20 Minute Adaptation Workout to Get You Primed for Winter Strength Training

Can’t walk after day one of your strength training block. Having a hard time getting down to the toilet after too many squats in the gym? Complete this 20 minute adaptation workout to reduce soreness and get your body ready for the hard work in the gym.

It’s easy for endurance athletes to overdo it during strength training as we like to push ourselves and we are aerobically fit. This aerobic fitness can make the workout feel easy and mask the toll it will take on the body post workout. By priming the body with no weights or low weights and performing the type of movements you will complete in the gym, you will reduce the severity of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and risk of injury.

Complete this workout two times per week for one to three weeks leading up to heavier weight exercises. Feel free to repeat the main set two or three times per workout as you progress closer to heavier weight strength training sessions.

This workout can be completed at home with minimal equipment. Follow the hyperlinks for how-to videos for each exercise. If you have time, consider including a 10 minute easy spin or light jog before the main set as a warmup.


Coach Kristen’s 20 Minute Adaptation Workout:


  • exercise bands of various strengths
  • something between 5-15 pounds (tote bag of text books, kettlebell, gallons of water)
  • foam roller (optional)

Main Set:


This workout may look easy and that is the point. Easing the body into these resistance movements will pave the way for more productive work in the gym and less soreness out of the gym. This productive gym work without the soreness will allow you to live your life with less moaning and groaning, optimally perform your bike workouts, and increase your weight and reps week to week in the gym.

About the author: Kristen Arnold MS, RDN, CSSD is a level 2 USA Cycling coach as well as a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in sports nutrition and is a board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). With Kristen’s nutrition expertise and diverse experience in the sport of cycling as a racer and a mentor, she provides a comprehensive approach to her coaching. She works with athletes from the beginner to elite ranks in road, cyclocross, and mountain biking disciplines. Kristen is professional road racer racing with Wolfpack Women's Racing, and seasoned mountain bike and cyclocross racer. Learn more about Kristen.