Zone 2 frequency?

Afternoon All,

During this winter I am focusing on powerlifting as a sport and am committed to a 4 day a week programme.

However, in an effort to keep a healthy aerobic base over the winter I am also doing 30 mins a day 6 days a week zone 2 rides on TR. I’m deliberately not doing longer rides to prevent fatigue build which will effect my lifting.

Is this a better method to help maintain/build an aerobic base or would you recommend easing off on the frequency but doing longer rides, such as 2 hour one at the weekend?


Frequency / consistency is critical to any training plan.

But I don’t know if you are getting much benefit from 30 Z2 rides….I would aim for at least an hour, if possible. Even with your lifting, it should not be terribly taxing.


yep…you should be able to get through Petit of Homer’s nose -1 without much fatigue. I was in the gym this am and generally do a 30-45minute VO2 session in the evening - just done Goddard -5 after a 2 hour gym session this am with plenty of treadmill tempo running, deadlifts and squats…that said it is my only gym session of the week and tomorrow is a day off!

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I just wouldn’t over think it. You are committing 3 hours a week to aerobic maintenance. It’s 1000% better than nothing. I’m not sure that slicing and dicing it differently will really move the needle much.

Adding VO2 is changing his plan. Sure, we can change the plan many ways to improve cycling but he said he is concentrating on power lifting.


Here are TR maintenance plans, take your pick:

I think you’d be better off doing 3 x 1 hour than 6 x 30 min. I also don’t think it would hurt if you sprinkled in some short sprints once a week. Something like cheaha.


Heartily agree. Petit +1 or Bays are other great endurance rides with just enough sprinting to break up the monotony.

You’re generating an aerobic signal with those 30 minute rides, and the consistency does matter. So I’m just not sure it’s true to say the 3x1hr rides are markedly better than the 6x30min rides. The reality is neither of those rides is likely to cause progress, but volume is volume!

  1. Which one are you most likely to execute consistently?
  2. Which one causes you less life/scheduling stress?

Figure that out and go with whatever that answer is, IMO.


Thank you all for your responses.

Having tried fitting vo2 workouts around my lifting before I found myself too drained to make good progress at either, too much anaerobic work in my opinion.

I’ve aimed for more of a polarised approach, anaerobic in the gym and aerobic on the bike hence the zone 2.

Looking at the answers provided I’m inclined towards longers rides (1-2 hours) but with less frequency than I’m doing now. Will hopefully have more impact on my ftp long term.

Yeah would not recommend any kind of focused VO2 work around heavy weight lifting, personally. Strength work alongside aerobic volume is a good fit. Do your heavy lifts, then ride endurance. Shift to work on the bike and maintain in the gym when appropriate for your periodization.


As recommended by the scientist behind one of the top tour de France teams:
3 x 45min zone two sessions a week to maintain, 5 x 45min zone two sessions a week to build.
Accordingly, I’d say increase session length and rest is up to you.


I worked my way up from 30 min 3x a week to 5x 60mins of z2. After doing 30 min sessions for 6 months, I started see decent improvements at 4x 45 minute, but it was when I made the jump to 4x&5x 60 min per week that I started to feel like I had a solid base, with riding in all zones getting markedly better.


Why make it all or nothing? Do 30 mins the days you lift, and 1hr on the 2 days you don’t.

Ideally I would do this but I’m limited by two factors, time and fitness.

I train on evenings after work and my powerlifting sessions generally take 90 mins plus, a 30min spin at the end would have me exercising well into the evening on most nights and unfortunately I have another commitments. I also find them quite demanding to recover from hence the zone 2 rides and avoiding vo2 stuff on the bike, I think piling on too much riding would would run me into the ground.

Since my original post I’ve been doing an hour on non lifting days and the fatigue management is going quite well. I’m getting approx a 0.5 on my endurance levels after each ride so I’m hoping this will slowly push up FTP over time whilst the numbers on the barbell goes up aswell. I’m 5’9 and weigh 192lbs so don’t think i’ll be breaking records on the Alpe d’ Huez anytime soon…


No worries, I was mostly just addressing the comments that all assumed equal time each day. I have a home gym, so go straight from a 30 minute spin into my lifting program. As others have said, consistency is the largest driver, so whatever you can do consistently is the right call

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and intensity. I find those last reps where you really start to feel the burn, are when you get most of the gains. Endure, while keeping the form, and methodically pushing to work the intended muscles, gives the best results.

A lot of times I’ve reduced the amount of time/sets for given sets of muscles, and they’ve visibly improved. For example I switched from 10-15 minutes of different types of ab exercises, to just 1 minute of dragon flags + sometimes a few ab wheel sets + lateral… 2-3 minutes total at most, but most days just the 1min dragon flag total. My abs have never been so pronounced.

Similarly, I switched to 3 types of bicep exercises + 3 types of tricep exercises per week, and got a lot more results than when i was doing 3-5 sets of each every day (alternating bicep and tricep days). Much shorter time, much higher intensity, visibly bigger and stronger biceps and triceps.

Getting used to making the exercise harder, working once per week the negative/eccentric part of the muscle, focusing and slowing down the rep, working through the burn without losing the form (hence avoiding injury/incorrect movements) yields a lot.

Also, adjusting for your weight change/diet surplus or deficit. If I lose 20% of my body weight and I’m still squatting let’s say 140kg instead of 150kg, it’s still a +win.


I appreciate the advice thanks, definitely something I would like to build up towards