Weights and TR in off-season

Hi, i know there are like 100000 threads on this but I couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. And my experience with this Forum is that many many smart people are on it who can answer this easily! :grinning:
So I’m older and have been very neglectful of lifting. So I started lifting, using the guidance of material in this forum (squats and deadlifts, slowly increasing so I am now at a weight where I can do 4-8 reps). I do get some significant DOMS but I’m adjusting.
However, I find that I can do SS or threshold workouts (mainly SS or like 96% FTP) without problems but, if I go above that (sustained like Lamarck or VO2 level workouts or more), I am totally fried and feel overttrained/exhausted/fatigued. I love getting stronger but my question is:
Can I use this time (nov-feb or so) to work on my strength and do plenty of 1 hour SS rides (Carson, Ericcson, Turrabora, etc), thus “resting” my legs but still working on my bike fitness prior to moving into higher intensity biking and less resistance exercise in march? Or is it critical to still do higher intensity bike workouts at this time, in which case I better do RE less often?
thank you, forum, in advance!!

The short recommendation is: dial back the workouts to Endurance and Tempo while you ramp your strength training and include SS when you are sufficiently rested to do so (i.e. don’t drive through muscular pain).

I’m 63. Back in 2016 I was ~3.0WpKg. Once I decided to become really serious about training, I knew that strength training was going to be critical to increasing my power on the bike, particularly the core/upper body work. So I kept my workouts pretty modest for a while I began a serious strength training program. Once my body adjusted to the strength training (probably 2-3 months, I don’t remember) I began increasing my training on the bike. The combo worked for me (reached 3.8WpKg by 2018). Ironically, due to Covid and my gym being closed, my strength (and bike) training has fallen way off. Once I’m vaccinated and the gym is back open, I will repeat the process.

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Lots of people doing what you suggest and making strength gains during base phase while not really cycling above threshold. Then maybe moving to more of a strength maintenance regime during build phase when the intensity ramps up. Certainly not a bad approach.

There is however quite a bit of evidence that incorporating at least some VO2 work throughout all phases is beneficial for older riders (not sure on the definition of “older”!). In which case it might be worth spending some time figuring out just why those workouts are frying you so much. Could simply be that you’re a more aerobically strong athlete, that the FTP you use for SS work is too high for VO2 workouts and you just need to dial it down a few percent. Could also be that you would benefit from easing yourself into those workouts a bit more gently, in the same way that you’ve had to gradually build up your lifting. E.g. Start with some easier variants and then progress. The easier short short workouts like 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, are a good way of getting used to working above threshold without burying yourself too much.

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@WOB You didn’t mention your age, but Joe Friel talks about @cartsman recommendation in his book, “Fast After 50.” It’s a very good read if you are in this age category. My recollection is that Joe said that you loose about 1% per year of your VO2 Max beginning at the age of 45. However, while you can’t stop it, you can reduce that to about 1/2 % per year through VO2 work. Of course, timing of such VO2 work needs to take other things into consideration.

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