Red Light, Green Light, TSS and Leg Day

I have read through the years of debates on the forum regarding whether leg day should have a TSS, and if so, what is a good value for that. Now that we have adaptive training and the new RLGL functionality (which is awesome by the way) shouldn’t we have some kind of value representing the days we tax our legs with squats, dead lifts, lunges, etc since they clearly affect our ability to tackle the high intensity workouts in the days following leg day? This will be different for everyone but even a general TSS score to represent some leg fatigue would be beneficial. Thoughts on this?


In the oadt Ive worn my HR monitor which gave me a HR tss value. I thought these were a bit high so I used that in conjunction with an RPE based on a Z2 ride. While not scientific it, for me generally came out to 30-50 tss. Smolov program took it a bit higher.

Hope that helps

Others have also shared similar numbers with me. My main concern regarding the use of HR devices is that although my heart rate remains relatively low during lifting, my legs become so fatigued that a TSS of 30-60 appears insufficient for adaptive training and RLGL to make the required adjustments.

Problem as you say is that the impact of weight training doesn’t show up well in HR. Especially if you’re lifting fairly heavy with low reps - my average HR was 66bpm for my last lifting workout! So to measure the impact of lifting properly you would really need to develop a whole progression level model. I.e. One that accounts for lifting history, 1RM, etc. E.g. I started a progressive lifting program in November and will be switching shortly to a maintenance phase. The weights that I’ll be doing next month as maintenance with little or no fatigue would have caused significant fatigue back in January, and would have caused crippling DOMS back in November, if they hadn’t injured me.

I doubt that building out a whole lifting fatigue and progression model is anywhere near the roadmap for TR, let alone a priority. Integrating data from wearables (stress, calories, all day HR and HRV, sleep quality, etc) might help a bit. But really the answer is simply being consistent with your lifting so that the impact is fairly consistent and predictable from one week to the next, then you can adjust accordingly.

Is there a lifting program that you follow? I’ve been using a variation of the GreySkull program, 2x/week, but as the weight goes up I can feel my FTP suffering during the Build phase.

– Full disclosure, I was forced into this situation due to having avascular necrosis in the ball of my right femur, and I have a hip replacement on deck for September –

I have found that the push press (barbell shoulder press with a 1/4-1/2 squat before the press) at least stimulates my leg muscles but is not nearly has fatiguing as a full on squat. And I also do rack pulls in lieu of deads which is also much less fatigue (barbell in low rack position, more upright dead lift position, pull and extend like you would with deads).

The main benefit for me is that I don’t have constant, nagging, pain in my hip. I also haven’t lost any power since I’ve stopped doing squats and deads, but I know my legs definitely feel fresher for the bike than they used to. Aside from the secondary benefits of squats and deads (core stability etc.), I don’t think I’m missing much. And I compensate for that with more core work, mostly anti rotation stuff.


Quote from Chad McNeese in the main RLGL thread:

" * At present, RLGL is only using bike & run workout data, so there is no direct way to handle strength training or any other activities outside the two mentioned."

Therefore, no point in assigning any TSS to anything manually (for RLGL purposes)

It’s a program that a strength coach who works with cyclists drew up for me. The weight increases are down to me, there isn’t a fixed progression. Don’t know the Greyskull plan but other off the shelf lifting plans I tried previously had rates of progression that simply weren’t achievable for me as a middle age guy whose primary goal is cycling. Imagine they work much better if your primary goal is lifting.

My sessions are fairly short (~30-40 minutes), I typically do them in the evening of a day when I’ve done a hard ride in the morning or at lunchtime, which means my next hard ride is at least 36 hours away. And being consistent week to week and relatively conservative with the weight increases means they’re not leaving me wrecked. I do definitely notice a bit of extra freshness and capacity for cycling though when I switch from progressing the weights every week to maintenance sessions (similar weights and reps but fewer sets and never pushing to failure).