A little bit of strength training goes a long way...even during base

The idea that the kids in the placebo group had to do ~4 months of base only to get smoked by the weight trained group in the final TT kinda makes me think this study is bordering on unethical. :smiley:

I’d be pretty satisfied with a BASE training period that improved my 45min TT performance by 8%. That’s pretty good for a group of kids sitting at ~312W already. And all they had to do to achieve those gains were four exercises: knee extensions, inclined leg press, hamstring curls, and heel raises. That’s it. Maybe not the best exercise selection but, honestly, exercise selection doesn’t seem to make much difference in these strength training studies…as long as it’s some steady progression in a lower body exercise it seems to be good for a +7% or +8% gain.

That’s a lot for what were already pretty highly trained athletes. +25W. During base training.



That‘s mighty convincing @Brennus. Sadly enough that means I have to find a way to add strengrg training to traditional base high volume :nauseated_face:


I have started to bring strength work into my plan now, i think i am noticing the differences. Like you said above with a small select of excerices.

I only do goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, split squats and press ups really


I should try some of this stuff at home if I can. No interest in going back to the gym especially with all the nonsense going on in the current environment


@mrpbennett I have to be honest…I think you’re first three exercises are a better cycling-specific selection than what the author’s chose. :smiley: Those are three really good exercises for cycling, I bet.

I like me some pressing but I doubt it makes me faster. Still, I do 'em twice a week.


lol thanks…i mean im limited to a 12.5kg Kettlebell at the moment with 5kg dumbells.

Need people to stop buying fitness equipment during lock down…haha


Probably smart!

What would you do at home? Maybe 1-legged get-ups from a seated position? Throw some stuff in a backpack to make them harder. Heel raises you can do pretty much anywhere, anytime.

Somebody showed me a hip flexor bodyweight exercise once where you just sit on the floor with your leg extended & then lift your heel up and move it laterally over a coke can…back and forth. Sounds simple but it’s harder than it sounds. Stronger hip flexors help cycling, I bet.

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The fitness equipment boom is crazy! Hard to believe. Lucky for me…I used to run a gym out of my garage (‘Hardcore Clean’) and I’ve still got, literally, a ton of weights, lifting platform, squat rack, reverse hyper, bench, bumpers, etc. So I’m spoiled for choice and finally, this is the reason I’ve held onto all that stuff.

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You had me at strength training :joy:


I was going to cut back, but this really makes me want to carry on with 2 sessions per week… Screw it, I’m back in! :muscle:

While in season, I can’t add any squats or quads training to my schedule. It’s just too much load. I do strength training, but mostly upper body and deadlift. Off season, squats will be back, along with snowboarding.

Love me some good blog posts over at TrainingPeaks https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/you-need-a-stronger-body-not-a-better-bike/

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So these studies are saying strength training has no benefit to you as a cyclist? Or have i completely mis read them?

I find that hard to believe, stronger legs, core and other exercises surely mean more power output?

From one of the papers “It is possible that with this population, various factors such as acute fatigue, strength, and aerobic gains from the cycling training, in addition to well-developed bases of strength and conditioning from previous training, reduced differences between groups in both strength gains and cycling performance.”
I have difficulty believing that coming from doing zero strength training (me) actually starting to do some wouldn’t result in some improvements.


@carytb the evidence is pretty clear that you will see a benefit! :smiley: And that’s what TR has told us right from the get go if you read through their blog docs.

The surprise to me was the magnitude of the improvement and the simplicity of the strength training program. I think if you just did some deadlifts or quarter squats & some 1-legged get-ups from a seated position (do them goblet if you want) you’d probably capture most of the benefit.

But I do love renegade rows & planks. Just think they’re more of a 2ndary benefit.

Also, consider the two studies I’m referring to (Ronnestad 2010 & Aagaard 2010)…those were pretty well trained cyclists. 6%-8% 40 minute TT improvement for a well trained cyclist during base training is a pretty good result.

That’s what the studies show.

Like many other things, weight training apparently improves cycling performance only if your name is Ronnestad.

That would be nice except gyms were closed recently.

I was up to 150KGx8 on my squats too, the goal being to hit 200KG squat before January.

Well now I guess all I can do is SSBHV


@mrpbennett…here’s one for the ladies…same result, though, 40min TT up 6.4% after endurance training plus strength training (p=0.002 yikes!) with no change in the endurance training only group.

Once again, using a strength program that is pretty much without guile…quarter squats, single leg press, heel raises, hip flexion. 11 weeks of strength training. That’s it. I think TR recommends pistols & deadlifts…probably won’t change the result any.