Weight training VS Zone2

Hi all,
I’m struggling to find the answer to this one. All the proponents of weight training seem to expect you can simply add it to your normal cycling schedule.

I have started weight training this year, going to the gym twice a week. But to fit it in I have dropped a cycle session.

I’m still doing 3 structured rides a week and a long ride at the weekend as well as my two lifting sessions a week, but I have dropped one session a week that would be about 2 hours of zone 2.

This is compared to previous years. So my base so far has been about 80tss a week lower this year compared to previous years.

My goal being CRITS and ~100km rolling road races. So what I’m trying to figure out is as a cyclist would I be better off spending more time on the bike or are the gym sessions going to be more beneficial.

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Have you listened to the TR podcasts about weight training? There was a very comprehensive one recently. The Dylan Johnson YT blog on weights was also interesting and Brendon H Evoq channel talks about how to integrate weights.

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If you haven’t already seen it, this thread is kind of the master one with lots of discussions including scheduling.


I have listened to them all, and seen the Dylan Johnson videos.

As far as I can remember none of them cover the senario of, including weights meaning decreasing time on the bike and if that is a net positive. They all talk about how to schedule the weights around the bike time you are already doing.

The pay-off, or not, is going to be individual - what are your goals and what are your strengths & limiters in achieving those goals?

I’m 51 and my goal is health and quality of life along with maximising fun on the bike, so the pay-off is there for me to include some time throwing heavy stuff around even if it costs me a little bike time. But I’m also retired and have limitless time to use how I wish. If I was 30 and trying to win races then it may be a different equation.

Consensus from experts seems to be the pay-off is there for most cyclists to include extra time during base and then reduce to a maintenance schedule during build and season.

I am in my mid thirties and my Goal is to win races :smiley:
I’m a Cat3 in the UK and my limiter to winning races is definetly my sprint. I can get in the break, and I get can to the end of a race in the right place. Then always find myself going backwards from there. Which is what lead me to the weight training in the first place, but I had orriginaly thought i’d be able to get a weight session and a riding session in on the same day but it hasn’t worked out that way. which has lead to a decrease in volume on the bike.

It depends what part of the periodization scheme you are at the moment. If it’s early base, I would drop some of the intensity focus structured workouts instead.

It also depends what kind of weight training you are doing…are you doing heavy squats?. As your season progresses lifting becomes more of an accessory for maintenance.

I personally only lift from December to April, really heavy, focused and intense.

I remember there was a study where they had same volume but gym group replaced a ride with weight session and the gym group ended up faster. I think it was one of Dylans video

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Its the first time ive been in the gym. I started lifting in November, but DOMS and COVID made this very patchy. Ive been lifting twice a week since the begining of Jan. I did 4 weeks of adapting increasing weight and lowering Reps.
Ive now done 2 weeks of 3-5 rep range, Squat and deadlift, with Rows and military press in there too. My base is due to end in 3 weeks, my main racing season is June-August.
I’m up to just over body weight on the squat (i’m 85kg), I had been planning on carrying on increasing untill i got to the 1.25x body weight goal for the squat then going to 1 maintainance lift a week.

The only way I could get some more time on the bike in is to stack an hour of Zone2 in before I lift weights (litrally on the way to the gym) on the two days I lift (currently the gym is a 20 min cycle away). But this goes against all the advice on keeping them separate because of the different signals.

Crits = weight training would prove beneficial; 100km RRs = not as much.

Totally depends on what kind of weight training, periodisation of both weights and riding etc.

At age 67, I find that combining a weight workout with a cycling workout - even one hr at zone 2 is too much for one day.

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IMO, It’s better to have a focused period where lifting is priority. If you want to improve your sprint you need to be strong and increase your leg muscle mass. It’s hard to do that with all the load of a regular season.

I’ve become an intermediate lifter this season (by age, weight and load lifting standards) I can do 1.4 body weight x 5 squats. Let us see what kind of improvements I see in my cycling results.

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