Too late to start strength training?

Had to delay gym offseason work because of Covid sickness. Im now in good place to get back in the gym/strength training or resume bike plan. Goal is crit season starting in June - August. We are 3.5 months out.

If i start back in the gym its a least 2 months of work. Soreness from new exercise will cause me to pause harder work on the bike for a few weeks im sure.

Thoughts? Too late or should proceed knowing won’t be in my best shape by start of season?

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In my opinion, it’s not binary.

Sure, it would have been nice to have the dedicated 2 month block, but you can still get an awful lot of benefits by doing a lower stress strength programme concurrent with cycling (providing the sessions are appropriately separated).

What kind of thing did you have in mind?

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Not too late. Not by a long shot.

Based on the literature, 10 to 12 week strength training intervention improves VO2max & several other cycling performance metrics vs just regular cycling training alone. You’re within that window.

GET IN THE GYM!! :smiley: Just don’t go crazy.


Agree with above it’s not (ever) too late. The initial soreness is real, though, and you don’t want it to detract from your training. If possible, consider initiating your strength training during a recovery week (as opposed to, say, week 6 of a build phase).

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It took me several weeks to get over the DOMS after starting weight training. It was hard to integrate it with training.

You may want to focus on weight training for 3-4 weeks and just do low intensity endurance riding to complement it. Then, flip it and prioritize the cycling. They discussed this on the Fast Talk podcast recently. They suggested doing weight training on interval days - prioritizing cycling intervals in the morning - weight training in the afternoon. The weight training will suffer because the legs are heavy from the intervals but it leaves other days open for recovery and endurance rides.


The DOMs is real especially from Squatting. I’ve had many days of barely walking back in college.

Schedule wise… unfortunately I can only lift at lunch and ride at night. Twice a day could be the way to go with more recovery days.

I struggle with DOMS from heavy squats and similar movements so not compatible with serious bike training.

Irrespective of that, if personally returning from Covid infection, perhaps be cautious with how much training / lifting stress you add and how quickly you add it. Even if you can ride (train) and lift at same time, might be best to just do one for a while and make sure there are no long term Covid effects. If that is the case, focus on the crit season, get a good 12-14 weeks of training in. Can hit the weights after your race season goals.

I do agree that if you can, always having strength in your regular training year long is a good thing.


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Here was the schedule I was originally planning if obtainable:

Sundays - group ride 1-3 hours (primary endurance)
Monday - rest
Tuesday - TR work
Wednesday - Gym
Thursday - rest
Friday - TR work
Saturday - gym

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You might consider doing the gym work on the same days, but after, those weekday TR workouts. That would give you a bit of extra time to recover before the next.


I find if I don’t kill myself first day back into the gym, my DOMS is more manageable.

1st week back maybe 1-2 sets of bodyweight squats, next week add some relatively light weight, following week 2-3 warm up sets with light weights and one working set at a heavier weight.

Since riding is my main exercise, I’m not in a rush to lift heavy and would rather ease into.


When gym opens this is my plan. I know I can squat 140kg whenever, but I’ll start with the bar and just add 10kg a session because really don’t want to get DOMS

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You’ll be sore, but you’ll love it. You’ll be yourself on the bike in no time. Your July self will thank the March you.


Same, when i’m about to start back up, I’ll do one set of whatever I think will be a good intro. Like one set of pullups, one set of pushups, one set of squats with litle or no weight. And then I’ll do the same the next time, until I feel like I’m acclimated somewhat.

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Yeah your right. Time to get to the gym!

Good thing is it will be quick workout.

Some good advice here. I never liked trying to do both, but once your body gets used to the work, cycling fitness improves. But whatever you do, start easy as others suggested and make sure to eat plenty.

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