Strength Exercises for Cyclists, High Volume, Goal Setting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 345

We covered the science behind mixing strength training and endurance training in Episode 341, and now we’ll cover practical suggestions of how you can best fit them into your training schedule, which exercises are best, and get input from pro athletes on what they do. Join us for a discussion on this, high volume training, goal setting and much more in Episode 345 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!

Tune in Thursday morning at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Strength Exercises for Cyclists, High Volume, Goal Setting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 345

Resources From This Episode

TrainerRoad Podcast Network

Submit your Question to the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

Subscribe to the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

Subscribe to the Successful Athletes Podcast

Submit your story to the Successful Athletes Podcast

Subscribe to the Science of Getting Faster Podcast

Submit a topic to the Science of Getting Faster Podcast


Awesome podcast folks!

1 Like

Great podcast today. Learned a few things during my strength training session.


Quick link jump to example exercises for now (until TR gets the time stamps set)


So they listed 7 exercises with rep recommendation of 15-30 with 1-3 sets. What about rest in between sets? This could be a pretty long gym session.

1 Like

It was also mentioned that the session should only last about 20-30mins…

Rest between sets for that rep range could be up to 90 seconds depending on what coach you ask.

I enjoyed this podcast thank you @chad @Jonathan for some great info! I’m a huge fan of gym work, you gave some great tips for beginners and even seasoned lifters like myself!

1 Like

It would be great to clarify “30 mins” session. My thoughts and how I have been trained is to always mobilise before and after a session and once you’re familiar with that you can do it pretty quick, incorporate it into your day, etc. I personally see it as 30 mins of ‘work’ and warm up/down/rest periods between are additional. I’m going to do my session tomorrow so will report back on how I try and incorporate this and the timing also.

I’d define a 30 minute session as 30 minutes elapsed time from starting first exercise to finishing last one. Might exclude any warm up or warm down, but certainly wouldn’t exclude any rest between exercises, otherwise a 30 minute session could easily take 60 minutes to do!

Do like the ability to multi-task while doing strength work if you have a good setup at home. E.g. I’ll often cook while lifting and will be using rest between sets to pop into the kitchen to stir a pan or get something in/out of the oven.

1 Like

You can get a lot done in a half hour if rest periods are shorter than 2 minutes. When you’re in a heavy lifting 1-5 rep range, that’s when rest periods should be more than 3 minutes which make time in the gym longer. I like that they suggested more body weight/ low weight high rep for majority of users.Great form is better than heavy weight with terrible form, anyday.

I loved the cast and hope they distill the core information and links to the exercise vids into a blog article for quick reference.


Apologies, Everyone. As soon as we ended the podcast I realized I didn’t clarify that we provided two examples of each of the 4 core movements: press, pull, squat, hinge.

So, for example, choose just one of the two press exercises, perform somewhere in the 15-30 rep range leaving 5 reps in reserve/RIR, move on to one of the pull exercises (then squat, then hinge, no particular order, though) and perform 1-3 total sets of the 4-exercise circuit.

Rest between sets is whatever you need to move on to the next exercise, be it 1 minute or 5. No need to overthink the recovery interval–if you’re motivated and rested, you can move quickly from move to move; a bit tired, stretch out your recoveries.


This is me. Five minutes warm up (spinning). Ten minutes of mobility work/movement prep. Around 30 minutes of work. 5 minutes of stretching afterwards.

This really helps! Thanks for the podcast and the specificity.

Can running/trail running be used instead of some of the strength training exercises?

I’m just not sure I can fit strength in on top of trail running and cycling.

Great episode.

Unfortunately for me I am in the camp that wants to pursue strength specific goals (increase 1 RM in deadlift, squat, and bench) and be be decent on the bike — and obviously this was focused more on dedicated cyclists. Obviously this isn’t the program @chad follows when pursuing goals like a 1RM 275LB bench. On some future episode I would like to know what lifting program Chad actually does and how he fits cycling into this. I am also curious what kind of maintenance lifting program he follows when he is needs to really prioritize cycling training over lifting (and conversely what cycling maintenance program he follows when he is focused primarily on lifting).

I understand I am not really TR’s target market (I am not just interested in just getting fast on the bike), but I assume there are few others out there like me…


my questions are: as a 54 year old - what kind of adjustments might i need/want to make? i’m guessing the lower weight/high rep style of exercises won’t be a problem, but would encroaching on higher weight/low rep territory be more risky for 6ft/138 lb 54 year old man that I am?
next question: my goal in lifting is better overall life ability (absorbing the occasional big dog hike and occasional dog jogs) AND being as fast as I can riding da bike in summer. I am fine being slower while doing all the work. How do I best mix the volume and intensity of my other activities (I still ride about 10hrs/wk and run/jog about 2hrs/wk) in order to best profit from the strength work. My instinct is that I generally go pretty easy while the lifting is the priority from Dec-March. I only try a harder ride/run when it is at least 48 hrs removed from the strength (usually 24 hrs or less before next lifting session). Thanks for the advice - sincerely, rick

In my case I have equal ambitions for lifting and cycling. I focus on lifting from Mid November to March. As I get older, the focus will be closer to 60-40 for lifting.


My goals as a fellow 54 year old may not match up to yours but I will give my perspective. I’ve changed my focus from being fast on the bike and riding in general (whole other not vey interesting story) to general well being to go into my golden years. I am thinking about maintaining or even building muscle mass, maintaining bone density etc as I get older as well as fixing imbalances of sitting in front of a computer for 35 years, so I almost exclusively lift knowing that cardio will not be what is was (I was at 4W/kg, I shudder to think what it might be now). Riding at a reasonable pace rather than front of the pack is where I am comfortable now. I also generally ride solo so I am my only comparison.

I don’t think I am doing anything special here. I mix the standard compound lifts with complimentary isolation lifts. I tend to go heavy lower 5-8 rep with the compounds and higher 10-15 rep lower weight with isolations. I am doing progressive overloading but slower than say 5x5 to prevent injury and quicker recovery. With stretching and mobility on off days, I have pretty much fixed the “hunch back” but likely will not do much for the “text neck” head forward position and some glute issues. I am starting to see some size especially in the upper body and falling into the skinny fat category, I am looking forward to a cut phase in the spring to take off 5-8 lbs and working down to 12-13% BF from the current 18-19 without looking like a stick.


Yeah, this is me. I am 48 years old and lifting is just more important to my health and aging. I decided I am just to be an a functional cyclist (be able to not die on group rides) and focus more on lifting.

1 Like