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Mixing Riding and Strength Training

Old 02-22-24, 06:42 AM
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Mixing Riding and Strength Training

This winter, Iíve been strength training three or four times a week as I was riding less because of the weather. Nearing 50, it has been beneficial for my riding and general fitness.

My question is when you wanna ride a few days in a row but keep up the gym work, when on a day that youíre planning to ride should you do a work out? Sometimes Iím gonna ride in the afternoon and wondering if it would tired me out if I did my workout in the morning. Should I always do the workout after a ride even if that means work out at night and ride the next morning?

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Old 02-22-24, 07:31 AM
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I've always strength trained, but I've upped it, by being more regimental, since Thanksgiving, along with resetting my aerobic base. Love them deadlifts and squats...but a lot of other stuff too.


However, I'm concentrating on Z2 training; therefore, I don't worry about timing of rides and strength training, even when I hit it hard on the weights. What kind of riding are you doing?



.

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Old 02-22-24, 07:36 AM
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I prioritize riding, so on double days workouts come second. If my legs hurt from the ride, I don't do the jump squats or Bulgarians, as that will affect my next day's ride.
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Old 02-22-24, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
I prioritize riding, so on double days workouts come second. If my legs hurt from the ride, I don't do the jump squats or Bulgarians, as that will affect my next day's ride.
Sounds like a good plan. Mid winter I prioritized workouts, but thatís shifting with better riding conditions outside.
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Old 02-22-24, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
I've always strength trained, but I've upped it, by being more regimental, since Thanksgiving, along with resetting my aerobic base. Love them deadlifts and squats...but a lot of other stuff too.


However, I'm concentrating on Z2 training; therefore, I don't worry about timing of rides and strength training, even when I hit it hard on the weights. What kind of riding are you doing?

.
Rides these days are only 1-2 hours and low intensity. However, if I do a hard workout in the morning I feel it if I ride 6-8 hours later, and I end up riding tired and die to lack of leg strength Iím supporting myself more my upper body and that leads to soreness and discomfort (and a not great ride). I usually ride in the mornings when that doesnít work Iíll ride in the afternoon and work out at night.
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Old 02-22-24, 08:06 AM
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I lift twice per week and prioritize it as my main workout followed by a recovery ride...ie zone 1 for an hour on Zwift.
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Old 02-22-24, 10:04 AM
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What is the goal? If there is no goal, event or other metric, IMO, riding and strength training mixed together may be done as one sees fit and has available time and energy.

If you are going for performance increase for a cycling event then timing, duration, mix of strength and bike riding and most importantly diet matters a lot.
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Old 02-22-24, 12:57 PM
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I also lift twice a week. Riding before the workout worked best for me, right before. I found my max weights were the same whether I'd ridden or not. As above, not so with lifting first. Pedal pressure is quite light, even when going hard, not so many muscle fibers recruited even sprinting in the saddle. After the weight workout, just barely being able to walk to the car is about right. Hold the handrail going down stairs.
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Old 02-22-24, 01:22 PM
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There are good data showing that endurance training performed in close temporal association with strength training reduces strength gains. During the off season, I only do short and easy stuff, if anything, on the bike on strength days. I keep lifting during the season, but don't worry about the interference effect.

This issue is discussed here with citations of the original work. https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/r...rent-training/
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Old 02-22-24, 09:39 PM
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I generally don't weight train during the outdoors season but this season I am going to. It is more of an experiment and my daughter, a personal trainer, recommends it so I'll give it a go and see what happens. I'm going to lift only one day per week and also try to go to yoga class once per week...currently I go to yoga class twice weekly and I feel the classes are making a big difference in my core strength and especially hip flexibility.
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Old 02-23-24, 03:20 AM
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I prioritise my cycling - so do that first, then later in the day do weights. I'm in the gym 3x's/week in the off-season and 1 or 2 / week in the race season. I did 30 to 35 road races last year and one or two gravel races. I made significant strength gains, had some hypertrophy and lost fat mass. Also, i significantly increased my BMD and have started to reverse my osteoporosis. I cycle 7 days/week. I'm 55 next month :-(
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Old 02-23-24, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ric Stern
I prioritise my cycling - so do that first, then later in the day do weights. I'm in the gym 3x's/week in the off-season and 1 or 2 / week in the race season. I did 30 to 35 road races last year and one or two gravel races. I made significant strength gains, had some hypertrophy and lost fat mass. Also, i significantly increased my BMD and have started to reverse my osteoporosis. I cycle 7 days/week. I'm 55 next month :-(
This is what my coach recommended as well. She said that it is ideal to wait 4 hours after cycling to begin cycling to avoid interference.
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Old 02-23-24, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by force10
This is what my coach recommended as well. She said that it is ideal to wait 4 hours after cycling to begin cycling to avoid interference.
Does she have evidence to support a 4 hr washout? I'd love for that to be true, but I've heard various numbers and don't recall any real empirical support for them.
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Old 02-23-24, 03:58 PM
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I have not asked her to cite any, but she isnt the sort to make recommendations without support. The following was her response to my query several weeks ago when we decided to try add lifting to interval days: Correct, the time period for the majority of adaptations from aerobic exercise (the cycling) is at least 4 hrs. The time period for the majority of adaptations from anaerobic exercise (the strength training) is longer. So, that's why I recommend that order when doing double days and also leaving that time between. It is not a case that you will not adapt if you complete the workouts within a shorter window or even in the opposite order, but to maximize the adaptations, those are the recommendations.

I believe there was some mention of a study along these lines around minute 75 of the most recent TrainerRoad podcast (#462) but I didnt catch the details.

Last edited by force10; 02-23-24 at 08:51 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling
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Old 02-24-24, 01:52 AM
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I went directly to the weight room after a hard spin class. I think that's best, because one is still warmed up. I made significant strength gains during the two years I was doing that in my early 60s. Whatever you do, it's most important that it be convenient or you won't do it. Doing it is the most important part. I didn't gain weight, just got stronger.
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Old 02-24-24, 07:02 AM
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I usually lift about 2x a week...I prefer to ride in the morning and then lift in the evening. I'm also XC mtb racing almost every week during the first half of the year, so that complicates things to a certain extent. These aren't "A" races to me by any means, but I still like to hit them fresh. IDK if I'm really optimizing anything with my method, but I'll often incorporate one of my strength sessions into the evening following a race, or the following day if I'm really feeling shot out. These races are generally shorter, so I'm adequately recovered in the 6-8 hours following a race, to lift. I'll also do another strength session mid week.

Another thing with my strength sessions, is I'm not doing so many reps that I'm feeling very tired/sore the next day. I go for less reps, but with more weight. I'm not trying to add muscle mass...I guess I have a good problem to have, in that I easily build muscle. I'm constantly trying to keep weight off in order to stay competitive at cycling.

Finally, I agree with nutrition being key. I've found that I actually struggle to eat enough protein, especially during hard blocks of training. Ensuring my macros are correct, I've really noticed a benefit in my recovery. It's not so much for the strength training, but I'm no longer tired for days after a difficult ride...and that difficult ride doesn't negatively impact the rest of my planned rides/workouts for the rest of the week.

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Old 03-01-24, 11:06 AM
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Mixing Stretching and Strength training. It works Some good advice for us cyclists that sit a lot, even during "exercise"


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Old 03-15-24, 11:48 AM
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I usually default to lifting 2X a week from December through early March, then 1x a week during the rest of the season, with several breaks of 2-3 weeks to recover. (I'm referring to lower body weight lifting. I don't change upper-body/core lifting routines for cycling.) I either don't ride on lift days or ride right after lifting. This is mostly due to time constraints. This winter, for example, I've been lifting mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a 30-45 minute, low power ride on Wednesdays (e.g. - cadence/form drills), and longer, Z2/3 rides Saturdays and Sundays. If time allows, I might add another easy ride right after lifting. I'm about to shift to lifting only one day and adding another hard, interval riding session during the week. If the gods permit it, this is also the time of year I may try for a high volume week where I ride as many days as I can for as many hours as I can. I don't lift at all during such a week; the sole purpose is to increase endurance/FTP.

While performance gains can be difficult to measure with precision, much less attribute to any one training thing, I do find that lifting regularly makes rollers/short hills much easier from a perceived effort standpoint. It also helps my top-end power, but since I'm not a sprinter, that doesn't translate to much in actual races. On longer climbs or the flats, I'm not sure I notice a difference. But I'm not just lifting for cycling. At 53, I'm mindful of maintaining bone density, ligament strength, etc., which a low-impact sport like cycling might not provide as well as other exercise.
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Old 03-16-24, 11:17 AM
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I started doing weight training to increase overall strength and so I am doing compound exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups. Good examples are farmer's carry and deadlifts or rack pulls. There are cardio gains with lifting heavy weights but my intention is to strengthen my core and upper body that come into play when hill climbing.

At 73 I need a day of recovery for my muscles that I did not need when I was 53. I have to listen to my body and make adjustments. If I was riding 3 days in a row then I would suspend my free weight workouts.
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