CrossFit, Orange Theory, HIT, Strength Training?

Anyone else doing CrossFit or Orange Theory Fitness, something along the lines of that with your TR sessions?

I just started this week and felt like Monitor last night was very difficult. I am debating in dialing the intensity back some for other rides. This week was first week back to any strength training / HIT, so it may just be the changes in my activities.

I’ve been adding the Runs and Workouts to my Calendar as well.

I actually posted a similar response in a separate thread, take a look here:

Short version is - you’re significantly stressing your body at cross fit (or similar) and it will impact your ability to ride and recover. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if your goals are cycling focused you should consider dropping the other work


Strength two or three times a week, focused on core and upper body. Leg work is mostly on the bike. Has not impacted my cycling as I’m not doing squats or related heavy lifts on legs. Has made a huge positive difference in my overall health and well being. If I was competing for a state or national title, would probably respond differently (strength training in base, going to maintenance in build, and then tapering off in advance of event).

Just received an email on the topic a few minutes ago:

And Coach Chad recommends strength training as well.

Different coaches will make different recommendations.

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My goal is to primarily get more fit and drop fat / weight. This will help both areas and make me faster on bike in the summer. I’ll just continue to suffer, after hearing Jason on the podcast and that he dials down his from/intensity I have less worries.

I have tended to avoid lower-body strength training as I felt I was getting enough on the bike.

But I read a bit about the Maximum Overload program on here, bought the book and did the assessment on Tuesday. Plenty of squats and walking lunges, among other things, and I am still a bit sore today.

I was concerned that it would impact my TR workout but in fact once I got on the bike I found that the soreness didn’t really impact my ability to ride on the whole. However, form sprints were definitely off, compared with previous workouts.

Maybe this is because I’m doing traditional base at the moment and therefore workouts are slanted strongly towards aerobic endurance. Once I switch to sweet spot (Jan) and/or move onto build (Apr) I will see the residual tiredness from the strength sessions impacting my rides. If so I will dial the strength sessions back.

On the other hand, that will be a few weeks/months away, so I may have adapted to the strength moves by then, and be recovering more quickly.

Here’s a Trainer Road podcast about CrossFit in case you haven’t heard it yet, I found it helpful.

Edit: Another interesting article I read a few weeks back, thought it was semi-relevant to the thread:


My experience earlier this year was that I was able to hold a significant amount of weightlifting volume and continue progressive overload while doing sweet spot work (Half Triathlon Low Volume Base in my case, but it’s geared toward sweet spot work). However, once I hit the build phase, I couldn’t hold on, and needed to drop volume and hold my weights steady for awhile. YMMV, and in particular if you go with higher volume plans you might need to be more careful (although keep in mind that triathlon low volume plans still have a lot of extra work in terms of running and swimming…).

Thanks for this, that was my expectation too.

It makes sense to continue to ramp up the strength work during basem but switch to maintenance during build.

Like all these things, though, got to keep it all under review and adjust the workload as appropriate.

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I shall listen!

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My personal experience with CrossFit at the same time as biking is that biking seems to suffer a lot more due to the muscle soreness that CrossFit generates. Almost after every WOD I was always sore, and a lot of the WOD’s incorporate so many different muscles that the majority of my body was trashed, haha. Part of the issue that I had is you have a prescribed weight, or you modify if you can’t do that, but you’re always trying to hit what is prescribed. Then you’re always trying to do as many reps as possible or as fast as you can. There’s just not a lot of room in that to back off to not generate the epic DOMS haha. That’s just my experience. Now I just focus on general strength with my TRX and a few weights/kettlebells. But I can decide on reps to help control the soreness a bit.

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I think you can do other exercise to increase general health that isn’t crossfit, orange theory, or HIIT. The problem with those is they are all non-bike specific VO2 max workouts and as a result you won’t be able to get the intensity on the bike. You can easily lift weights, do yoga, etc… that don’t have a major cardiovascular demand to improve general health and not impair your cycling capacity.

Exactly this. Core strength work is very different from the HIIT stuff being described here and can (should?) be done throughout the season. If you do HIIT you limit your capabilities on the bike during whichever phase you are doing it. In base this might just mean less volume of base, but even this does have an affect on overall cycling performance later in the year.

Again, if you are mostly focused on overall health and weight loss none of this is a bad thing. If, however, you are primarily focused on being faster on your bike then this is a limiter - whether it is one you are willing to tolerate is totally up to you

So far so good in November. Finally into my TR Sweet Spot Base plan and doing activities outside of the indoor cycling dungeon. Dialing the nutrition in slowly, this clydesdale wants to switch divisions!

I’m currently mixing CrossFit and strength training with SS Base low volume. I’ve been able to combine the two without issue and usually add an extra hour of endurance riding as well. I combined the two because CrossFit is fun and I wanted some off season strength training without sacrificing my aerobic fitness. As an added bonus, it gives me the option to start my build plan in January rather than early April. I’ll either do that or repeat SSB 2 but at mid volume as I’ve got a bit of time to play with. I was debating doing a double build but it appears that’s not recommended.

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Hey guys I need some advice here please. I practice crossfit 3 times per week and in the past I was also riding my bike with TR in low volume but I realize that after some time I don’t recover in time in order to perform well neither in crossfit neither riding. My primary sport is crossfit but I would like to improve my cardio fitness so I thought that riding would be a good idea because It’s a low impact sport. What do you recommend?

Quite simply, you are doing too much intensity. You have to drop something. Based on your primary sport being Crossfit:

  1. You need to drop (exclude) one or more bike workouts.
  2. Or you can reduce the intensity of one or more of the bike workouts.

I suspect others will have better specific advice, but I think option #1 and getting down to 1 or 2 bike workouts is all you will be able to handle and still get gains.

Thank you for your help :wink:
Do you think that I should continue following the TR plans: Base I and II then Build etc or should I choose specific workouts from the list?

Following a plan makes some sense for the sake of progression. But if you are only doing one or two bike workouts per week, you might just come up with a few workouts you like and rotate through them.

If your main goal from them is cardio stress, I don’t think it is as critical to follow the typical plan progression. They seem very secondary to your primary CF focus, so I see less overall impact once you find ones that work for you.

I second @mcneese.chad. Depending on your long term cycling specific goals, hand select the workouts or intervals you’d like to improve on.

I do have a friend who was able to do HV plans, workout 1x a week, maintain full time job, family, etc. so depending on the person and their life, it is possible. However, one of those things will suffer as there is only so many hours in a day/week.

Good luck with your training. It sounds like you have perspective on your fitness goals.

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I have a full time job plus a part time, combined it’s 50~80h working (part time is variable) but I was managing to still workout 6 times per week. It was not easy but it was possible but I accumulated too much fatigue.

For my goals, do you think that VO2 max workouts are the best for me?

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