How to add deadlifts and squats without burning out?

I’m wondering what’s the best way to fit in some good squat and deadlift routines into TR training. I’ve had a couple PTs now say that my glute and ham strength is not good - that my quads are getting too dominant.

I’ve tried to dial back the bike to just two days a week and add in two resistance days a week - one for squat and one for deadlift - but even that seems like my legs can’t recover.

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If you’ve never squatted before, it might take you a week to recover and feel fresh again, but over time that subsides. This is why your offseason or base period is a good time to start. If you’re halfway through Build i probably would hold out.

If you’re only riding 2 days a week follow your bike days with your weight training days and you’ll be fine.

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You may not be able to sustain a TR base period with intervals and weight training. Thinking about doing zone 2 rides. Your weight training sessions are your intervals right now.


Start with just the bar and slowly work your way up.


This. I’ve had no trouble with adding in a 5x5 starting with the minimum weights (will feel too easy at first, this is good) to a cycling plan


start with a 4 week adaptation period, mostly focused on body weight and then just the bar.

then use a linear progression method so that you test and don’t add too much weight at once.

Squat and deadlift are my jam all year round; massive benefits to those!

Let me know if you have other questions about it.



I started a weight training program in November but it’s taken me until now to get through sessions without major DOMS lasting for 2-3 days. Part of the delay was Xmas break and then illness. I really wish I had started the preparation/adaptation period in September!

I just finished this plan, a 10 week off season weight training plan. Its intended for the pre base period. The lifting had different phases with 2-3 sessions per week. The cycling was a mix of zone 2 rides and some strength or speed focused intervals. I was on the bike 2 to 4 times per week. There was some stretching and core work too in addition to the weights. the end result is arriving at the start of base strong and in decent enough cycling fitness to hit it ready to go.

TR has the info to put something like this together if you dig into the blog posts and the podcasts but that takes some work and you’re still mostly on your own. They really should make a formal plan for off season strength work.


Listened to the FasCat podcast on that plan after finishing early base (TR’s TB 1 and 2). Not the best timing, LOL, would have purchased the plan had I known about it in August. Really appreciate Frank Overton walking thru the plan on his podcast. Great stuff :+1:t3:

As someone who added two or three 5x5 sessions to the training week without issues I’m thinking you’re either much harder on your weights or bike sessions.

I usually lift the same day as a bike or run, sometimes in the same session, and I’m no hero.

Can you reduce the weight you’re lifting?

I’ve incorporated two weight sessions/week into my current offseason plan. I’m also doing SSBLV instead of the usual MV so that I really have the time and energy to focus on strength training.

As others have suggested, for lunges and deadlifts, start with just the bar then gradually add weight. I did that and even though I lift throughout the year, my legs were very sore after that first, “easy” session.

I agree with critpig. At first if I haven’t sqatted for a while my legs are sore especially if I go heavy but over time that does subside.

I am currently on a 3x weekly plan that has me squatting two days and deadlifting the other. I am in the build phase low volume and more often than not do my squat days on the same day as my build workout. sure my legs are tired but they also have more time to recover before the next workout.

I generally add in endurance rides or recovery rides on non TR planned workout days.

I’ve been following you on Strava and seeing your gym days. Curious how this will change when you’re in race season. 1 day/week? Any idea on which day? I find that strength training annihilates my on-the-bike work in terms of how much fatigue it creates. RPE goes sky high.

RPE does increase sometimes for sure, so i stacked workouts strategically…ie after lift i work on cadence, overspeed especially. it’s like recovery and getting a solid workout in.

i eventually will drop from working to push bigger weight to a more maintenance style lifting; 2x per week, about 85% 1-3 rep max, ON NON-Race weeks (1x per week on race weeks with 3 days recovery between…so lift Tues and Race Sat). I’m honestly still fiddling with this.

Plyo is another option when big races loom, but these also leave me tired so I rather get the neuro benefit from bigger weight and maintenance than more speed during season.

hope that helps!