Can a rest day be used to go to a gym?

As the title suggests, can a rest day be used to go to a gym and do some strength training (upper body / core) or would it negatively impact the recovery from rides?

I’m sure there will be a lot of replies based on theory, etc, but in my opinion it comes down to an n=1 thing. I’ve found a gym session doesn’t seem to affect my training the next day, but a long dog walk does. It’s worth experimenting and keeping a training diary to get an insight as to what works for you, I’d say. Try it and see how you get on.

What does “gym” mean, that’s very vague? Doing heavy squats versus lightweight upper body will clearly have different responses. Also, where are you with your training and how far out is your A race or race season? Generally more strength training (gym) can be done during Base versus Build and Specialty.

All that being said, TR recommends your rest days to be restful, meaning as little work as possible. Ideally your “gym” work would happen the same day after your TR workouts. Then again, it will depend on you and what your body can handle.

I’ve learned a lot from the podcast and the biggest lesson is that a rest day is as rest day, no running lifting, riding. I agree with the above, do the gym workout on your interval day and rest on the rest day.

I’ve just started the Base and generally need to work on my core. Didn’t know that gym can be done the same day… but then again, as you say, it depends on one’s body. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it on the same day as I usually do indoor training in the evenings (as that’s the only time that’s available to me).

I think if you lifted heavy or did stressful stuff on your rest day, you would eventually start compromising the quality of your bike workouts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active and work on mobility/form/core.

In my experience there is also a conditioning period where it can have an effect on next days training initially purely due to it being a new stimulus but after a while you get less impact the next day.

Definitely good to start during base and just experiment. But it may be worth preservering for a few weeks, even if it does have a slight effect in those initial weeks. That’s my experience anyway

Keep your easy days easy.

Depends on what you view as a “rest” day. If you’re on a low volume TR plan, you have four days without prescribed workouts, but I wouldn’t necessarily call all four “rest” days. You could likely add one or two strength days into such a plan and be fine, as you would still have up to two days with no workout at all.

If you have at least two days a week with no training, I think odds are good you will do fine. Some could get away with just one true “rest” day per week, at least for a few weeks. As others suggest, try and see what works for you.

I’ve been combining SSB MV with 4x 50min TRX (bodyweight) strength sessions a week +1 additional ride. This leaves me with one full rest day.

I have found this manageable (just), with enough time between morning rides and evening strength sessions. I’m not sure it would work with heavy weights but in any case I prefer bodyweight training as my target is injury prevention and long-ride comfort rather than power.

When I get to Build phase I will reduce this to 2x TRX sessions and perhaps add in a yoga session to mix things up.

At my age (64) doing my weight workout on the same day as trainerroad intervals is too much. I ride MWF, and lift on Sat. My current challenge is recovering from all the snow shoveling.

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