Yea I have the same approach, i reduce volume in the gym when losing weight and/or straining too much in other sports.
Less is more, quite often. It’s happened more than once that I increased gains by reducing sets.
In regards to 5-3-1, I find it optimal for me. It’s not the fastest to go up in strength, but one of the safest.
You have a 1 week rest between each exercise type; but keep in mind if you strained to the complete max deadlift/squats, I would take it easy the week after. Typically athletes rest a couple weeks between those heaviest strength sets (I think eddie hall mentioned he needs 12 days after pushing the limit on deadlifts, and that’s because he has an upper hand in recovery vs the competition).
These chaps discuss the latest science on strength and hypertrophy training.
Every new study is showing that strength gains can be achieved with far lower weekly sets than virtually anyone previously thought.
One strength session per week is easily enough for virtually any amateur cyclist to make steady strength gains.
Thanks for sharing! I’ve been doing 5x5 and it’s already getting a bit much and I’m on a winter plan. I think 5/3/1 is safer but for the goal of some strength and injury prevention there’s probably no reason to ever go anywhere near max lift
Twice a week:
Pullups 5× to failure
1/2 kneeling anti-rotation band push 5×10 (each side)
Bentover row 5x5
Push press 5x5
Weighted Russian twist 5×25
I have a degenerative bone condition in my hip (ball of femur) called avascular necrosis. Squats and deads leave me hobbled for a few days. Riding doesn’t affect it really so thats all the legs I get aside from the push press which is like 1/2 squat to shoulder press, so I kinda get some legs there too.
I ultimately need a hip replacement but I’m only 41, so holding off on that.
Thats what’s I’m doing. One day a week of compound lifts, not too heavy.
I alternate between an A and B workout every week that look something like this
A= Squats and Overhead press (a few warm up sets then 3x5 for each)
- Add a few accessory lifts IF I’m feeling spicy. If no spicy, drop these.
B- Deadlifts and Bench (a few warm up sets then 3x5 for each)
- Add a few accessory lifts IF I’m feeling spicy. If no spicy, drop these.
My lifts are already between all-arounder and sprinter for my ideal weight (which I’m not at yet. Still working on losing weight)
Any more than once a week burns me out.
Once a week, with the proper workout, will enable gains in strength and/or hypertrophy. The issue is are you increasing in strength and/or hypertrophy at a rate sufficient for your goals? Twice a week, for most people, will generate more strength and/or hypertrophy, which doesn’t mean once a week is wrong, it just means there is a difference in the amount you are gaining. So, just because a study says you can obtain minimal gains from minimal work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do additional work for additional gains - it comes down to figuring out what works best for you and your goals. For those who have the time to train, optimal dose > minimal dose, you just need to experiment and determine what is optimal for you, since it could be different than for someone else.
Started a new 4-6 week routine this week - needed a mental switch-up to keep my head in the game. Two intense days per week, on Tuesday VO2 max intervals instead of weights and on Saturday strength training, so weights once a week instead of twice, but with increased volume.
Seated leg curls: 5x8
Pendulum squat: Ascending/descending routine, start with heaviest weight possible for 4 reps, decrease by 5 pounds and increase 2 reps each set, from 4 to 6 to 8 to 10 to 12 reps.
Leg press: Ascending/descending routine, start with heaviest weight possible for 4 reps, decrease by 10 pounds and increase 2 reps each set, from 4 to 6 to 8 to 10 to 12 reps. The last two sets involve fighting a great deal of negative self-talk.
Total sets: 5 for hamstring dominant, 10 for quad dominant.
After lifting ride 1.5 to 2 hours, steady endurance with good spin.
I get that.
Two sessions is optimal, 3 virtually never, on the same body part per week.
However, this is a cycling forum, I’m using that as true north. Combined with 12+hrs of riding, two leg sessions per week is definitely on the edge. Particularly, if you are not in the off season.
Unless you are a track sprinter a single leg session will keep you gaining for a long period and significantly reduce the risk of over doing it. Particularly if you are a masters athlete.
It really is a depends situation.
I’m merely responding to what seems like very extreme sessions that some have posted. For many cyclists a single full body strength session is entirely adequate. If cycling performance is the goal.
If hypertrophy is the goal. Go wild
Through the fall and winter I run a modified 5x5 program as 4x4 2x per week, with a focus on maximal strength. I only do compound multi-joint movements, and Olympic lifts. Exceptions to this would be if I feel I need to address something specific, rehab, etc.
- Squats 4x4
- Push Press 4x4
- Deadlifts 4x4
- Squats 4x4
- Bench Press 4x4
- Bent Over Rows 4x4
Spring/Summer Power Mods:
- Swap one squat session for barbell jump-squats
- Swap push press and deadlifts for clean & jerk.
- Swap bench press and rows for snatch.
I combine with MV polarized, and I never lift before the hard bike day, so my schedule looks like:
I like grouping the on-bike days 2 at a time and always leading with the endurance workout first. I’ve personally found that intervals the day a before don’t dramatically impact my lift, but a lift the day before intervals can be detrimental to my on-bike activity.
I’m an experienced lifter and strength/power comes quite easily to me. Right now I am squatting ATG 160kg 4x4 with reps in reserve, for example, which is far beyond any cycling requirements - I just enjoy strength training and it’s an important component of my overall health/fitness goals. Because of this, however, I will prioritize cycling work over lifting if there is a scheduling or recovery issue - it’s no big deal for me to miss a lift.
In the spring/summer when I start riding outdoors and TSS invariably ramps way up with outdoor rides (and I am less attached to a plan), I start swapping some of the pure strength movements for power/speed dominant movements like Olympic lifts. These are are easier to recover from (assuming the load is appropriate), while providing an important stimulus.
Compound and Olympic movements are really the ultimate when it comes to strength and power training. Combining coordinated, multi-joint, technical movements under load is something that pays immense dividends when you learn to do it correct - an exercise like the the snatch is probably the truest expression of this. But even inexperienced lifters can achieve some of the the key stimulus elements with simpler exercises like medball throws and jumps squats.
I cut out a set for legs so just doing 4x5 only because the extra 2 sets a week seems a bit overkill with other training. Are you ramping these sets or same weight across each?
I’m doing Jim Wendlers 531 (link below). Three sessions a week that concentrates on Bench/Deadlift/Squat with the appropriate accessory exercises after each exercise.
My lifts are going up and allows alot of spare time to ride
No - I don’t ramp sets once I’m at working weight unless I’ve misjudged what that weight should be. This would most often happen after de-loading a bit during a rest week, or if I’ve not done an exercise for a few weeks, or if I am feeling worse or better than expected.
That said, there is definitely a very intentional ramp to get to my working sets where I am starting with just the bar (20kg) and adding 20kg in warm-up sets of 1-3 reps (when I get close to working weight I am just doing singles in these warm-ups).
So if I am working at 160kg, I’ve done 20, 40, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160 (for 1), before actually starting the sets of 4. Sometimes I’ll skip a few steps of this or will repeat warmups at a specific weight.
This ramp varies a bit depending on the exercises and where the exercise is in the workout. I.e., I don’t start at 20kg for deadlift, and I ramp by 40kg for the first few warmups, but regardless there is always an intentional warm-up and ramp to workout weight.
I personally find sets of 4 very different than sets of 5, where 5 reps is teetering on a hypertrophy / high-volume set, and more fatiguing into my cycling. Try seeing how you feel with sets of 4 or or event 3 reps (adjusting the load accordingly).
Why is this getting removed from the site after tomorrow?
One of the core concepts in Jim Wendler’s program/s is to keep 1 in the tank, work at 90% not 100%. If you do strain 100%, then the 4th week you’re taking a deload week (roughly 50% of the weight, just tickling the muscles really). That’s because any 100% strain on a 1-2 rep will require about couple weeks of recovery.
Also, if you’re eating in surplus, and you managed easily your +set, then increase by a maximum of 5kg every 3/4 weeks squats/deadlifts, and no more than 2.5kg shoulder/chest. (given you’re past newbie gains, which you should be if you’re using this type of setup and concepts).
I like to use www.blackironbeast.com, like I posted earlier in another post, if you like Jim wendler’s setups it’s a quite nice free website (and it remembers your setup/reps/weights everytime you go back on the website).
I just looked at the link, really helpful thank you.
RP is niching down to their core audience to simplify their site and marketing approach. Probably a good business decision overall, given the RP audience. Not so good for my small line of endurance products that they sell, for the moment. Not to worry though, I’ll get the products made available again soon on another page and I’ll get it posted here once I figure out where that’s going to be.
My question on this topic of interference is: If I lift weights at 6am (which I love doing) and really nail my protein intake over the day, will my body have enough time to build at least some muscle before I ‘shut it all off’ with an evening run at 7pm?