Opinions Sought: Is SUF "enough?" (esp. Strength)

Hello again - I’d like to post a vague question here if I may, understanding that the context and details will vary by individual so much as to make it a challenging answer…

With that said, I am curious as to some of your views on the sufficiency of the strength plans for overall full body strength maintenance (not supplemented with other weight training, calisthenics, etc.), as well as the general view of the whole package (cycle/strength/yoga).

For reference, I’m a 51yo overweight (235 lb) 5’ 10" male trying to manage a good overall routine. I’ve recently started the 10 week fitness kickstarter plan and have suffered/enjoyed all of the activities so far.

Cycling is my main “thing,” not for racing but for general touring and fitness, with an eye toward randonneur/audax/long gravel riding.

At this point in my state of fitness any structured activity provides significant benefit, but I’m always trying to learn more as I go.

I really like what Sufferfest is doing, and after RGT, Zwift, TrainerRoad and a cycling coach/TrainingPeaks plan in the last couple of years…I think I’ve found a home in Sufferlandria.

I apologize for the long-windedness of the post…so…

In terms of overall health with an emphasis on cycling, do you think the SUF cycling/strength/yoga plans are “enough?” (I could have just written that first instead of asking you to read all of this. :slight_smile: )

Thank you if you made it this far. I’ve read every forum thread and From the Coaches that included the word ‘strength’ before posting this, so I guess I am just hoping for some personal anecdotes.



100% yes - through a mixture of diet and yoga I am more flexible than I have ever been and and this, and plans and more riding outdoors, has resulted me in being in the strongest cycling form I have ever been.

It;s been wonderful and some of the future plans have me very excited about this platform.


Thank you!

If you want to bulk up and get an upper body that’s more muscular then you do need to do additional heavy lifting. However, if you’re not looking to bulk up and want to be fit and a strong cyclist with a decently strong upper body, then yes, SUF is enough. The SUF Strength and Yoga will both help you strengthen and tone your core and whole body - including your upper body - with a mix of some press-ups (push-ups), planks, swim-strength workouts, and a few other moves.

But is SUF enough? It depends on your end goals. Do you want to have a muscular “beach body” or body builder look? Probably not. But if you want to be overall fit and healthy and strong, and do strengh workouts that help you be healthy overall and to improve your cycling, then yes, it certainly is. I’ve done push-up challenges and triathlon, and yet the strength and yoga workouts still challenge me and help me become more fit than I have been.


Thank you for this detailed reply. I appreciate it.

1 Like

I would say “no” it’s not enough. The weekly SUF Strength routines that I do are difficult. I hate every side plank series. I also do a yoga workout every day. However, I supplement this with a heavy weight routine once a week. I’m 58 and trying to keep what fitness I’ve got rather than gain any more but, even with my overweight body, I can’t suffer enough. I need to push/pull additional weight

1 Like

Thank you!

@tolstoi I agree with both @emacdoug and @genolan. It really depends on where you are starting. The SUF strength plans are good if you don’t have a background in lifting and as Evan notes, there are plenty of body weight exercises and longer term there is the option to increase weights on some of the squats and lunges, etc.

I also think George has a good point about using weights for the aging athlete. There is a lot that you can get from the bike but building/maintaining muscle and bone density is definitely better suited to weight training. I am in my 50s and have used the strength plan which I feel targets more of what you lose by riding a trainer - balance, etc. and also does a good job working connective tissue but I also often mix in some heavier lifts - deadlift, squats, cleans, push press, kettle bell swings - sometimes using SUF strength as a warmup. If you do this you definitely need to go slow - it will affect your on bike performance for a period of time until you acclimate.

As far as the yoga - it is great. Just do it. You will be glad that you did. It is just 15 minutes and the benefits really add up if you keep at it.

I would also recommend checking out the mental toughness program. MTP really helped me put a long term plan together and is also great for developing your positive chatter, your focus and your weekly and monthly goals.


Thank you for this. I find it all inspiring as well as useful.

1 Like

@washsaint what are these exciting plans you speak of? Do you have some inside info you can share?

1 Like

Just what @David.McQuillen.KoS posted a week or so back about what the team are working on.

Hey @tolstoi,

The SUF community has posted some great feedback here already. I’d just like to echo the importance of setting your own goals and doing what you feel is important or necessary in achieving them. SUF offers everything you need to be a healthy, well-rounded cyclist. If that’s what you’re after, then yes, SUF is enough. If you want more, or something else, then no, SUF probably isn’t enough and you’d need to add something else to the mix. As a strength coach, I always endorse some kind of strength training, especially for the “masters” athletes. It is important though, that you seek out proper instruction if you want to do do additional strength training with weights for enhanced bone density or lean muscle mass benefits. And of course, the bottom line is to find a level of training that is sustainable. If you’re trying to do too much, you’ll burn out and not accomplish your end goals. If your end goal is to be healthy, fit and and happy, then don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do too much. Do what makes you feel good and improves the overall quality of YOUR life!! :smile:
Cheers and happy training!


Perfect. Thank you so much. This has all been great advice, and I’m excited for the future.