I have been doing the stronglifts 5x5 program for about a month and am happy with the results so far. I haven't been riding as much, which is ok because I'm finding I am too fatigued from doing squats 3x per week to put out my normal effort on the bike. Normally I would be spending a lot of time on the indoor trainer this time of year, but i have not once this fall. Middle of January would be 12 weeks of doing this stronglifts program which is when most people max out and have to switch to a different program.
My half-baked plan has been to focus on strength training until the clocks change back and then go back to riding. But I am thinking I would probably like to keep lifting 1x per week just for some maintenance. But I'm wondering how to transition to riding (and xc racing) season. In January should i be looking at less strength training and more indoor trainer time? To be honest the strength training benefits on the aspects of my life outside of riding are more important to me than my mid-pack racing efforts…but I don't want to be totally out of "riding" shape come april. What say you NSMB?
i have been and am down this road regularly, except year round and not just seasonally. i have not done reasearch on this, but what i can give you is years of anecdotal evidence. for example i've done the nimby fifty at about 4hrs time while still squatting 315 for sets of 8-12 reps so i can give you some good insight here. as you're aware, you obviously can't maximize results at both ends of the stick, so you have to choose one or the other. the advantage of continuing to lift is increased power for sprints and short climbs and i recommend it. but, there is a point at which the lifting will start to negatively impact your riding and you of course want to keep your lifting below that point. considering that you're an experienced rider/racer you're well aware of where your performance on the bike should sit and should be able to quickly judge if you're doing too much. i will say that there are variables that can skew things one way or the other, but not so significantly that you're going to have a horrible time with things. the important thing is paying attention to your performance as previously mentioned.
firstly i would recommend training more than once per week. each muscle group should get hit 2x/wk but do your main lifts only once per week - ie train legs 2x/wk but squat only once per week. each workoout do a full body routine that has a few compound movements with opposing intensities for upper/lower body. so hard lower/easy upper and vice versa. in terms of how hard to train the short answer is to keep your strength training at 70-75% of your typical hard effort effort training day for your main lifts such as squats and at 40-50% for your secondary day doing something like step-ups for example. intensities for your upper body workout will be slightly different though. the volume (total number of sets/reps) should be kept fairly low and this will be easy to achieve as your training intensity is relatively low as well. the reason for this is that it takes far less to get ready for a 225lb squat than it does for a 315lb squat. you want to do 1-2 warmup sets and then 2 working sets. you can experiment with more work, higher intensity and/or one more set, if you feel your strength performance is starting to slip too much, but pay attention to your performace on the bike. if it starts to suffer then you need to scale back a bit.
here's a couple of sample workouts, these should only take you about 30 minutes to complete. do compound sets by doing two exercises together as i've listed.
workout A - "hard legs"
legs - squats @ 75%
shoulders - standing DB press @ 50%
back - pull ups @ 75%
chest - push-ups @ 70%
lower leg - standing one leg calf press @ 75% (free standing, not on a machine)
core - mountain climbers
workout B - "easy legs"
shoulders - high pulls or shoulder width grip upright rows @ 75%
legs - step ups @ 50%
chest - DB chest press @ 75%
back - chin ups @ 75%
back/legs - deadlifts @ 40%
core - superman planks
in terms of your on bike training, i would recommend doing a bit less than normal to account for the strength training by cutting back slightly on the volume and intensity of riding. without knowing what your training program is like or if you have one i would suggest something like the following:
one short and intense workout: 20min @ 90%
two shorter and easy/moderate workouts: 20-30min @ 60%
one long and moderate/more intense workout: 60min+ @ 80-90%
over the course of a week, i would combine the easy leg weight day with an easy bike day. between weights and bike this would give you 3 workouts per week where your legs are getting stressed and a total of 5 or 6 workouts. i would also plan a full rest day after the long bike day.
day 1 - hard leg day
day 2 - easy bike day
day 3 - short/intense bike day
day 4 - easy leg day + easy bike workout
day 5 - rest
day 6 - long bike day
day 7 - rest