Squats before or after riding?

On friday night I do both strength training (involving squats) and a short (45-60 min) sweet spot session. I know it would be better to do these further apart, but due to scheduling issues this is not possible, so I have to combine them in one session. I have tried both cycling after strength (cycling RPE much higher!) and vice versa (weaker and less repetitions in squats). So I am aware that neither is ideal, but I have no choice here. What would you do ( or do you do), and what scenario would give me the most benefit?

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Are you training for an event or just looking to build a better stronger body? This might help some folks.

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Both, actually. I want to keep getting stronger/faster (who doesn’t :grin:), but would also want to give racing a go if/when Covid-measures are released (hopefully this summer).

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Search Sebastian Weber form INSCYD. This might help guide you. VLA vs V02 and how training effects those to get more specific about your outcome goals.


If I ride the same day I lift it is generally an easy endurance as far away from the lifting in the day as possible. I’m a baby on max efforts though and they obliterate me so your mileage may vary.

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Might actually be counterproductive.

Why don’t you have a choice?

The usual minefield of trying to juggle work, family and training time without upsetting either the boss or the other half :grinning::mask:

I ride then do strength because I prefer doing it that way :slight_smile: . I can still make progress, but I’m aware that it would be much faster if I spaced them out properly! Not really trying to achieve anything apart from general fitness/enjoyment, so not sure how much that helps…

I have heard that you should generally prioritize the one that is more important to you–so if you are in a phase where you care more about getting faster, do that first. That makes intuitive sense to me, but I haven’t yet bothered to look at the science.


I can lift at an almost normal level after riding hard, if I have a few hours in between. I can not ride even remotely hard after lifting.


How heavy are these squats, how many sets/reps?

For heavy squats, I would squat before anaerobic or vo2 intervals, or a ramp test. But after for a recovery or endurance ride.

I wouldn’t combine them for threshold sessions.

For sweet spot…I think I would do heavy squats after.

Not combining them. Everything else is a significant compromise, not comparable to distinct spaced out sessions.

Such is the human body.

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Very important advice.
Sweetspot and Strength Training have opposing effects on your vlamax.

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Four sets of 10-12 reps, moderate weight (for me) : 60kg.

It seems like the general consensus is: don’t do them back to back :grin:. I’ll guess I’ll have to try and sneak in some strength training in the weekends. (The deal with the wife is that I get to train during the week after work monday to friday; and the weekend is reserved family time). Another option would be to squat on tuesday, when I don’t ride but do some upper body/core work. However, I did already try that, and I feel it impacts my bike training on wednesday and thursday due to some doms/heavy legs… Decisions, decisions… :unamused:

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It depends what your priority is. You need to do "the important " one first while you’re fresh. If it’s race season you should ride first, off season do squats first.
Ideally they should be separate by a minimum of 4 hrs but if that’s not possible then it comes down to priorities.


I don’t think that’s a good idea. You are basically hitting the legs twice, so I don’t think you’ll get a good training benefit. If you have to do strength training the same day, I’d focus on something other than legs. If you can’t do that, I’d skip the sweet spot workout session or replace that with a Z2 ride.

I do squats and rides on the same day and it’s not a problem. I do it on my hard day (intervals of some sort), bike session first, then squats after. The next day is complete rest. I try to separate them by as long as possible, but sometimes it’s almost back-to-back. I always do it this way so I don’t know how much it affects my strength. I assume I could lift more fresh, but it doesn’t really matter as the weights have been going up and my bike performance has been improving.

It took a couple of weeks to get used to it, then it was fine. The issue with doing it any other way is that the strength session will cook your legs for the next bike session. By doing the weights straight after a hard bike session you have the maximum recovery time before the next hard bike session.

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I have been doing strength training on legs (squats, toe rises, step ups) acturely prior to cycling.

Research has shown that this help activate more muscle fibers and can even improve subsequest cycling performance. To me this seems like a perfect way to incorporate strength training for a cyclist.


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Damn, some good opposing points here; you guys aren’t making it any easier :grin:

My coach is a big fan of strength work and i usually have 1 day a week where I just do a strength session and another day with an endurance paced ride after the strength session.

I usually get my weights done in the AM and then ride in the afternoon, with the understanding that the strength work is my main objective for that day and the endurance ride is more about adding volume than anything else.

Juggling family/work commitments can be tough. Sounds like you have laid out a schedule that works for your family and I agree that it is valuable to figure out how to work within those constraints. Even if it isn’t optimal training from a physiology perspective, it might be optimal from the being-able-to-do-it-consistently-over-the-long-run side of things.

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