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

Hey look - another Ronnestad study. quelle surprise

One interesting thing about these results is that they all seem to aggregate around 6% to 8% improvement regardless of the the strength training protocol. So long as the movements tend to be leg movements. In the UK study they tried a lot more complicated strength training protocol with some explosive lifts…some trap bar deadlifts…a circuit of core work.

In the end, +8.5% MAP in the intervention group…nothing for the control. Ha! It doesn’t seem like exercise selection isn’t all that critical. Maybe because resistance exercise is usually so novel for the typical elite cyclist.


No difference in change in relative VO2max between groups.


Yeah that’s another interesting thing…pretty universally VO2max does not change due to strength training intervention but power at 3mmol, HR @ ~VT1, avg power during 40 min TT, TTE @ MAP all generally improve. Even among very well trained cyclists.

It’s a very interesting result especially considering…and this is the thing that continues to stand out to me…the relatively simple and time efficient nature of the intervention.

Here’s another study where power output @ 70% O2 max went up 6.9% in the intervention group. All they did during the strength training protocol was smith machine 1/4 squats. That’s it. And, again, no improvement in VO2max.


It’s worth speculating what sort of improvement to power at lactate threshold might be expected if the intervention group had actually actively engaged in some VO2max training instead of just endurance cycling.

Just quoting the paper. Have you read it?

What’s noticeably lacking in all of these studies is an appropriate control group.

Do you only measure performance improvement by an increase in vo2max / aerobic capacity? Sorry I find that line of logic a bit like Tilting at Windmills, I was never under the illusion that strength training would improve vo2max or aerobic capacity. Bringing up that “fact” is a non-sequitur, its why I find your belief system fascinating. I’m left :man_shrugging: when you post something about vo2max in a thread that isn’t about vo2max.

Yes I’ve looked at most if not all of the strength papers in this thread and others.


@bbarrera one thing is certain sure: doing some squats or deadlifts w/ proper form ain’t gonna make ya slower. :crazy_face:

Squatting is fun. Let’s you & me get some squats in. @old_but_not_dead_yet, you be the control group! :wink:

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here!! here!!

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He’s just always trying to pull some intellectual flex on everyone, kinda weird.


Right on, and I’ve got to get the CoC grippers out because my grip sucks again. I swear when you get to late fifties the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ should become a meditation mantra.

All my power PRs under 30 seconds are from 2016/2017, and 2020. There are two things in common with those seasons:

  • more aerobic development
  • more strength training

The 16-17 season saw more on-bike strength (sub 3W/kg big dude climbing mountains) with a concerted effort to start lifting in Sept 2016 in prep for a spring 2017 double century. This past year it’s been in the gym.

It will if it gets in the way of other training that is better-suited for improving cycling performance, such as high intensity intervals.

Even sprint cyclists benefit from making their resistance training as much like pedaling as possible.

@Brennus was touting the increase in “MAP” in the intervention group. I was just pointing out that it wasn’t different from that of the control group.

Ah! I understand your confusion, then. MAP means maximum aerobic POWER. So that’s a metric in Watts. VO2max is an oxygen consumption metric. You can have a higher MAP at the same VO2max (obviously, given the data we’re discussing).

Note the quotation marks.

Another benefit that I’ve found with doing strength training. I’m not as sore from doing hard bike workouts. Previously if I did a hard bike workout it would leave the supporting muscles quite sore, now the legs can be trashed but everything else is fine.

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Do low cadence/high force drills have similar benefits?

If you go as hard as you can up a 15% grade in a 50 x 14 from a standing start, maybe… but only if you’re a trackie.

Correction. It means Chad needs to accommodate our plans to include weight training assessment assessments and workouts into our schedules. Don’t want to over train and want to put the right exercises together! :slight_smile: