Post Your Strength Training Routines

Found a 24 wk program from Waite endurance on TrainingPeaks I’ve really been enjoying. You do have to pay for the program, but don’t need a full TP account.

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Today’s Workout:

Deadlifts 185 x 5 x 4 sets
Bulgarian Split Squats 64 x 10 x 3 sets
Pullups: 6,6,5,3
Overhead Press 60 x 5 x 3 sets
Dumbell Rows 52 x 5 x 3 sets
Incline Bench Press 90 x 5 x 4 sets

I do a second core workout bodyweight exercises
I’m 68, 5’9. 69 kg


My gym routine for the last 3 weeks:

Morning alternating weighted chin ups and pull ups at home before trainer session
Evening at the gym:
Bulgarian split squats (I’m doing, 4x8 → 4x10 → 4x12 then add 5kg and start again) I went from 20kg to 35kg.
Romanian single leg deadlift 2x10 / trap bar deadlift 3x5
Overhead press / kettlebell press 3x max
Inverted rows 3x max
Pushups 2x max, just hit 50 pushups for 1st set

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2h Z2 morning, evening gym
Wednesday: 1-2h Z2
Thursday: 4h Z2
Friday: Gym
Saturday: 2h Z2 morning, 1h swim afternoon
Sunday 1-2h VO2max workout morning, evening gym, if tired I’ll move the VO2 to tuesday

Progress was so good I’m going to repeat it for another 3 weeks after a rest week, maybe cut away some upper body volume and adding deficit bulgarian split squats for some new stimulus. After that I’ll start my base season.


Posting the following for thoughts and comments. Hit me up with your feedback.

Twice a week. Tuesday or Wednesday and then Friday or Saturday.

Day 1

Back Squat 3 × 5 at 7RM supersetted with
Chin Ups 3 sets 2RIR


Bench Press 3 × 5 at 7RM


Skullcrushers 3 × 12

Day 2

Conventional Deadlift 3 × 5 at 7RM supersetted with
Chin Ups 3 sets 2RIR


Bulgarian Split Squat 3 × 8 at 10RM supersetted with
Deep Push Up 3 × 10 at 12RM

That’s about it. A bit of dynamic stretching to warm up. I’ll likely swap out the pushups for dumbbell overhead press every other week.

In terms of progression, linear on the squats and deads until it stops working. I’ll probably progress the chins by reps at first, and then add weight and progress on both.

Once through base and into maintenance I’ll probably just do Day 2 once a week with an optional upper body / arm day.

Not sure what to do as regards core/stability. Incorporate it into warmup? Separate sessions?

Looks pretty good to me. I would change the skullcrushers to some kind of overhead press. And add some kind of horizontal row like inverted rows.
Then you get both push/pull horizontal/vertical.

As for core deadlifts and squats are both great for core strength and also chin ups train your abs. Bulgarian split squats are good for knee stability. I’m not sure you need anything extra unless you enjoy core specific exercises.

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@johns622 Have you used this strength training plan, or one of his other plans? I’ve been looking for something more cycling-specific to do this off season, and this one looks pretty good. I tried Dialed Health and Human Vortex training, and they both seem a little unnecessarily complicated and lack clear progression for my tastes.

@jkoch1 yes, actually continuing to follow the “phase C” work now as I’m in cross season here. I’ll go back to the meat of it starting in December. I really like the program. I fell off a bit as soon as spring crits we’re getting close, but was making good progress until then. Make sure you let your body get used to the added stress and expect to fail a few workouts as you start adding true strength work.

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As mentioned in my post on strength training, my routine is not static, as reps increase over time while weight stays the same until you hit 15 reps, then the weight increases and the reps drop back to a starting point of 4.

For this week, Monday 9/18 - Sunday 9/24:

Tuesday: 5x8 leg curls, 5x6 pendulum squats, 3x8 leg press; ride 2hrs
Saturday: 5x8 leg curls, 5x6 pendulum squats, 3x8 leg press; ride 2hrs

Next week the plan is: 5x10 leg curls, 3x8 pendulum squats, 3x8 leg press, ride 2hrs

Seems pretty brief to me - on Day 1, why not add a type of squat or lunge to the routine? Maybe step ups or walking lunges?

Day 2 looks to hit all the major muscle groups.

How long do these sessions take you? Do you have time to add other exercises? One thing that I don’t see and it may not be important to you is movements on a diagonal plane like wood chops, side lunges, stuff like that. Not sure what you equipment availability is either but some variety for accessory exercises is what I’d add to the mix.

I do these Monday and Tuesday. I am going to add a third day with a whole body routine that is a little more functional in nature.

2 days a week

Each workout day:

  1. Two compound movements (heavy-ish for me, but not for strength athletes). One upper body, one lower.
  2. Some accessory exercises.
  3. Core
  4. Mobility (or as called it in the olden days, stretching)

Example for one day:
Squats with safety bars (due to janky right shoulder)
warm up sets
Overhead press
warm up sets
Bulgarian split squats
3 sets of 5 holding light kettlebell
Overhead walks
3 sets walking up and down gym with 35lb kettlebell
Lying tricep press
Ab wheel rollouts
2 sets 5
Leg lifts

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This is 2 days of what I do for base season for 4-6 weeks. Then I’ll switch to my next phase or switch up the exercises, which I also have in my notes.
I became a personal trainer to train myself and some others. I also do mobility/ stretching almost everyday at night while watching tv.

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Hot take.

I think many cyclists embarking on strength training are wildly over doing it. I suspect that many are simply not familiar with the absolute latest science on strength training. Additionally, like many of the posts, this info is coming from strength coaches and anecdata. A fair portion seem unfamiliar with the current research. Hence, the over prescription. Particularly, for well trained endurance athletes.

Much of the latest science demonstrates that frequency has very diminishing returns. Particularly, if you are time poor or older. The absolute max is two sessions of the same muscle group per week. A third session makes very little sense or even has a negative effect on progression.

In fact a single session per week gives very similar results to two sessions.

I have been strength training my entire life. It has finally become rich in data. For years it was the wild west. The pinnacle of bro science. Not anymore.

My advice.

If you love lifting, do two sessions a week. If not, ride more and do a single session. You’ll get 90% ish of the gains out of the single session. It will also be vastly easier to recover from and to integrate into your week.

You do not have to squat.
You do not have to do dead lifts.

Both are complex and require skill. They are great exercises, but the complexity brings risk.

The least complex and in my experience the most effective exercise for cyclists is the simple leg press. Provided you have access to a good machine. It is very similar to cycling AND you can lift the heaviest weight. Which if you are trying to gain STRENGTH, is the whole game. It is also the lowest injury risk, when going very heavy. Get on, build up to max effort for 4 reps. Keep one rep in reserve. You do not need to go to failure. You are not a body builder aiming for hypertrophy. You are trying to increase strength. In fact it’s the opposite for cyclists, you don’t want big muscles, you want strong muscles. Neural drive.

Near to failure. 4 to 6 reps with one in reserve.

My routine.

1X strength workout per week.
Full body.
It takes about 1hr.
I could split it into upper and lower body, but that requires more time to get to the gym and is harder to arrange into my training week.
I’m diligent with extra high protein intake on the day and subsequent days post workout.

This very simple approach has given me significant gains in cycling and general muscle mass / strength. I actually wanted the mass. I find the average pro cyclists body almost repulsive. I am not a pro cyclist, so I can reap the real life benefits of having some actual upper body muscle.

In short KISS.

Keep it simple stupid…


Here is my KISS, 3 times a week

  • Around The World (Kettlebell): 2 sets of 20 each direction
  • Halo (Kettlebell): 2 sets of 5 each direction
  • Kettlebell Deadlift: 3 sets of 10, on the minute
  • Kettlebell Swing: 12 sets of 10, on the minute

About 27 minutes, two a week. Yes that short kettlebell routine is conditioning. It is not strength focused in the classical sense.

Plus a 3rd session each week that extends that routine into a full body and 55-60 minutes.

Been doing that consistently for several months. Feel absolutely fantastic off the bike, and on the bike there has been a noticeable increase in muscle endurance (long tempo) on the bike.

Last year I tried some newer science - Ronnestad routines - and no question, kettlebells for my win. Didn’t have a chance to review a more recent study:

Two years ago I tried something else, and three years ago also tried something else.

Don’t know why, maybe because of my age, doesn’t matter, kettlebells work and very time efficient. Going with empirical evidence on this one.


I don’t know your sources or credentials, but I feel like I fully agree with you. Some of the routines here seem way excessive.

I hit the gym once or twice a week, depending on life stress and riding volume and try to be in and out in an hour. My routine is pretty much always the same but I sometimes replace an exercise based on availabilty or if it is my second visit in the week. For instance I might sometimes replace the squat and deadlift with Leg Press, Leg Curl and Leg Extension in the second visit.

And then I try to hit every other muscle group with usually just one exercise. Occasionally a second one if I feel like it.

Progression is couple of weeks at 3x12 then couple weeks 3x9 etc until 4x4 after which I go back to 3x12.

Keeping it as simple as possible and I can usually do this in an hour.

ETA: I’m not getting massive or anything (nor is that the goal), but I’m definitely getting stronger and leaner and overall fitter, and also the wife likes it better then when I was only riding with spaghetti arms ;).

In fact, I feel I can attribute the fact I was completely unharmed after being side-swept by a car on the fact I had been in the gym and strong muscles surrounding my bones. Obviously there is no way to tell for certain.


Just getting started really, trying to do 3 times a week…

  1. Foundation Training original 12 minutes w/ Dr. Eric Goodman
  2. Banded Walks and Glute Bridges for a bit more activation
  3. Kettlebells - starting with working my way through the below:

Too early to see any impact. It’s probably not perfect, but I am being consistent able to fit it in in 30 minutes or so.

What’s worked for me over the past 15 years or so of varying degrees/amounts/relative priorities of other sports (from weights/HIIT as primary to weights + running + indoor rowing to weights + cycling with occasional rowing) is to organize each week of strength training around basic movements (hip dominant, knee dominant, horizontal push, horizontal pull, vertical pull, vertical push, anti-extension, anti-rotation) and unilateral/bilateral forms of each. As long as those are covered at least once over the week, you can divide up the sessions, exercises, sets, rest intervals, depending on time, goals, equipment, etc. You can also do time-saving things like superset antagonistic movements (like going straight from a push to a pull), or choose exercises which work both the primary movement and one of the core functions.

So, for example, for a twice-weekly off season routine, I’d do something like
Day 1
Bilateral hip dominant (hex bar deadlift, or heavy kettlebell swings)
Unilateral knee dominant (rear-foot elevated split squat or lunges)
Bilateral vertical pull (pull ups)
Unilateral vertical push (one-armed shoulder press with kettlebell–this also works anti-lateral flexion core)
Bilateral horizontal push (dumbbell or kettle bell incline press, or TRX pushups–I lift alone, so no bench press)
Unilateral horizontal pull (renegade rows–note that both these and pushup variations also work anti-extension core, so if you don’t have time for additional core work you’ll still get some benefit)
Anti-extension core–TRX supermans, or ab wheel rollouts)
Anti-rotation core–Pallof press, or landmine grappler
Maybe add in a short interval session of kettlebell swings or jump rope if not doing focused cycling training

Session 2
Bilateral knee dominant–squat of some form (I like front squats, both for solo lifting safety and additional core requirements)
Unilateral hip dominant–one legged Romanian deadlifts with kettlebell
Bilateral vertical pull (pullup–in a gym, you could use a machine and do something unilateral)
Bilateral vertical push (shoulder press–l use a hex bar for wonky shoulders)
Unilateral horizontal push (one armed dumbbell press–if you do one arm at a time rather than alternate, this also has some anti-rotation benefit)
Bilateral horizontal pull (bent over row, or suspended rows from TRX)
Anti-extension–plank variation, or same option as other session
Anti-rotation–again, lots of options

I’ll usually do 4-6 weeks of the same exercise for each movement, and may switch to a different one (or may not, depending). If I’m on a TR plan, I’ll decrease volume (usually doing one less set, and not increasing weight or reps) during a rest week

I’ve varied sets/intervals/time over the years depending on goals–right now, as supplement to cycling for a 62 year old, I do 3-4 sets of 4-5 reps, relatively heavy for the legs, with longer rests (2-3 minutes), and 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps of the others, super-setting (so pullups straight to shoulder press, then rest 2-3 minutes), and, since everything is in the garage, can get it done in, at most, an hour. Since this is more maintenance than progression, I don’t fixate too much on weight or rep number–try to increase one or the other each session, but don’t sweat it too much if I don’t)


How do you modify this for in-season work? If I wanted to use this for off-season progression as opposed to maintenance would I just focus on increasing reps/weight over time?

In season (which for me is cross from mid-September to early December), I usually do one session and cut back on the leg work–last year I just did unilateral exercises with lighter weights for both deadlift/squat variations)

There’s a rough rule of thumb that low rep/heavy weight is best for strength, high rep/lighter weight for muscle growth stimulus. At this point, the former is more important to me, so I’ll focus on progressing weight a little each workout–I have a couple of small 2.5 lb plates, so even on squats/deadlifts I’ll try to add just 5 lbs each week. For bodyweight exercises, or with things like kettlebells that have fixed weights with relatively large progression, it could be number of reps, or changing something that makes the exercise more difficult (one goal this winter is to progress from ab rollouts on my knees to standing). I try not to overthink it–I just try to go up on weight or reps each week as appropriate–if I don’t, it’s not a big deal.