Strength Training

Nice numbers!

A 14 day trip!? Is that an epic traverse?

Yup! Have a crew that we do an annual trip, so this year doing bugs to Rogers in BC. Hopefully less than 14 days but really tricky weather. Usually end up being a bit of a vision quest but definitely make some memories on these trips!

1 Like

Did u do the isometrics on top of the heavy loads + biking?.

Bench inside the powercage with spotter bars

So I finally tried to kill myself, but my kit and prep saved me :partying_face:

I’m nearing my bench limit, watching Press form clips while working out, did my warm up, checked the spotter bars were in the right place…then loaded the bar 20kg heavier than I meant to! :crazy_face:

Yeah, I though it felt heavy but figured it was the first set, so the bar went down…no way in hell it was going up again. I rested it on the bars and crawled out with my pride intact.


I’m guilty of not doing this. I know I should, and I’m thankful of every time I finish a bench set and I’m still alive. But my bikes are hanging right next to the cage and so that doesn’t work and I’d have to replan the pain cave, and that just takes away training time. :upside_down_face:

1 Like

Hi all strength people!

Gainz for endurance athletes…I get all the benefit theory, but what are the measurable gains?

Ive listened to dozens of endurance/strength podcasts and clips and the message is always the same for endurance athletes - you will not gain muscle mass.

So if muscle is not getting bigger, denser or multiplying…how are you getting stronger? How are you getting benefit if there is no change in musculature?

Supposed benefits relating to economy - i.e., more W for less O2…

Not massively convinced by the literature, but I still strength train for general health etc.

1 Like

There is nervous system adaptation at the beginning that is responsible for the majority of strength gains. Basically you learn to use your muscles. The first link in google might be worth reading to get started.

And yes, you will not gain muscle. It took me 3 years of three times a week strength training to gain 2 kg of muscle (I would say those were mainly back muscles and glutes). But I am a clear ectomorph.

1 Like

Have yet to see a conversion of weight work in gym to faster bike riding in my personal n=1 case.

But enjoy moving iron, and there are other benefits for my health so I keep lifting.



I would say the only thing I’ve observed, personally, is an increase in long power (i.e., >2h)…or more accurately, a reduction in power decline over a ride.

I’m attributing this to a much improved core, leading to better power transfer during the latter part of rides…certainly feel more comfortable during longer efforts.


Yes - agree. I was going to add a line or two about core strength, but decided not to lengthen my post!! Before adding weight work several times per week, was doing core work for years. That addition gave me a subtle improvement in TT events the first season. Not easy to measure in watts, but felt stronger holding aero position. Suspect same is true for mountain bike where some additional upper body strength from weight lifting is probably helpful. At very least it’s good for clearing trail debris when we stop to do that type of work :slight_smile:

I do think once one has “enough” core and upper body strength there isn’t more to gain in terms of making a bike go faster. So while weights keep going up in the gym, translation to going faster on bike is too small to measure or really notice.

FWIW, am absolutely not negative on weight lifting. Over last several years I’ve moved from trying to be as fast as possible on the bike to being fast enough to be happy and doing other things to be more healthy overall. I like that balance quite a bit.

Perhaps not on topic, but the last 4-5 years I’ve focused more on powerlifting type strength training and maximizing those lifts. Each winter I’ll use the Candito programs, sometimes something different for variety, and do a few mesocycles. It is really fun and a good break from structured bike training. Spring/Summer I lift a couple times a week while running bike programs.

But have been wondering more recently about switching from the powerlifting stuff to what I think is often described as more “functional” training. Instead of focusing on the big three lifts, cut back on that and do more whole body and movement type stuff. Believe there is a bit of discussion on that upthread and I have to do more research.


I’ve added 5-7lb of weight since starting strength in October—don’t look much fatter. I reckon some of that weight is muscle, some fat, some water.

I do feel stronger on the bike and my sub 5 min power numbers back this up.

I also anecdotally haven’t seen much if any conversions from gym work to being faster on the bike, except for when I had a very long break from cycling and was essentially “off the couch” (where just about anything will result in improvement).

However, every time I stop going to the gym for an extended period of time, I get some sort of overuse injury. Last time it was back pain, and this time it is IT Band Syndrome :man_facepalming: . If I don’t have that gym structure, I get pretty lazy with my workouts, so it’s worth it to me by a long shot just for the injury prevention

Anecdotally, gardening isn’t so hard since I started weight lifting :slight_smile:

I’m not overly bothered as I enjoy it and the wealth of diverse advice and research is supporting it, but an objective measure would be great.

I started lifting about 15 months ago, but I also started training much more consistently 15 months ago. So it’s hard to attribute benefits, I would say that I lifted the morning before my highest ever FTP result, so if it’s holding me back it’s doing a good job of hiding it.

I feel like it’s let me see my actual limits - there is no amount of psychology that can get me through a 5x5 session. The bar moves or the bar does not move, it’s that simple. But in that ramp test when my body was crying “Please Lord make it stop!” part of me said, “Yeah, yeah, but this isn’t hard compared to squats” and I got a second wind.

1 Like

This isn’t always a possibility. Perhaps there’s a study on the outcome of strength training and it’s benefit (or lack thereof) to cycling economy, power, etc, but I’m not aware (and admittedly haven’t done much to search for it).

I would use all the anecdotal evidence from pros, coaches, and many an amateur. That’s all I needed.

1 Like

For me, even if the numbers stay the same, but one went from no strength training to squatting 1.3 your body weight for 3 sets of 5, it’d call a massive win. Cheers.


Pure storytelling here on my part because I think we’re all sharing…

  1. Several years ago the wife and I decided to flip our mattress. You know, like everyone diligently does on a per month basis as you are supposed to to maximize lifespan of the mattress and also comfort and recovery. It was much harder than it needed to be. I was about 135 pounds at the time and going really well on the bike. But other than riding well, was fairly unhealthy in terms of useful fitness.

  2. After a couple years of trying to be as light as possible to facilitate bike race results (maximize w/kg), and getting down under 130 pounds and about 5% BF (5’7", 50+ male) and cresting 4.25 w/kg, I went in for my yearly BODPOD. It was crystal clear looking at results going back 10 years that while light and lean, I was losing bone and muscle.

Those two events set off major warning signals. Aging (masters) amateur bike racer dudes just cannot give up bone and muscle to be fractionally faster on a bike.

Long story short, I went right back into the gym to move iron around and also started talking regular walks and hikes. Gave up a tiny bit of cycling performance, but my FTP is still OK with regard to historical highs and short term power (with specific training focus on bike) actually went up. Lost a few seconds in TTs and long hill climbs, but overall riding didn’t suffer in a way I care about at present. Overall, feel better, feel stronger and a very nice increases in useful strength and I hope overall health for the long term.

Still working toward that 200 pound bench press and 300 pound deadlift. That’s my 5 w/kg equivalent in the gym.

TL;DR - I don’t garden like Joe does, but gardening has gotten a lot easier here too and I’ll take it!!!


Nobody? Because every month my better half has me rotating/flipping the couch cushions, etc., etc.

Started taking strength training seriously a couple years ago. Big difference in life and minor difference in cycling, however I’m fast approaching sixties. Last summer I regained a couple lost inches on my upper legs, hard to believe how much muscle mass silently disappeared during my fifties.


LOL - y’all are crazzzzyyy :wink:


There’s outliers on every bell curve…!