Adjusting strength training to avoid DOMS

Go over to the StrongFirst forum and debate it with that crowd? Picking up and moving heavy shit is strength work in my world.

I get it if it’s just common terminology, but That is resistance training to develop position specific endurance. Not “strength” training.

Paraphrasing Generically:

Strength = Peak Force Production
Hypertrophy = Muscle Size
Endurance = Able to do it over and over again

If you’re training aero position, that’s endurance, not strength.

And no, I’m not going to go check out some forum full of gym bros like it’s a valid source of information when there are real resources like Andy Galpin (and others). Seriously, start with him if you haven’t, some of his physiology videos and playlists, or start with this Huberman Podcast…

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But you’ll debate it on a bike forum :rofl:

These are generally accepted as the same

  • strength training
  • weight training
  • resistance training

That’s all I’m saying.

Then we can get into specific types of training, which you’ve done above. Because “strength” is a word with many meanings (I opened two dictionaries for a laugh) we could be less ambiguous by rewriting what you wrote as:

  • training to increase max force
  • training to increase muscle size
  • training to increase endurance = amount of time under load

Force, size, duration.


That’s fine, it’s a terminology thing. I do it too.

But, my point was responding to your comment about “Strength” Training for being able to hold an aero position for hours. That is very specifically resistance training for muscular endurance, not strength.

And the best way to train that specifically is going to be specificity - go get in that position in your training and supplement it with your total body workout routine. Weights / resistance training isn’t what’s going to be the most important. Pretty much the same argument as training your FTP or TTE via weights vs. the bike…

Maybe things change in your late fifties, or I’m just old and feeble LOL because seriously general conditioning allows me to hold the position longer and come home without feeling fatigue. And not feel it the next day. Without training in the position. Let’s go with old and feeble LOL since I’m in my sixties now and taking my foot off the gas for 2 weeks sends my muscles spiraling backwards. In November, due to an injury I stopped lifting for 6 weeks. Big mistake. Never again.


I quickly glanced through some of the other replies, and one other guy also mentioned Coach Chad’s advice of keeping rest days as restful as possible, and spacing out your strength training from your TR rides on the same day by as many hours as possible:,hard%20days%20with%20easy%20ones.

With that in mind, I prefer to do strength and core workouts in the early mornings Tues/Thur, then do my 1-1:30 when I get back from work. I’ve found that to work well, rotating in/out different exercises depending on the time of year (I skate ski quite a bit in the winter), I know what I can handle for a “baseline” and adjust accordingly.

I gravitate towards spicy group road rides/races, gravel and MTB races but also like to have the fitness to ride centuries. Exercises like kettlebell swings, lunges, along with squats and deadlifts have dramatically improved any lower back and posterior chain issues I’ve had in the past. Based on what you mention at the end of your post, it sounds like you could also use some Bulgarian split squats and help with glute activation and recruitment. Good luck!

Not soreness for me as much as fatigue. First year doing str work seriously: Mon, Wed, Fri. Five days on TR workouts. The goblet squats (2x15) knock my legs out and have made some of the interval workouts a challenge. As May approaches I’m cutting back to 2x per week with far less stuff (doing about 10 things) and probably only 1x squats. Your post is timely for me because this has been on my mind. I don’t want to sacrifice my cycling for lifting. Weights, as much as I’ve enjoyed them, are there to supplement my riding. The rate I’m going they may interfere with it so I need to be conscious about my limits.

Good luck to you! You’ll make the right decisions.

Sounds like I’m struggling with the same thing. I’m currently right around 4w/kg, but would love to be higher. I’m working on approximately 8-10 hours per week on TR, and doing strength 2x/week. Two exercises:

Day 1:
Bench press (3 x 5 heavy sets)
Dead lift (1 heavy set), currently 305 pounds x 5 reps or so

Day 2:
Overhead press (3 x 5)
Squat (3 x 5, currently ~225 or so)

I’m finding that as I get up in weight (around 315-330 for my deadlift, 265 for my squats), my bike performance suffers and I can’t do my harder intervals in my TR plans.

Has anyone found that moving to lighter weight and 10-20 reps for the deadlift/squat effects this?

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You should periodize strength work the same way you periodize everything else in training. If the bike is your primary sport, then you should absolutely shift to lower weight, maybe higher rep scheme when the intensity picks up in your bike training, and probably focus on sport specific stuff rather than raw strength.

No way I would advise someone to do heavy squats and heavy deads year round while training on the bike. At some point you shift to things like lighter weight Bulgarian split squats or KB split squats, single leg deads, etc. Usually once you get into proper threshold training and then through race prep. Most importantly you shouldn’t be lifting to fatigue when training hard on the bike. Regardless of if it’s heavy/low rep or lighter/high rep, if you’re going to high fatigue or close to failure and then trying to train hard on the bike, that’s a mistake.

The last recommendation I make for all of my athletes who strength train (and I recommend everyone does some strength training, at least for injury prevention and resilience), is try to pair it up with your interval days, ideally AFTER your intervals if the bike is your big thing. Weightlifting is still intensity, and if you’re doing 3 days of intervals and then 2 days of weight lifting, you’re gonna have a bad time eventually.

But again, a lot of it depends on your goals and what your priorities are. You can’t peak at all the things all at once.


I agree with you because I tried to do what you say we shouldn’t :smiley: Three days of strength training a week with one lift hard, one medium and one supposedly light but mostly medium (deadlift, squat and barbell row). Together with 1.5-2 hours on the bike every day and of that three tempo sessions. I can say that is too much. Technique in the lifts improved but the weight didn’t. And power on the bike slightly regressed.

Although I must disagree about riding first. That might be true in case of VO2Max or harder intervals. But for threshold or tempo I would do weights first. Last Saturday I had to lift after 3.5h SS session because of time constraints and that reminded me of a couple of years back where I religiously did bike/run first for the reasons you mention. No fun at all!

Then you’re lifting too heavy for the work on the bike that you’re doing. Simple as that. You’re still trying to peak all the things at once. It’s fine if you don’t have any desire to be as good as you can be on the bike, but you are hamstringing your bike training by lifting first.


I’m with Kurt. Hard, hard disagree for me. Only session where I would ever lift first is endurance, maybe some easy tempo. Unless it’s stupid light and easy, lifting absolutely impacts any more difficult training session.


Yup, the periodization thing is just tougher because most of the automated lifting apps seem to want to just have me keep on going up in weight, and I’m lazy. :slight_smile:

I also struggle with is what my “season” is since I’m signed up for bike races from late spring to fall, with varying importance placed on races during the year.

Finally, I also struggle with what I “should” be prioritizing. In college when I was competing in a sport, it was easy because my season was built around a spring racing season for 4 years. Now that I’m a middle aged bike “racer,” ultimately my goal is maintaining strength/fitness for life. How to prioritize cycling/running/lifting around that isn’t clear to me.

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Those apps are lazy.

Go listen Joe Rogan interview Pavel Tsatsouline:

hopefully you will walk away with a better understanding of the different ways to program training.

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It’s tough, but for well-being and maintaining strength/muscle mass you don’t need to lift all that heavy. If it were me (and it has been in the past!!), I would focus on the bike if you’re racing and do light enough maintenance lifting to maintain muscle and injury resistance rather than trying to keep my squat at 2XX and deadlift at 3XX. Let those numbers go, and then hit them again during a 6-8 week max strength period in your offseason when all you’re doing is endurance riding.

Whenever you stop racing, then you can go lift the heavy stuff and try to PR your lifts. But again, if it’s well-being and aging gracefully, you don’t even need to focus on that (nor would I) unless you really want to.

Thanks, that’s helpful. Out of curiosity, would a plan like this include a rep range more in the 10-20 range?

Yeah 10-15 probably, depends on the exercise and weight you’re working with, obviously.