From the Coaches: Adaptations to Strength Training

Wow, that sounds like a very intense strength training regimen. I can see how you’d be very fatigued afterwards and that does bode well for following a cycling training plan. I assume you only do this strength program one day per week, since you didn’t specify in your post. So my first thought is to contact us about a Customized training plan so that a coach can put more thought into it and make sure you’re following a routine that is ideal. Otherwise, I would suggest taking a plan like the Novice All-Purpose road cycling plan and perform your strength training as your second workout of the day on either Tuesday or Wednesday. That way, you are able to do 1-3 cycling workouts before your strength session (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, there aren’t always rides scheduled on all 3 days), then have 2 days off or easy (Wednesday is typically a recovery or endurance ride, Thursday is off or endurance, friday is recovery or a neuromuscular session like cadence builds), then you’re into the weekend when you should be able to ride in a mostly recovered state again.
We do have a strength training program in the app that is optimized for pairing with our cycling programs, however it would be very different from what you’re currently doing. Different is not always bad, and is often times a good thing, but would require that you take a break from the trainer so as not to overtrain while you adapt to incorporating indoor cycling to your schedule. I am not certain if you’re new to cycling or just indoor cycling, or your Kickr bike is just new. These are all things that you could discuss with a coach to create a more personalized, well thought out program since the forum is not the place to get into those specifics.
Similarly, you could also discuss other strength training options with your trainer if you want to continue with him/her.
For more information about our Customized Training Plans, visit

Best of luck!


Hi Coach Suzie,

Thank you so kindly for your response. I’m 82.5 years old, but with a CERG body age of 64 and algorithmically determined MaxVO2 of 39. Calculated and directly observed MaxHR is 159-160. Yes, my strength training program is tough. Even so, I will need to have sufficient conditioning for hiking and climbing in the WindRiver Range of Wyoming USA this coming August. Not technical climbing, but instead long slow distance efforts perhaps 7 miles per day. I know that exercise training is sport specific, so hiking and climbing is what I should be doing. However, given the season of the year here in Philly PA, not easily accomplished. Hence the purchase of a KickR smart bike so I don’t lose 4 months of training time.

I am a USMC from many decades ago, so pain is simply one’s weakness leaving the body. Nevertheless, with a prior Hx of paroxysmal supra ventricular tachycardia evident many years ago and confirmed via Bruce treadmill protocol, but absent completely even in the presence of the demand of XForce, I think that the KickR bike affords me a chance to acquire the cardiorespiratory capability necessary for my late Spring early Summer excursions in the nearby Appalachian Trail without risking an adverse cardiac event, thereby facility my excursion in the late summer (parenthetically with my marathon and ultra marathon sons).

Based on my former records from XForce I know that I can extend out workouts in that protocol for upwards of 14 days w/o losing strength. I am attracted to your site because I believe in structured training protocols. I just don’t know how to organize one given my goals and given the demands of XF. I will look more carefully at the Novice All-Purpose road plan, and then give careful consideration to securing a personal customized plan. I’ve cycled for many years, road and gravel, but, because of peripheral nerve injury on my right lower leg secondary to a motorcycle accident, I have tenuous road cycling capability because of loss of right-sided sensory input leading to loss of balance. Don’t ask me how I know that :slight_smile: So, the KickR bike was the obvious choice for me to have it so that I can use it for the next four months and not be concerned with falling.

Let me know your thoughts, if you like. Great site, btw. Worth every penny.



I don’t go above Int 3 as there are then too many sessions I can’t do. Wondering how to progress. I admit push ups on my knees are gradually getting bettin, I suppose stick with it is the answer

Great explanation. Started my first plan with strength added this week, and reading this post was perfect. Thank you!

Definitely stick with it. You can stay at the level you’re at, or cycle between levels Int 1-3 until you can complete Int 3 successfully. Then go up to Int 4 and if you can’t complete it all, that’s ok, just do as much as you can. You can continue repeating level 3 and working on level 4 at the same time. Does that make sense?

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@Coach.Suzie.S I have one more question: my understanding is that it is optimal to do a neuromuscular workout after a strength workout.

Besides the cadence trio, which other workouts are considered neuromuscular?


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Hi Coach Susie,
Thanks for the information! I started mountain biking this year after a 17yr break. I have rediscovered my passion for biking now in my 50’s. I am currently training on the pre- season mountain bike session. I have set 2 goals to achieve in 2021. My first goal is to cycle the Great Continental Divide in one week efforts for the next 7 years (About 400 miles per week). My second goal is to race a Ultra 30k mountain bike race this next fall. I mountain biked 3-4 times during the week from May - Oct. Which training program(s) would you recommend I do?


You are correct. Other NM workouts include Standing Starts, G.O.A.T., Power Station, or Recharger. Recovery rides are also encouraged, especially if it’s an "off"week.

The app can give you a complete list of workouts sorted by NM emphasis.

On the top of the workout list there is a drop down in the middle of the sorter bar.
If you click on it and select NM you will get the workouts sorted by NM emphasis.

You can also get similar sorts for AC, MAP, and FTP.

Nice goals! Maybe check out the Mountain/Hilly Grand Fondo plan as it seems designed for a longer distance than the MTB plan. I also did the Volcano Climbing special focus session recently (only 4 weeks) and it definitely helped me improve on climbing. Good luck!

Agree with @JSampson here. Volcano climbing is a great way to give your climbing strength a nice boost, but the Mountainous Hilly Gran Fondo would be a great plan to incorporate the distance component as well.
Best of luck and have fun with it!

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback!

Thanks for the feedback! I’m really enjoying the Sufferfest program. It has me smiling throughout the pain! :slight_smile:

Would you say that, on average, gym strength workouts (squats, deadlifts, etc) add a lot more stress than the Suf strength workouts? I’ve been trying to do gym strength and Suf bike workouts but finding it to be too much and needing much more recovery. Debating between switching to Suf strength or keeping the gym workouts and reducing the bike training. Thanks!

Yes, gym workouts with added loads most certainly add a considerable amount of stress and fatigue as compared to the SUF strength sessions that utilize only your bodyweight. I don’t think one or the other is better in absolute terms, as individual factors make all the difference, but one can be better or worse at certain times and in consideration with your other training stressors. You absolutely need more recovery if you’re doing loaded strength sessions. The winter/off-season is a good time to reduce your cycling intensity and focus on strength, however you like to do it. If you’re someone who likes to do events or races, however, you’d want to gradually shift your emphasis from the gym to the bike and train more specifically as you get closer to your events, and then you could use the SUF Strength sessions to maintain. A lot of athletes who have significant experience in the gym really enjoy that type of strength training and can benefit from inserting a phase of loaded strength in the off-season. The hormonal response from a challenging strength session can be a powerful and advantageous thing, both mentally and physically, and especially if you’re a very experienced cyclist or triathlete and find that making further improvements is getting more difficult. Introducing a more challenging strength routine could be enough to help break you out of a plateau or stimulate a new adaptation.


Thank you Coach Suzie, that’s a very helpful answer and appreciate you coming onto the forums to help! No wonder I’ve been feeling so wrecked all the time…

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You’re welcome. I’ve been there, whether knowingly and done on purpose (which I have, and was wrecked all the time), or otherwise, I know how you feel!

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Hello @Coach.Suzie.S, first of all, happy new year!

I just realized there is an Upper Body workout. I’d be interested in giving that one a go. How do you suggest this one be incorporated within the regular STR plan?


Juan A.

Happy New Year @Juanale81!

The best way to incorporate the upper body strength session into your program would be to swap it for session A one week, then session B the next week. Session A is generally more linear movement while session B incorporates more lateral movements, so if you alternate swapping them, you’ll never completely neglect either of those sessions the way you would if you swapped it for either A or B every time. We don’t recommend adding it so that you’re doing 3 strength sessions per week because it will add extra stress and fatigue that the cycling program does not take into account. Of course, some people may be able to handle 3 sessions/week, however, that would be a very individualized prescription, and we don’t have the resources to evaluate everyone’s situation. You’d have to make that decision on your own and recognize that you will have additional fatigue that may affect your cycling sessions.

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I have just begun the ToS 6 week training plan and I have noticed that there is only one day of strength training each week and the sessions don’t incorporate anything above level 3 in the intermediate category. I have gone through all of the strength training sessions and was wondering if I should supplement the plan by either adding one more session of strength training, raising the level of training, or just trust the process as it is laid out?
Thank you!

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