Strength Training Endurance Crossover

I’ve recently started a strength training routine consisting of squats and dead lifts (using a trap bar.)

Just wondering if anyone has found a direct improvement of ftp or 5 minute power that has changed as a result of the exercises as opposed to just doing the cycling.?
Looking at the crank torque on my files in WkO4 when sprinting max is only 75 nm. So it looks like outright force could be a limiter for me.


The thinking on this relationship appears to be mixed. Coggan/Allen point out that even in a dead sprint, you’re not generating anywhere near the force of a deadlift or a squat. This makes sense, as in cycling you’re sprinting at upwards of 100 “reps” per minute, while any strength exercise will be far slower. But a less direct relationship may well exist, in terms of improved muscle recruitment or activation, or fatigue resistance so you can still go to the well after a few hours of riding.

To your specific question, I added more strength training this year, which required me to pare back from a mid-volume to a low-volume cycling plan. I have seen no reduction in FTP as a result of the lower cycling-specific volume, and have seen more general improvements associated with being more capable generally. So while no direct improvement specifically to cycling, I can’t point to any downsides either. At least in my individual case.


Welcome @chimpchops27. Come in and join the fun on the way to becoming a faster cyclist.

Strength training will make you a better athlete and better able to handle the demands of life, including cycling. It will help you improve muscle recruitment and efficiency especially if you work up to heavy efforts where you need to grind a bit to get the rep (see below).

I definitely recommend the Starting Strength approach to squats and deadlifts.

More TR forum wisdom


I agree and my research indicated that weight training does not make you a better cyclist. Weight training makes you a better athlete, and being a better athlete makes you better able to train to be a cyclist. I have been only doing modest wight load (at age 59) and trying to avoid injury. My intuition tells me that lots of reps of lunges, squats, dead lifts with modest weights it the best for me. This is the first year I have extended weights into the season. I used to only do this in the winter, but my reading indicates 1-2 days a week all year is important to avoid losing strength.

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This year I’m racing XC MTB- I’m happy with my cycling fitness but for me 2 limiters were bike skills after a winter on the trainer and upper body conditioning- towards the end of rides I was making silly mistakes as my upper body fatigued.

Strength training has been a massive help in letting me actually put down the power for a longer period, without my arms, shoulders and lower back forcing me to slow down. so although it hasn’t directly improved my cycling FTP, it’s allowed me to use it more effectively.

Also- go find a pump track- it’s a fantastic core workout!

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Thanks all.

Legs are destroyed from the squats and deadlifts @ the moment. Tried Matthes today and had to bail on the third interval…
Hopefully the DOMS will get better as time moves on. I’ve also started to up my protein so hopefully this will help.

the doms will go away in a couple days and mostly stay away after a couple weeks in my experience.

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