You can move through that whole progression, but if you’re already dealing with a reasonably complex and Durance training regime, man, that’s a lot to do. I regiment, sorry. So realistically I combine the first couple of the anatomical adaptation and the strength endurance into a single phase.
And that’s what you do. And eventually you get to your maintenance phase. So what that means is during base, build your training for two, maybe three times a week. I like to reserve three times a week for experienced lifters. Only. You only need two to start. She find out you, you can handle two. You can always add that third day, or you can have more sets or more exercises or whatever it is for you, but start conservatively.
But then when you move on to your specialty, uh, phases of training and actual racing, you’re back into maintenance, same things, just doing it once per week. And then should your strength training, aptitude grow. Then this whole groove, greasing mentality becomes more strength training you. We, we move down the continuum and the movements become paradoxically more basic as now.
They’re heavier and they’re lower rep. So for instance, where you may have started using high reps on a single arm dumbbell press. Now you’re into low reps with heavy load on a barbell bench press. Similarly, we started with single leg split squats and dumbbells carried at the sides. Now you’re loading a barbell onto your back and doing full range back squats.
[01:13:22] Jonathan Lee: So this is, uh, Chad, this is my perspective on this incorrect me, or share any contrary opinions if you have one U2, Alex. But I think that for a lot of athletes. Focusing on periodization where you’re getting into max power and everything else is probably, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s a bridge too far, perhaps in terms of where you should be right now, a lot of athletes, it’s more about just getting used to incorporating strength, training into your routine, getting past that initial adaptation period, and then just making the habit of strength training.
Uh, if you do the same thing, if you do the same thing every time, like yeah. You’ll get used to that. And there’ll be, you know, low-hanging fruit that you could take advantage of by changing up your routine just to going through exercises. Right? Exactly. It’s less about like, so cyclist, if you’re hearing this don’t freak out because you don’t know how to like periodized through that process, like Chad was saying, um, really that’s like, what Chad’s talking about is that’s traditionally the way that people go about it.
That’s literally what he said, the word traditionally. That’s how people go about it. But that doesn’t mean that that’s the way that you have to go about it. Just, I just something’s better than nothing. I just
[01:14:32] Chad Timmerman: firmly believe that things as nuance as max strength, training and max power training have their place, but they’re a little too specific for most of our needs.
And they’re a little too complex to pile on top of what is already probably a reasonably complex training approach. So it’s just a lot to do. And by keeping it simple, you, you greatly increase the changes that you’ll increase your consistency to a point where you can start to see benefits from your strength training.
And of course diminish that possibility of injury.
[01:15:00] Alex Wild: Yeah. My personal experience is exactly what Chad outlined. We take our two weeks off every year, we get back in the gym, that’s when the AA comes in and then that’s what I’m doing, you know, body weight, and barbell level stuff to reinforce that. And then we get into strength, endurance, and pretty much we do that until we race.
And then we dropped from three sessions to two a week when I don’t have a race that weekend. And from two to one, when I do have a race that weekend and then two weeks off at the end of the year and rinse repeat.
[01:15:33] Jonathan Lee: Awesome. Yeah. And I, I don’t, I don’t bother, I mean, maybe someday when I really want to focus on, like, if you’re the sort of athlete that really wants to hit one rep max and stretch that and go, they probably already know enough about this sort of thing of, uh, of, of periodizing your strength training that you already know for the rest of us.
Eh, it’s all right. Uh, next question. Are any of these suggestions different for multi-sport athletes? Great question.
[01:15:56] Chad Timmerman: Yup. For sure. They can be again, you don’t have to overthink it, but if you want to, if you want to get a little more specific, I’m all for it. I think that a multi-sport athletes should favor vertical presses and polls.
So we mentioned press poll hinge and squat, overhead, overhead versions of this, or even alternating between horizontal and overhead versions. Vertical versions are a good way to go. Just swimming for obvious reasons. I mean, not that right there. You need to be able to move your arm overhead and it needs to be the, the cuff in particular needs to be strengthened.
Um, multiplanar movements. I think in the case of endurance athletes who run doing lateral work, lateral banded drills spring to mind sidestepping basically, uh, strengthens muscles that you’re not going to target. Otherwise, if you’re moving in a, in a single, typically sagittal plane, backward forward sort of stuff up, down, um, and incorporate rotation and with, and this’ll differ a little bit from what I’m going to talk about next, which is mountain bikers rotation as actual rotation.
And this is again, due to swimming, but also because there’s a little bit of movement with the arms and running anyway, that goes back to specificity. But I also think with those four basic exercises that anytime there’s an opportunity to incorporate safely rotation, absolutely do it. We don’t get enough rotation.
We don’t move in that plane enough in the gym, but man, do we rely on it in day to day living and then, um, sensible specificity enhancements. They’re always encouraged. So if there’s some way where you recognize that I can make an exercise a little more specific to what I’m going to do on the race course or on the bike.
Why not? Why not at least try it, try to weave it in here and there.
[01:17:34] Jonathan Lee: What about the same question, but which exercises are best for mountain bikers?
[01:17:38] Chad Timmerman: Yeah. And the same thing. So minor alterations. Sorry in the interest of specificity. So that could be a grip with when it comes to presses and poles. So, you know, as a mountain biker, you’re probably on a flat bar that’s quite wide, right?
Your arms are out. So why not practice pulling, if you’re doing say a body weight, a row where you’re pulling yourself up to a bar with a grip that emulates how it’s, how your hands are going to be placed when you’re on a mountain bike, same thing goes with pressing. So, so maybe your bench presses are with slightly wider set elbows.
I I’m all for staggered stances when it comes to your hinge training and your squat training, because that’s the position you’re going to be on, especially when you’re in a high hinge on a mountain bike, railing down a hill. I mean, that’s, that’s the position you’ll be in. Why not train in that position?
And I do believe that mountain bikers can probably benefit slightly, at least from favoring horizontal presses and poles over the vertical ones. That it’s more in their realm of movement when they’re on the bike. And in this case, they, I also believe in, in all cases really incorporating rotation, but in the case of mountain bikers, it’s more about resisting rotation because now we’re trying to improve stability on varied surfaces.
We’re not trying to let the trail tell us where to rotate our bodies. Rather we’re trying to hold their bodies in a particular position and resist that rotation. And there are a lot of ways to do that. We’re going to touch on that when we get to the actual exercise recommendations.
[01:18:58] Jonathan Lee: Oh, that’s so true.
The rotation part is key. Uh, so in moments, when you tend to crash on a mountain bike, it’s usually because there were forces that came in that were required, or that were trying to get you to rotate or move in this specific, specific direction. And instead of resisting them and having the strength and coordination to do that you gave in, and then they tossed you.
Uh, this is really common in turns, when you come into a turn faster than you think, and you hit that berm and it compresses, and it tosses you, instead of you using that berm as an opportunity to pivot, you need strength and you need coordination in order to do that, then you come into a drop and you hit that drop and it hits you way harder than you think suspension rebounds, and your body.
Isn’t ready for that. Once again, you’ve lost control and anytime you’ve lost control your protocol cash. So like one way to think about that for mountain bikers is you want to maintain control for more linear feet of that course than you would otherwise. Like. That’s a very simple way of looking at it.
Let’s say on any course that you spend. Twenty-five feet on that portion of that course being out of control. That means 25 feet of that course, you are leaving everything up to chance. If your strength training can decrease that to 12 to 10 to eight to four, then you can ride with so much less anxiety.
You can ride with much better, uh, economy and energy in store and ready for you to be able to take on the more important things like passing people, right. And winning the race. So it’s, this is when the rubber meets the road for strength training, particularly in mountain biking, you need to be a dynamic athlete that can respond to really like mechanically complex situations in terms of the loads that your body is going through with you on that bike.
Um, yeah, hugely important. Alex has good evidence of that. Okay. Is there any major, major benefit to doing back squats over barbell bowl, Gary and split split squats, which we’re going to get into that sort of, uh, you’re going to be able to see those exercises actually in a little bit, due to historic knee issues and leg imbalances, I tend to prefer Bulgarian split squats and unilateral squat variations in general is doing exclusively single leg squat variations, detrimental in any way.
[01:21:06] Chad Timmerman: So when it comes to endurance athletes in almost no ways, show me the study that says otherwise, there, there. Potentially more damaging, which means bilateral movements or potentially more D I’m sorry, unilateral movements. So what we’re talking about are potentially more damaging, and this can lead to longer recovery trajectory.
So you can load. If you’re doing say a split squat, you can load that leading leg, the squatting leg, pretty relatively heavily in such a way that it actually inspires more muscle abuse, more muscle trauma, and this can lead to longer recovery trajectories. But this too hearkens back to me saying lighter loads, more repetitions, grease, Sugrue all that stuff.
That’s really the only downside that the literature presents and I combed a lot of it, the upsides, however, uh, it’s safer just in general, there they’re typically lighter loads. There is a control or a balance challenge challenges often we’ve just way into all of them, but again, they’re lightly loaded.
Relatively speaking, uh, additional stabilization is required and this means more muscle recruitment, typically a favorable thing. When you’re trying to improve neuromuscular communication, you can make them very much more sport specific. I mean, everything we do as endurance athletes is almost entirely unilateral.
There aren’t too many sports. In fact that are exclusively bilateral and really strength training is the only one that Springs to mind. And there are numerous studies supporting similar, even identical effects when comparing bilateral and unilateral training. So as I see it, I used bilateral training to mix things up.
Otherwise, if I had my way, it’d be entirely unilateral.
[01:22:41] Jonathan Lee: I really prefer the unilateral stuff myself, in terms of functional strength training as a cyclist, I find that it allows me to kind of break down the coordination in a more simplified manner and be like, now I can work on really keeping this leg stable, just this leg, instead of having to worry about both legs.
It just, it it’s like putting bumpers up in one regard when I’m talking about building up control and coordination and, uh, I’ll take all the bumpers I can get when bowling and also in strength training, Alex, you, you do a fair amount of unilateral exercises too. Isn’t that correct?
[01:23:14] Alex Wild: Yeah, I do. I do a mix of both a Bulgarian split squats is a good one for that.
And then I also do front squats, front box squats. So I don’t really necessarily favor one over the other, but
[01:23:32] Jonathan Lee: got a bonus question. How much should I do? I’ve typically scaled everything off of my one rep max. And this is common for even if he took like a strength training class in high school or something.
This is probably how you were introduced to strength training. If it was through a traditional.
[01:23:46] Chad Timmerman: Yep. And this is this’ll be a slightly longer answer, but I do think this is extremely relevant. And I’m hoping, even though this is kind of a complex answer, that that takeaway is a very straightforward and simple one.
And I’m hoping this will help people to figure out how to prescribe load when it comes to strength training, which is what we’re talking about. Strength, training, load, prescription, and one RM and percentage-based loading is pretty much the norm, right? That’s, that’s what we’ve done for the longest amount of time, but it’s limited as a workload metric, and I’m not going to pretend that the other methods aren’t, they all have their limitations, but I’m going to discuss these particular limitations because I think they’re harder to overcome the limitations of the system I use.
And a lot of strength coaches use. So first off, determining your one rep, max can be pretty laborious and potentially dangerous. So, I mean, you tell me, you want to walk into the gym and say, today, I’m going to do this exercise. And I’m going to take five, 10 minutes to figure out what my one rep max is.
And then next time I’ll come back and I’ll do the lifting. I mean, this is not realistic, especially when you have 5, 6, 7 new exercises in a workout. So determining it is problematic estimate. If it’s the same limitations, estimating anything, does it, it requires a bit of trial and error and you may never be spot on, but you’re probably going to be close enough.
[01:24:57] Jonathan Lee: I estimate bench press 400 pounds. Just
[01:25:07] Chad Timmerman: Okay. So additionally blanket use of percentages of your one RM. So if you’re not familiar with the term one, RM is your one repetition max. So what you could move one time and no more and probably barely, but using this percentage of one RM in a blanket manner is problematic. And let’s take a couple of examples, a few training to failure at 80% of this.
So 80% of your one RM load, the difference between the toll it takes on your body to sit on a bench and pull a cable into your abdomen, you know, seated rows versus a back-loaded squat to different things. 80% of one RM to failure is only going to set you back so far during the rose, probably gonna have a higher consequence with the squats, performing 10 to 12 reps at 70% of your one RM in an isolation movement, like say a biceps curl versus a compound exercise versus like, like a, I dunno, a snatch or something, something that’s a lot of muscles or even just a squat again, it’s apples and oranges, or just different kinds of apples.
Anyway, it’s hard to compare the two, they take very different tolls on your body as a whole, um, that 70%, one RM again, 14. Can be easy for some on some exercises, totally brutal for others. So, you know, you’re good at things you’re good at your fiber composition is what it is. Uh, whatever explains it. It’s, it’s not, uh, across the board, it doesn’t make the crossword comparisons feasible.
So I look at a couple of load prescription alternatives, and I think the two best going are velocity based. And what’s called repetitions in reserve based RPE. We’re going to focus on that second one, even though it sounds really complex. So what are repetitions in reserve? This is just an estimate of how much you probably could do.
So you pick something up and you do 10 reps and you think, ah, probably do this 15 times, or maybe you do it 15 times, but all of this can be related to RPE. And again, bear with me. This is needlessly complex. I’m going to simplify it, but if you were to leave 10 repetitions in reserve, so you have to do 20 reps, but you’re going to stop at 10.
This would be a three RPE way down, low on that. Zero to 10 or one to 10 RPE scale. If you were to take. Set all the way until one to two repetitions in reserve. So you’re going to push it up to where you can maybe eat out two more, maybe one more you’re you’re high on the RP scale, eight or nine RPE, a max effort where you push to failure, leaving no repetitions in reserve.
There’s your 10 RPE. Personally, with this system, I have no use for the translation. I just look at repetitions and reserve. So let me give you a step-by-step example of the process, that to land at an inappropriate repetition in reserve, first, get a sense of what you can move or the prescribed repetitions.
So, so 15 times, uh, whatever exercise, whatever weight, this is the fact finding mission. You have to go on every time you endeavor into a new exercise, right? You have to figure out what you can move. Then you can compare the different repetitions in reserves impact on your endurance training, your fatigue levels, your soreness, your motivation, your recovery duration.
So it’s that you learn over time. What serves you best, but I want to warn you right now, air conservatively. And the reason is, is that training at six repetitions in reserve. So leaving six repetitions in reserve yields the same results as training to the point of two repetitions in reserve. And that’s a recent study that just surfaced.
It’s a well-formulated study and it’s not the only one that supports the same notion. So it’s the same volume, but of course you have to do more sets if you’re leaving six in reserves. So you have to stay up that you have to calculate. Yeah, I’m doing less reps per set, and I do more sets, but those sets are going to exhibit less stress.
They’re going to require a shorter recovery duration, and they’re going to benefit you in the same or same if not similar way, or at least similar ways in terms of strength increases and muscle mass increases, hypertrophic results turns out and more and more, more and more studies are piling up to support this, that the optimal is leaving about five reps in reserve, even higher.
Some of them have shown 10 reps from reserve. If the consensus right now is they don’t know where exactly the high end of it is. So it seems like people are landing at five reps in reserve. So this means if you can move a weight 20 times, you’re stopping at 15. If you want to take it to the extreme end and leave 10 reps in reserve, but wait, you can move 20 times.
You’re only doing 10. Of course you have to do twice as many sets. So you’re still getting the volume, but again, less muscle trauma, less recovery, time, less, less central load, et cetera. So you get the same increases in strength and new hypertrophy, and you get a quicker return to readiness for your endurance training or even your next strength training session.
So with all this in mind, it brings me to two recommendations. I feel are very worth consideration. First avoid training to failure. The richer, the recovery trajectory is, is untenable for endurance athletes. And they’re starting, starting to find that it’s not untenable, but just not recommended for strength athletes too.
There are better ways. It’s not to say failure training doesn’t have a place, but that its place isn’t the only place that. And then the second recommendation is touched on that smooth, lighter loads with greater frequency. Again, 15 to 20 reps, nothing wrong with pushing up to 25 30 repetition, high repetition training versus low repetition training yield, similar growth and strength outcomes.
Again, a lot of literature to support this, this whole notion of fiber type specific approach purchase fee. Isn’t holding up against good research design. It’s kind of fading away, or at least there’s more research in opposition of it. So take away being, is that a wide range of reps and loads is effective?
Okay. So you can go heavy. You can go forever. It’s entirely up to you. I prefer safe loads done far from failure. Okay. So overall takeaway in the context of training twice a week, strength training twice a week, train six movements, do high rep, which you can move 15 a size 30 times go well, short of failure, leave five reps in reserve, do this for one to three sets.
And this all depends on results. Start with one. See if you can handle two or need to maybe then move up to three, get it done inside of 30 minutes,
[01:31:19] Jonathan Lee: Chad I’d have even one more possible avenue for a person to be able to use instead of one rep max for scaling, start with box. And then work your way up slowly over time.
That’s another option that you can do, and that’s probably a safe option for sure. Um, granted you can still get hurt doing body weight exercises, right? If you have bad technique. Um, but if this will allow you to, to start at the beginning to not completely, well, you might still blow yourself up with Dom’s it happens, but, uh, to probably not completely blow yourself out of the water and then you can work your way up.
It also probably works well on the financial side as well. If you have access to a gym, that’s one thing. But if you don’t have access to a gym and you’re doing something at home, you can just pick up heavy things and use them. But if you’re looking to, you know, build up gym equipment and do all of that, start with your body weight, and then just get the weights as you need to get the weights, uh, just kind of piece it together as you go up.
So that’s another option. I really liked that great layout though, of the, of the way to incorporate strength, training like that. Chad, um, awesome. Fantastic. So let’s do a review and then let’s head into some of the exercise recommendations and we can check those out. You got
[01:32:29] Chad Timmerman: it. So, so first off, I just want to reiterate a number of things I said, maybe tack on one or two other little tidbits of advice.
First off, keep it simple. It said that already press pull squat hinge, keep it short. It’s easier to maintain consistency and you can always increase your workload, increase your duration as your body adapts. Uh, thirdly, favor high reps. Preset groove bed in those mechanics. Uh, fourthly don’t know if I said this explicitly, but train movements, not muscles, not talking about biceps, curls.
We’re talking about rows. So, so not, not, not just growing the beach muscles, but actually doing something that involves in favors and benefits. The entire body measure nothing wrong with muscles.
[01:33:16] Jonathan Lee: If you can
[01:33:17] Chad Timmerman: incorporate that bicep curl into a more usable movement, I’m all for it. Next, let fatigue and fear of injury guide your overall workload.
Initially be afraid of getting injured, be conservative. Uh, thirdly, thirdly, we’re well past that, uh, exploit more accommodating training phases to learn your limits to, to surmise the benefits. And this is probably going to be transitioned and base phases. These both take place early in the training cycle.
So if you’re going to make mistakes, it’s a good time to make them. And endurance training loads are typically lightest in these phases though. Sweet spot training does actually challenge that paradigm. So back to the whole balance and figuring out what works for you. Okay. Well, all that said, let’s just do the exercises.
Uh, Jonathan was kind enough to record versions of all these exercises and I think we’re going to play him.
[01:34:06] Jonathan Lee: So don’t judge my form. I’m pretty sure Maxine, thanks to play. I’ve already judged your form, but
[01:34:11] Chad Timmerman: it’s pretty good. In all cases, this is why personal trainers. They pick up things you can’t see while you’re.
[01:34:17] Jonathan Lee: Thanks, Chad, appreciate you. Uh, Maxine, do you want to show the first one being the hollow body, single arm dumbbell press. And then what Chad can do is he can kind of explain right now what these look like and people can actually kind of, uh, the listeners can see what sure. And
[01:34:34] Chad Timmerman: for people who are watching, you can see it for people that are listening.
Go back and look at the videos later, perhaps. Anyway, so this is a, it’s just a hollow body single-arm dumbbell press. So you’re in a hollow body posture, which means your legs are off the floor. And ideally your pelvis is tipped up and your shoulder blades are off the floor. And that’s key when the shoulder blades come up, you get a whole lot of abdominal activation.
Um, this is one where you can, uh, I like to resist lower body movement. So is it one arm drive? It tends to pull the legs one side or the other, try to resist that this is one of those opportunities to resist the rotation that it’s trying to inflict on. You I’d like to do it in a bench because the ground, you can see Jonathan’s bottoming out before his range of motion ends.
So I prefer to put it upward or restaurant. That’s
[01:35:20] Jonathan Lee: awesome. Next one would be the single arm dumbbell glute press. And this one, actually. Yeah, this is, um, uh, this is a super effective one for cyclists. I think works on a lot of glute strength and coordination.
[01:35:33] Chad Timmerman: It’s a good one. Yeah. There’s a lot of posterior activation going on right here while you’re in a pressing motion.
So this, um, the width of the stance can actually really influence where the challenge resides. If you put your feet close together, it becomes very much a hip exercise when you’re still pressing and still gaining that effect. But with the feet wide, not much of a stability challenge, not a heck of a lot of hips and hamstrings and calves and whatnot, but mess with the mess with the stance on that.
And also that position is a difficult position to get into trying to slide down to your shoulder blades. You’d be surprised if you have long enough legs relative to the height of the bench, you can just do that on the bench, shoulder blades or down feet, press off on the floor and your butt comes off the bench.
You’re effectively in that same position, and it’s a way easier to get into.
[01:36:17] Jonathan Lee: And also if you’re watching on YouTube right now, sorry, if the video’s a bit, a bit glitchy, we just got a notification from YouTube that they’re experiencing streaming problems. So, um, but hopefully you can see some stop motion or something in between there that they can help you figure it out.
This one’s, uh, this one’s really tough. Chad, when you’re doing this one, basically, you know, your, your shoulders are on the bench or on some sort of surface, and then you’re making your body like an L with your legs pointing down to the ground like that. It’s really easy to let your pelvis drop to let your hips drop.
Yeah. A lot of your
[01:36:47] Chad Timmerman: stability comes from your, your glutes too. So it behooves you to keep.
[01:36:52] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. And, and it’s when you’re doing the movement, it’s easy to focus on the movement of pressing that dumbbell upward. And then you forget about what’s going on in your core and your glutes. And you’ll notice that you’re way less stable when that happens.
You’re much more stable when you’re really focusing on keeping that contraction in that tension through your body and making it really feels like you’re pushing your hips upward into the sky, but really you’re just achieving flat. And just, and just
[01:37:16] Chad Timmerman: about all of these are rather complex. And, and with, with reason in mind, I mean, I actually want these to be a bit of a cognitive challenge.
I want you to have to learn how the entire body works together with each of these movements, how pushing the arm affects the hips, how raising the hips affects stability of the rest of the body. They’re just, they’re complex for a reason.
[01:37:37] Jonathan Lee: Yep. For sure. Um, the next one is kettlebell gorilla rose.
[01:37:43] Chad Timmerman: Yeah. So these, you can understand where their name is derived.
It’s a very guerrilla looking movement and the way Jonathan’s doing it right now is with an alternating. It’s a very safe. That’s two degree and that he’s setting the weight on the floor and then pulling the next weight where it’s not safe. And I would recommend maybe not jumping into such an extreme posture is he’s completely vertical to the ground.
If you can support that, that’s all good and fine. I’d prefer people to start with a bit of a, even a 45 degree and maybe lower sort of angle so that they’re not in such a compromised lumbar position, but that that’s the way this exercise looks. This can be grown to where the hands are. The kettlebells in this case could use.
Dumbbells can use gallons of milk. Doesn’t matter, uh, are, are resting on the ground. You get to a point where you don’t rest them on the ground. And then eventually you can grow into what’s termed as a crossover movement. Whereas one arm comes up the other descends and you’re constantly moving. And that’s when it gets super specific to riding a bike.
This also offers an opportunity for rotation as his elbow hits its high point. He could turn his shoulder girdle into it, such that there’s a little bit of rotation at the waist and the shoulders are turning away from the hips.
[01:38:51] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, this one’s a, this one is one where you can do it. Like the kettlebells are fantastic for it.
Um, and it’s basically like, you just make it, you, uh, it’d be like if you’re doing a hamstring stretch almost, but your legs are slightly bent. And then you just have the kettlebells to give you a little bit of extra height, but Alex, you mentioned something that you do with deadlifts and this could also be applicable here as well.
If you have particularly short or tall legs, which I have, I have long legs for my body, but if you want to achieve a flat back, you can stack something, whether it’s under your feet or under the kettlebells or whatever you’re lifting right. In this case to get more flat.
[01:39:28] Alex Wild: Yeah. And if you’re using dumbbells, you can do the same thing.
Like obviously kettlebells are nice because they’re quite tall. So if you use it, if you only have dumbbells available, you could put plates work for me. I put plates underneath my deadlift to raise it four to six inches, just because if I hinge all the way to the ground, then that first six inches of lift is compromising my lumber.
Cause I’m, I’m bending at the back. So same, same with any movement that you’re bent over. Even just taking the time to film yourself from the side, just to see how it looks is super helpful, to make sure that you’re doing it correctly. And again, a hundred percent another benefit of not going the one rep max route is starting low and building up to it is you have the opportunity to fix these things first, before you’re getting into the heavy stuff.
[01:40:17] Jonathan Lee: Yep. Uh, next one is another one where this can absolutely apply the pendlay row. Yeah.
[01:40:23] Chad Timmerman: So this is a similar movement it’s just done with the bar bell. So again, I can’t emphasize enough a safe hinge angle. So right now he’s, he’s at the extreme, he’s got a 90 degree bend there. It’s, it’s pretty hefty. So feel free to come out of that.
Stand a little bit taller in a mimic the same way. Um, and this is an opportunity to vary your grip based on your specificity. So he’s got pretty much a mountain bike grip on this it’s overhand and it’s wide set. Um, and, and I’m all about specificity. I do believe it’s useful. I can get dulled though. So if for no other reason than entertainment value, or just changing the stimulus, move your hands around, go with a narrower grip, go with an inward grip, go with a mixed grip.
I mean, just, just change it up a bit. You’re not going to change the exercise so much that it’s going to miss
[01:41:06] Jonathan Lee: the point. Yeah. This one. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Alex. I was going to
[01:41:10] Alex Wild: say I do the same one. Um, but actually start the bar as if I was going to do a rack pool. So it’s at my knees. So I lifted their stand hinged to only about 45, 50 degrees.
Do the exercise stand back up and walk it back. So you’re never actually having to lift this from the ground in this year, unless you’re able to obviously add an advanced strength athlete to have the 90 degree angle that or.
[01:41:34] Chad Timmerman: A very light load. I mean, it can be a broomstick, it can be a barrier.
[01:41:39] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. And it’s a key dimension before the Alex has mentioned the, as for his height, he has shorter legs.
So this is why, uh, this is the cool part. You can make all these sorts of adjustments in alterations to be able to make it work better for you. So this one, Chad, when I was doing it, I actually got into what does a hinge situation feel like when I am mountain biking and descending? I can see that. Yeah.
And, and that’s one of the cool things that you can do for this like strength training, especially when you’re lifting bars and plates. There’s a lot of Olympic, uh, folks that are, you know, Ali lifters who will be very strict on technique with good reason because they’re lifting heavy weights and they don’t want to, you know, cause injury or anything else.
But there is room to have slightly different technique and to bring in more specificity, uh, like Chad’s talking about for mountain biking, next one. Uh, we’re going to get into the squat side of things. This is rear foot elevated Bulgarian, split squats. This is probably one of my favorite ones for working on stability issues with knees and hips and ankles and feet.
It’s just a fantastic exercise in elevating the rear foot. I think adds an even a better range of motion, deeper range of motion that you can get with it. This is
[01:42:47] Chad Timmerman: go to Britain. Uh, endurance strength training. This is what you should be doing as an endurance athlete, because there are so many benefits. I mean, the flexibility, the mobility, the strengthening, so many things that are happening right now.
Um, so again, it’s a rear foot elevated split squat. Uh, they’re often turn Bulgarian, split squat, same idea that the rear foot is raised. He’s got it raised pretty high. He’s got, that’s a, that’s a difficult get, and it’s actually effecting, it’s pulling him into a forward lean. He has a kind of what I would consider a too short stance, but he’s what I really like is he’s got his foot.
It’s the top of his foot is on the bench. If you put your toes on the bench, it’s a serious cheat. There’s a, there’s a tremendous difference because then you’re deriving quite a lot of power from that rear leg, more than you’d recognize until you switched to that flat foot. And man, does it change that exercise, but I think it’s towards his strides a little short and then that can lend to knee aggravation.
So if you have knee issues, go with the long stride and just trim the range of motion, don’t go so deep. Um, in that case, you may find you have limitations with the trailing legs, hip and him, uh, quadricep flexibility. So it could pull you into a bit of a forward lean that’s totally permissible. I mean, what we’re after here is a big range of motion with that leading leg with minimal assistance from any other part of the body he’s carrying the dumbbells at is.
That’s stage one, you can bring them up to your shoulders. Stage two, you can put them over head. That is a brutal stage three. I mean, there’s all sorts of ways to evolve this exercise, to incorporate other parts of the body that right now aren’t active, but this is the most stable version of it. I would just like to see a longer stride so that he’s not stressing
[01:44:21] Jonathan Lee: that knee.
I agree. It would be. And you can see cause my toe drifts or my knee dress too far over my toes, right? Uh, too far forward, it’s a good indication that it’s not a long enough, uh, stride. Next one is box squats, which in this case we didn’t use a box. We used the bench. You can use any object. That’s about the right height, right?
[01:44:38] Chad Timmerman: anything. We just want something back there that tells you you’re achieving depth. Just anything that could be a personal inappropriate though. It may sound holding a hand. Just, you just need to know that you’ve met the range that you’re targeting. And with this exercise, why I like box squats so much because you can load them in about a thousand different ways and you can place your emphasis on first attaining the full range of motion and what the full range of motion is, is for you to determine.
I mean, do you want a subtle band that mimics exactly what you would do on the bike? Do you want to get to 90 degrees? Do you want to get below the creases? It is. So your hips are lower than your knees. Can you go all the way down without touching. Um, if you decide what that full range is going to be, achieve that full range before you start to load this and how you load it.
Like I just said with a previous exercise, you can load it in a number of ways, kettlebells at the hips at the shoulders, dumbbells, overhead million different ways to limit.
[01:45:33] Jonathan Lee: There’s so much to be learned from this one without weight. Uh, when you add weight to it, it can mask a whole lot, you know? Yeah. And th this is why people have mirrors and they strength train.
Uh, it’s not just for vanity it’s to be able to check your form and to see what you’re doing. And, and once again, if you have a friend or camera or anything else that really helps to be able to film that stuff and check it out. Sure. Yep. Uh, okay. Now let’s get into more hinges movements. So single leg dumbbell deadlift.
[01:46:01] Chad Timmerman: I said, I always prefer the single leg version of any deadlift, just because I’m prone to injury with deadlifts. And I think a lot of other people are too. Um, Alex and I talked again before the podcast, he’s a, he’s a, a long framed fellow. So for him to get into a low enough position to pick up a barbell already puts him in a precarious spot less.
So when you can actually tip the hips, which is not desirable in this exercise, but you can at least to pick up the weight and then you can determine what range is allowable without risking injury. Like you would with a barbell version of this or two leg version of this. But this is another one you can load with anything, you know, gallon of milk quirks, but a kettlebell dumbbell.
The key is to, um, keep a pretty long standing leg, you know, subtle bend is okay, and do not tip the hips. You’re trying to activate the back of that supporting legs. So the hamstrings and the glutes, especially, but he’s also keeping a nice long back for the, you know, flat lumbar is, is, is a good looking version of this exercise.
And what I like about the flexibility of it, the flexibility, the exercise itself is pretty great because like I said, dumbbell kettlebell, whatever. You can also load it. Ipsilateral which is what no he’s doing contract, but IPSA, you could hold it. In the same arm as the standing leg. So if you’re standing right leg, you’re holding it in the right side, that’s a lot easier to stabilize them.
What he’s doing, which is contralateral across body, where it’s, this is another opportunity to resist rotation because he’s reaching toward the opposite foot. The tendency would be to twist the body. He’s not allowing that.
[01:47:30] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, you’ll have to fight that this is one again, fantastic with no weight. I mean, if you’re familiar with yoga, what is this?
This is similar to like warrior one or two. Uh, I can’t remember one of the poses, but, um, you know, you can, without weight, you can extend the arms over your outwards, that they’re parallel with your body in that flat plane position. When you’re hinged over these sorts of things can really help. And this one will bring out all sorts of instability that you have.
I have weak feet, like many cyclists do. And as a result, when I do a lot of these, I have shoes on here because they didn’t want to gross the world out with my feet. But, um, it, many times I do things barefoot. So then I can actually build some strength in my feet because they aren’t very strong. And it can, if you don’t, aren’t stable down there, this sort of movement really pulls that out and it allows you to focus on it.
Just fantastic. One, love it. Uh, next to the last one is going to be single leg barbell, hip thrust. Now I didn’t do this with a barbell and said, I just grabbed a plate and you can just grab anything heavy or not. Even you can use it without weight to
[01:48:33] Chad Timmerman: exercise. doing a double leg, hip thrusts like this probably isn’t going to be challenging for too many people, but doing an unweighted single leg version of it will be challenging for just about everybody.
It’s not, it’s not an easy to get. Um, you can start with a two leg version, but with this one, the one tip or thing to point out, I guess, is that the position of the foot can change the exercise. Pretty noticeably. So if he pulls the foot in toward his butt, get a lot more hamstring, puts it out, shifts more toward the glute, but either way, your foot placement will influence where you feel the most of the stress in what, whatever belly of whatever muscle it shifts it to.
Um, you can load it with a barbell though. I do recommend a pad cause it can get really uncomfortable and, uh, he, you can load it with really anything kettlebell, dumbbell, again, be creative, but the single leg version of it start with body weight and then grow it from there. And the, the comparison between hip thrusts.
And I think I’m pretty sure it’s deadlifts. They it’s hard to differentiate, which is the more beneficial exercise it’s not hard to differentiate with, which is the safer exercise which I wholly believe is is that.
[01:49:43] Jonathan Lee: Uh, awesome. So there’s some great exercises. We’re going to have a blog post and you should follow us over on Instagram because we’ll also have a post with all of these exercises.
You can visualize them and see them if you’re listening now. So head over to trainer road on Instagram, just look for the name. You’ll be able to find it there. Give us a follow and check this out, share this one with your other cycling friends too. So then they can see the different exercises and then chime in and let us know which exercises you do and how you found them helpful.
I think that if we can make that comment section about that, that will be really helpful for a lot of different athletes. Uh, so, uh, and it’d be great to have, whether it’s, uh, art, O’Connor listened to this from blue car fit. He trains a lot of athletes for the strength, dialed health, Derek teal. That’d be great to have you guys in there too.
And then we can help a lot of cyclists and get a lot of people together talking about this. Um, Chad, thank you so much for putting together that deep dive and then also the conversation, Alex. Thanks for being here. I’m glad that we had an athlete that believes in strength training. Like you do to be able to answer all those questions too.
Tips for Training Consistently
Um, we don’t have much time left and I’m thinking that maybe what we’ll do is just do one question that we’ve gotten from a listener if that’s okay. Um, and then we’ll, we’ll we’ll wrap this one up. Sound good. Sounds good. Cool. Uh, this one’s from Dunkin, he says, and I think that the reason I’m selecting Duncan’s question of the, the ones that we had that we could have covered this week is because I think that it allows for a bit more of a, like a very conversation.
He says. Due to having a young child who is not sleeping well high, hence neither are we and a demanding job. I’m struggling to complete even a low volume plan consistently. I’ve had a talk with my wife to see if there’s anything we can do to help keep me on a plan and came to the conclusion that until the baby’s sleeping better, it will be difficult to be consistent.
Sometimes this is the reality and it doesn’t have to be because you have a kid. This is just how life goes sometimes. So Chad recently has been having his house torn apart with contractors and they’re doing stuff that’s tough. Uh, Alex, when he was moving into his house, he was doing crazy stuff with his house, their wedding, that it looked like life throws us curve balls, uh, busy times at work.
So don’t feel bad if you can’t be perfectly consistent, somebody out there is wonderfully consistent. That’s great. That’s not, you don’t worry about it. This is one suggestion she came up with was a week training camp. When her parents visit about a month before my. I know this will not be as good as consistent training, but should I do this?
And how would I moderate my effort to ensure I get maximum benefit without digging myself a hole? So the first thing’s first Duncan, if you’re planning on training hard for a week, if your plan is to dig yourself a hole. So you kind of like intentionally want to do that. We’ve talked about super compensation before in this podcast, and it’s typically where you dose your body with more stress than it’s used to, not something completely, uh, you know, way outside of what it’s used to, but your dose, your body with more stress than it’s used to.
And then you allow it in adaptation period thereafter, and you get something called super compensation where your body is able to make a significant improvements in adaptations. From that period training camps, it’s really common to see this sort of thing, training blocks, uh, people, uh, sometimes do this with block periodization, but, uh, once you get into that, it gets a little bit different.
Uh, but I wanted to talk a little bit about this. Uh, basically number one, if you think this is a good idea, Chad, and then Alex, I wanted to get your thoughts on the whole, how do I do this without digging myself in a hole question? So, Chad, do you think this is a good idea to do this kind of like, I dunno if he’s doing this in lieu of, of training regularly, what would you.
[01:53:17] Chad Timmerman: a little worried that he said about a month. If about a month is six weeks out. I think this is less risky than if about a month is three weeks out, depending on the proximity, the event. This could be something that he’s not going to rebound from in time for the event. Um, and then I would just speak consistent with his, how much he affects the load that he’s carrying up until this point.
So if he, if he knows he’s doing 200 TSS weeks and he’s going to go out and do a 400 TSS week, okay. Maybe go for it again, assuming you’re you’re well enough away from your event, but don’t shoot for some 500, 600 tripling of what you’re, what you’re accustomed to, and just hope that the body’s going to be shocked.
So severely that it turns you into twice the athlete you were prior to do it.
[01:54:01] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, you can’t. Um, because my fear is that Duncan lets go of doing any work in between now and then, and then just does this week and then hopes for a similar outcome. Right? Okay.
[01:54:12] Chad Timmerman: Carry a consistent training load into it. And then again, I think we’ve talked about safely doubling being at being a training camp, uh.
[01:54:22] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Rule of thumb. Yeah. In terms of training stress and Duncan, try to just let go of the low volume plan thing and just do train now. And when you can jump in and let train now suggest a workout for you because it’s a low of not being able to adhere to the low volume plan is an additional source of stress.
You don’t need that. So just when you’re able to train, use, train now and get in that workout. And then once you get into that training camp, you know, you might be able to stretch a bit above double if you’re really in like unable to be consistent and still get the desired effect. But, uh, you know, you don’t want to go too crazy with that week for sure.
Alex, how would you recommend that in this case, an athlete go through and they have this week where they can train and you’ve done this plenty of times where you get a week off of work and you fit in a lot of training into that. How do they do that without digging themselves in a hole? Yeah, I’m
[01:55:20] Alex Wild: I may be overreaching the question here and forgive me Duncan, if this isn’t an option, but my, my first step would be realizing how much you can do with little time.
And given I’m not a parent, but I am in a, in a relationship. So I, I understand how these things work. Jen has her things that she wants to do, and I have my things you want to do. So see if there’s just one hour or, you know, and again, not a parent. So if this doesn’t work, just disregard it. But if you can just find an hour, certain days a week where I’m going to be on my trainer for this.
Like, is it possible for the wife to watch the kid for just an hour somewhere during the day? Obviously, if that’s not an option, that’s not an option. And when we’re just gonna do the best we can with this week, and then with the week, I would just focus on getting in as much as I could. And then checking in day to day.
Again, it should be pretty easy to dig yourself a hole if, if you’re coming into this with minimal training. So, you know, maybe the first day you start with two hours zone to see how you feel and then kick it into another day and put in some, sweet-spot put in some longer stuff. Um, you didn’t mention here what the da event was.
So specificity would be a piece of that as well. And then also just the mental break, you know, like being a parent can be hard. So sort of using that week to also use the bike is therapy. We’ll, we’ll do benefits for you. And then, like Jonathan said, if you’re coming in pretty low leading up to this, I think you could probably do more than double and be fine.
But again, checking in with yourself each day and make sure that you’re, you’re fueling the work. And I would honestly skip like the, the rest day normally in the seven days and just go seven days straight. Cause you know, you’re going to get rest in terms of not riding after it. And then if you had to trade consistency before to consistency after.
Do it after. So come into that week, do the big seven days and then make sure you’re at least hitting some workouts, those next three weeks up into your race. Because if you do that one week and then you don’t ride between that and the race it’s gone. So trying to get an eye consistency before and after will will help.
Even if it’s three hours a week. Like if you can say, okay, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, we’ve agreed that I have an hour to be on the trainer. I would also do it on the trainer because you have very limited time. So that specificity is specificity and time directly peddling. The entire time will make it more equate to an hour and a half an hour, 15 minute ride for somebody else.
So just trying to be as good with the time you have as
[01:57:59] Jonathan Lee: you can. I would recommend to looking at this mechanically in terms of what you’re building. If you have this big training camp opportunity a month before your event, you are not going to be able to build all the fitness you need a month before the event like that.
That won’t happen. Um, instead, what you’ll be able to do is you should look at that as a way to boost existing fitness or specify or tailor, uh, existing fitness, rather than just trying to create it, uh, that, that can be tricky. So in this case for the workouts that you can fit in, in between now, and then I would recommend.
Going for sweet spot work going for that sort of, you know, threshold, if he can, that sort of work. So with train, now, that’s going to be the climbing workouts. That’ll be suggested to you. The reason for that is because you’re getting more aerobic benefit with less time, and that’s what you’ll want to do.
And you’ll want to maximize your time there. Uh, you probably, you can mix in some intensity to, to keep it interesting, but just know that he for doing like 30 thirties and that sort of stuff, that isn’t a replacement for that steady state work that you could be getting from sweet spot, particularly when your volume constrained to this degree.
And then, like Alex said, once you get into that training camp, uh that’s when you can focus on a bit more specificity for your AFN, and also don’t be afraid to vary the days in your training camp. You don’t have to do the same thing every day. So look at it as like, okay, this day I’ll go a bit easier and maybe I don’t even go that long, but, and that day, I, even though I spent less time on the biking and I spend more time doing, you know, mobility work, uh, recovery, anything else that you want to do to be able to absorb as much as he can.
So don’t feel like you just have to, if you have six hours every day that you need to be on the bike for six hours, think of how to make yourself the best athlete for your race. And if you do that, that probably looks like specificity. That probably also looks like you spending some time to make sure that you can continue to complete the workouts throughout the week.
So. Afterward after you’d do this camp, it’s key that you don’t try to just keep things going. Uh, you will have come in volume constraint, then you’ll have done this big, you’ll have done this big week of volume and see you’ll be tempted and you probably won’t have a whole lot of stress on your system from training before then.
So you might even be tempted to, just to keep carrying on and do extra hard workouts thereafter, give yourself a week of very easy work, uh, do that after this week. And I think that that will you’ll, that’s going to help you absorb a whole lot more of that training stress that you’ve got make better adaptations come race day.
So Chad, any other recommendations for Dunkin? Oh, sounds good. Cool. Uh, thanks everybody for joining us on this episode, please share it with your friends. Go check out train road.com and sign up, uh, adaptive training and plan builder and everything else is going to make you faster than you ever have been for your goal events this year.
Super exciting. So go check that out, go to train road.com and once again, head over to our Instagram page. So you can see all these strength training exercises that we talked about, and we’ll also be putting them up on train road.com/blog. So you can check everything out there with some really helpful texts and everything else for all of you.
So thanks everybody. We will. We’ll talk to you next time. Thanks everybody right.