Power Sessions after Strength Training

Following the recent podcast that covered strength training, I wanted to test out my performance on an interval session after doing a strength session. In the strength session, I pushed my legs (squats, lunges, leg presses) to failure, gave them a 15 min break, then got on the bike.

The result was counterintuitive as I was able to hold a higher power output at a much lower heart rate for longer. My muscles felt “high” If I can use the term and were happy to keep giving.

The next day was not pretty with very high DOMS, but the muscle activation enabled me to keep doing high power sessions for a few days in a manner that was better than I did before.

I called a cardiologist friend of mine to understand what happened. His view was that the recovery process of muscles pushed to fatigue is very aggressive and gives a lot of energy - something to think about in combining the two training modes.

Would be interested in seeing if anybody has had similar experience.


This is really interesting! It seems like your strength session was a perfect “opener” to get your legs woken up and in tip-top shape for your interval session. Thanks for sharing, I want to try this!

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Which workout did you do after the strength training?

my n=1 experience is the complete opposite, after a heavy day of deadlifts and squats i simply can’t hold threshold power for any worthy amount of time. I could sprint if needed, or turn them over on taku or pettit, but nothing in between.

Do you mean the next day or straight after doing them? As the OP is talking about doing them straight after/after 15 minutes of rest.

I have never done a bike training straight after strenght training but I have noticed that I was able to run without problems on a treadmill after lifting.

I remember reading somewhere in a training advise column (I can’t find it now) that some heavy leg work, such as squats, just prior to training max sprints on the bike, can be very beneficial. As noted above, it “primes” the muscles. But, as the OP noted, it is pretty demanding and can lead to very sore muscles…

Right away or even 20-30min later. Again, my n=1; I could do a couple of 15s sprints at near full power, but anything that required doing that with short rest would destroy me. Likewise, anything resembling threshold or sweet spot work was just a non-starter. Legs just felt entirely empty.

This sounds like post-activation potentiation (PAP): Post-activation potentiation refers to a short-term improvement in performance (e.g. jumping) as a result of using a conditioning exercise (e.g. back squats).

I haven’t looked into it in a few years, but IIRC the thought was that the heavy lifting primes the biochemistry necessary for the explosive move. I know i’d read some study where back squats improved subsequent sprint performance.

I’d think the physiology of intervals 15 min post-squat is way different than explosive movements 15 sec post-squat. But maybe the same concepts apply?

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Ah oke, I might try it on the bike when my main events are over.
For now I am happy with my training schedule and not really inclined to throw stuff like this into the mix haha.

Apologies for late reply. The workout was actually not that long, about an hour, with 4x5 minutes FTP intervals with the rest in Zone 2. It’s on those intervals that I felt the main impact as heart rate was around 8 beats below where it should have been.

I think you’re right about the PAP… I thought the whole thing was worth trying though not sure I would do again. It took me 4 days to get proper muscle function back in my legs.