Strength sessions & Hard days

Here’s one for the coaches and anyone in the know.

I’m in week 3 of my FTP focused Block plan with intermediate strength and yoga.
Now I’ve been wondering this for some time and understand about completing strength training before getting on the bike so form isn’t sacrificed etc.
Today however made me question what the correct thing to do was.

I had Intermediate level 2B strength to do as well as a full on 105% FTP Butter session to complete after.

Knowing I would be significantly challenged by Butter I decided to drop strength and I’ll complete that before the Way Out tomorrow instead. I did find the bump in FTP a challenge but managed to battle on through.

My question is this: If you find yourself with a day in your training calendar that asks for a tough strength session and a very demanding ride, do you still do the strength and ride, or is it best to juggle the strength to an easier day as long as you have the adequate rest necessary to complete the next strength session fully recovered?

Hopefully you guys will be able to clear this up for me as its been bugging me for a bit now.

Thank you.


I’m not a coach so please take this with a pinch of salt. But my understanding (listening to respected coaches) is to do strength training after your bike workout, not before, and preferably separate the bike and strength sessions as much as possible e.g. bike in morning, strength in the evening. I believe this approach generally gives you a better quality recovery from the strength session without compromising your primary bike effort.

It will be interesting to hear what the coaches here advise and maybe it’s just a case of what works best for an individual. It may also be less critical if the strength training is relatively un-demanding. Personally I quite like doing strength training after a relatively easy bike workout such as cadence drills, which effectively acts as a warm-up.

1 Like

The “105% FTP Butter” session should be easier, relatively, than regular Butter because the MAP efforts are reduced. This makes it a 2x20 sub-threshold endurance style workout instead of the usual MAP/AC stressor.

As for your question - not a coach but I’d say stick to the plan rather than juggle things. There’s a reason why the various workouts are where they are, in combo, in the week. If you do skip the strength training (or any other workout) on a specific day then best to just skip it, don’t try to catch up later and especially not on a day designated for recovery.


Hmmm interesting. Personally coming from a lifting background I always had it drummed into me that cardio should really come after lifting. As stated in my original post if your bike session is a tough one it can cause issues with form on certain moves and chance possible injury. This is new info for me.
I would agree that separating them both would be beneficial but I don’t have the time in the day myself to split training days this way.

It’s more a fact of me questioning this now due to the extra demands taking strength training up a notch will create. When weights are used instead of water bottles etc.

Thank you for the reply mate.

1 Like

Hi James,

The problem with Block training is they don’t have the option to include strength/yoga etc in the setup. You have to add these in as cross training blocks so the overlap isn’t predetermined. That may be why these ‘difficult days’ happen the way they have.

I see your point about the lowerMAP/AC stressor on today’s workout and think I may have made a boobo there. I raised all values by 10% as I felt really on form today. I think this may have created an workout not as intended by the coaches. 15mins in anaerobic!

I’ve just started the all-purpose road plan with strength and just looking at the next few weeks, the strength training sessions are placed on easy bike days and in the coach notes for one bike session it specifically says to do it before the strength training. So that is at least in line with other advice I’ve heard.

Edit: actually the coach notes also say to do cadence drills after strength training, so I guess the order depends what kind of bike session is involved.

I guess it depends on your priority. If cycling is your primary focus then you wouldn’t want to be compromising your key bike sessions by doing a strength session (especially if using weights) directly before. In the same vain that cyclists tend to drop weight training in the final week or two leading up to their A events. But I also understand what you say about losing form for your strength training after a hard bike session. Ideally you would want a decent recovery time between. Either way I guess there has to be some compromise.

1 Like

Appreciate the replies mate. This is what I mean about it being confusing and I’m struggling to get my head around it. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if any coaches come along and clear all this up for us.

No worries. This dilemma seems to come up quite often now with strength training becoming ever more popular with time constrained cyclists. The coaches on another well respected structured cycling platform were discussing this very question on a recent podcast - which is why I replied to your post as it was pretty fresh in my mind. As I mentioned earlier, their approach was basically to separate strength and heavy bike sessions as much as possible, preferably on different days if possible.

Regarding your specific question of doing both a tough strength session AND a very demanding ride back-to-back, I would have thought that is not a good idea either way around and you would almost certainly under-perform the ride if you did the strength session first. Doing your strength training alongside an easier ride is the obvious solution.


It’s a subject I’m very interested in so your input to the matter is great.
I’m not wanting to develop a climber physique so keeping up with strength and progression on top of tougher more intense training programmes is a big deal to me. Figuring out how to approach this correctly is the important thing.

As you say it seems counterproductive to have two really intense forms of training back to back, it’s just figuring out how best to get the maximum amount done without sacrificing gains in either.

Cheers Pete :+1::beers:

1 Like

By coincidence I did Intermediate 3B and Butter today. I did strength in the morning and cycling in the evening. Both were a struggle to complete but I’m not sure if one affected the other

I wouldn’t say it is counterproductive to train in a fatigued state. I don’t have anything to back it up but I think it would be beneficial under certain circumstances. However, my form on the strength training would’ve been atrocious and maybe dangerous if I’d had to do it straight after the Butter workout so I would definitely do strength first and separate them as much as possible


I’m sure if it’s a case of form being compromised during strength then you shouldn’t risk it…

I think if your strength sessions are really tough then I don’t see how you can then go on to properly complete a really tough bike session directly afterward. I don’t think you can get away from the simple fact that both would require a fresh body at the start and a decent recovery period afterward. So if you have to do them back-to-back then one of the sessions has to be relatively easy to be done in a more fatigued state.

My Suf plan places most strength training on days with easy cadence drills or recovery spins, so it’s easy to do them together. I tend to do the spin first as I would normally do something similar as a warm-up for strength training anyway.

1 Like

Yeah I’m thinking along those exact lines mate.
Hopefully in the future if the problem arises again I’ll be able to space them both out a bit.
Thanks for the advice mate :+1::+1: