Who here balances strength with bike training?

Who here has found a way to incorporate lower-body strength training into their Base Phase? What do your weeks look like? How many days per week are you training your legs versus doing TR workouts?

My hardest workouts of the week are on Monday / Wed / Sat and I’m trying it out and finding that my legs are torched which adds a lot of RPE to my Tuesday and Wednesday workouts. However, adding muscle and strength is very important to me so I want to make this work.

I’m trying to balance both. Here is my current routine (Hardest days are Monday, Wednesday, Saturday.) and how I’m trying to work 2 strength days into the week with 3-4 days of “rest” between strength days. They always come in the afternoon after I’ve done my TR workout.

I am trying this as well. I am not trying to move heavy weights and progressing slowly so I can manage recovery and no injuries. I am limiting right now to squats and deadlifts mostly due to time limitations but will start to add in some more upper body stuff. I have no intent nor misconceptions that I am going to become a powerlifter so my goals are fairly modest.

Up until my gym recently closed I was doing lower body and core strength training on endurance ride days. I was able to do a quick 30-40 min routine at lunch on Wednesday or Thursday whichever was endurance day.

Same thing on my weekend session I would do the strength stuff first thing in the morning and do the long endurance ride late morning or afternoon.

I intentionally avoided going to the gym on days of rest, intervals or recovery spin.

It was working well for me. Now I do the same at home except no squats or deadlifts. Added some body weight exercises.

I strength train year round, and try to hit legs twice a week during the base phase. Sundays are usually my hardest day, where I will perform my ride first thing in the morning, then hit the gym for legs in the afternoon. This usually consists of 4-6 exercises for legs.

When really crunched for time, I’ve done the strength training right after the trainer ride, but I generally prefer a few hours in between sessions.

When my legs aren’t too thrashed, I like to incorporate in a lighter weight session mid-week, either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. This is usually a session based around explosive reps, as I find they don’t kill the rest of my training. If I am really dragging, sometimes I will just do some plyometrics (box jumps, rebound jumps, squat jumps, broad jumps) instead.

It’s really a lot of trial and error though to figure out what split works best. My suggestion would be to try performing weights on Monday afternoon/evening, and Saturday afternoon/evening, and see how it works out. Good luck!

Looks fine to me, I ended up shifting the Weights sessions as it suited me week by week. So in the early days when it wasn’t too taxing I’d do it in double days, when the the Weight session got really hard I’d try to give a day gap before a key workout.

I was going to a gym for weights so logistics came into it as well.

I’ve tried to integrate weight lifting this year. I’ve found it challenging. I started in December and wish I had started in September. It took a couple of months just to get over really bad DOMs.

Honestly I never figured out a good rhythm. Weight lifting makes me feel tired like I did a really hard ride with intensity. So between hard rides, the weight lifting, and endurance rides I was feeling tired all the time.

Now that everything is on the sidelines with the corona virus, I was thinking about recommiting to the weight lifting since I do an at home program with dumbbells (Maximum Overload for Cyclists book).

Next year I’m thinking:

Weights + base miles starting in September/October and then scale back on weights as build cycles with intervals start.

I started SSBLVI&II back in January with the intention of adding some more serious weight training (upper body + lunges, squats, and deadlifts) into my schedule. That went well and I actually was able to do some marathon mountain bike and long gravel races during that period without too much issue (I did taper before the bigger events).

Given the current circumstances, I reset back to that plan. Here’s what my current week looks like.

Monday is completely off. This week I added some endurance miles in on Wednesday, but normally I would be off the bike on Wednesdays. The SSBLV plans don’t have workouts on Sunday, so I added Hawk Mountain for this week. Before, I was doing 4-5 hour outdoor rides on those days.

Squats Sunday deadlifts Thursday usually quite heavy but im going for a bit more volume and time under load so still playing around with weights/ reps/sets

Before it was 5 sets of 3 somewhere in the 315 to 355 range for each.

Same. I can feel residule fatigue upwards of 4-5 days after a lower body session, and all I’m doing is:

Kettlebell (35lb) Lunges (3x15)
Kettlebell (35lb) Step-ups (3x12)
50lb Front Squats (3x15)
35lb Single-leg Deadlifts (3x20)

As you can see I’m not lifting heavy, but I sure as hell feel it the days after. I’m struggling to figure out a way to work in 2 lower body sessions per week. My hardest rides of the week are Monday’s and Saturdays. I’m thinking I could lift after my Z2/Endurance ride on Tuesday, suffer through a Sweet Spot ride on Wednesday and lift again after my longer ride on Saturday.

I’m going to play around with alternating days each week. I’d like give myself at least 3 days between weight sessions. So I think a Tuesday-Friday or a Wednesday-Saturday cycle could be doable. Also coming to the realization that I might only be able to get at most, 2 Sweet Spot rides in per week while strength training the legs. The rest will have to be aerobic, low-intensity Z2 rides…just don’t see how I can manage anything more and not over-train.

The perfect balance is quickly becoming elusive. Thanks all for the input.

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Same here. I got into road cycling a couple of years ago after almost 20 very dedicated years of strength training. I’m doing SSB MV1 and constantly feel fatigued despite a very good nutrition plan and rest. I’m struggling to find a good balance and am currently down to 5 days on the trainer, 2 days strength with total body sessions and 2 days rest. It’s been mentally hard to reduce strength training so much, and frustrating that I still can’t find a good balance…but I refuse to give up on the strength aspect. Will keep trying though…

I am in a very similar situation, lifted as my primary focus for about ten years and biked recreationally. Switching over to bike focused I’ve had to dial back my strength training, focussing on just maintaining strength as much as possible. I’m able to keep up three workouts a week during base MV as long as I stay focussed with nutrition and rest. Any additional fatigue derails me: I play hockey once a week during the winter and it’s really really tough to make strength and training. Once I hit build I dial back to two weight sessions a week.

My advice to anyone trying to intro strength training to supplement biking is to do low rep, tightly focussed workouts. Stronglifts and starting strength are great resources. Volume lifting has always been very exhausting for me, and doesn’t really help with cycling strength (although there are joint and mobility benefits). Coach Chad’s strength benchmarks are very achievable with fairly minimal weight training for anyone.

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I was doing similar using the Maximum Overload for Cyclist book. I do the general conditioning exercises and then the main work is:

walking lunge
bulgarian split squats
step ups (added those on my own)

I started off with two 18lb dumbbells. It doesn’t sound like much but 3 sets of the lunges would rip me to shreds with the DOMs for 3 days. Lately I’ve noticed that I now tolerate 4 sets without major DOMs. So basically it took me three months of twice a week to get over DOMs. This is why I said that next year I’d start in September (3 months earlier). If I can maintain at least 1-2X per week through the summer I’m sure it will be a lot easier.

My training has been turned on its head and I’m probably home schooling my 9 year old son for the foreseeable future. I’m thinking of going back to the weights full force and then do endurance rides when I can fit them in.

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