Strength training without compromising TR workouts


I would do weights first then trainer to get the feel of muscles used and also loosen off


Thats an important advice: if you do free weights or something similiar, you should have an idea of how it should feel and what the motion is. You could get injured if you do heavy free weights and do the wrong motion.


I actually sat down with an instructor at my gym regarding this yesterday.

I am currently doing some gym work to fix some problems in my knee, the problems don’t effect my efforts on the bike but it just isn’t as how it should be.
In addition I’m am following low volume plans (currently SSBLV2) to prepare myself for two big events in April.

My schedule is going to look as follows:


  • 60 minute TR workout in the morning
  • stability workout at gym in the evening

Tuesday rest

Wednesday 90 minute TR workout

Thursday rest


  • morning 60 minute TR workout
  • evening gym work strength training

Saturday recovery rides outside (from January onward)

I have a history of overdoing things and ending up with injuries that could’ve been prevented if I took some more rest in between, that’s the reason why I am sticking to LV plans.

The problems in my knee stem from an imbalance in my upperleg, basically the three big muscles aren’t evenly strong and now one of them is pulling to hard on my knee cap.

The stability training on Monday will consist of excersises to help cure that but also improve my core stability. But I am doing this type of training on Monday as I expect that my legs will recover enough for the 90 minute workout on Wednesday.

On Friday the training will be more on strength and power with more weight and fewer reps. I expect to have more soreness from this than from the stability training on Monday. But untill January I will have two full days of rest before the next TR workout and from January onward I will have a recovery ride on Saturday and heavy legs will help to keep the effort low as I won’t feel like I have anything extra for that day.

It won’t be all legwork in the gym, both training days in the gym will also include efforts for the upper body.

I hope this will give me a good basis for next year, not only for cycling but also for other sports.
I am not sure if something like this would fit in a MV or HV plan but still wanted to share the idea with you guys.

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Before I am providing my 0.02 $ here.
Previous played Aussie Rules Football and did a max 150kg proper squat, 160kg DL and 90kg bench press. This was around 7 years ago, picked up cycling and fell in love with the sport. However I noticed I turned super weak so needed to pick up starting strength (the Rip method) again.

The advice on the SS (starting Strength) forums goes ass this.
Monday AM 1 hour easy trainer
Monday PM Strength (Squat, Bench, Dead, chin ups)
Tuesday; intervals
Wednesday: nothing
Thursday: Strength (Squat, Press, Dead, dips)
Friday nothing or 1 hour rollers
Saturday HIIT (2 hours)
Sunday endurance

You will be tired on Monday, it is a mental game more than anything. Instead of going full in; ride your bike days on recovery mode for 2 -3 weeks and start again with your planned schedule. Adjustment period is 3 months. If you stop earlier you never know if it worked or not.
Also EAT, SLEEP; we cyclists tend to eat too little although we think we don’t.

Gym sessions for me take around 45 minutes to 1 hour max. Powerlifting is not my goal but MTB XCO is. My races will not be longer than 2 hours so I can get away with this and still be competitive.

Since again I started with SS I gained 3 kg, so now I am at 280W, 83kg @ 188cm

Finally the science for this is not there to support if this works or not. Problem is the way the researchers define strength training (machine and bw exercise does not count). See starting strength youtube channel for more information from a few doctors who went through all the research.

Most of us do not become pro’s, but we do become older. Try to properly for a season and you might like it. There isn’t much to loose.



I have a set of rock rings for pull ups, and one 40lb kettlebell at home, and can do whatever workout I need with just those two pieces of equipment. Just need to be creative on the exercises - which I have a good library of given 30 yrs of strength training.


Nate, I’m curious about why you don’t do any leg work.

Chad and many other sports physiologists have presented a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest an 8-12 week lower body strength program has huge benefits (as long as the work is functional and relates to on bike mechanics). I also see a lot of professionals dedicating a portion of their off season to working on strength. It would seem that you’re leaving a lot of performance on the table by choosing not to work on strengthening your legs.

Also, working in ONE maintenance day during the season shouldn’t interfere with your performance.

Personally, I’m 6-weeks into a strength program and am also doing SSBase. I have noticed a drastic increase in RPE, but I’m ok with that knowing that the off-bike work should yield better on-bike performance come this season. And if it doesn’t translate into performance gains on the bike, I’m ok with that knowing that I’m cultivating a better body in general.


My FTP goes up when I don’t do leg work. When I do leg work I can’t finish my hard workouts and my FTP doesn’t go up.

In my opinion, if you can do leg work and do your hard workouts you should try adding more volume and/or hard workouts and remove the leg work.

In my mind it’s not leg work vs no leg work.

It’s leg work vs another interval session a week.


Totally get that, but isn’t that what an off season is for? Reducing some on-bike training load in order to freshen up for the next training season as well as work on things outside of interval sessions in order to get faster? Last year I did no strength training, this year I am because I’m curious to see how it impacts my performance come race season. I don’t plan to do more than 1 day/week when the season is in full swing.

Addressing OP. In terms of affecting workouts, I think you have to accept the fact that you’re going to impact them. It totally depends on where you are in training—strength plus SSB would be MUCH more manageable than doing a Build or Specialty plan. I think you should plan your season around incorporating a dedicate block of strength training during the off season months, that way you aren’t pressured to work in interval sessions. As far as workouts go, I’m doing a lot of single leg and compound movements.

Lower body:
Single leg deadlifts with a kettlebell
Kettlebell front squats
Step ups

Single arm bent over rows

Non-lift exercises:
Weighted glute bridges with a hold
Resistance band walks (smoke the Glute Medius)

Swiss ball work

I think these will all make a person more balanced, stronger and healthier and if done with good form lead to reduced injury.

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My experience is similar to the OP: doing Squats in particular have a long recovery time and interfere with bike workouts that come too soon after the gym session. For that reason I generally avoid squats.

  1. I lift 2x a week, and like some other people in this thread, I do them on days that also have bike workouts scheduled. I DO NOT SACRIFICE REST DAYS - rather, do two workouts on the strength days.

  2. I leave as much time between gym sessions and bike sessions as I can - at least four hours. Eat a good meal, try to rest - even take a nap.

  3. My gym sessions are heavy on core work and upper body. I consider these essential complements to my on-bike training. Squats and deadlifts are great in general - if I wasn’t surfing the knife’s edge of overtraining on my bike. I feel like their long trail of recovery is not worth the benefit if my primary focus is the bike. That said, if I am choosing between squats and deadlifts I choose deadlifts, because of their increased benefit for my chest and arms, and the way squats have a bigger impact on my subsequent bike workouts.

  4. I follow a program from this book:

It follows a periodized approach that will be familiar to many people here: adaptation, base, build, power. I match the strength program to my riding periods. I am in the base 2 period now, and it includes really fun things like medicine ball woodchoppers, stability ball planks, split squats, and then traditional stuff like dumbbell presses, squats, and DLs.

Just got back from the gym, gonna ride in a few hours!

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I too am always wondering if I should ditch the strength training and focus solely on cycling…

…then I see ex-pro riders struggling to perform 10 press ups and I quit wondering and head back to the gym :wink:

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I came from a power lifting, bodybuilding background. I have a good 20 years of experience. I have found that squats at or above 60% 1RPM with moderate volume are going to compromise bike performance. Dead lifting isn’t quite as hard on the legs, but hell on the CNS. Explosive weight training with lower rep ranges with around 30% 1RPM but focusing on creating speed and force seems to trigger fast twitch muscle stimulation, but does not destroy them. It is also easier on the joints, and the CNS. Also, as someone above mentioned, train the hams and gluts.