Downhill Training

Author Message
Posted: Nov 27, 2007 at 16:38 Quote
norco87 wrote:
Now that the winter is coming, I have stored my bikes indoor and they probably won't come out till spring. I am hoping to start some DH next race season. I was thinking about getting an exercise bike. Anyone know some main things in looking at when buying one? I was thinking spending around $350-$450. Is that too much/too little to pay? Thanks.
Same here, first snowfall, What should I do?

Posted: Nov 27, 2007 at 16:47 Quote
James Wilson the one, the only MTB Stregnth Training Coach. He is the shit. Move to Grand Junction,CO, and take his stregnth training course two or three times a week. I've been doing it for three months. He addresses stregnth, agility, nutrition, and overall health in an amazing manner. There is nothing better than doing proper stregnth training, eating right, and staying fit to kick lots of ass on your mountain bike.

Posted: Nov 28, 2007 at 1:04 Quote
do it all, but keep it natural. Running 5km each day on the road will funk your knees up over time whereas in xc running your knees will last forever. Going to the gym everyday will eventually turn you into a meat-head whereas climbing and scrambling in the hills will feed your soul. I do as much exercise as I can but always try to make it something that my body was designed to do - like downhilling!

Posted: Nov 30, 2007 at 2:26 Quote
raak wrote:
olynch wrote:
Swimming is the best way to get fitter for dh. Do plenty of stretches too.

I'm not too sure about that. Swimming is a great way of keeping fit but even proffesional swimmers absolutely have to cross-train with weights and so-forth because water can only offer a certain amount of resistance and is limited in the strength it can build. Also it doesnt work the legs half as much as other forms of training. I think saying it's the "best" way is a bit of an exaggeration.

I think the guy a few posts back who added stuff about core training was bang-on. In all sports the core is hugely important because it is how power is transfered from one end of the body to the other. And of course with DH the legs and arms both play huge roles in controlling and powering the bike. Working the abs and lower-back is a very good idea.

You could have huge legs and a huge upper body, but if you have a weak core, you wont be able to use the power effectively. That's why it's better to train your body as a unit because that's how it's mostly used. Squats and deadlifts are great core exercises. And I've heard (as the guy before mentioned) that using a stability ball is good for people who do sports like MTB because it simulates the atlering/moving ground and works your stability muscles, but personally, I wouldnt been seen dead with one because I'm too scared of looking like a pussy!

I'd still say swimming is the best overall out of all exercises because your training nearly all your muscles, bycep, trycep, forearm, back, neck, thighs, carfs, due to reisitance of the water, i mean if u plan to become a boddy builder, swimming is not going to work. BUt overall fittness and strength its the best. This is in my opinion btw.

Posted: Dec 22, 2007 at 13:20 Quote
Swimming cant create hard muscles it makes you a great resistance of course but you cant grow by not lifting weight..IO read this on mens health and im really following it to turn back for DH in few months stronger and that means less injuries..Also they say if you have strong ABS the posobility of injuries when falling are lesser dont no why but it seems to work..
you need to train lot and most important train to have more fun and for love to sport cheers...

Posted: Jan 21, 2008 at 15:14 Quote
kyranmccarthy wrote:
Hey everyone,

I am just wondering what other fitness/strength training you do for downhill. It doesn't have to be on the bike.

Thanks a lot as this will not just help myself but other people as well. Smile


I asked the same question a couple weeks ago. I suppose there are better times of the year to start a training "program", but hey, no time like the present right? I think the key is to pick when you want to peak and work back from there. Otherwise, here's the link I found. It's pretty old but has a LOT of common-sense/reasonable advice that some racer-friends agree with;

1. Stretching/Warm-Up: http://www.dirtworld.com/TipsAndTricks/TipsStory.asp?id=609


2. Training: http://www.dirtworld.com/TipsAndTricks/TipsStory.asp?id=82

Posted: Feb 13, 2008 at 6:33 Quote
dhangelofdeath wrote:
James Wilson the one, the only MTB Stregnth Training Coach. He is the shit. Move to Grand Junction,CO, and take his stregnth training course two or three times a week. I've been doing it for three months. He addresses stregnth, agility, nutrition, and overall health in an amazing manner. There is nothing better than doing proper stregnth training, eating right, and staying fit to kick lots of ass on your mountain bike.

^^ Definitely the best advice posted, he really knows his stuff. And his training is specialized for Downhill racing.

Posted: Feb 13, 2008 at 11:37 Quote
What is "eating right" when training to race DH?

I suppose it's relative to where you are in your training as well to some degree. Otherwise, is it all protein-shakes, eggs and pasta or is it more of a lean version of the common-sense diet: don't over-eat any one thing, stay away from too much fat/cholesterol, lots of fruit and veg, smaller portions and snacking throughout the day?

PS - for those of us who don't have the time of money to go to Colorado, what's a more realistic approach? James Wilson's course sounds amazing mind you! It would be very nice to have someone in the BC Lower Mainland who could supply something similar. I suppose Shaums' courses come pretty close.

Posted: Feb 14, 2008 at 2:57 Quote
shimaceo wrote:
What is "eating right" when training to race DH?

I suppose it's relative to where you are in your training as well to some degree. Otherwise, is it all protein-shakes, eggs and pasta or is it more of a lean version of the common-sense diet: don't over-eat any one thing, stay away from too much fat/cholesterol, lots of fruit and veg, smaller portions and snacking throughout the day?

PS - for those of us who don't have the time of money to go to Colorado, what's a more realistic approach? James Wilson's course sounds amazing mind you! It would be very nice to have someone in the BC Lower Mainland who could supply something similar. I suppose Shaums' courses come pretty close.

"eating right" to race DH is just eating right in general. Being an athlete you'll need slightly more protein than an average person, and if you're skinny and want to bulk up you'll need at least 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight a day.

You will also need a lot of fat if you're burning a lot, fat plays a huge part in building muscle and general health (as do carbs). You just have to eat "good fats", mono-unsaturated and so on. An easy place to get good fat is from peanut butter, I get through 2 jars a week, plus the stuff is full of protein and other beneficial stuff.

Right, here is a recipe I got from a bodybuilder:

about 1 jar of (maybe a bit less, experiment) good, sourced honey.
2 jars of peanut butter (about 340gm ones).
1 tall glass of rolled oats (bit less than a pint).
1 tall glass of whey protein (Same again, about 6 scoops or more if you want extra).



Take a big pan, throw in the honey and peanut butter, heat gently and stir until it all mixes together, gradually add the whey and oats and keep mixing (you can add olive oil to help moisten the mix but I dont usually bother). Once it's all mixed, place in a big tray and flatten down, cut into sections and let dry, you should get about 8 bars. Much cheaper than store bought and with more protein at about 40gms+ per bar, plus lots of good monounsaturated fats. Takes about 10 mins to make.

If you're trying to bulk up muscle, these bars are basically a meal you can store and eat in 10 mins. Very convinent.

As for the mtb strength coach, he is good, but nothing revelutionary. His advice is solid, he advocates squats and deadlifts as they use the whole body - saying that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest point. Its great advice. Also he explains how important unilateral leg work (exercising one leg at a time) is, because when we pedal we use one leg at a time.

One thing most people could do with is stronger hamstrings. I have worked mine extra lately. But generally buidling muscle on the legs is good not only for strength but also injury prevention. Powerlifters who squat regularly have been shown in studies to have healthier knees than an average person (more stable, tighter acls).

I dont think you NEED (although it helps) a strength coach. Just get some weights and begin. Squat, deadlift, lunge, step up, jump squat, straight-leg good mornings, sumo deadlift..... the list of good exercises goes on and on. Just dont do damn crunches and arm curls! Every exercise I just listed requires the core to be used as a stabiliser so you'll get core work-out while building your body's strength as a "unit", paying attention to the MTB strength coach's rule of "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link".

Posted: Feb 14, 2008 at 8:59 Quote
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer with such an in-depth response! Very interesting and helpful. I'm makin' those bars regardless of where I am with my "training".


Cheers!

Posted: Feb 14, 2008 at 9:02 Quote
shimaceo wrote:
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer with such an in-depth response! Very interesting and helpful. I'm makin' those bars regardless of where I am with my "training".


Cheers!

me too, munch munch.

Posted: Feb 25, 2008 at 2:12 Quote
the main problem i have is my hands/wrists are weeker that my arms so they take quite a pounding, i dont realy struggle with them , i just want to make tham stronger, i know everyone says "powerballs" but is there anything else i can do to help?
ps, i go to the gym once a week(cycling machine, chest workout, stomach, back...., ride xc as much as i can, maybe 2/3 times a week for 1 hour) does it sound like im doing the right thing for dh traning, do i need to change my workout? i would be really greatful for any advice!

Posted: Feb 25, 2008 at 3:30 Quote
tommybananajohnson wrote:
the main problem i have is my hands/wrists are weeker that my arms so they take quite a pounding, i dont realy struggle with them , i just want to make tham stronger, i know everyone says "powerballs" but is there anything else i can do to help?
ps, i go to the gym once a week(cycling machine, chest workout, stomach, back...., ride xc as much as i can, maybe 2/3 times a week for 1 hour) does it sound like im doing the right thing for dh traning, do i need to change my workout? i would be really greatful for any advice!

If your hands and wrists are weak then I'd guess that your forearms, to an extent, are too.

Focus on your weak areas and what needs bringing up, and that sounds like your grip/forearm strength.

Think of it like this, you have:

pinch grip - holding onto things with just your fingers.
crush grip - closing your fist.
supportive grip - actually holding onto/supporting a weight.
wrist strength - self explanitory.

As a DHer I'd say the 2 most important forms are crush (holding the bars, braking) and wrist strength (having strong wrists to support the hands).

For starters, you can modify current exercises to make them more grip demanding. For your back, arms and shoulders you could try towel chins. Basically a chin-up with a towel or 2 over the bar, holding each end. They tax the forearms and hands as well as the upper body in general. You could do 5x5 or 4x10, whatever set/rep scheme works for you. Just however many you can handle basically.

For the crushing, the hand crusher things are good. For the wrists, try wrist curls -hold a barbell and move it just with wrists. But there are lots of techniques and excercies you can look up - any barbell work done with a thicker bar builds the grip and forearms very effectively. You'll be getting good muscle endurance work from riding itself, so supplimenting it with some serious strength training will build new muscle/strengthen joints and should help keep you strong. One thing to bear in mind is frequency, you need to train more than once a week to really make gains when it comes to strength training.

Posted: Feb 25, 2008 at 4:50 Quote
cheers m8Big Grin i would use the gym more than once a week, but thats the deal i can get with my college, and i dont have enough free time other than that one session to use for gym workConfused my forearms are fine strength wise, im only 16 & im starting racing next weekend, so i need a traning plan for the whole year, as i only started traning properly about 6 weeks ago.


 
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