Confirmation of Strength Training - reps and sets

Hi all
I was really interested listening to one of the recent podcasts on strength training. Wasn’t sure whether to post there or here but anything - thought it might be good to clarify. Looking through the subsequent posts can I just confirm then that the best reps and sets combo for cyclists (I’m actually a triathlete - half and full distance) is to only do upto 5 reps (so obviously a really heavy weight) ie to exhaustion and you only need to do this once or at the most two sets.

I do actually have a coach at the moment and on the gym sessions his prescribed reps ad sets are 1st set 15, 2nd set 12. So am I wasting my time doing this? Am I better off doing much heavier so that I can only lift a maximum of 5?

Two follow ups -

  1. What do you recommend as a warm up in the gym - so cardio or some light reps first of the exercise you are about to do before going into the heavy stuff?
  2. Im obviously in base at the mo. Are you suggesting these sets and reps pretty much stay the same the year round and the progression comes that as you can start doing more than 5 reps in any of the exercises you move to a heavier weight

Thanks for clarifications

Can I ask a follow-up question here? (Or maybe two)
(1) If you don’t have anybody to help you spot weights in the gym, doing heavy lifting can be dangerous. Would it be better to use machines or lower weights (higher reps)?
(2) Are there any benefits to body weight exercises (which are generally low weight - other than pull-ups)?

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Hi I use a rowing machine for 10 mins at an aerobic pace as it puts the body in a squat type movement ( my weight training is predominantly heavy squats and deadlifts ) and then some dynamic stretching ( leg swings & knee raises ).

I started my base with 3 sets of 10 reps and am currently doing 5 sets of 6 ( squats and deadlifts )

This is working for me as a xc mountain biker. I am getting stronger in the gym and my short term powers are increasing as was the goal.


If squatting in a rack there should be some sort of fail safe ( the one i use has height adjustable rails ) so if you do go to the bottom and cant get back up it should be a case of letting the bar go onto the rails.

The key is to build up steadily, trying to lift heavy when fatigued and tired is a recipe for injury. Even a spotter wont save you from injurys when hero lifting and they can be season and back destroying in one lift. :slight_smile: