Olympic Lifting for Strength

Too much of a learning curve to do it right.
Now that I’m cycling I focus more on core stability, bodyweight and plyo

Similar to how you might know you are maintaining bike fitness. Just watch for a disconnect between your expected RPE for a given effort. If you can usually squat 200x5 without much problem but that starts to become a struggle then you’re strength is probably dropping. Obviously you have to take into account your fatigue and all that stuff. You may also want to see a decrease in strength when you are in the heat of the race season because you want to be focusing on the bike so the strength at that point would be less maintenance and more limiting your losses.

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As @menglish6 mentioned, it could be quad exercises that are gassing you out.

As I outlined above, if you want to be bike strong, it’ll be something like 2-3x a week.


  1. Oly or Power lift. 3 x 3 for a high RPE (like 7-9), 3x5 for something around a RPE of 5-6.
  2. Unilateral plyo works / unilateral lifts (single leg weighted hip thrust) - reps in the 3x 5-10 range / a Oly or powerlift but a lower RPE than the first round, probably no more than 3 x 5. Band work like kneeling hip thrusts might be 1 x 100-200, breaking it up however works for you.
  3. Bilateral plyo work or low impact single leg work (single leg good morning, single leg RDL, etc) 3-4x5-10
  4. non glute / core / leg accessory. This lets you be a little vain, but something like body weight rows, barbell shoulder presses, or pullups. 3x5-10

And that’s about it. You don’t need a ton of volume. Focus on the hams, glutes, and lower back / core. As menitoned, cycling is quad dominate and most cyclists are imbalanced in this regard (weak glutes). The TR work alone hits the quads pretty hard. If you can strengthen the glues / hams / core, it’ll take more load off you glutes and spread it out. This will show itself in less nagging pain, more power, and some improved muscle endurance since your quad is sharing some of the load.

Bike fit plays a big role too. I’m lucky enough to work with Chris Soden at Ivan O’Gorman on that, and his fit work helped me realize more muscular endurance and being able to engage more of the leg / glute and less of just the quad.

For maintenance work, I just hold my RPE “10” or 1 rep max weight steady, instead of trying to increase it, which dictates the weights for everything else.

If you have the money, and want to see what Sepp Kuss did before he left for Europe, Erin Carson has this plan: Cycling Strength Training Vol. 1 - ECFIT Not a ton of Oly / Power lifts (some good band and lower weight work), but some great tissue release and mobility exercises.

Found this from Greg Everett and might give it a try. It is quad dominant but looks like the weight would be low enough and most importantly for me it would be fun and get me in the gym.

Masters Program

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Give it a try and see how you feel. I’d recommend changing your TR workouts to sub- Tempo work (active recovery, etc) for the week and eat a ton. See how you feel after that. If I take a break from lifting, I give myself two weeks of “deload” TR type plans + lifting before starting base type work, just to prime my body for the load.

Diet is going to play a big role if you’re doing both, especially that program. I think it’s a lot, but maybe you’ll find you can customize it to accomplish your goals.

No one is paying me to do this, I’m actually paying quite a bit to do this sport, so do what you find fun and what you like.

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@Dialed_Health if you got that olympic program I’m all ears and lactic acid…just subscribed to your site to get first crack at it.