Old new user... Strength and TR

Hey All, I was an early adopter of TR back in 2014. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years. Anyway, I’m training again after a 2 year lay off and trying to do both strength and bike training. The focus will be toward a marathon MTB race in June.

I’d like to hear some real-world feedback on how others do it, the struggles, and the benefits. I’ve been hitting the gym pretty solid for six weeks then hit the bike on January 1. I put in six rides to “feel” the trainer again before starting SSB1 today with a ramp test. It was 3w lower than my own expected guesstimate. (Plus I had leg day yesterday). Everytime I tried lifting and TR in the past, it just seems to kill me, but I know there is benefit to be had.

I look forward to hearing some examples.

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Hey Frshtrax. I’m struggling a bit too. I don’t have a specific event in mind at this point, but my goal is to get faster to keep up with weekend group rides. At home I have a kettlebell set. Before I would do weight training on my day off, but it was hard to keep up, especially if I ride hard Sat and Sunday, then try to get in 3 TR sessions a week. I also have a winter riding team competition, but those rides tend to be under 10 miles and can be done at low intensity. I’m hoping to get a powermeter so I can try to do the workouts outdoors and get in the winter miles.

I’m now going to try to hit the weights in the morning 2x a week and do my TR sessions in the evening and see how it goes. I have a ramp test tomorrow. Figure I’ll start of slow with the weights but know I may see a hit to my FTP. Hopefully it evens out down the road.

If you haven’t seen it, this is kind of the master thread:

There are also a range of existing threads that may cover some of your questions:

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@Frshtrax welcome back to training, and the inevitable DOMS!!!

Scheduling weight training with riding is extremely difficult IMO, but definitely manageable. Before cycling I came from a weight lifting background, so I was used to going so hard on leg day that at the end of the workout I would wonder how I was going to drive home. Obviously that does not work when mixing in cycling!

From my experience, I’ve found that the best way to incorporate in strength training is to double up on my hardest day. Thus, on a threshold or VO2 day, I do that in the morning, then lift legs at lunchtime. I’ve found this works best because it fits my schedule well, and it limits my time in the gym. At lunchtime I only have about 30 minutes, so I literally do not have the time to overdo it.

I’m not sure how often you plan on lifting legs, but I would recommend limiting each day to one major lift. Therefore if you squat on one day, do deadlifts the next, and fill in with some accessory movements.

Lastly, when you get back into it, less is more. I would start with one day of legs a week at first, and then slowly incorporate a few exercises in on another day, slowly adding in volume by an additional set each week.

As for upper body movements, I find these do not interfere at all with my cycling workouts, so I just fit them in based on time.

Hope this helps!


With that layoff I’d recommend coming back with a lot of zone2 riding. So go to the base training page here: https://www.trainerroad.com/app/cycling/plans/base

and scroll to Traditional Base at the very bottom of the page.

Lets say you pick Traditional Base 1 mid volume, here is the 2nd week:

I’d then recommend doing cycling in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday, and gym strength in the afternoon. I’m a 30+ year desk jockey that got back into cycling about 5 years ago. Really struggled over the last two years to combine cycling and strength-in-gym. What finally worked for me was to do 3 months of cycling+strength where nearly all of the rides looked like above (plus a few sprint intervals). I’ve now successfully completed over 6 months of cycling+strength-in-gym, and am in more of a gym maintenance mode (30 minutes, twice a week) now that I’m back to doing upper tempo and threshold workouts (sweet spot).

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Thanks for the replies. Definitely helpful.

This may seem obvious, but do you guys also focus on Chad’s “fuel the work” concept when it comes to the weight training aspect? I’ll do some digging myself, but wonder if you have thoughts on protein intake. The body needs building blocks to take advantage of the strength training too.

When it comes to protein yes. I always either have a recovery shake afterwards, or a solid food meal within an hour of strength training. I usually take in BCAAs, and creatine during the pre/mid workout, and sometimes Beta-Alanine pre-workout.

Usually I’ve had enough carbs before my workout that I don’t go out of my way to eat something pre-workout. If it is first thing in the morning, I will typically eat a Clifbar beforehand, then follow up with breakfast post-workout.

IMO, the most important thing is getting in enough protein on a daily basis to really make the gains stick.

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As much as I like the idea of A.M. workouts, my body seems best suited for strength and endurance training in the evening. Without getting deep into the weeds beyond my understanding, the food I have consumed I believe contributed to having a great workout in the past. I am hoping my structured TR training sees the same benefit.

If you are pounding your legs on TR I do not think there is any reason to also be pounding them in the gym. Esp if you are just getting back into it your going to burn out quick. This offseason I did a 10 week block of basically squats, leg press and romainan deadlifts. This is the first time I have done this so I am curious to see if I wasted my time or not.

Since then I have been working more on total body routines and core work, mainly with kettlebells following DialdHealth. His workouts do not leave me smoked and are very bike specific. I honestly wouldn’t be going after your legs to much and would focus on upper body/core and mobility and build your legs on the bike. If your goal is to build up leg strength than I would work on that and back off the riding a touch. It is a tough balance but I have been trying to get in 2 total body workouts, 3 structured sessions on trainer road and an outdoor playday on my trail bike. I am not a fan of doubling up days unless I have an easier ride planned or am just doing some core work.