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Combining weight training and cycling. How?

Old 08-26-21, 09:27 AM
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Scalage
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Combining weight training and cycling. How?

Hey, I'm new here. I specifically made an account to answer this question which I've been struggling with for years. How the hell do you combine weight training with cycling??? Because I must, otherwise I get injured all the time. Yet if I do, my interval training suffers majorly. I just stopped a training because of DOMS of a session I did monday. That session was only 3x 10 split squats, normal squats and a bit of ab work. With only body weight....

I can't seem to do it. I've tried short and heavy, light and long and I cannot for the life of me do more than 3x 10 with only bodyweight and my training still suffers.

Please help, I'm desperate.
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Old 08-26-21, 10:21 AM
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I guess to help those out better at this than me, I'll ask some questions first I know will be coming:

1. What are your injuries from riding a bike that you say weight training assists? Knowing this may bias people's answers in a certain direction to help more.

2. Do you currently track your bike riding in some kind of way that quantifies duration and intensity?

3. Do you have any special dietary choices or restrictions from the norm? Related to perhaps carb, protein, diabetes, medicines, etc..?
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Old 08-26-21, 10:46 AM
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Better than you, I wouldn't be so sure about that. My ftp is only 185.

1. If I stop weight training, my glutes will become weak and I get knee injuries.
2. Yes, I have a heart rate monitor, a power meter, and I use trainingpeaks.
3. No, although I do struggle with protein intake. I find it hard to eat enough. I supplement it with dairy. I have no idea what the name is in English (in Dutch it's Franse kwark, but it's not French cottage cheese), but it gives me 50 grams of extra protein per day. I have had covid in march 2020, although I'm fairly recovered from that and I've been struggling with this for far longer.
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Old 08-26-21, 04:49 PM
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Maybe your body is not recovering properly because you're training too hard and doing too much
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Old 08-27-21, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Maybe your body is not recovering properly because you're training too hard and doing too much
If I want to do less in terms of strength I have to stop doing it altogether. I'm only doing it for 5-10 per week and I still get doms for multiple days.
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Old 08-27-21, 05:08 AM
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My weight training now I'm on the bike a lot is just very basic maintainence strength work, typically once per week 2 to 3 x 5 deadlifts (which is possibly the hardest bit), something like 2x10 squats with dumbells, 2x10 lunges with dumbells , a bit of various bodyweight / core stuff, and done, all in half a hour tops and far away from failure.

If you're getting DOMS you're doing too much one way or another... and the day after I personally prefer to do an endurance zone ride / run rather than intervals.
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Old 08-27-21, 05:12 AM
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I'm doing even less than that with no weight at all and I still have doms. I do strenght training in the morning, then the day after I don't do anything and the day after that intervals late in the afternoon. There is more than 50 hours between doing the tiny bit of strength training and intervals and I can still feel it.
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Old 08-27-21, 05:25 AM
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That's odd. When you try to just push through and just do the intervals anyway, can you? If you can, I'd just do that.

Maybe you are just starting from a low point and you'll handle it better in time.
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Old 08-27-21, 05:57 AM
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I normally can, but my power and stamina is terrible. I can only manage 3x20 minutes sweetspot whereas I can do 3x30 without strength training. I've been coming out of a two week break since about a month ago (I do have a rest week every fourth week, but I still do some training) but apart from that I've been doing this for about a year. It's not that I've only just started.
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Old 08-27-21, 11:53 AM
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Do you stretch every morning? Any chance that it's not DOMS as we usually understand it, but rather torn fibers from unfamiliar ranges of motion? I've had that happen to me. You actually aren't strength training, you know. Strength training would involve recruiting muscle fibers which you haven't been using and I doubt you're doing that. But let's assume this last statement isn't true. "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line." . .

What if every morning, after you stretch, you do maybe 10 full ass-to-grass squats. When you go down into the first squat, stay down. Look down at your knees. Are they behind your toes? Are your feet about shoulder width apart? Do your knees point in the same direction as your toes? Then kind of wiggle around. Rotate your butt in a circle. Get comfortable there. Then come up and do a few more squats. Don't bounce at the bottom, at least for now. Just go down, stop, then come up. Be sure to thrust forward with your hips as you come up. If you do this for maybe 2 weeks, I think you'll be OK.

My morning stretches for legs are here (ignore the thread title): IT Band pain (during ride)

When you actually squat for strength training, you don't have to go all the way down. Studies have shown faster improvement in time trial times if the rider only goes down to where their knees make a right angle. This is called a half squat. However, as that quote goes, I start every season's strength work with ATG squats then gradually move to half squats as my weights increase and I get more fit, say around December. It's almost September now, a good time to start with base work, including strength, and lay off the intervals for a couple months or so. But maybe you do CX in the fall, so that wouldn't work.
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Old 08-27-21, 12:43 PM
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I would seriously consider the credentials (or lack of credentials) of the people who post on this forum. As far as me: I raced on the velodrome and road all three years as a junior and then continued to race (both) for five more years, so I am not your average armchair poster. I used to start doing machine leg press squats mid September, because I dislike doing them when it is hot. I really had the best success with doing them on Mon, Wed, & Fri. I usually started with 250 lbs increasing the weight on Mondays (5%) per week, so my legs wouldn't hurt when I went to race on the velodrome on a lot of saturdays. I know that there are a bunch of posters on this forums that believe that cycling is entirely an aerobic sport. IT IS TOTAL B.S. You might have a look at the the new Velo News and about Aston Lambe's new 4000 meter world record where he used weight training to be able to hold 60 kph for four minutes. It did not happen because of his aerobic conditioning! I used to be friends with Shaun Wallace (former world pursuit champ) he did all sorts of weight lifting to be as good as he was.
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Old 08-27-21, 03:58 PM
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^^Ditto^^ headwind15 's post.

Check Dylan Johnson's YouTube channel for videos on weight training. Dylan's videos are always backed up with citations to legitimate studies, so he's not just some young hotshot popping off at the mouth (although he looks only 16 years old).

Be sure you're warming up before strength training. An indoor trainer bike is fine -- that's what my physical therapy clinic uses, although I warm up with a 15 minute bike ride to the clinic, so I'm ready to go when I get there.

And do the cool-down, warm-down, whatever you want to call it. This is crucial to clearing lactate and minimizing soreness and that feeling of heaviness after a good pump. Follow up with an easy spin for 20 minutes or longer. I ride home from PT and usually put in a few extra miles piddle-pedaling around the neighborhood, just moving the legs.

Post-strength training massage may also help. I use a heavy marble rolling pin on my legs, hips and lower back. Works much better than foam rollers for me. And I use percussion massagers -- one is shaped like a cordless drill with a jackhammer type action, and multiple heads ranging from large firm foam balls to pointy plastic tipped torture tools; the other is a dual head with longer arm to reach behind my back and straddle the spine and shoulder blades.

Careful strength training suited to your primary physical activity is never a bad thing. Yeah, you can consider hill repeats, mountain climbs, sprints, standing to pedal for longer distance, etc., a form of strength training, but those also tax the aerobic system. It's grueling to combine strength and aerobic training in the same exercise.

BTW, some folks suggest adding weight to the bike or wearing weight for strength training on the bike. One of my bikes is a 30+ lb hybrid that I use for errands, and it's definitely a workout on climbs. But the ergonomics are very different from a road bike so I'm not sure how much it helps. And I wear a 2L hydration backpack for some longer rides on hot summer days, and can definitely feel it on climbs until I drink enough to drain the hydration backpack and sweat off the excess.

While the muscle pump from strength training feels kinda good, that pump is useless for most activities other than sprinters (running and cycling -- I mean, check Chris Hoy's legs), weight lifting and bodybuilding. I came primarily from a boxing background where weight training was discouraged because overdoing it can limit mobility and quickness, that snap in the punch. And building muscle tends to put on mass and weight that aren't helpful with boxing, or distance cycling and running. Lots of boxers do some strength training, but the goal is to follow up with range of motion exercises to minimize the pump and keep the upper body limber and loose.
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Old 08-27-21, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I would seriously consider the credentials (or lack of credentials) of the people who post on this forum. As far as me: I raced on the velodrome and road all three years as a junior and then continued to race (both) for five more years, so I am not your average armchair poster. I used to start doing machine leg press squats mid September, because I dislike doing them when it is hot. I really had the best success with doing them on Mon, Wed, & Fri. I usually started with 250 lbs increasing the weight on Mondays (5%) per week, so my legs wouldn't hurt when I went to race on the velodrome on a lot of saturdays. I know that there are a bunch of posters on this forums that believe that cycling is entirely an aerobic sport. IT IS TOTAL B.S. You might have a look at the the new Velo News and about Aston Lambe's new 4000 meter world record where he used weight training to be able to hold 60 kph for four minutes. It did not happen because of his aerobic conditioning! I used to be friends with Shaun Wallace (former world pursuit champ) he did all sorts of weight lifting to be as good as he was.
There's a Track Cycling forum down the page in The Racers Forum. You might find that more satisfactory than this general cycling area which is mostly non-racing roadies.

Track cyclists need an entirely different training program than do road cyclists as the demands are very different. For many years, it was thought that strength training made road cyclists slower or at best no better. There were many RCTs (randomized control trials) of strength training which showed no improvement in time trial times for road cyclists. The problem with those studies was that the training protocols were wrong. it took coaches and trainers quite a bit of experimentation to figure out what worked. The result of all that was that many road cyclists were and are discouraged from using strength training and it's a long road to get to where one can do it effectively, well, unless one is quite young, in which case one has not been burdened with old tales of how ineffective it is.

And all that said, what works for roadies is quite different from what works for track cyclists.
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Old 08-27-21, 11:06 PM
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First, welcome Scalage to Bike Forums. I race road and track as many of my racing friends do as well. I have no credentials per se and just ride these things but I have been at it for some time consistently and always use third party coaches and trainers.

Combining strength training for on the bike specific gains is tricky and depends on the athletes’ genetics and goals. Someone whose is experiencing pain and recovery problems is different from someone trying to get to the next level or achieve a goal.

For you I suggest a physical therapist or a good personal trainer at the gym that has eyes on you and solve the DOMS problem when strength training. Otherwise, lifting to increase glute strength to solve a knee issue that causes DOMS and then tanks your on the road cycling performance seems like too many variables to me.

However for BF, I might suggest more metrics about yourself such as weight, height, lifting experience, goals and etc which might keep the discussing going.

I have done strength training in combination with road and track cycling with several different coaches and could offer what worked for me against goals but it seems too complicated to write about and in your case, you are looking for root causes and trouble shooting an not do it this way.

And we get many different posters here in Training and Nutrition and certainly appreciate those with event success such as long distance, road and track racing to contribute. This is not just a recreational forum with racers and others sequestered in specific areas. Otherwise, we lose a lot of valuable advice.

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Old 08-28-21, 06:12 AM
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Yea, well you might want to check out Chris Froome doing the seated leg press at his home that was recently floating around. If he isn't a road rider, I don't know who is.

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Old 08-28-21, 07:09 AM
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I am not completely discounting methods outside of weight lifting to get stronger on the bike. In Greg LeMonds book he details how he trained by doing slow rolling accelerations in a 53 x 13, for 30 seconds on Tuesdays. There are also single leg isolations where on an uphill, under 5mph, unclip one foot and leg press with the other one for 10 reps, and switch off. Do not spin.
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Old 08-28-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Scalage View Post
I'm doing even less than that with no weight at all and I still have doms. I do strenght training in the morning, then the day after I don't do anything and the day after that intervals late in the afternoon. There is more than 50 hours between doing the tiny bit of strength training and intervals and I can still feel it.
It almost sounds like your body isn't recovering. How is your diet, are you eating enough ??
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Old 08-29-21, 10:38 AM
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I read that you had Covid. Maybe you're a long-hauler.
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Old 08-29-21, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I read that you had Covid. Maybe you're a long-hauler.
Originally Posted by Scalage View Post
...I have had covid in march 2020, although I'm fairly recovered from that and I've been struggling with this for far longer.
Ah, I missed that in the OP's earlier post.

Yup, that's very likely a factor in attaining the desired fitness. That COVID long haul thing is a mess. A friend got it late last year. Took months to recover. He's 50something years old but one of the strongest guys locally with many KOMs and a zillion top tens. He averages 20 mph on our roller coaster terrain just cruising -- I've never been able to keep up with him at his preferred pace for longer than 20 minutes or so at a stretch. But for months he was struggling to average 16 mph -- my typical speed on the same routes. And his Zwift sessions dropped from almost daily to once a week at most.

He seems to be back to normal, but it took several months. He's an exceptional example because he was extremely fitness conscious, very careful about his diet, etc., and he and his family were cautious throughout the pandemic. But due to his job it was impossible to avoid potentially infected people.

I have long haul symptoms from hepatitis (caught it from patients in the 1970s-'80s when I was a dialysis nurse) and never fully recovered. Then, later, thyroid cancer and a screwed up metabolism, possibly related to that earlier bout with hepatitis. I have some good days, but it's impossible to predict. So I no longer use training plans. I have some goals but mostly I decide as I'm walking/rolling out the door what to do for that day's ride or run. Sometimes it takes me up to an hour just to warm up. If I feel better, I push harder. If not, I go easy and wait for a better day to push harder. And I take more rest days and sleep a lot more.
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Old 09-15-21, 09:52 PM
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Some Doms is part of weight training. Odd to get it doing body weight work, though. With me, doms usually diminishes quite a bit when I do leg work consistently two, three times a week for a couple of weeks. You might try not going as deep for a while on the squats and see how that works. I find that if I do 250 meters on a row erg between lower body sets it helps keep me warmed up between sets.

Just curious, but what happens if you use weights and go heavier? Sets of 10 is borderline cardio, IMO.

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Old 09-15-21, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Scalage View Post
Hey, I'm new here. I specifically made an account to answer this question which I've been struggling with for years. How the hell do you combine weight training with cycling??? Because I must, otherwise I get injured all the time. Yet if I do, my interval training suffers majorly. I just stopped a training because of DOMS of a session I did monday. That session was only 3x 10 split squats, normal squats and a bit of ab work. With only body weight....

I can't seem to do it. I've tried short and heavy, light and long and I cannot for the life of me do more than 3x 10 with only bodyweight and my training still suffers.

Please help, I'm desperate.
You could try a rather fun experiment. Try taking daily whey protein in the amount: grams = 2 X bodyweight in kilograms. Take it in ~40g doses spread throughout the day. Do that for 2-3 weeks, see what happens. That's a simple, harmless experiment. We all differ in our ability to assimilate protein and turn it into tissue. You'll need an inexpensive gram scale is all. Chocolate flavored whey protein is quite palatable dissolved in plain water. Optimum Nutrition is a reliable brand, readily available online.
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Old 09-16-21, 12:31 PM
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There're all sorts of sources telling you to lift weights three times a week, minimum twice a week. But life gets in the way and messes up your schedule. Plus if you go cycling on your off days, for people who like to go long distances, you might be too tired to weight train the next day.

And then there's the study that says if you do cardio more than 45 minutes, you'll be eating into your muscle mass. This explains why marathon runners are so skinny.
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Old 09-16-21, 01:50 PM
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You also need carb to build muscle/recover, not just protein. If you don't take in some carb post workout depending on the workout you might not be doing yourself any favors.
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Old 09-17-21, 07:24 AM
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It's kind of difficult to answer the OP's questions without the bare-bones of personal history, such as age and history WRT cycling/weightlifting experience or are you a recovering couch potato?

And also goals. My personal goal is to live without assistance as many older folks need...I'm pushing 60 and I don't want to end up like so many older folks I've observed. However, maybe the OP is looking to participate in a race or just kick ass in group rides.

Fill in the gaps if you wish...


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Old 09-17-21, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
You also need carb to build muscle/recover, not just protein. If you don't take in some carb post workout depending on the workout you might not be doing yourself any favors.
Just going off off CTS recs, they say no recovery carbs after workouts below 1700 kJ. What's your experience with that? I've tried both yes and no for many years and really didn't notice any difference below that level. My protein idea is off some coach's blog, don't remember which, can't find it now. However there's this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828430/

I implemented a 3 X 40g dosage scheme (2 X kg) several days ago and already notice a difference in muscle soreness. For that past couple years I've thought I was just getting old and hopeless and it looks like it might have been simply too low dietary protein for the last 2-3 years. An effect of aging might be a reduction in MPS per protein gram consumed. One doesn't know what one doesn't know I guess. All we can do is experiment.
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