Weight Lifting Training Stress (wlOTS)

Introducing Weight Lifting Training Stress (wlOTS), a new metric for total training load measurement 

Measuring and tracking training stress has long been a best practice for cycling, and balancing stress load that against recovery is how improvements are made.

On the bike, we have hard data from power meters (and heart rate monitors). Off the bike in the off season, many cyclists lift weights, which certainly counts as training stress! Until now we have not had a way to quantify this stress and add it into the training-recovery equation.

Enter Weight Lifting Optimize Training Stress, or wlOTS, a new metric exclusive to Optimize.

Now, with wlOTS, athletes and coaches the ability can add training stress from lifting weights to their riding training stress to track their total training load.

Tracking total training load is highly important for athletes, coaches and sport scientists in order to fine tune the appropriate balance between training and recovery. Gaining the ability to quantify recovery in terms of sleep and HRV has been another big breakthrough in this equation.


What is OTS?

OTS stands for Optimize Training Stress, and every time one of your rides automatically uploads to Optimize you get a numeric OTS score.

The OTS score is calculated from your power data based upon both how long and how hard you rode.

Each day's OTS score goes into the Optimize algorithm for quantifying your ongoing training load. And this in turn is measured against your recovery metrics for your overall Optimize score, which shows your training-recovery balance in numeric and visual form.

Being able to quantify the training load both weight lifting and your endurance training captures the whole training picture, and therefore lets us know how much recovery you need.

How does weightlifting OTS work?

Unlike bike and run workouts that are measured by data recorded from power meters, GPS and heart rate monitors, weight workouts are measured by sets, reps and the amount of weight lifted. Since we know how many sets and reps and how much weight is lifted from each workout, we can assign a value to each workout that the athlete completes.

For example, in the Hypertrophy Phase, an athlete will perform 6 sets of 10 repetitions of the squat, the leg press and the leg curl for a total of 180 lifts. The workout assigns how much weight to lift for each set relative to the athlete’s individual 1 Resistance Maximum (1RM). Therefore, we can quantify the stress for all reps across all three exercises: the squat the leg press and the leg curl.

1RM is to weight lifting as FTP is to power-based training zones — it is individualized! Hypertrophy Heavy workouts carry the highest wlOTS’s of 80 whereas Hypertrophy Light workouts carry a value of 70.

During the Strength Phase, an athlete will perform 4 sets of 6 repetitions of the squat, the leg press and the leg curl for a total of 72 total reps. Weights during the Strength Phase are heavier than during Hypertrophy but with 60% fewer reps. In the Strength phase, the wlOTS score is 40.





Hypertrophy Heavy


Hypertrophy Light






We are excited to introduce wlOTS because the stress from weight lifting is REAL and should be factored into your total training load.  wlOTS will help coaches, athletes, and sports scientists fine-tune their training and recovery. 


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About Frank Overton

Frank founded FasCat Coaching in 2002 and has been a full time cycling coach since 2004. His educational background includes a Masters degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University, pre-med from Hampden-Sydney College. Frank raced at a professional level on the road and mountain bike and currently competes as a "masters" level gravel and cyclocrosser. Professionally Frank comes from medical school spinal cord research and molecular biotechnology. However, to this day it is a dream come true for Frank to be able to help cyclists as a coach.

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