I am gaining weight after going to the gym! (Gained 5kgs!)

I am 19 y/o, was weighing 70 kgs during mid-November with an FTP of 4.2w/kg(determined via 20 min FTP test). I started my offseason with a 2-week break followed by lifting weights(have been doing it for the past three weeks). I currently go to the gym thrice a week and keep my bike work pretty easy i.e no interval training or any serious training. Just some unstructured rides. I am lifting heavy and train for hypertrophy. I am planning to satisfy the level two strength requirements in terms of squats and bench press only and my workouts are as follows:

Day#1: Back squats(maintain 5 reps @55% bodyweight + train till failure)
Day#2: 1 hour z2 ride
Day#3: Bicep curls(train till failure).
Day#4: rest
Day#5: 2-hour endurance group ride
Day#6: Bench press(train till failure)
Day#7: 2 hours and 30 minutes endurance (group ride)

I am planning to repeat this cycle for another 5 weeks before I start SSB Lv1 and I am wondering if this weight gain is normal? Coach Chad said that strength is a common limiter for cyclists and it is also important to work on non-cycling muscles to maintain a healthy bone density.

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You dropped intensity, started lifting for hypertrophy and I’m guessing relaxed your diet a bit.

It’s not surprising that you put on weight. Strength gains while training endurance usually levels off in around 6-8 weeks, so you can prob drop the 3x a week down to 1 or 2 sessions after that time.


My diet is the same but I noticed that my heartrate during rides are on average 5-10bpm higher than before due to detraining. My plan is to maintain the strength which I have gained by hitting the gym once a week and fulfilling those benchmarks.

I think I can put out more power which makes it better than working towards dropping weight.

IMO you’d be better off progressing the weight on the back squats than training sets till failure if you want it to help your power.

And obviously the bicep and bench aren’t going to help your power on the bike at all.


Well those bicep curls are certainly going to come in handy for lifting your bike out of your vehicle.


Lose the Bench press and the bicep curls, do pushups and pullups instead. Bicep curls are useless and the bench press is only slightly better. Go back to structured intervals instead of unstructured riding and you will improve.

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I am not sure if bicep curls and bench presses have a negative effect on cycling. I obviously don’t want to bulk up but I want to keep them toned to be better in terms of aesthetics. I will increase the weight in squats though!

But then if bench press isn’t going to help my power on the bike then why is it mentioned in trainerroad’s strength benchmarks? https://blog.trainerroad.com/coach-chads-strength-training-recommendations-for-cyclists/

From the intro,

Strength limitations are too commonly a performance limiter whether riders recognize it or not. These limitations also correlate strongly with bone deficiency and muscle atrophy in the lesser-used, ‘non-cycling’ muscles, so strength training should not be neglected.

Looks like we are missing something…

For sure, the bicep curls help me lift heavy things like my neo lol so I don’t feel like neglecting that.

Performance != power

Honestly it depends what discipline you are racing and what your current limiters are. But I wouldn’t expect to increase your FTP via the bench press.

I do understand that most of the power can be gained by doing on the bike training and I don’t have any goal. I created a topic asking for a benchmark to determine if my base is strong or not(How do I know if I have a strong base?)) and I feel burnt out after 10 minutes of sweetspot and it comes with a great deal of discomfort so I don’t have a strong base but it is something that I can work on.

I am a roadie FYI and I want to reduce the discomfort on riding but I feel like strength is hindering my potential as I have never done strength training before. I am very curious to see where this takes me…

I think the point is that Bicep curls and Bench press do not constitute an entire workout. If you want to work your upper body, do pushing and pulling exercises , multiple exercises, a couple days a week. You are wasting your time doing a single exercise to failure. Find a variety of exercises to do each week and you’ll benefit more with all around fitness.


If you want to develop total body strength, you should look to do more variety than just bench, curls and squats. In particular, add more core and pulling exercises. I’d replace the bench with (or at least add) Spider-Man pushups (help work the core also). Curls are fine, but make them a compound exercise like curl and press. Work in some single leg squats. Overall, get more variety and balance.

That’s crazy talk! Off-season bicep curls are how winners are made! :rofl:

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5 reps at 55% isn’t the best way to get where you want to go. 55% is less than the body weight percentage of a standard pushup. So what you are doing is the equivalent of 5 push ups, resting, another 5 pushups, resting, not very helpful honestly.

You would be better off doing set 1 with 10 reps with a light weight to dial in your form, loosen up and prep your body for heavier weight. Set 2 try 55% of your BW or if you can go heavier, do so, but shoot for something you can do 8 times with great form and without going to failure, but making that last rep challenging. Then add weight and go for a 4-5 rep weight that again allows you to finish with good form but is challenging on the last rep. Keep track of your weight and once you get to a weight range you are comfortable with you can do this once a week and maintain that weight basically indefinitely.

I would kill the bicep curls entirely and switch to chin ups. If you can’t do a chin-up get a stool and hang on the bar and lower your weight very slowly. Get on the stool and do it again. It won’t be long until you can bang out chin-ups. You can do bicep curls for life and it may not lead to being able to do one chin-up so honestly, get rid of them.

Bench press is fine to keep in there. It isn’t going to help your FTP but it will strengthen your upper body and this does have benefits FTP does not measure. Upper and lower pecks, triceps, abs and deltoids are all activated on the bench press. You also use all of those muscles on the bike and the bench press is a compound movement and is also included in Coach Chad’s Strength Training Benchmark table and rightfully so.

You can build your bench the same way I suggest building your squat (10-8-5 reps). There are a lot of different theories on “the best” way to do sets/reps but what I’m suggesting is pretty much middle of the road weight training.

A little weight gain from added muscle is probably a good thing for you especially if you are squatting 55% of your body weight. That will go up quickly and all your lifts will rise if you deadlift but that’s another conversation on its own.

Good luck


Just FYI

The density of muscle is 1.0599 grams in every cubic centimeter . The density of fat is 0.9094 grams in every cubic centimeter .

I’m at 11% body fat.

I keep an eye on my fat percentage more than my overall weight.

At 198 cm I weigh when last checked 77.4 Kg

At the end of the day, it’s about Power to Weight Ratio and honestly even then I wonder when doing the club rides!

Just get on your bike and go ride and enjoy yourself. :crazy_face:

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Thanks! Maybe it is all water retention as I have never done high weight low reps in my entire life. When I was 14 y/o I just got some dumbbells and was doing bicep curls and it helped slightly.

I will continue the bench press and the squats but I am disappointed with the results on bicep curls lol. I will be doing this strength training for a couple of more weeks before I start SSB LV. Honestly, I enjoy doing bicep curls and any weight bearing exercise contributes to a better bone density right?

I have been lifting for 5 years now and i have never heard of any1 doing a biceps only day ;p

What really worked for me is running and upper lower split in the gym while still doing endurance rides.

Schedule would look like this:

Day 1: Legs (squats, lunges, sometimes deadlift)
Day 2: Upper body (bench press, pull ups, military press, tbar row, dips.
Day 3: Zone 2 ride
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Upper body
Day 6: Zone 2 ride
Day 7: rest

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The weight gain you are experiencing could be do to inflammation. Your muscles are trying to recover from the breakdown of muscle from lifting heavy weights. Also may have some weight gain from easing off the bicycling.

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pretty hard to find out if the weight gain is caused by lifting weights or by reducing the miles or through a combination of both. I will see how much I weigh before I start SSB Lv.

Chris Opie from GCN has well toned biceps :muscle::muscle:

What about if you want to look good naked?