A bit impressed by strength training

Started with a physical trainer beginning of december at a base level and focused on finding where my strength is and building muscular endurance doing split workouts 2x a week.

After this base month of strength training i got an ftp of 166 which was 7 pts higher than my last test from october. Since the october test i had covid and only performed 7 workouts. I largely attribute a gain to strength training.

Starting Jan 3rd i added my cycling plan into the mix and now doing 5 days a week on LV (2strength/3cycling). Most recent test yielded a 10 pt increase.

Along with the LV plan we moved into touching every muscle group 2x a week with a focus of strength at the beginning of the block and moving towards muscular ensurance or higher rep sets.

Overall nutrition has been hard to handle as appetite can be quite voracious and ive gained 5 lbs since december even though i feel much more fit.

As a member of the low ftp club im hoping to breakthrough that 200 watt barrier :slight_smile:

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I don’t do massive amounts of weight training my self (usually simple squats) but I note when I have neglected it entirely imbalances in my legs have developed.

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I’m 49 & had never done any kind of strength work in my life until about 2 months ago. I started doing bodyweight squats, lunges & pushups 3x per week. I progressed into doing the squats/lunges with a 15lb weight from a barbell. I ended up buying a bowflex adjustable kettlebell & am up to 35lbs squats/lunges & I’ve added kb swings, some pulling lifts with my arms & oblique bend thingies. I’ve always had pretty strong looking legs but yesterday in the mirror I noticed definition in the different muscle groups in my upper legs, I’m pretty amazed, actually.

Last year, with strictly riding, hiking & walking, I fought tooth & nail to lose about 5lbs. I’ve lost in the neighborhood of 15lbs so far this year which is just shocking to me. I’m also eating meals within in an 8 hour window daily which is likely a contributing factor. So all of the above is the good news.

The not so good news is that I’m not able to train hard on the bike yet. The strength work is really taking a lot out of me & I don’t have the energy to complete many workouts much above tempo. I figure I’ll continue what I’m doing through March & reconfigure everything to focus on speed on the bike but maintain the strength I’ve built. I should be another 5-10lbs lighter by then & I’ll have 3.5 months to get ready for my first mtb race which is 100k I chose to do singlespeed.

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I know this is cycling focused forum, but the grand majority of us are not going pro, and I think it’s important that we view fitness through the lens of an entire life. Strength training certainly should hold a high position on the hierarchy, especially since cycling is a non-load bearing exercise. I would like to be a really good athlete who specializes in cycling than someone who bikes a lot but can’t do a push up or hike up a mountain on a whim.

FWIW, I was always active as a kid but didn’t do a single barbell squat until I was 20 years old. After 2 months of doing barbell squats and only lifting a fairly low amount of weight, I couldn’t believe how much faster I could run. It was like using a cheat code. Plus it’s fun to be strong!

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I was speaking to a mate a few weeks back who made it to a Cat 1 racer. He was telling me that he plateaued a bit until he started with weights which elevated him to another level (Cat 1).

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It’s always the training you weren’t doing that takes you to another level!

Do a block of SIT, HIIT, threshold training, or long and slow for the first time and you’ll get good gains.

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Thats truly my goal. Fitness is high value to me. Ive always been active wether its HS sports, city leagues, or finding a hobby like cycling.

Main goal is to be able to do these activities when im retired and have grandkids. Im only 34 but i dont want health and ability to keep me from fun. I wont be a 300+ watt powerhouse but as long as i can do some fun grand fondos and bike tours life is good. Just need the ftp to be at a spot where i can go up steeper inclines at threshold instead of high VO2 max :slight_smile:

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I love the bowflex kettlebell. Handle is a bit narrow compared to regular kettlebells but it works and I don’t want a ton of kettlebells around. I also have powerblock dumbbells which are great for what I need.

If you haven’t tried the Turkish get up exercise I highly recommend it. Definitely start with bodyweight first. I love it as it targets a lot of muscles but it helps a lot with shoulder stability which is helpful for me.

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Thank you -I have not tried them but bodyweight would be the best way for me to start for sure.

Well done on the gains!
As long as the weight gain is muscle and not fat you will be faster. Dont focus on bodyweight, focus on body composition.

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The latest research indicates that mixing aerobic AND strength training may provide cumulative health benefits beyond those gained from one or the other. Surprising reductions to be attained in all-cause mortality rates, including heart disease and cancer.

So it seems that you may be on to a real winner here.

Muscle strengthening lowers risk of death from all causes, study shows | Health | The Guardian

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I’ve noticed the same thing. Not with FTP, but just an overall feeling of being stronger and my life being more functionally easier. All the better since I’m fast approaching my 65th birthday. I’ve also dropped over 5 pounds this winter, mostly from adding a more consistent strength training program.

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This isn’t always the result - I’m over 60 now and since hitting the weights about 4 years ago I’ve added 2.5 stone. (No, not all around my waist!). Still manage a good variety of aerobic activity too, not just cycling, roughly 2:1 / aerobic:anaerobic.