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Weight Lifting for Cycling

Designed By Coach Frank

Increase your Functional Threshold Power this winter with our 10-week training plan. Weight lifting for cycling aka resistance training ‘works’ and we’ve been coaching cyclists thru the following 4 phase, cycling specific resistance training program for 15 years.  Squats, leg press and leg curls. During this weight lifting program, cyclists build muscle (heavy lifting), train that new muscle to produce great force and then thru neuromuscular sprint workouts teach that new muscle to fire at speeds specific to cycling (high-velocity lifting). Listen to the Weight Lifting Podcast here!

With the purchase of a FasCat Training Plan, you’ll get:

  • Coaching Support in the FasCat Athlete Private Forum
  • FREE TrainingPeaks Account (30 Days Premium)
  • Discount at ExcelSports.com
  • Discount at ExcelSports.com
  • FREE YogaGlo Membership (60 Days)
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money Back
  • Mobile App for the Forum and TrainingPeaks (iOS and Droid)
  • Daily Email Workout Reminders
  • GPS, Heart Rate, and Power Data Uploads

As a Training Plan athlete, you may want to add our Coaching Subscription to your Training Plan purchase. Our Coaching Subscription offers additional coaching services including monthly training plan adjustments, and power-file analysis. Click here to learn more

Sample Workout Gallery:


Weight lifting for cycling training plan. Cycling Specific Resistance Training described here.  Four Phases with accompanying neuromuscular sprint work to accentuate the gym work to make the weightlifting cycling specific.

Increase your Functional Threshold Power this winter with our 10-week training plan. Weight lifting for cycling aka resistance training ‘works’ and we’ve been coaching cyclists thru the following 4 phase, cycling specific resistance training program for 15 years.  During this weight lifting program, cyclists build muscle (heavy lifting), train that new muscle to produce great force and then thru neuromuscular sprint workouts teach that new muscle to fire at speeds specific to cycling (high-velocity lifting).  “Speeds specific to cycling” is the secret sauce of this program and this weight lifting is made cycling specific by the velocity of the lifts plus the neuromuscular sprint workouts that are coupled to the Strength and Power Phases. Listen to the Weight Lifting Podcast here!

This plan is perfect for the cyclist to begin in the Fall or early Winter (October/November/December/January/February) to prepare for the Spring/Summer season.  Or for the Cyclocross Athlete to begin January – March.

Questions about this training plan? See our FAQ below or visit our Forum

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: if you are unsatisfied with the plan, your performance, anything, we will refund your plan at any time.

16 reviews for Weight Lifting for Cycling

  1. Ryan Fishel

    I ran through this for the first time this last off-season. I come from a weightlifting background, and this fit in perfectly between ride training.

    Anecdotally, my riding performance seems to have gotten stronger. My sprint power has improved as has the duration of sprints. I haven’t started the sweet spot work yet, but I can see where that training builds on the strength + power from the weightlifting to utilize the newly built muscle.

    Two things that I would suggest to improve the plan:
    1. Add some upper body work to help even things out. There’s a section for the Nino workouts, but some of those upper body exercises can’t be done without specific tools that most people aren’t likely to have laying around. This leads me to #2:

    2. Provide alternate exercises for the core work. I was able to complete this plan while traveling and using different gyms in various cities. For whatever reason, it always seemed like every gym had one machine for at least one of the three exercises (squat, leg press, leg curl). Even locally, I had to shop around various gyms to find one that had all of the necessary equipment (in my case, I always had trouble finding the leg curl). It would have been nice to have substitution exercises in these cases.

    Overall, I’m super happy with the plan and will add it in at the end of every season. Thanks Frank and team!

    • Frank

      Awesome Ryan! Per your suggestions, we’ve covered these in our weight lifting for cycling podcast https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/weight-lifting-for-cycling/

      Per #1 upper body exercises do not improve power output on the bike therefore is outside our training plan goal. They do improve bike handling if you race cx/mtb thus the Nino’s and you’ll need to improvise if you don’t have all the speciality equipment (no one does)

      Per # 2 Yoga is your core work.

  2. Rob Cordray

    Hi Guys,

    Just finished the Weight Lifting for Cyclists Training Plan and wanted to leave a review. In all, I think the design of the program is top notch and am looking forward to better 2020 performance as a result!

    Having gotten much more serious about my cycling over the last few of years, I decided to run through this program before sweet spotting my way back up the CTL ladder for 2020. I come from a multi-sport background (tennis and soccer mostly) where we we had very structured weight lifting as part of our off season training, so the techniques for the lifts, etc. were pretty easy to bring back. Having said that, I had not done much heavy lifting in years, relying on cycling, hiking, skiing and upper body circuits (pull up, push up etc.) for the majority of my fitness routine.

    Adaptation – besides being embarrassed at the amount of weight I had on the bar, I was ridiculously sore during this phase. This was largely due to my 51 year old body being connected to a brain which insists that I can’t be that old! The spinning helped, but it took me a while to settle into the what weights I needed to be lifting to establish my baseline for the other phases. I also found the muscle tension interval cadence and power requirements to be challenging. I got better at them towards the end of this phase, but despite me mostly failing to hit the targets, it is clear how they help get your body ready for what is to come.

    Hypertrophy – definitely the hardest phase, but my legs grew more than they had in decades. It worked! It was also at this point that I stopped thinking there was not enough riding in the program. I would have been hard pressed to add any TSS and not be struggling with the weights the following week.

    Strength – this part was fun, ended up squatting more than I had in 20 some years, with much less residual exhaustion than the previous phase. Having said that, it was a different kind of tired and I found I needed more sleep than previously.

    Power – this was flat out bizarre. I had never done jump squats before, and after the first session wondered why I was doing them at all, as it seemed way too easy. However, with the ramp up in riding (and sprinting) I found each successive session was harder than the previous one. I was glad when it was over!

    In summary, thanks to Frank and the team for putting this together! I am now entering the 18 week SS program (having done SS 1, 2 and 3 last year) and looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


  3. Ethan Salter

    This is my second time running this program and I have found benefits both in my mental riding power and then an overall increase in the FTP. As a older rider/racer, the lifting is really important to maintain power. And the idea of recovery as well as proper technique is really important for this program. Learning to lift, stretch, recover all while working and living life is a tricky balance at times, but well worth it come racing time. This will be a program I return to as a base each year.

  4. Martin Patmore

    A bit of a leap into the unkown this one for me. I didnt have time to fit the 30 minutes static bike before and after the sessions so I’ve sacrificed time on the bike for building strength.

    I started the plan in October through to December and it progressed nicely, setting me up for 18 weeks of Sweetspot (from Jan 6th).

    My CTL has dipped as expected but I have full faith in the progression of FasCat and I’m looking forward to seeign some longterm gains over the next 18 weeks now that I’ve invested some time into an absolutely solid strength block.

    Cheers Guys!

  5. Steve Goldstein

    Finished the resistance training last week and took my FTP test today. The plan was easy to follow, the weight I was lifting was well within reason and the time on the bike surrounding the lifting and on off days was enough to keep me going. Results? A 10% FTP increase and a great sense that it was all worthwhile. Thanks Frank!

  6. Steve Carroll

    I’ve never been a “gym guy” so having a step by step plan helped me overcome my reluctance to go to a gym and add weight training to my program. I’m really enjoying the structure and confident it’s going to help me break through the plateau I’ve been stuck on. Can’t wait to get to the next plan and start building for next year’s race season.

  7. Julian

    When we need a break in the off season, this is the PERFECT plan to stay active, still have some time for family and holidays and don’t lose but actually build some serious strength gains for the upcoming season. This was so necessary in fascat. Thanks coaches!

  8. p.bro769

    Great plan!! I thoroughly enjoyed the work in the gym – not too much, not too little, just right and it was great to have a structured weight routine. For sure the Foundation days in the plan has helped my back and neck on the bike. Long rides on the trainer no problem!

  9. Nathan Troia

    I have used the strength plan for two years in a row and have been very pleased. Not only do I feel better with sustained power efforts, but also feel more solid on the bike. The 10 weeks of going to the gym also helps break up the monotony of the winter on the trainer.

  10. mvangarderen

    I have been lifting to help my cycling for 25 years. I found this plan to be the most comprehensive. The workouts were varied and the routines changed every few weeks with kept things interesting.
    I also liked that this plan incorporated riding with the lifting and most of the time the lifting and riding would feed off each other. The plan was really clear and well described.
    I would recommend getting a head unit (like Wahoo) so that the riding portions are on your computer, and the computer will let you know what intervals to start when.

  11. dcmaduff

    I really got into this plan! It was definitely hard at times but an intriguing challenge and I couldn’t believe how much weight I was squatting and pressing after the hypertrophy phase! I did choose to add dead-lifts to work in 1 more open chain exercise and a tiny bit of upper body work for balance and strength for “daily living”. I haven’t tested my FTP again yet but for the same PRE and HR at Z2 I’m putting out 30 more Watts than I otherwise would. I certainly hope that’s an indicator of what might happen come test day!

  12. Fred

    a very good winter training plan for endurance athletes, I found positive adaptations after a few days, next stop sweet spot part 1

  13. Matt

    This plan rocked and provided me with the base of strength that is so often overlooked by endurance athletes. Its doesn’t matter how good the engine is if the car is ready to fall apart! I feel strong and ready for the heart of cycling season having put the time into this plan over the winter and early spring.

  14. Kevin Scott

    I found this plan very beneficial. I can “punch” with an explosion of watts like I never have before. I’m new to weight exercises with my legs. The plan was easy to understand and follow. Trust the plan! I’m finishing out my ten weeks with some of the best fitness I’ve seen in years!

  15. Andrew Chandler

    I have been racing for a few years now and have done plenty of power training and weight training. But, this has been the best way to start my training so far! I’ve always had a problem when it comes to closing gaps where I have plenty of power left, but I just feel like my muscles won’t spin the pedals to put the power down. With this plan, closing gaps has been a piece of cake. It gave me that extra bit of muscle strength that I need to dig deep. In no way am I saying that it will raise your FTP, but it just feels so much easier to pedal now. I can’t brag enough about how this plan has made pedaling feel effortless!

  16. Michael

    This is a great plan for building some strength. It will really help you build that strong force in your legs before you translate it into that sweet spot on there next plan!

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10 Weeks

Plan Type

Basic (4-8 hours/week), Intermediate (8-12 hours/week), Advanced (12-16+ hours/week)

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