Gym routine suggestion

Main training focus is running and cycling, normally run 5 days a week to and from work covering about 35 to 40 miles a week (runs of between 3 to 6 miles with odd longer run every couple of weeks up to 10 miles) and then ride on a Saturday and Sunday. Ride on a Saturday is tempo ride in chaingang with 5 minute effort on a climb where we regroup then final 6 miles is race sim with sprint finish. Sunday is a bit more social group ride with a few efforts. Although don’t race like to be competitive on Saturday ride.

Been prioritising sleep in past 12 months so getting decent sleep and body has adapted to running or cycling every day this and a lot of my runs are at a very easy pace to ensure I’m not too fatigued/overtraining.

I used to do a lot of strength training many moons back before I got into cycling but took a back seat to the point it’s now non existent apart from odd bit of kettle bell and bodyweight stuff which is not very consistent.

Now in a position with childcare that can build in 2 to 3 strength sessions at gym again, more than likely it will be two sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday that I can definitely commit to, so what sort of routine/exercises/reps would you recommend?

Current weight is ~160 lbs @ 5’ 8" and FTP if it matters is 306.

I’d like to improve my body composition while staying lean and around same weight as don’t want to get too skinny and would like to build up skinny boney shoulders as main priority.

Likely gym days will be Tuesday and Thursday. So thinking two full body sessions although not ideal with just one day between 1st and 2nd session - what sort routine/exercises would you recommend that will not hinder bike performance.

Basically want to maintain my good-ish bike performance but improve look of my upper body, kind of a fine balance.

Any help or advice appreciated


I’ve followed something similar before I found this clearly written article. I like to mix up the exercises within this framework.

Hope this helps!

Not sure on weight access but you can do these with anything from dumbells to a full rack. As a runner turned cyclist (still running), I focus on the following: Deadlifts, squats, DB/KB row, DB/KB push press. I also really like curtsey squats with a KB as a way to really focus on glute strength. I usually do a warm up set and then 3 x 10 of each exercise. Obviously it’s laregly based on how much time you have but I can usually roll through this decently quick (20-30min). And obviously do core work but all of these will also work your core to an extent as well. Cheers mate!

For a full body split, I would devise two separate workouts working the same muscle groups, but with different exercises. On Tuesday I’d hit quads and hamstrings with something like squats and lying leg curls, then on Thursday switch up the exercises and do leg press or hack squat for the quads, and Romanian Deadlifts for the hamstrings.

For upper body, the main focus would be doing a push and pull exercise. So Dumbbell Bench Press and Lat Pull down one day, and Shoulder Press and dumbbell rows or barbell rows on Thursday. Depending on how much time you have, you could throw in exercises for arms. Probably also a good idea to do some form of band pull aparts or rear-shoulder exercise as all of us cyclists usually need to focus on that area to correct all the time we are hunched over on the bike.

As far as reps, I’d start with the classic 8-12 reps, for 3 sets, then add a set as you progress. The nice part about a full body split is that depending on how much time you have, you can work the antagonistic muscles in a superset fashion that will cut down on time.

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big fan… safe lifting and linear progression; i cycle off during race season to maintenance lifting but this got me STRONG!


I’ve got a set of 16kg, 24kg & 32kg kettlebells & I’m working my way through the Simple & Sinister programme by Pavel Tsatsouline. Plenty of work/weight & literally designed as a minimum schedule to keep your fitness/strength up for your main sport. Couldn’t recommend it enough.

The book is on Amazon & well worth a read if you’re going to follow it. There’s a good outline here though