One Exercise to Rule Them All

Mar 6, 2013 at 0:05
Mar 6, 2013
by James Wilson  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

What if I told you that there was an exercise that could increase your technical skills, make you sprint faster, explode out of the gate, bunny hop higher and get more ladies? Well, the deadlift may not be able to get you more ladies (washing your pads every once in a while might, though) it can do all of the other things I mentioned and more. In fact, if there was one exercise that I would say every serious mountain biker MUST be doing, it is the deadlift.

Just as a quick refresher the deadlift is that exercise where you walk up to a bar, or other implement, squat down, grab it and stand up with it. The deadlift is a rare exercise (in fact it is banned in some commercial gyms) and I know that the squat and leg press are more popular lower body exercises. However, when you look at the mountain bike specific advantages unique to the deadlift you’ll see why I think it is a far better option for us.

For starters, the deadlift will work your grip strength, something the squat and leg press do not. In fact, the deadlift is one of the best ways to build MTB specific grip strength (sorry, but wrist curls just don’t cut it). A stronger grip will equal less forearm pump, better control through the rough and stronger braking.

Another unique advantage the deadlift offers is the specific position you are in at the bottom. A good MTB specific deadlift has you push your butt back behind your heels as you come down, resulting in your chest lowering down to the floor. This butt back-chest down position is almost a mirror image of the “attack position” you want on your bike when railing down the trail. Talk to any skills coach and they will tell you that the better you know this position the better you can do just about anything on your bike.

The squat actually teaches you to drop your butt down which leaves your chest more upright. While this is proper squat form it is not what you want to have happen on your bike. While squats definitely need to be in your program, by emphasizing the deadlift you ingrain the proper attack position with every rep.

Another unique advantage is that performing a rep works full hip extension which is required for out of the saddle pedaling efforts. If you are weak with full hip extension then you can not pedal as well standing up as you can while sitting down. For the DH and 4X rider this is extremely vital - you NEVER want to sit down during a race so the need to be strong with the action needed to pedal while standing can not be overstated.

Add it all up and you have the best mountain bike specific exercise on the planet. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you can not deadlift properly then you can not ride your bike properly. You may be able to ride your bike, and ride it well, but you are doing so with a lot of compensations that are robbing you of performance.

So, how do you get the most out of this exercise? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here is a breakdown of this lift and how to properly execute it:

Views: 25,030    Faves: 148    Comments: 6


The most important thing to remember with the deadlift is to start light, ingrain your form and then start to get strong on the lift. Going too heavy too fast will result in breakdowns in your core which can lead to injuries down the road. Remember that simply lifting a lot of weight off the ground will not make you a better mountain biker; using the deadlift to practice the positions and movements you need on your mountain bike will.

Few exercises can promise as much as the deadlift can. For too many years mountain bikers have been told that the leg press (which sucks) and the squat (which is good but not great) are the way to train your lower body in the weight room. Learning and incorporating the deadlift into your program will open a whole new world of performance gains that simply are not possible with any other exercise.

-------------------------------------------------------------

MTB Strength Training Systems is the world leader in integrated performance training programs for the unique demands of mountain biking. As the strength and conditioning coach for World Cup Teams and 3 National Championships, his programs have been proven at the highest levels. James has helped thousands of riders just like you improve their speed, endurance and skills on the trail. Visit www.bikejames.com to sign up for the free Trail Rider Fundamentals Video Mini-Course.
Must Read This Week









127 Comments

  • + 26
 Excellent video again James. Thanks for the tips. Useful for everyone, even those of us that have done deadlifted for years. Cheers.
  • + 9
 I used to only squat. Now I deadlift. It is not a fun exercise, but I have found that it helps with riding much more than squatting. Good article, too.
  • + 0
 When I saw the title I thought to myself it had better say squat or deadlift or it wouldn't be worth reading. He is on to something.
  • + 0
 Deadlifts are by far one of the best exercises you can undertake without question be you a cage fighter a body builder a long jumper ect ect.
  • + 2
 Our secret to success is out!! AHH
  • - 22
 im sorry but the deadlift is retarded, i watch guys online doing it and there puking, that is not good for ur body.and your also maxing out ur lift capacity puting the limits to all ur muscles.. go see a physiotherapist they will give u exercises to do that involve no weights. only a ball, and u will be amazed at the effort it takes to work ur core muscles and other muscles uve never worked before. its not all about weight...dummies
  • + 10
 Rabey, your response is problematic for many reasons and is not even really worth a response. Go ahead and think what you will about deadlifts and weight training, but as part of a well-rounded training regime they certainly are very important for any modern athlete.
  • + 25
 @Rabey101, you poor, sweet boy. I'm not even going to attempt to address all of your incorrect statements, but I will give you something for your tiny awareness to chew on: weight lifting and resistance training not only increase muscle mass, firing capacity and endurance, but they also make your BONES stronger. No, but really -- the bones in weight lifters and those who simply exist or rely on cardio are so vastly different that scientists can actually tell which early humans engaged in cardiovascular exercise (running, chasing, etc) and those that engaged in both running and lifting heavy objects.

The human bone structure actually grows and amasses strength (bones become more dense and stronger) in direct correlation to the weight bearing loads placed on the muscles closest to those bones, I.e. calf, shin, femur and hip bones become stronger and less prone to breakage or injury when legs and calves are trained with weights frequently because of the regular pattern of resistance... We adapt! How cool is that?? So, when I explain to someone like you how I not only survived a massive head and upper cardio-thoracic trauma last summer, but that I was back on my bike 11 days afterwards, they understand why I go to the gym and weigh train so religiously -- it literally saved my silly f*cking life. The docs told me that had I not held to a strict pattern of regular weight training, I would have crushed my ribs, lungs, heart, spine and everything else present in that small, fragile space. It wasn't luck. It was weight training. Either get in the gym, put some weights on that bar and muscle up or just stop inanely chattering on the Internet about things you have no knowledge of. Smile
  • + 5
 Thanks ambatt for the inspiration, and for giving rabey something to chew on.
  • - 2
 I was all excited while reading, then when I clicked the "play" button... "Can't play video... Media source has failed." It happens in every video Blank Stare
  • + 1
 Been deadlifting for years but a form refresher is always good!
  • + 2
 I know all about weight lifting and it making you heal faster. i started working out when i was 14. when i was 18 i cashed and crushed my T7 in half. I didnt think id walk again but the same day i was walking. i even went home that night from the hospital. Even my friends didnt beleave i broke my back cause i never complained about my back and was hanging out with friends in a couple days.took me 1 months to get back on my bike.and have been riding hard sence. if it wasnt for weight lifing im sure id have been in a chair for the rest of my life. GET FIT!
  • + 1
 Its a shame James did not comment on it, but I wonder what balance of strength, power and endurance he has in mind for deadlifts for us, so what kind of reps, speed, rest times and sets. I'm pretty sure its not the more dangerous 1-2 reps maximum strength training type as a lot of people seem to be thinking in the comments. Let say you really focus on strength and you can do a 1rep 2x body weight deadlift. It will allow you to hit the trials faster/more agressive/go bigger, but those strength specific muscle cells will be fatigued very quickly and when they are, they'r pretty much dead weight. So then you have to use riding itself to train those cells for repeated strength and endurance, to get to where you want. Is that the way to do it? Or is that a stupid detour because you could have trained for trail specific strength, power and endurance -using some combination of lighter weights, more reps, faster reps, shorter rest times and more sets- in the first place?
  • + 1
 This is just my non-scientific thoughts based on my experiences and thinking about applying it to biking, like James. I would recommend 10-12 reps with 3-4 minutes of rest in between sets. You're not always standing up to pedal so you're body will get a chance to rest on the bike. But when you want to go, it's going to be for longer than the 10-20 seconds 2 reps would take. Anybody else have any other thoughts?
  • + 1
 @ambatt: Best comment I have read on PB in a long time!!
My two cents: Don't confuse lifting weights for injury prevention benefits (getting strong) with lifting weights to enhance your endurance (getting fit). James mentions building up your 1RM to 1.5-2 times your bodyweight. There is a big difference between that kind of strength and endurance strength. More weight (60-80% of your 1RM) with fewer reps (5-6), and plenty of rest time between sets. 4-6 sets is a good starting point... but all depends how much lifting you've done previously. Most important is to be patient and build up gradually. Pulling your hammy or getting some other injury while lifting weights kinda defeats the whole purpose. Definitely lift without the big wheels on there the first couple of sessions to make sure you get your form down 100%.
  • + 1
 ^^ I do twice my body weight 6-8 reps and trust me the benefits as massive
  • - 4
 yea weight lifting is good im bashing deadlift in general. u see guys try to lift as much as possible and crumble under the weight. thats what im saying. sure lifting alot is gunna make u bulk out, but its about endurance in my eyes. im also saying its not just about the deadlift. but u all kno better right? it is pinkbike after all.....can i get some more negative props???
  • + 1
 there are tons of excersices that use no weights at all. and work muscles u didnt even know were there. in your core and other parts, im not a professional ofcourse but i learned alot from a phisiotherapist , in the sence of working my whole body not just the ones that make me look big and bulky. now ur gunna get a bunch of young kids out just deadlifting thinking thats all there is too it. u need to work all ur muscles
  • + 1
 Dead lifts do work your hole body but in a different way to say core planks and leg raises... Just stay well away from any weight lifting machines and work around the consept of 3 weight exercises
[Reply]
  • + 10
 I thought the video was pretty helpful. One suggestion, though -- it would be even more helpful to see you lift the actual weight from the side. It's hard to get a good idea of proper form just watching from the front. So much is happening behind that you can't see. Otherwise, I thought this was great.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 weight training will improve your choice of sport that's for sure , important is the way you approach it , multi-joint workouts will give you greater result in many perspective dead lift is one of the most complex workout and body form has to be dialed before even thinking adding a plate I would recommend doing some simpler core workouts if you never try dead lift before get your core in a reasonable strength than start light and stay light get advice, someone that knows about lifting could correct your form also always watch your self than the rest will come in time
Fore arm pump: If you are a regular rider rides often doing this kind of workout should not result fore arm pump if it does than you are doing something wrong , you can still use straps but remember its a good indicator using your own grip , you will always be aware how heavy you are going ( you can also use cross grip )
Stay safe , you need your body to ride
[Reply]
  • + 3
 actually I'd have to argue against the grip strength part. From playing hockey my whole life, the one exercise to build muscles in your hands and forearms is the most simple. get a 45lbs plate, pinch it between you thumb and fingers on the edge of the plate and walk around the room with it. hold it as long as you can... we used to actually walk around bumping teammates trying to knock the plates out of each other's hands.
  • + 1
 another good one is to use a light plate, around ten pounds, pinch it like you described and do a supinated bicep curl. you can really feel it working your wrists and grip, just make sure you start light as it's easy to overdo it.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great to see the deadlift being promoted well on here. Before the start of last year I'd never done them, wish I had been doing them before that though. At the moment I've dropped the weight as I am revisiting my form to make sure it is spot on. As some have mentioned correct form is the most important part. Getting your form right on the deadlift is harder than the bench or squat. There are some great videos by featuring Mark Rippetoe on youtube that go through more detail on the various aspects of the lift.

Can't agree with James comments on the squat though. Do a wide stance, 140 - 150% of shoulder width, to parallel(!), and your back gets flatter, you engage more leg muscles upper thigh muscles such as hip flexors and others we should use more as cyclist so we're not pedalling from the knee so much.

Oh and Victoria Pendleton deadlifts 2.5 times her body weight, very impresssive.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Good video - WTF with some of the comments!! Deadlifting, benching, squatting (and maybe a military press..) for strength. Add kettlebells for that ability to blast for 4 mins (if you can snatch a 24kg for 4 minutes straight you can consider yourself fit as f**k) and that is all that is needed! Oh, and ride the bike!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Never sit down during race? If you're a strong pedaler you can put down power more efficiently from the seat. In long pedaling sections, once you're up to speed standing up is a waste of energy and doesn't deliver power as smoothly, therefore sacrificing traction. I agree that you will be standing for most of the race, but depending on the course sitting can be faster. Look at Nico, dude would sit and spin all the time. Its aero and delivers the smoothest possible power to the rear wheel.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've found going to the clean phase a better exercise, just stopping at the dead lift phase just didn't build the plyometric strength as effectively. Lifting without shoes on is risky my old athletics coach would have give out a major bollocking!!
  • + 3
 Cleans! Yes! Much better for an athlete than dead lift. I NEVER dead lift, as it doesn't promote any explosive strength. Cleans, Snatch, and Jerk all work more of you body than dead lifts, and make you strong AND fast
  • + 3
 Deadlifts absolutely help explosive power - Romanian deadlifts were designed for the sole purpose of increasing the strength for a Power Clean/Hang Clean. In and of themselves, they are not "explosive" workouts, but they are crucial for building base strength for cleans, clean/jerk, snatch, and the like.

But I agree - eventually adding hang/power cleans and snatches to one's workout will be incredibly beneficial to mountain biking strength, speed, and agility.
  • + 1
 I've got to agree with this ^^. While I don't dispute the effectiveness of the deadlift, cleans are the first thing that came to mind when I saw this article. Although I may be biased as the clean is the one lift that will most closely approximate bucking bales of hay, which is something that I attribute to developing my own strength and explosive power as a teenager years ago.
  • + 2
 Agree. Power cleans and snatches are going to provide, I think more benefit than dead lifts. However, they actually require technique, practice, and lighter weight so no one is going to do them.
  • + 1
 Good one! I think plyometrics give us the perfect balance between strength, endurance, power and explosiveness. Plyometrics are indeed by no means suited for beginners though, also because of the eccentric contractions involved. Speaking of eccentric contractions: DO NOT DROP the bar, you are throwing away an extremely valuable part of the exercise. Its like biking up a mountain and then taking a paved road down instead of the trails through the woods: just throwing all that height you worked for away.

Needing shoes to deadlift is utter bollox, it just means your feet are relatively underdeveloped. The more damped shoes, the less stable your platform, the worse. Just realize you may have to treat your feet like wimps hitting the gym for the first time, when going barefoot. If you have problems with range of motion its fine to start with something to raise your heels tho.
  • + 1
 I agree trainers are a poor choice of footwear, when i was in that training group he insisted on weight lifting shoes. In athletics (and to some extent mtb) even minor damage to the foot can end a season, it wasn't worth the risk of dropping a bar on your foot. Most injuries in my experience happened when not doing exercises, usually when getting weights out or putting them away.

Hucking Bales is awesome fitness work
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's a good general lift for anyone. Just remember lifting is not a means to an end its a supplement to your biking. So lift for the benefits but the main objective is better biking. Keep it simple consistent and as long as lifting doesnt get in the way of biking you will reap the benefits of lifting.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I certainly wouldn't call the deadlift the one exercise to rule them all when referencing cycling. My PR is 505lbs and while I can probably lay down some serious torque to the cranks there's not a lot of carry over. Now if were talking about general fitness..I agree its the one exercise everyone should have a basic level of competency in.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Squats and deadlifts are great. This might sound too "Strava" or "Roadie" for some of you, but i noticed a large power (watt) increase from spending my off season in the gym. That being said, living in CA, there isnt much of an offseason.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I suggest starting with 3 sets of ten. Choose a weight that will make sure that tenth rep is nearly impossible. Once you are comfortable with that (after a few weeks) increasing your weights and going for sets of 6 is a great way to increase strength. Dead lifts are vital in any workout routine and this video is AWESOME. When I started deadlifts I asked various gym buffs that were doing them or personal trainers on how to do them and none were as informative as this vid. Beware deadlifts are dangerous once you start lifting heavy!!
  • + 2
 "I suggest starting with 3 sets of ten. Choose a weight that will make sure that tenth rep is nearly impossible" - As long as you are holding correct form through every rep. Until the person learning or revising their technique can do that they are at risk of injury and/or not hitting the right muscles correctly. I would suggest that 6 set of 5 would be better as the person doing them can focus more easily through each rep, short rest between sets, and go again
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I already do deadlift as part of my training however at the end of the video he says aim for 1 to 1 and half times body weight to really make an impact. I'm about 90kilos and would struggle to lift 90plus
  • + 9
 keep with it then. I started at half my bodyweight, but i'm at 180kg now, about 10 months later. it makes a fucking huge difference to your riding...
  • - 2
 Yeah, pretty good video but for the average biker to achieve 2xBW dead is pretty optimistic seeing as it -can- takes years of training. Plus raw strength isn't too important for mtb, I think focusing on power squats/deadlifts with less weight while combining these with other moves would be much more beneficial.
  • + 4
 It actually doesn't take years to get to a 2xBW dead given the right training program and nutrition. Look at strstd.com. 2xBW is in the intermediate lifter range and you can get there in a year with a program like starting strength or stronglifts or reg parks beginner routine. Most strength coaches will say the squat is the exercise to rule them all. I can't understand how a coach like James would say the squat is "not great" when it is the core of every good strength program out there. In terms of mountain bike specific training I think James is right saying the deadlift might have more advantages than squatting but it's not either or. They go hand in hand. Do both.
  • + 0
 Try hack squats, don't need as much weight and in my experiences puts less of a strain on your back.
  • + 1
 I weigh 55-60kg, first session i did in the gym i lifted about 100kg haha, i really need to get back but can't afford gym membership Frown
  • + 1
 sdoolan - I agree to a certain point although it depends hugely on the individual; diet, training and all that. Then actual bodyweight - someone who is naturally heavier (taller for example) will have a harder time getting to 2xBW. Take two people, one at 90kg and one at 65kg, the latter will obviously have it easier (let's say they're identical apart from weight..)

Anyway, getting a bit sidetracked here..
  • + 2
 dead lifts are probably the number 1 exercise when it comes to life not just riding, It's the simplest most obvious lift that humans are programmed to do - pick heavy shit up off the ground if you don't think this would be beneficial then there's something wrong with you!

Would also like to point out that clean grip front squats are probably the second most important exercise in riding in my opinion. its one of those exercises that if you can't do then there is something wrong with you. Furthermore it's an exercise which completely contradicts normal mountain bike position (hunched over the bars) and encourages thoracic extension (perfect posture) so you can really improve your balance, strength, power etc so its an excellent exercise for mountain biking!
  • + 3
 I weigh 88 kg and deadlift 210. My back stopped getting sore when i ride since i've been going heavier on the deadlift. really good exercise, but make sure you have proper form.
  • - 1
 Squats, deadlift, bench press. The only exercises you will ever need.
  • + 1
 I like to stick to compounds too but if all you do is bench you'll have a big chest, no shoulders and no upper back and that will fuck you up my friend. Add push-press, pendlay rows and chins to that and you're golden.
  • + 1
 @sdoolan
you probably will have big triceps, shoulder development, your lats will likely grow as well, etc. you won't just have a 'big chest' because IT IS a compound movement its a multi joint, so then multi muscular lift that's why its called a compound lift

however i do agree with you that you can't just bench, chins, rows and some form of horizontal press will make you golden!
  • + 0
 bench tightens your pecs up so when you go to properly squat etc you cant get the var behind yer head as easily, so we were told not to do em that much, or at least little weight
  • + 1
 Agree but I'd replace push press with a strict press.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 squat and deadlift are the two exercises to get the perfect posture while riding a mtb...I would think deadlift is banned of some gyms because if you don't do it correctly you could hurt your lower back, that's why it's very important to block your back by contracting your abs when you do the movement...just and advice guys...
  • + 1
 You're right about it being banned in a lot of gyms. The closest gym to me (planet fitness, yuck) bans deadlifts because they claim that the deadlift is a bad exercise that hurts people. I swear the only reason is to cover their asses from insurance claims.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just don't use any lifting straps when I hit the gym. Going heavy on deads often without lifting straps can damage your fingers over time. It can cause symptoms similar to RA and shorten your riding carer. Look up some stats on professional power lifters and the injuries they suffer. I used to hammer out deads pretty often and got up to 505lbs for reps then my hands started hurting and my hips would hurt like I had growing pains so I go much lighter. Hell it's winter so chop some wood and build some grip strength that way.
  • + 4
 Funny thing I found out buy chance for building grip strength without damaging your hands. I have been playing drums for a long time and practice behind my kit 8-12 hrs a week with 2 bands and I can say since I upped my practice time my hands don't seem to get tired. Pretty much consists of low impact very high frequency muscle movement and builds very dense muscle fibers.
  • - 1
 Or u can melt your brain playing ps3, u just dont get many chicks as a drummer.
  • + 1
 Yes but you get more 'chicks' playing PS3?
hahahahahaha idiot, quiet sure drummers get more 'chicks' than PS3 geeks...
  • + 3
 I'm pretty sure this guy meant "dont get AS many chicks as a drummer".

"Then my hands and hips started hurting" sounds like you were just overloading your tendons/ligaments? :o Much like the problems climbers often get with their hands. If you get sweaty palms use some talc powder. But if you were drumming alongside, I can imagine your hands never ever got the rest they might have needed to recover from injury.

And chopping wood is indeed an AWESOME workout for mountain biking: grip, armpump, core (massive core involvement!), everything! You really cannot simulate anything like the shocks you get on your hands while riding, in the gym. But chopping wood constantly impacts your hands like the handlebars do, gets you resistance against blistering as well. Also I find it infinitely more satisfying and enjoyable than gym workouts as its so much more challenging.
Great article James! I will focus more on deadlifts myself.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thanks again James for an intelligent piece. Keep creating controversial content, it makes a change from the same old hum drum rubbish we normally get here on PB
  • + 2
 Second that! I appreciate training content.
  • + 1
 I'm with you guys -- I love the training content! Everyone always has different opinions on everything that's posted, but overall, it seems as though folks usually appreciate the help, learn something or, at the very least, have a lovely debate about fitness choices, etc.
Keep it up. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Deadlifting is a great full body exercise. Doing it properly, and regulary as part of a training program will help your riding loads.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome video. Add in power cleans before dead lifts if you solely ride downhill and you're muscles will be ready to absorb any bumps and drops if your rockin a hardtail or only have a few inches of travel.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 K First off your not the greatest at showing how to dead lift right !! With you head, you should be looking up because it keeps you back straight as you lift. If not then within a few years you will have damaged your lower back! Second while your setting up for the lift you should get your ASS down far and your feet flat, start the lift with your legs like a normal dead lift!! if you stand over the bar bent part way, it makes you lift with you back so much leading into back injury. hope people read this because i know what im talking about and have trained with guys that have gone in strongman champions leagues for years, plus have someone that knows how to do dead lifts around you first while doing them!!!!
  • + 2
 I think you missed the first part of the video where he explains why he is doing them that way and not the way that you have described... And he still emphasizes driving through your legs down through the heels to lift, not your back.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 squats it is for me as they work all the muscles in the posterior chain. i suffer from lower backache, squats usualy stops this when i train, but i end up stopping coz i get lazy and have a busy family life Frown
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I always hated the deadlift but he makes a convincing case for it. But I don't understand why it's so important to go so low that you touch your butt to your heels, seems like an unnecessary strain on your knees and lower back, and going that low doesn't simulate anything that happens when you are riding a mountain bike. If you just go to the point where your knees reach a 90 degree angle you are getting all the benifits without the risks. If you have bad knees, which I do, putting your butt all the way down to your knees is awful for them, I would hear all kinds of popping sounds and feel some bad grinding going on if I went all the way down to my heels.
  • + 3
 Did you watch the video? I know you love causing a good ruckus on here but nowhere does he say go greater than 90 degrees. In the video I don't think he even comes close to 90 degrees. Pushing the butt back behind the heels is not the same as butt to heels.
  • + 1
 @protour
Full range of motion = most micro tears in muscle fibers and safest way to lift = more repaired tissue = more complete strength functionality = better riding and reduced chance of injury.

furthermore by bending right down so your ass is at your calves is not bad for your knees lower back at all this is a myth. People are designed to be in this position. Case and point if you were to take a nature shit you wouldn't bend half way down, you would bend so your ass is as close to the ground as possible and it wouldn't hurt obviously. This is more relevant to the squat however the same principles apply, People are designed to get into this position comfortably!

On a side note squatting just to parallel is worse for your knees and low back than a full (as low as you can go) squat

Hope this answered your query in some way Protour, James is in fact giving excellent advice.
  • + 1
 @Paul

The Romanian deadlift is not a substitute for the deadlift, focusses on the hamstrings and not at all on the quads. Different applications, different muscle groups.
  • - 1
 do you really want to get into this hairy? I am a kinesiology student at a well recognized school in canada, i dont know everything but quite a bit. And i dont know where you get off hunting me down. All i did was recommend another exercise, nowhere did i say substitute, he is trying to exercise and im trying to help the guy out, meanwhile you continue to ramble on about nothing productive, and create hate on a video. A video that a professional in this industry has made for free for us to watch. We all know your probably just sooooo smart, so best of luck to you and your elite list of clients.
  • + 2
 @PausBikeFlies

Taking Harrie's comment personal much? People will naturally believe that recommending one exercise in place of another is meant as a substitution, unless otherwise mentioned. Writing "Still beneficial to you but less knee flexion" only emphasizes the point that you are implicitly stating that this exercise carries similar benefits as the one the user is looking to avoid, so don't get upset when the point is made that they are actually drastically different in many ways.

Harriieee is definitely being adamant about his perceived flaws about the video. I dont know everything but quite a bit and I believe that that is the point of the comment section. He's actually being very responsive, civil, and insightful like bringing up that many don't consider the chest tilting/butt back to be all that important. Also how emphasizing a natural riding position may be the best way to approach the ride.

Of course I'm not a smart kinesiology student spending all his time attempting to moderate the comment section on Pinkbike. See, I can be unnecessarily hyper-sensitive to other people's comments also Smile
  • + 0
 lol nah boss dun currr, Smile
  • + 1
 I wasn't trolling like I usually am, I just didn't watch James's video and must have misread. I watched the Romanian deadlift with Crissy Zmijewski and it looked ok I think their is more advantage in the deadlift but thanks and I will try it but the deadlift looks better now that I know the form I watched the regular deadlift with Michele Trapp instead of James and she has some great ideas also plus she is hot and I liked how she talked about how if you do it with correct form you will have scraped up knees and shins, just like with mountainbiking. Also the leg press isn't useless, it's a safe alternative for some people and it exercises your core and your grip more than you might think. It's actually similar to standing climbing on a bike.
  • + 1
 ...and you can do single leg exercises with the leg press, which is extremely valuable if you are rehabilitating from an injury or trying to strengthen a weaker leg. Saying it sucks is unprofessional and shows lack of awareness.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Well thats good, my school has a weight training class Smile 275 hex and raising fast
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just started deadlifting recently so great timing! Surely gonna use some of those tips Smile
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Anything where you're lifting heavy will improve how you deal with forearm pump.

Bit of a silly article. "The deadlift is a rare exercise"? It's the bedrock of almost all weight training programs, and all serious athletes deadlift to train. This article reeks of someone not knowing what they're talking about.
  • + 17
 he means that there are not many exercises that are so beneficial. You reek of someone that has absolutely no idea what you are talking about. How many pro mountain bike clients do you have?
  • + 2
 He clearly means that not many people deadlift:

"The deadlift is a rare exercise (in fact it is banned in some commercial gyms) and I know that the squat and leg press are more popular lower body exercises."

Um, anyone who is serious about weight training deadlifts. Making the point that the deadlift is a great mountain bike-specific exercise is specious; it's fundamental for any sport-specific training regime. It's a universal. Protip: so is the squat.

Also, weightlifting is not for practising sport-specific body positions. Weightlifting is for building strength and endurance, both of which are vital to athletic achievement. The fact that the position of a deadlift at the half-raised stage bears a bit of similarity to the 'attack' position on a bike is not going to make you a drastically better rider.
  • + 6
 ^ @harriieee true that, the amount of times you hear coaches saying something like for example in hockey "use a heavier/ weighted stick to increase hockey related strength" is completely retarded. Same goes for mountain biking, your better making yourself stronger with big compound lifts such as; dead lift, front/ back squat, bench press, pull ups etc with full range of motion and perfect form. by simply combining perfectly strict form compound lifts with mountain biking WILL make you a better rider. Furthermore by adapting exercises to be sport specific again causes issues such as RSI (repetitive strain injury) and muscular imbalances that are detrimental to a sport with such an emphasis on balance, endurance and power (mountain biking).

rant aside i think James is showing a standard dead lift, there's nothing different/ special that i noticed that had an emphasis on mountain biking, he's just showing a perfectly executed dead lift which will be highly beneficial to mountain biking because that's all it is a standard dead lift.

The point to take away from this extreme ramble is F*ck the fancy shit that typical personal trainers/ coaches will tell you. By building FUNCTIONAL strength with basic COMPOUND exercises in conjunction with your sport WILL make you a better athlete.
  • + 2
 Even before I was mountain biking (or DH racing), the dead lift was a staple of my weight training program. While I agree with @harriiee that there are parts of this that are annoying (the dead lift is so rare?!? WTF?), it's really beneficial to everyone, especially those of us who are in the gym almost every day, training for MTB -- it's easy to get stuck in a gym rut. @harriiee, where you've gone off the rails a bit is where you said that this exercise won't make you a drastically better rider... It will. Enough of these, combined with the correct form and weights, will create explosive force and endurance in a mountain biker that, when mixed with trail training and bike time, will create a tough competitor and a more injury-safe body. Smile When you train to avoid injury, build endurance and create velocity, you have a far more effective training regimen than standard routines alone. Smile

The dead lift is one of my all-time favorite moves for shoulder position, core strength and lower body fast-and slow-twitch muscle fibers, just because you can do so much with it. If you're looking to maintain or build bike strength and improve fitness, the dead lift (and its many variations) is an exercise you can't go without. Smile
  • + 3
 this was my number 1 exercise for bmx. it helped create explosiveness and strength, especially on gates.
  • + 1
 I've seen a decent number of athlete weight training programs that rarely incorporated deadlifts, at least compared to other lower body lifts and exercises. I think Mr. Wilson's point is that there are plenty of athletes out there that could benefit from more deadlifts. If you already deadlift, good for you.
  • + 0
 hairy you didnt answer my question of your client list.
  • + 2
 I think everyone here is making the same point, just from a different mindset. In my opinion the deadlift is the single best load-bearing exercise you can do. I think the point the author was trying to make was that on a given day, you rarely see people deadlifting at whatever gym you go to. It's even less common to see people lifting a large amount with good form. Lots of guys will sit on the preacher bench and curl an absurd amount for half an hour but will never head to the lifting platforms. Again, in my opinion, its incredibly difficult to get good at deadlifts, specifically keeping good form at a high weight when it is especially important. I would consider myself experienced with deadlifts, but I'm still uncomfortable getting to a high weight without someone watching me. If I can't keep good from throughout the whole movement, then I need to stop. While I agree with you that the deadlift is a staple in most serious athletes training regimens, the majority of the guys at average joe's are not there to excel at a sport at a high level. They're there to get big so they look good in a wife beat in the summer at the beach. It's just a different mindset than you or myself might have towards strength training. Maybe I'm completely off base here but regardless, just because your mindset may differ from my mindset and the guy who's curling in front of the mirror doesn't make them wrong. It just means they have taken a different approach and have different goals to achieve when they're there.
  • + 2
 @ambatt - I didn't mean that it won't help, of course it will. I meant that it's not the fact that the form of it looks a bit like riding a bike that will help, it'll be the stronger core, glutes and quads - all crucial for any athlete. I simply do not believe that there is such a thing as an "mtb-specific deadlift". A deadlift is an mtb-specific deadlift.

I'm glad we've reached a consensus here.
  • + 2
 @kzuma - I hear you, though they're far from out of vogue. I find it interesting (OK, I find it wrong) that this guy says you should try and accentuate a riding position as you come down, exaggerating the push-ass-back and chest-tilting-down motion. Most top athletes don't lower their deadlifts at all these days, they just drop them, because lowering a heavy deadlift is too strenuous for someone who also wants to train skills, it really takes it out of you and can take days to recover from.
  • + 1
 I agree with toonownrider. It's rare in the sense that it's ignored by your regular joes who go to the gym a couple times a week to pump iron. It's a bit of a complicated exercise that requires a bit of instruction to do correctly, so I find most people casually pumping iron at their local gym don't bother.

On the other hand, it is an exercise that is the cornerstone of a serious athlete's strength and conditioning program -- or it should be, anyway.

While I agree the purpose of the exercise is not necessarily to mimic the mountain bike attack stance, I think an argument can be made that the exercise can help a rider gain a kinesthetic feel for the proper attack stance if that's something he's struggling with. I know squats and deadlifts have helped me with my stance for skiing -- something that was missing in my stance just clicked after becoming proficient in these exercises. It was like, "Ah yes -- my point of balance should be just like it was when doing a squat."
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Do single leg deadlifts as well!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They definitely nicked the wee tune at the start from one of adam and joe's jingles Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Uhhh. Does he mean 1 1/2 * lb for your one rep max or for reps? If for reps, how many reps?...and how many sets?
  • + 3
 He's talking about a 1RM.
  • + 1
 It's america- you're not allowed to mention how much weight/reps/sets somebody should do anymore Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Deadlifts are hands down the best all-round exercise for both sprinting and biking.
Deadlifts FTW Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I mostly stick with simple compound exercises... bench, deads, squats and db curls for forearm/grip strength.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank You for posting this! Very informative. Great write up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Riding your bike makes you a better rider.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Erm.. deadlifting is fun.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would add cleans to this list!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Talk about over-explaining. In other words, " Stand at the bar in a MTBing position".
  • + 1
 horrible isn't it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I always appreciate help and professional advice. Thank you James!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 just go ride the longest XC Trail you can fined eat well sleep well and most of all enjoy yourself whatever you all do .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 how many reps? and how many sets? i do 4 X 20, is it all right?
  • + 1
 IF you're going heavy, you should do 5x5s, 6x4s, etc. Nothing wrong with 1-1-1-1-1-1, either. Assuming you're lifting in that 90% of 1RM
  • + 2
 Too many reps. Deadlifts cause a lot of stress to the central nervous system. Look at the program Starting Strength, Mark Rippetoe prescribes a single workest of five...
  • + 2
 Mark Riptoe the man, Building strength book. all about squats for me Smile
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Thanks for deleting my post. This is the kind of guy who rides for Strava and not for fun.
  • + 2
 They didn't delete it, you toolbox -- it was voted down by the PB community because it was an idiotic comment from someone who obviously is too busy hating on A) James and B) Strava to get out there and actually ride his bike. There's no need to post the same ignorant comment again. Try checking the bottom of the comments where it plainly says, "Below threshold threads are hidden". Smile
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Yea! Beefcakes! Football rules bros! Im gonna call everyone bud and big guy from now on while I ride my bike through the woods.
  • + 2
 Alright, hater... Calm down with your ignorant ire for a second and realize that some people actually enjoy self-improvement, progression and strength gains. Just because we're working out in the weight room or happen to find this article helpful doesn't make us 'meatheads' or 'football players'. No need for comments like yours in a place like Pinkbike. Smile
  • + 1
 No way you're 32...
  • + 2
 Aw man my apologies, especially to James, thanks for posting the tips.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Whatabout bent over row?
  • + 1
 Bent over rows are useful. The movement mimics pulling up on the bike if you're trying to get over a log or pull up for a jump. Thus, performing bent over rows will condition the muscles of your back for performing bike handling skills such as popping over a log or pulling up for a jump. Additionally, while performing a set of bent over rows, if performed with good form, you're recruiting all the tiny muscles between you vertebrae and muscles that parallel your vertebral column to stabalize yourself. This which also mimics being on the bike and thus, conditions your muscles for bike riding /handling... allowing u to ride longer and less likely for injury. Anyway. Ride bikes!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 What did he say again forget most of it from when he started talking
  • + 2
 You know... You can just hit play again.
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.060057
Mobile Version of Website