Mid Volume Base Training with Gym Sessions vs High Volume Base with NO Gym

Hey guys,

I’m about to start my winter base training after a few months off the bike due to work commitments.

I have been able to get to the gym quite a lot over the past two months and as a result I actually feel quite fit over off the bike!!

I do have time now to train on the bike but have been wondering what would yield the best results in your opinions?

  1. Continue with the gym sessions and do the Mid Volume Sweet Spot Base
  2. Just do the bike but use the extra time in the saddle and do the High Volume Sweet Spot Base

I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and why?


take bike and gym. Gym is benefical for riding and your everday life.
Best regards,

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Great question.

I’m teasing through this question too right now.

As I’m terrible at following a programme anyway I’m going Gym and Bike to give variety and build some core strength and flexibility through the winter and I’ve now got a Concept 2 to aid this too.

I’ve done some great sessions that involve 30 -45 mins on the bike, then row and x-fit exercises that have lasted 1hr 15-30 and the time has flown by.

Gym work (I’m assuming weights) will probably mess with your ability to perform the bike workouts, but once you stop the gym work and go 100% bike you’ll definitely be flying. Go gym+bike but be aware that it’s not a bike friendly process. :+1:

I think ride and gym is best. You’re not a pro so you have a functional life off the bike that’s best enhanced by some type of resistance training. Weight bearing exercise staves off osteoporosis, and strengthens the soft tissue supporting your joints. Bike riding doesn’t tax your core so you need to work that off the bike to support that critical structure. Riding also shortens hip flexors so you’ll want to stretch those as well as stretch in general. Chad’s 5 exercises are a great start for cycling specific emphasis but I do others for a more rounded approach. Takes about 45 minutes. I don’t know how much time you have but high volume is too much for me. I suppose it all depends on what your goals are.

I’ve been reading and incorporating the maximum overload for cyclist workout (gym power workout) along with a low volume SS plan. I’m coming off an injury this summer so I have been ramping up slowely in order to build strength and introduce some of the excersises over a longer period of time. I’m now at the point wher I am trying to setup my periodization and set the timing for cycling in conjunction with the weight room. I am also thinking of doing a more polarized training program.

So, currently I’m targeting a first peak around end of June or early July with a second peak around end of October for Cyclocross. My in season training starts around the end of March or early April (as I’m based in Canada). This is where I plan to start the maintenance phase when it comes to the weights and focus more on the build phase for cycling. So counting back for 12 weeks and balancing weights and base miles on the trainer from January through to the end of March is my current plan. In terms of base miles I’m planning to still keep one session a week of intensity but relying on endurance or recovery pace rides for the remainder of the base and allowing the weights to cover the remainder of any power building through the base period.

In the past few years I’ve had seasons where I’ve done weights and other years not and for me the years I have done weights my performance has been better. By better I mean that recovery was faster and power was better all the way through the season. I believe the weight provide the muscles with more ‘resilience’.

Anyone have feedback or comments on this plan/sategy?

How do you know I’m not a pro :smiley: ?

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hey Mike

have you had discernible improvement using “maximum overload methodology”? I’m interested in incorporating strength training too, and am looking into this book as well.

@trianta I started using the program mid last summer to get ready for cyclocross season but due to injury (car meets bike) I was forced to abandon the plan and the season so I am just getting back to it now. I do feel it is making a difference in general strength but can’t say it has translated to the bike yet. The first few weeks takes some adjustments and I suggest ramping up slowly and gaining strength and form first for about eight weeks. Introduce the exercises over a number of weeks and don’t rush it. Than when you are ready for the tougher stuff you want get as soar. Just my opinion. In general I found that weights did make a discernible difference but as for this plan specifically I can’t say for sure yet.

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thanks Mike

I’m reading the book right now, and though it has some interesting content and ideas it reads like an advertorial :slight_smile:

I hope you return back stronger than ever and have even more fun by the way, injuries are a b*tch.

I did Maximum Overload last year. Overall it did not help me get faster on the bike – but I will tell you that I was doing it before I did any type of structured training, so my on-bike work was definitely not where it needed to be.

But…I felt OUTSTANDING off the bike. Better than I had felt in years. And it only took me 45 minutes 2x per week.

I am about to start it again this year for the next 4 months – and I’m going to be incorporating TR training plans into the mix, and I’m hopeful for the same great off-the-bike results, as well as getting faster on it. We’ll see.

PS – the book is incredibly poorly written, organized and edited – but if you can distill the principles and put together a routine that works for you it’s pretty easy. The only exercise that is mandatory is the explosive, walking lunges.


I agree with you about the book in terms of organization and how hard it is to figure out how it inserts into a typical cycling training format for a full period. It does layout the macro or weekly cycles ok but when and how to combine in a full season structure is somewhat missing or I missed it at least. Either way doing the gym work can’t hurt in my opinion just to keep the general structure in alignment which cycling can wreak havoc on.


hey bat

I am interested in the major claim that the authors make (sustainable power), however the “feeling better generally” that you mention is of even greater importance to me personally.

As you mention the explosive lunge walks are something quite simple to incorporate into a bi-weekly program, so I will most probably do so.

Thanks :slight_smile:

No problem, and good luck with it!

My only piece of advice would be to incorporate one other leg exercise into the routine before hitting the walking lunges…my preference is the deadlift. The book also recommends box jumps, squats, etc., - but deadlifts are incredibly beneficial for on-bike strength and stamina.

In between all that, if you do push-ups, pull-ups and core work you will have a 45 minute whole body workout that rocks :love_you_gesture: