Low Volume + Strength + doms

Hi there,

I’m integrating strength training into a low volume plan base plan (and will progress through build, speciality etc later). But like many others on this topic, I am experiencing doms with lifting. I’m pretty experienced with lifting having progressed it from knee rehab to ‘proper’ strength training (squats, trap bar deadlifts etc) over the last year with a PT and strength coach. Now I am returning to cycling training, weaving the two together is challenging.
One approach I landed on circumstantially (due to having to reshuffle my week for a work event) was -

Mon - Rest
Tue - TR session
Wed - TR session
Thur - Strength
Fri -Rest
Sat - TR session
Sun - Strength

This worked nicely as I can do two TR bike sessions back to back without doms, and the saturday TR session is preceded my a rest day so I can feel relatively fresh for that. My concern is that the bike sessions aren’t spread out throughout the week - Tue + Wed vs Tue + Thur as prescribed in the plan. The Tue + Thur approach would mean strength training on Wed, which I have found makes the Thursday sweetspot workout feel incredibly hard!


Thanks all

As long as you’re putting the easiest TR ride on Wednesday, that looks perfect to me. :+1:



I have not followed the SS approach personally, as I have time to train a lot more. I have however tried out weeks with 6 SS sessions in a row during base season on three seperate occations. It was hard but I survived. After a day off on Friday on those weeks the weekend sessions felt as easy as Monday and Tuesday. I would not do that on a regular basis though. It was just an experiment, but I will probably do one of those weeks this winter as well. I do not think there is anything wrong with doing two SS sessions in a row, infact that is the point with SS training. Edit. it all depends on what you do the rest of the week of course. But regarding your outlined plan it looks perfectly fine! Helvellyn’s point of doing the easiest SS session on Wed is good!

Another way to do strenght training and workouts is to do the workout in the morning pre work, then strenght training in the afternoon. This is how I, and many others do it, but maybe you do not have the time or interest of doing so.

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This looks a lot like my week, except I’m running on Wednesday and Saturday, and do an unstructured outdoor ride on Sunday morning. I do lower body strength work on Thursday morning with nothing else that day, then do a second session on Sunday evening. For the first couple of weeks, or whenever I make a big change to the strength exercises, I have to accept that I might not be up for interval work on the bike and just do endurance. Once that has stabilized, I mostly do maintenance type work with the weights. I haven’t increased my deadlift in a year, and I’m fine with that because I just want to keep up the posterior chain as I age. Upper body work gets thrown in wherever, but never on Monday as I want to keep that a strict rest day.

TLDR - you can’t prioritize both if you are going to ride four times a week and lift twice a week. While introducing strength work, prioritize that and then just treat it as maintenance once you are in a groove.


If time allows, I’d put the strength sessions on the same days as bike workouts. If biking is the priority, I’d do that workout and then do strength later in the day. That will give you at least an extra half-day to recover and the bike rides won’t impact your strength training that much.


Even if they’re only riding 3 days a week? That would give them 3 hard days and 4 days of complete rest.

Everyone responds differently, and for some that might work best, but I’d be tempted to try it the other way first. Or maybe experiment and double up on one day and keep them separate the other, and see which works best.

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yeah, by splitting it up, he’s working out 5 days a week, not 3 and complaining about not recovering.

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Oh, I read it as “this worked nicely”. I thought their only real concern was whether doing the TR workouts on consecutive days was going to affect their cycling adaptations, which it won’t.

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yeah, I’d move that wednesday session to thursday and do TR + strength thursday. Let Wednesday be a rest day.


I did try that last week - the issue is having rehabbed my knee for a long time, doing ‘double days’ may be overloading it too much, i got the odd twinge last week and I dont want to find out where the breaking point is.
My original question is what helvellyn aluded to - does having consecutive TR days inhibit adaption compared to an even spread of workouts? Providing recovery feels ok, complete workout as prescribed etc. I’ve got a feeling I may be splitting hairs…

I think the answer depends on whether you can recover enough to do the work. Doing back to back days is a good thing as it will improve fatigue resistance. But if you aren’t recovering fast enough, and therefore you don’t hit the same numbers, your adaptations may be less. The only advantage to spreading out the workouts is recovery.

I get the “didn’t read carefully” award - if you are only on the bike three days and lifting twice a week, I think doing it on separate days is fine. I’d probably re-arrange it as follows, though:

Tuesday - TR
Wednesday - Strength
Thursday - TR (might need to do easier work on this day until your body adjusts)
Friday - Rest
Saturday -TR
Sunday - Strength

Three interval sessions plus strength work could be a lot depending on the nature of the intervals and strength. If it’s your typical TR plan alongside relatively heavy lifting, I wouldn’t expect a newer endurance athlete in their first couple of seasons to be able to sustain that for a whole season, or really much more than a few months.

The biggest change I would make as others suggested is put strength on bike days, at least 4 hours after your bike ride if you can… then take more rest/recovery riding. I think that would be more sustainable than what amounts to 5 hard days every week.

One thing I forgot to add- 36 years old, UK cat 2, 4.4 w/kg, with around a decade of cycling training in my legs and another couple decades before that of high level swimming training. I’ve taken around a year stepping back to deal with the knee issue which is now largely resolved.

Even with that background, I still think asking your body for what amounts to five days per week of intensity is a lot. I’d recommend pairing up weights and your lighter interval days keeping 4 hours between them, then either light spinning or full recovery following those days. That might also free up a day for a longer endurance ride. So:

M - Rest
T - TR Intervals - Strength
W - Rest or Recovery spin
R - TR Intervals
F - Rest or Recovery spin
Sa - TR Intervals + Strength
Su - Long, easy endurance (3+ hrs, low IF, .55-.6)

But I think 3x intervals each week unbalances risk/reward anyway. Your likelihood of burnout or injury is a lot higher, but your gains aren’t going to be that much different than if you did 2x intervals + more Z2 volume + strength. All IMO.


If it were me, I would do your strength training on Wednesday and Saturday after your TR workout. Like others have mentioned, maybe the TR workout in the morning and then lift in the evening that same day. Make Thursday and Sundays Z2 ride days. Keep your hard days hard and your easy days easy. By splitting them up you’re having 5 hard days a week. If you combined them, you’d have 3 hard days and 4 easy day (rest and recovery days included}.

Not meaning to be critical at all; your plan may work great for you. But I’ve had pretty solid results by adding strength to interval days so that I could add some z2 rides.

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I usually get doms in my smaller muscles which are underutilized on the bike. What helps me is supplementing strength sessions with mobility exercises and stretching.

Blockquote One thing I forgot to add- 36 years old, UK cat 2, 4.4 w/kg, with around a decade of cycling training in my legs and another couple decades before that of high level swimming training. I’ve taken around a year stepping back to deal with the knee issue which is now largely resolved.

I’m 38. If you eat and sleep well you will recover. Focus on getting some carbs in the system, especially between Tuesday and Wednesday.

What is your main goal? Getting stronger at the gym, or improve your fitness on the bike?

At the moment I am doing gym work to build strenght, but I also do 2 SS-threshold intervals per week and 13-16 hours. I am one month into the gym work, and I’ve seen very good progress already. I took it easy on the bike for the first two weeks, but now I feel I can go pretty hard compared to normal. For reference I did squats, deadlifts and upperbody on Monday, a 3,5h ride yesterday with 60 min tempo/SS, will do a 3 ish hour z2 today and gym stability on Thursday. Two long rides this weekend, and squats and deadlifts again on Sunday (doubling). My focus right now is to build strenght though, not get fitter on the bike. That comes later.

I say try out that plan! Just be honest with your SS sessions. Make sure they actually are SS, and not threshold. With your background I believe that you will be able to handle it, but if you don’t then just make adjustments?

After reading these forums for a long time (I only registered a user yesterday) I am 100% certain that a LOT of people in here overestimates their FTP, and their SS sessions are closer to threshold sessions and they crash and burn. Just don’t be one of them, take care of yourself between the sessions and I am confident that your plan looks solid!


I’m 42 and in a very similar position. I have “fixed” days I cant move around - Sunday outside MTB 2-4 hours, Wednesday evening trampolining and Thursday evening gymnastics. I try and fit in a LV plan and extra strength sessions around it all. My current week looks like the below and seems to be working out ok so far. I am by no means a Cat 2 and of course LIFE gets in the way here and there. I’m about 3.4 W/kg and just enjoying life and a young family…

Mon - Strength/Rest
Tues - 90 min TR
Wed - Strength + Tramp
Thur - TR VO2 + Gymnastics
Fri - TR Sweetspot
Sat - Rest
Sun - MTB

Slight Caveat: my “strength” sessions are not strict sessions. I might do a bunch of exercises throughout the day while I work rather than a dedicated hour. Sometimes I get a proper sesh and sometimes I’ll do various sets here and there. I try and do pressups daily. Overall though this seems to work pretty well for me. I’m in pretty good shape all-round :slight_smile:

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