Combining Bike and Climbing Training

Hey There, been on Systm for ~6 months now and loving it, but generally new to structured bike training. About to start a 12 week plan prior to a 100 mile gravel race and I have some questions regarding strength and rest.

As a long time rock climber with lots of structured training experience, I’d like to train both disciplines, but what’s the best way to intermix the two? Activities like weighted hang-boarding and endurance rides seem clearly decoupled from a muscle/tendon/bone perspective, but in what ways are they coupled?

Would increased climbing intensity during bike rest weeks be a bad idea? Is it ok to complete climbing and lower body strength training in the same workout? How do I approach core work, as it seems to be the most coupled. I’ve been wondering if I could borrow some guidelines from Tri training plans - any thoughts?


Hi @jbagg22 and welcome!

TBH maybe you’re overthinking this?

I also climb every week, and basically just consider the two activities mutually exclusive. Climbing is upper body/core/endurance, and cycling is lower body/core/endurance. About the only accommodation I make is I don’t SUFFer on climb days, and I don’t climb on ride days. I’m mid-50’s and don’t feel like I’m overdoing it.

Though I guess maybe it depends on your climbing volume? I climb 3-4 hours/week and probably double that for SYSTM work (ride, yoga, conditioning).

Maybe I don’t think about this enough…


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Thanks for the reply @CPT_A! I may very well be overthinking this! I’ve just spent my entire life definitely not thinking about it, and so I guess I’m interested in learning whether I should be. I certainly won’t stop doing both, but Systm makes a pretty big deal about getting rest, and I’ve been wondering if climbing counteracts that.

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