StrongFirst Plan 015

Anyone have experience with StrongFirst’s Plan 051? It’s a variant from the Quick & the Dead.

Two exercises, explosive movement, every 90 seconds. Repeat until you’ve done 30 minutes total.

3-5 times a week. Program for 6-12 weeks.

example session:

Time Exercise
00:00:00 10 Kettlebell Swings
00:01:30 10 Pushups
00:03:00 10 Kettlebell Swings
00:04:30 10 Pushups
00:06:00 10 Kettlebell Swings
00:07:30 10 Pushups
00:09:00 10 Kettlebell Swings
00:10:30 10 Pushups
00:12:00 10 Kettlebell Swings
00:13:30 10 Pushups
until you finish at 30 minutes.

Video about it, including info on training effect here:

So far so good. Not interfering with cycling.

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Whats the point? This is basically just endurance with extra steps. Why not just ride your bike and do some regular strength training on the side?


Minimalist strength plans have and continue to work, increasing strength without interfering with cycling. Thats the point.

What is this so called “regular strength training” you speak of? Are you thinking SF’s founder Pavel Tsatsouline is sitting back smiling and saying “ha ha, these idiots are going to get weak and feeble with my endurance with extra steps training” :rofl:

I’m a fan of both pushups and kettlebell swings, but I don’t think doing just those two exercises is really going to give me an excellent full-body strength session.

I’ve become a fan of Starting Strength and, as an older athlete, The Barbell Prescription. I’m really enjoying working with barbells and I can see clear gains in strength.


:man_shrugging: So far there are noticeable results and no interference with cycling. No feeling zapped after a workout. Sometimes I run out of time and do a workout 2 hours before riding, not ideal but no interference. I’ve read The Quick and the Dead and it aligns with similar concepts I use for intervals on the bike. For the science they give credit to “building mitochondria in fast twitch” but who knows, and like blow flow restricted training I don’t care how it works, I just care that there is empirical evidence that it works, is convenient, and doesn’t interfere with my cycling.

marketing on Amazon:

Oh, I have no doubt it has benefits and measurable effects. Pushups and kettlebell swings are demanding exercises, and doing a half-hour of them is A LOT of work. Of course you’re going to improve.

All I said was, it does not strike me as the ideal way to get a full-body strength session and I prefer to do it differently.

Typed this up as a Garmin Strength Workout and it gave me this as the muscle groups worked.

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I haven’t read The Quick and the Dead yet nor am I familiar with 015, but I just finished Pavel’s AXE book and coincidentally found this video about it from the same instructor @WindWarrior linked above.

Pavel’s stuff has always made sense to me (and I appreciate his character). So thinking about the AXE program approach to rebuilding strength after my cardiac surgery and balancing that with being back in the bike it feels like a good approach with which to experiment.


I’ve learned enough biochemistry from the Empirical Cycling podcast that reading the science part of The Quick and the Dead left me almost speechless. Fairly well written but you had to mentally substitute ‘acidic environment in muscles’ everytime lactic acid was mentioned (this was clarified in the References and Notes).

Just bought the AXE book, from the Amazon preview it comes right out and talks about H+ instead of lactic acid.

Not only does stuff like this:

make complete sense to me after reading The Quick and the Dead, it was the basis for what my coach ended up doing with me.

The Fast First chapter was an interesting read.

The entire book lays out its case for why, and then explains the programming in a way that you can adapt for your own circumstances.

And I am now applying the principles to cycling, and resistance training.

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For only having one upper body and one lower body exercise, it is surprisingly balanced. The KB swings are a pretty metabolically demanding exercise (part of why these exercises are balanced as far as muscles targeted) especially if you’re going with the heaviest weight you can manage. So it could wear you down after a while if you’re increasing the weight. Maybe not ideal to do over and over again as it could lead to imbalances. But if you like that format of strength workout, I’d suggest maybe every month switch out the workouts to an upper body pull exercise and lower body push (so maybe a row or squat).

For my maintenance lift sessions, I’ve found a real quick session of upper body pull and push, and lower body pull and push exercises work. Typically something like a bench press then deadlift then lat pull down and a squat is enough to hit the biggest muscles and works for me. With strength the key is to be perfectly consistent and do the workouts regularly than to be consistently perfect trying to chase the “perfect workout format” and only doing them infrequently.

Last update because this is working so well I’m not going to share anymore… I’m both putting on muscle and watching my cycling efficiency (EF) increase on endurance and tempo. With decreased cycling volume. Crazy. Weird Science.

WTHE for the win.


Thanks for the update. I am going to try it also.