Strength Training

True for strength to bike conversion, but maximum weight lifted is an objective measure. So tomorrow I hope to go over my previous maximum 5x5 squat, that’s an objective measure of strength at least.

What bothered me was how am I getting stringer if I’m not seeing muscle mass improve - @dostring has an answer to that I can understand. And if that’s the case, then I guess I’m stuck with maximal lifting :smiley:

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Used that along with some other arguments during various appeals to my better half, yet decades later I’m still rotating cushions/mattresses :man_shrugging:


Well I’m a mattress flipper as well.

I would like to do more strength training but happy with the progress I have made in the last few months (thanks for advice and links people have posted) so I’m comfortable doing 5 chinups, and also in a lifestory kind of way, I am much more comfortable lugging the 15kg Butane blue gas cylinder around.

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I’m not so sure you can’t gain some muscle mass whilst training for endurance. I honestly believe I’ve seen some gainz. I flexed a bicep the other day and my daughter said ‘Jesus Dad, where did they come from’
I’ve been reasonably consistent in both strength and endurance the last year and whilst I’m sure both could improve further with more singular dedication, I do feel more rounded and robust as an athlete. Felt quite strong on a 100km the other weekend when usually I’d start to feel fatigued towards the end. Of course, it’s hard to tell what’s driving what doing both (or more considering I’m more Tri-harder these days, but feels good.
And I can flip the mattress.

You most likely will see almost 0W increase on your FTP but you could see decent gains on things under maybe a couple to a few minutes. I think most of the benefits of lifting for longer endurance type riders and efforts are for stability, injury prevention, and muscle recruitment. So maybe better engaging your core so your arms and back don’t get tired, or engaging your glutes correctly so that they stabilize your knee.

From what I’ve seen, read, or heard there is very little in the way of literature to say it has any benefit to FTP other than comfort.

Since you started lifting I bet those cushions don’t stand a change against you!


OK, ok… You guys have convinced me and I’ll edit the post on mattress flipping.


I don’t do strength work to go faster on the bike. Like you I also ensure to do enough walking to get impact for bone health. The strength work is for a mix of resilience, not losing muscle, and aging well.


I picked up cycling 2 years ago and had already been lifting for some years before, so I can’t say much about how it affects cycling.

I was really into yoga (5 days a week) when I first bought my bike. I got a bike fit by a PT and he measured my ROM, the hamstring in particular. Right around the same time, I dropped yoga and went back into the gym. Deadlift variations were the foundation of my routine to counteract all the quad work I was now doing on the bike. Went to the same PT about a year later for a new fit on a new bike - my hamstring ROM had increased compared to my yoga days.

Proper ROM under load does the body good it seems. So yeah, I suppose there’s more than strength to strength training!

As for mattress flipping, that sample is heavily biased. As a non-flipper I’m now completely embarrassed to manifest myself.



I was previously doing back squats and hex bar dead lifts plus lots of zwift racing. Then my right knee started acting during and after really intensive races, and heavy squats. I completely stopped the leg weights and replaced those with weighted isometrics- bar bell lunges 3 X 30 second holds on each leg. I did this every other day consistently for about 3 - 4 weeks, I found that I could quickly build the weight I was holding up.

What the Jacked Athlete podcast suggested , and what I found, was that when you get knee pain like this it is really important to keep exercising, but dial down the intensity and use Isometrics which give immediate pain relief and build up the tendon strength around the knee.

After four weeks I had no knee pain and was able to start building in intensity again on the bike and restart leg weights.

Possibly off topic, but I also replaced back squats with front squats after reading that front squats tend to place less pressure on the knee due to the different location of the bar when you’re squatting.

I’ve suffered absolutely no knee pain since then so would absolutely recommend trying isometrics.



Yup I found the same thing. Lots of pre lifting stretching as well as heavy RDL’s made me much more flexible.

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Yes. From what I’ve read RICE is only good for the first couple days post injury, then you need to gradually load tendons and ligaments in order for them to get better. Too much rest is a recipe for more injuries and prolonged healing.

I’m still sorting out my knee, which like you, was brought on from too many (possibly too heavy) back squats. It sucks, but slowly it’s gotten better, but it’s taken almost 12 weeks now. I’m still afraid to do any weighted squats so I’ve been doing Spanish squats, unloaded single-leg squats, and a lot of eccentric work focusing on a slow controlled descent.

Thankfully anything I do on the bike doesn’t hurt the knee so riding has been full gas

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Exactly this. My lifting has very little to do with getting better on a bike. I like having good functional strength and mobility, and I want to age well, so I lift. If it hurts me on the bike, then so be it.


Same for me.
Lifting a couple times a week makes me feel a lot better in life.


For me it was only a couple of days. I’m 100% now. However, I did a lot of research and it seems that in most cases its a problem of load management. The critical issue with tendinopathy seems to be that the overuse injury causes a reorganization of the tendon tissue that, it appears only proper load and tension can aim to rehab.

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A question for the experienced cyclist - lifters: If you followed a linear progression at the beginning of your strength training journey. How did you modify your workouts when you couldn’t increase the weights anymore on a weekly or 2 week basis? Thanks.

I’ve been following a slow progression over the winter that was adding reps per set before adding additional weight and also switching some lifts every 5-6 weeks. I found that following 5x5 of increasing every session until you fail and then backing off led to burnout and nagging injury, most likely from deteriorating form trying to move more weight. I keep adding reps and maintaining or improving form then add weight. I may not have as impressive “numbers” but this season has gone better than previous.

I agree…I’m only doing 3 x 5 and had to limit it to 2 sessions a week, with cycling and snowboarding I found it was adding too much stress to quads/knees. I think I found a good system, but I can see already that I’m getting close to the limits on the squat and the OH Press. Deadlift is still going strong.

I start failing in my bike sessions long before I start failing in my weight sessions. As I am this week - I just switch to 90% intensity and go for a -1 version of the workout next time.