Now Finished: Ask Us Anything - MTB Fitness Edition with Coaches Dee Tidwell, Jonny Thompson & Todd Schumlick

May 6, 2020
by Pinkbike Staff  



Update: Dee, Jonny and Todd are busy guys and we're stoked they were able to take two hours out of their day to give us some insight into what it's like to be a world-class mountain bike coach and some tips on nutrition, training and racing. They're going back to making training plans now but will try to stop in later to answer any questions they didn't get to. You can also reach them here:

Dee Tidwell: www.enduromtbtraining.com / Facebook/ Instagram: @enduromtbtraining
Jonny Thompson: https://fit4racing.com / https://www.instagram.com/fit4racing/
Todd Schumlick: www.performxracing.com / IG @performx_training

According to social media, if you aren't quarantine baking, you're likely working off the quarantine baking in the gym. But how are professional athletes managing this uncertain time and what are the people behind the fitness programs that help them reach their podium goals doing to make sure they'll be in peak form when racing finally kicks off?

We've been wondering how coaches like Dee Tidwell, Jonny Thompson, and Todd Schumlick are training their athletes right now with no gym access and no race schedule and how they're planning on training their athletes when there’s once again gym access and the race schedule is announced. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity for you to ask Dee Tidwell, Jonny Thompson, and Todd Schumlick your questions.



Todd Schumlick
Todd Schumlick, owner/directer of PerformX, has 25+ years experience as a “trainer” (physical fitness, nutrition, rehab and mental development), including kinesiology, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, sports nutrition, and more certifications. He’s been contracted by Red Bull, Ski-Doo, Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and various brands as a trainer for motocross and mountain bike athletes since 2008. Over the past years his athletes have included Blair Morgan (MX/Snocross), Jean-Sebastian Roy (MX), Colton Facciotti (MX), Stevie Smith (MTB), Aaron Gwin (MTB), Richie Rude (MTB), Sam Blenkinsop (MTB), Mark Abma (Ski), Brook MacDonald (MTB), Finn Iles (MTB), Emmeline Ragot (MTB), Marcelo Gutierrez (MTB), Remi Gauvin (MTB), Miranda Miller (MTB), Casey Brown (MTB), Seth Sherlock (MTB), and many more. Since 2010, he’s also been team manager/owner position for PerformX DH Team, Norco Factory Racing, and now Intense Factory Racing.


Dee Tidwell
My name is Dee Tidwell and I am a MTB Fitness trainer, therapist and creator of Enduro MTB Training (.com). I've used the same training techniques I use in my online programs to help propel me to enduro racing success as a 2x Big Mountain Enduro Overall winner in two master’s categories. I’m the former team trainer for Yeti Cycles and I've coached a whole roster of professional athletes in multiple sports and thousands of amateur athletes worldwide. I’m a believer, a Husband to a wife who's more than I deserve, a Dad of two great kids, a small business owner and I value integrity, honesty and character. I'm thankful for being able to serve my clients as well as represent great companies like Yeti Cycles, Shimano, Maxxis, Smith Optics, RynoPower, Enduro Bites, Stages and E-Thirteen.

Jonny Thompson
Hi, I’m Jonny Thompson - a Strength and Conditioning Coach to pro and amateur MTB riders in over 40 countries. Previously a Forensic Science Expert, I transitioned to training athletes because I saw in my own performance improve dramatically after implementing Strength and Conditioning specifically for riding. I now own 4 gyms but spend most of my time on my greatest passion - Fit4Racing - an online platform that allows my team and I to help all riders improve the quality of their riding by using Strength and Conditioning properly. I’m proud that Fit4Racing is currently responsible for the Strength and Conditioning of over 20 World Cup DH racers, Numerous EWS Pros and over 400 every day riders just like you. But we’re not done yet, watch this space as we continually develop and help riders improve like never before.

How ‘Ask Us Anything' Works:

Starting at 10:00 AM PDT/6:00 PM BST on May 6th, you can type your fitness questions into the comment box below this article and the guys will have a crack at answering them. Sometimes your answer will pop up in a few seconds; others may take a few minutes while Dee, Jonny, and Todd work their way through questions that are popping up. Everyone who posts a question, large or small, will be taken seriously.

To make this go as smoothly as possible, try to follow these guidelines:

• Keep your questions relevant
• Stay focused and to keep your questions on one topic if possible. You can always ask about another item later
• Try to keep your questions to about 100 words
• Ask Us Anything is a service to PB readers who are seeking helpful information, not a forum to broadcast opinions or grievances. If you do have an issue that you want to ask about, no worries, just keep your complaints relevant and in the context of a question so that it can be addressed in a productive manner
• Use propping to acknowledge good (or not so good) questions and bump them up or down to where they belong
• Please don't "Reply" to other people's questions and try to answer other people's comments. This makes it confusing to follow the thread.


Other time zones:
• 1:00 PM EST (New York)
• 6:00 PM BST (London)
• 7:00 PM CET (Paris)
• 7:00 PM SAST (Cape Town)
• 3:00 AM AEST (Sydney, Australia)


Nigel and Todd Schumlick listen in on the riders meeting Thursday.

Intense Factory Racing
Pic- Devon Balet



373 Comments

  • 61 3
 Why such a reluctance on the part of mountain bikers collectively to simply take what is already proven to work from sports that have far more R&D than us? It is no mystery as to what you need to do to acquire practical, explosive, injury preventing strength and power. What are collegiate level and pro level athletes doing in football, wrestling, boxing, MMA... Squats, dead lifts, rows, chins, presses, maybe some sprints/running. Build the raw power with those exercises then adapt them to mtb and gain endurance by doing guess what? Riding your mountain bike. Riding lots. Then eat well and sleep a lot. Its no secret. And no, silly bouncy balls or stretchy things aren't getting you anywhere unless you are starting out as a couch potato.
  • 8 0
 Absolutely nailed it. Simple proven strength training. Pull, press, squat, chin. 4 movements.
  • 15 0
 Of course you're right, but effective, proven simplicity is really hard to monetize Wink . Imagine how hard it would be to turn "start a 5/3/1 lifting program and run it forever" into something that justifies a monthly subscription!
  • 6 0
 Great comment. I will add that people who love riding simply want to ride more and that works for them. It's difficult to persuade someone to choose something that might be less enjoyable for them in the pursuit of enjoying their passion more, even if it's only a small abstraction. If you're not a professional rider but love to ride and hate to train then great.
  • 7 2
 Because I could ride my bike instead of doing those things, I ride for fun not ULTIMATE GAINZ
  • 5 0
 I agree with Jonny....it can simply come down to "what's enjoyable" to many riders. With limited time and energy, it's hard to convince anyone to put time in off the bike, when that time could be spent doing what they love. I also start with asking a person what there goals are....then provide the best advice based on my experience and research. If riding/racing is your "job"....then parts of the job might require you to go outside of your "enjoyment only".
  • 2 3
 @MikerJ - my boys said it well
  • 2 0
 I'd say that the majority of pros in those sports do a pretty diverse array of warm-ups and accessory lifts/programming. Those exercises work for primary lifts, but where is the rest of the programming?
  • 5 0
 Completely agree, but for optimal performance, don't blow off flexibility, mobility and balance- the icing on the strength cake.
  • 2 0
 Spot on Been saying the same for ages. People waste way too much time on weird accessory movements when they lack the fundamentals
  • 2 2
 Not everything is proven though. A lot of techniques used in the college level and in some pro levels will destroy your body at an early age, in the hopes of gaining glory before you fall apart. In cases, that glory was for a sponsor or for a coach, not for the athletes themselves (see Alberto Salazar).

Also, while I hold a "Pro" license, I am not a real pro and have to live in a world where my life doesn't get to revolve around perfect training and dietary conditions.
  • 5 7
 @Arierep: Whenever I am in the gym doing Olympic lifts I feel like an idiot. Because I Try to follow instructions on the right form, Roll and stretch before, do drills. Then it comes out rather pathetic while people around me just don’t give a shit. They do some horrific pulls with poor mobility but their face looks so confident. The last time cleaned 60kg I thought I tore my tricep tendon at the elbow because I didn’t rack it right on shoulders so elbows and wrists took the load. Few weeks later I tried again and got the bar right into the collarbone. Then you have bros in the comment section saying they don’t do deadlifts cuz dangerous but they do cleans. Yeah... my ass!
  • 3 4
 @JSTootell: People fall apart for many reasons. Many due to role models not honest about being on juice while talking like David Goggins. Apart from fitness industry misledia media, some athletes post ridiculous videos as if they had some training dialed to each rep or do some mystical exercises for the camera, omitting fundamentals they are doing. No wonder air is filled with unrealistic expectations. God knows I am buying into this myself sometimes, less than before but still.
  • 1 0
 ...
  • 1 1
 @shlotch: True. But 5/3/1 will get boring after awhile and you will plateau or even regress. Then people look towards Smolov or something like that and then wonder why their legs are fried on ride days.
  • 2 1
 @JSTootell: I wouldn't not say that the techniques used by high level college and pro athletes would destroy the body in any way. I think its the intensity at which those exercises programs are done that is the possible issue. They are not doing anything that itself is bad for the body. They are just doing so much of it, and pushing so hard in order to be in the shape they need to be in, that can have a negative long term consequence.
  • 2 0
 @PerformX: personally I enjoy my workouts on and off the bike. per week, 3x gym, 3x bike, 1x yoga.
  • 6 0
 Stepped into the sport about 3 years ago having coached predominantly Olympic/world level track & field athletes. Pains me to hear much of the "expert advice" that goes around...and don't get me started on why there are so many dislocated shoulders in elite riders. This is not a troll on all the current coaches though, personally I wanted to start helping riders but realised that similar to the PT industry unless MTB S&C coaching was marketed and packaged in colourful trendy flavours it isn't appealing to most riders so it's hard to point fingers at the coaches for delivering fluffy programmes when the consumer is fashion led. Show me an athlete that want to win rather than take selfies and I'll coach them for free.
  • 3 0
 @fit4racing: pretty easy to persuade that person actually once they're passed 35 and have been injured or have niggles and pains that wont go away unless further training stimulus is induced.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: juice is where its at Waki, and unrealistic expectations now become realistic.. Never forget that.
  • 3 0
 @bohns1: IMO, if you're 40+ and not lifting and stretching you're crazy, it's a requirement as you get older.
  • 1 0
 @smoothmoose: Same with me! I find myself more enthusiastic to get on my MTB or moto....if it's not the only form of exercise....and I am speaking as a 'recreational athlete'....not a 'professional athlete'.

Currently I'm on a 3 X week MTB (90 - 120 minutes) + 2 - 3 X week strength (dumbbells & kettlebells @ home / 30 - 45 minutes) + 2 X week moto (currently trail, but soon track / 45 - 90 minutes) + 1 - 2 X week Concept2 RowERG or SkiERG session (15 - 20 minutes) + 5 - 7 yoga session.
  • 3 0
 @LEJEND: Bravo!
  • 2 0
 I like to mix it up too. I kind of have seasons that are driven by my interest at that particular time or niggling injuries that I always seem to pick up. I get bored of riding if I ride too much. At times I do more road, but not distance - mostly just short hill repeats and short Strava section sprints. Strava really motivates me to work harder. I love lifting in the gym but I wouldn't have a one year unbroken membership and attend three times a week for that time. Swimming is an awesome sport especially if you're lucky enough to live by the sea. Football, what a great sport to play. Walking in the hills is rude too. It's all good. I just don't have the personality type to stick to the same thing full time for years. Cross training is the key to happiness and health, in my opinion. I watch Fit4Racing vids sometimes. People have criticised the fluff but the fluff is what makes time in the gym more interesting that simply hitting the Holy Trinity every week.
  • 3 0
 @bohns1: We talked about this before I have nothing against juice. I have a lot against folks on juice talking about how to get ripped or how to squat 500 in 6 months When they don’t mention the juice. Unfortunately neither testosterone nor psylocibin are legal in Sweden. We may get a loophole though thanks to transgender folks. I can identify myself as an elite athlete and I will need testosterone to get to this level. Pricey though, a year costs almost as much as AXS setZ
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: wow.. Its cheaper here than running supplements!
  • 1 0
 @shlotch:
You’re right and it's the blight of the fitness industry but more and more people are seeing through it. Problematic for mountain bikers to adjust to a model where technology doesn't offer significant benefits and the knowledge base is relatively static.
  • 1 0
 @davec113: its a requirement to do it all as u get older.. That even includes trt optimization... No stone left unturned!
  • 1 0
 There's truth in what you say but lifting alone doesn't translate to bike fitness and neither does just riding your bike if your goal is to get fast. Following a structured training program with specific goals when you're on the bike, whether that's outside or on a trainer, will yield greater results than just riding the same trails a ton and lifting. I was doing as you described but started following a structured plan with TrainerRoad plus my own structured lifting routine last fall and have seen far greater improvement than I ever did in the 20 years since I started racing. Since starting this I've realized a lot of the things I was doing, like just riding the same difficult trails all the time and not planning reduced volume rest weeks, were actually counterproductive when it came to fitness. We can learn from other sports but there is absolutely something to be said for bike specific training.
  • 2 0
 @mtbandskiforlife: Thanks for your input, and I agree with what you're saying. Often people misinterpret our advice (and others) and thing we are suggesting lifting alone is all you need to improve riding. It's important to have structure and leave no stone unturned, strength being just one of those stones.
We see the most improvement from riders who really focus on their weak areas, if you're already strong there's no point in following a strength only program for 6 months to increase by 5%, instead, keep spinning the plates of strength whilst bringing up areas you can see faster improvements in, and that is how you'll get the most from your time.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: please correct me if I’m wrong but if we took the sport as a whole (which I guess is a mistake right away) isn’t classic lifting viewed by majority as something “dirty” while “cardio” (often meaning steady state cardio), “stretching” and “functional movement” gained the status of a morning prayer? In a way that “it’s something I should be doing but never have time to”. Then we have plyometrics that nobody really has any grip on because most think that any faster movement is plyometrics and box jumps are always measured by height and nr of reps not by quality. 5 box drop jumps with a minute break?! My child can do that!

I honestly haven’t seen anybody outside of power lifting and olympic lifting world saying: classic lifts are good exercises for injury prevention. Most people see them as “meatheads do just power lifts and then ride their bikes” and a way to gain unnecessary muscle mass. I told my riding friend who has lower back issues to start lifting to strengthen his back. The reply was: “ I don’t want to get big”. As if you could fricking get power lifter kind of big/ or body builder kind of big within a month!

I must say it is worrying, along with videos of pros, including some of yours (not a criticism, everyone has their own focus!) where focus is on everything but lifts. Off course a 15min session of squats or bench is just a small part of the whole work out and protocol spread over 6 or more months, but people just keep closing their eyes as soon as there is a barbell around.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't think most people realize how hard you have to train and the diet you have to eat to "get big" like those meatheads in he gym. Its not something thats ever going to happen by accident.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: Well said. I imagine those weak areas for most people are focused around their core. I think a lot of people don't realize how important that is to their riding stance. Addressing stability has also been an area that has really helped me over the years. I have a history of shoulder issues (mainly dislocations) and focusing on addressing all aspects of shoulder strength rather than just benching a bunch has helped me immensely.

My comment was actually in response to MikerJ at the top of this thread, so hopefully you didn't take mine as a criticism to what you guys are doing. I appreciate your response and think it's awesome you guys are here to answer people's questions. There's so much good info out there on building training programs now. I wish I'd had more access to some of this when I was younger. It probably would've saved me from a lot of injuries.

It seems like you guys are focused on working with individuals primarily, that makes sense, but have you considered partnering with a platform like TrainerRoad or starting something similar? Something I think everyone struggles with is getting into a routine of just doing the same thing all the time. It'd be amazing to have structured coordinated riding and lifting programs that people could subscribe to that constantly push them to progress.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: hilarious! My wife always says that to me when I suggest she does squats and lunges. "I don't want to look strong."
I always say look at me! I've been weight training since '96 and I've never cracked 84kg! She's naturally slim. She thinks if she does a hundred bodyweight lunges a week she's suddenly going to gain 10kg of muscle and look like one of those tanned she-males with the jelly mould boobs!
  • 2 0
 @sino428: axd to that the various anabolics needed to facilitate that hard dense lean tissue hypertrophy.. It simply just doesnt happen on protein shakes and creatine... Always laugh when i hear people say they dont want to go to heavy as they dont want to be to big.. Haha.. Like u say.. Not by accident
  • 1 0
 @jaame: exactly.. My wife does the same.. It just wont happen without some testosterone and some anavar tossed in coupled with every other damn thing u gotta do correctly.. And thats given u even have the genetics to do so.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Same here, I've been a regular gym goer since college (20 year ago) and I'm still 175lbs. I'm fit, strong, and athletic because of it, but certainly not "big" in any way.
  • 1 0
 @bohns1: Yea I didn't even want to get into steroids or other "supplements" those people often take, as it is possible to get fairly big naturally. But that would even more hard work and be even less likely to happen.
  • 1 0
 I've definitely found it harder to cut the subcutaneous fat at age 40 than I did at 25. I would certainly consider juicing after I go bald. Not before mind.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I know. I get it. But people always think lifting makes you into Kali Muscle, or a drug dealer from East Europe in adidas pants, leather jacket and 1998 BMW 530. They think that it is hard not to become a walking lump of meat. Then they think that being big means being strong. Again,look at Greg Minnaar or Remy Metalier who will Outlift most meat heads at the gym always going for rep to failure. There’s more: Have you noticed how many naturally beefy guys are into weight lifting and how many Skinny dudes are into marathon and Yoga? How people latch on to whatever suits them and then bash the exact thing they are missing in their training?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Eastern Europe? or do you mean Staten Island?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "I must say it is worrying, along with videos of pros, including some of yours (not a criticism, everyone has their own focus!) where focus is on everything but lifts"
I'm sorry but I'm not sure what your perception of the type of training we do with our riders is? We incorporate classic lifts consistently and purposefully as the foundation of most of what we do.
  • 1 0
 @mtbandskiforlife: The Fit4Racing platform was developed from the ground up to do exactly what you're saying - deliver a program online that is more than just an emailed PDF. When you log onto the platform as a member you can access each training day for the week individually, each section then has a video which was filmed (by us) specifically for that day so you know exactly what to do, how to execute the movements, how to scale it and adjust depending on your ability, how to pace and many other coaching points you simply don't get from a prewritten generic program. We went live with this platform in November and since then have been working on developing more - Fit4Riding, a "Fit4Racing lite" which is a cheaper version designed for everyday riders is one new addition. We are in a constant state of development and with every release improve the service we deliver, the next stage will be even more exciting but I can't give you too much detail yet.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: I like your videos, I’ve seen your athletes doing lifts on them, I’ve heard you taking on podcasts about them. I do very similar stuff to yours personally, especially now in season. I just mean that I hear what folks talk about, I see what folks do in public gyms (and I mean folks who are obviously runners, cyclists, triathletes, Football players) and huge portion of population fears Putting anything close to their body weight on the barbell. The stigma about potential of injury and growing big is there in my opinion. As if crossfitters weren’t or body pumpers weren’t getting injured. Just wanted to check what do you think about it Smile
  • 30 2
 Does anyone have an exercise that I can use to substitute for my shake weight while I'm on the road?
  • 27 0
 I found this to be a good substitute - www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2TLjKSTc7A
  • 3 0
 I won't go down that road without whisky in me. There's kids on here.
  • 2 0
 alright folks, I'd say this comment section has been won, let's pack it up we're done here
  • 2 0
 I'm loving this right now
youtu.be/M8-tM3eZtNo
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: Bravo Sir....Bravo. haha
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: Wankers cramp is a form of arm pump. That should help with that
  • 21 1
 What is the best frequency to do gym training if I am also riding every day?
  • 11 3
 I actually don't recommend riding everyday. Remember rest is when you actually improve and there are three basic types of fatigue, mental, physical and both and each can be fatigued separately and simultaneously. Sooo, I suggest making sure you have a periodization schedule that'll help maximize your riding efforts and recovery which will include gym work to the tune of 2-3 times per week generally speaking.
  • 7 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: great answer, I support this for sure.
  • 9 0
 It can depend on a few variables (athletes body type, strengths and weaknesses, type of riding, type of gym training, etc), but in general, I would say 2 - 3 days per week of gym/strength training would suffice if riding every day (that's a lot!). I would suggest the gym/strength training "compliments" the riding....not "competes" with riding.
  • 5 19
flag JSTootell (May 6, 2020 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 This is why I don't like taking coaching too seriously. "Don't ride every day". f*ck that! I only have one life to live, I am not skipping out on my enjoyment.
  • 5 0
 @JSTootell: Don't shit on the advice the coaches are giving just because it doesn't fit your needs. If your goal is to ride every day and simply have fun that's great, but that doesn't invalidate what these trainers are saying about getting stronger, more fit, and becoming a better rider.
  • 1 5
flag skelldify (May 6, 2020 at 19:59) (Below Threshold)
 @enduromtbtrainer: says there are three types of fatigue, lists two...
  • 1 0
 The best answer is that you need to do what works for you. There is huge variance from person to person. Try different things and see what works.
  • 2 0
 The third is both together @skelldify:
  • 1 0
 Fitness is a three legged structure. Training, diet and rest. Remove one and the structure falls over.
  • 2 0
 @Pylie1: "both together" does not make a new type of fatigue. That's like saying, "If you mix chocolate and vanilla ice cream, you get strawberry," which would be totally cool, but it doesn't work that way.
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: fair call. Was just trying to make sense of it was all. It sounded like that's what he sorta meant ... to me anyway.
  • 16 1
 At what age do you stop wearing baseball caps backwards and accept your hairline's not coming back?
  • 17 0
 I will never accept it. I'm currently wearing a bandanna, does that still count?
  • 11 0
 Caps for me...

Age 20 - 30 through 35 (slow fade): insecurity = hiding baldness.
Age 36 through current: acceptance & NSG (no shits given) = hiding from sun.

I'm not tough enough for a bandana.
  • 3 0
 @AlexSplode i know 47 year olds with full heads of hair, still wearing backwards ball caps... Who cares! Rock the shit u wanna rock
  • 14 0
 What do you suggest for pre ride nutrition and post ride nutrition and recovery?
  • 6 1
 Beer. Dark beer pre, during and post.
  • 9 0
 Hello! My first answer. That could be a long answer, but pre-ride, I would suggest light/easy digestible foods prior, like rice cake + natural peanut butter, plain yogurt + oats/granola/fruit + fruit....basically any food that calorie dense yet easy to digest (not meat & potatoes!). Regarding post ride, there's a lot of research regarding increased recovery through protein powder (I like a mix of plant based) and high glycemic choices (I like natural grape juice). Would love to say more....but so many questions and limited time!
  • 4 0
 @PerformX: I know Todd is very experienced with nutrition and I support this.
  • 4 2
 @PerformX: I agree and recommend basically the same. Only thing I'd add is experiment and find out what works for you.
  • 9 0
 Dead lifts, cleans, squats--how do you prioritize? Which exercises are essential for strong body position and to aid proper riding technique?
  • 5 1
 Prioritise the movements you can do well first. Then integrate them into your training alongside learning to execute more technical lifts such as the clean. If you have little time and learning to preform more technical lifts isn’t the best use of it then seek out alternatives that require less skill but give a similar response - Olympic lifts to banded squats say.
  • 3 3
 @Lando406 - I'd add that you should do the exercises that you NEED to do based off a movement assessment. Some have tight ankles, some have tight hips, some have knee injuries, so depending on your history will determine which you should start with. But generally, squatting is most important since much of our patterning is involved in squatting. Then deads, last cleans.
  • 7 0
 For strength training, I would always suggest the basics first, in the following order: 1) Deadlifts, 2) Clean-Press (a modified PerformX version), 3) Squats, 4) Pull-up, 5) Chest Press, and 6) Back Row. But understand, prior to this I would 1) complete fitness testing and mobility testing, 2) prescribe mobility and muscle output balancing (left and right + push and pull movements), and 3) overload and develop core foundation. This is the short answer.
  • 7 0
 If one had very limited time and had to choose between doing some quality stretching vs. weight or resistance training in between their limited opportunities to actually ride. Which would you emphasize, strength or flexibility/mobility, or a quick combo of the two? What areas/exercises would you target for the most impact given very limited time for a recreational rider, ie: hip flexibility, arm/shoulder strength, etc.?
Thanks guys, love the content you put out, even more so lately!
  • 4 2
 This is hard to answer specifically b/c we each do full evaluations on our riders to determine exactly what each person needs as a priority, BUT, generally speaking, always a combo of the two. Hip mobility, core stability and strength, shoulder girdle stability and posture awareness are crucial. Remember, think like an athlete first and a rider second. Bringing your optical athleticism to the bike is always my approach.
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Well said. This is a complex answer.
  • 3 0
 There are definitely exercises and training protocols that develop both mobility & strength simultaneously, and I typically focus around hips and shoulders. Keep in mind strength can equal greater mobility....and mobility can equal greater strength. They work 'hand in hand' sort of speak.
  • 5 0
 #1. If you could only perform one gym exercise what would it be?

#2. DH MTB is a fitness sport IMO. It seems like the riders who can through 80% of the run with the least fatigue seem to do best. It allows them to finish hard. Would you agree? What do you do to increase aerobic fitness on DH tracks?

#3. What are the fitness characteristics that separates great riders from mediocre riders?

#4. What mobility work do recommend most riders work on?
  • 4 0
 #1: The next one
#2: It isn't necessarily the riders with best aerobic fitness who can sustain efforts for the duration of DH runs. Consider that efficiency, muscular endurance, power, short energy system ability, overall functional ability and a host more elements will contribute to a riders ability to sustain 100% effort at the bottom of the run. Try to look at your fitness as a combination of many physical attributes, test and find out where you are lacking and bring that up. If it genuinely is your aerobic fitness then add a focus to your training but also continue to spin the plates of all other things.
#3: Don't be shit at anything. I kind of answered this in #2.
#4: Again, find areas you suck at and focus on that more than others but continue to hit all areas. You can follow some great free yoga flow videos on Youtube, or check out Kelly Starrett for a different approach. As with most things, keep it varied but if something works for you keep doing it... until it doesn't work any more.
  • 4 0
 Jonny says it well. As we're moving fast through questions and answers....I'll see if I can add.
1) Deadlifts. Again, I would first assess an athlete based on genetics, body type, strength and weakness (testing), etc.., but call it a generic answer. Mostly do to 1) hip hinging, 2) shoulder/scapula position/development (please...necks in alignment....CHINS DOWN!!!), and grip strength. All scientifically proved exercise in downhill development (look it up!).
2) Again, this would depend on each athletes genetics, body type, strength and weakness, etc., as well as you would need to evaluate what is riders "weakest link"....or should I say holding them back physically (could be aerobic, anaerobic, grip strength/forearms, shoulder performance, etc.). So most likely you are seeing the answer that there isn't a "one size fits all" here when it comes to "fitness". Your fitness could be determined by your weakness link. But to answer 'increasing aerobic fitness on DH tracks', I would suggest riding (tempo/base building and interval/power building....but in proper timing) and rowing (added benefit of hips hinging, grip performance, and movements relative to proper riding technique).
3) The least # of "weaknesses".
4) Hip and shoulder. Dee has some great stuff through @enduromtbtrainer. Check it out.
  • 5 0
 Any tips for balancing gym work with riding?
I've heard some do gym work after the hardest day on the bike, but would that slow recovery since the muscles is potentially dehydrated?
  • 1 0
 This!
  • 2 2
 check my comment to @nathan999x above. For me, I can actually have a pretty strong ride day after a hard gym session. I'm actually a bit sore too during the ride but I have the stamina and power to give it my all. Now the day after the ride, I'm definitely fatigued and need a mellower training day.
  • 3 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Agreed. Balance and keep listening to your body, you'll know when it's too much.
  • 1 0
 It depends on what type of 'gym work' you are doing. There are certain phases/times of the year when my athletes would find their gym/strength work improves on their riding, if completed prior. This could be during movement/muscle balancing, mobility, core overload training phases, and relative strength phases. During other phases/times of the year, I have my athlete separate (with alternating days) their gym/strength work, as the training is relatively demanding, such as power and conditioning phases.

I also must add.....it's my opinion that many who also do gym/strength workouts....are training with too much volume and frequency. Again, there are many phases of training that I prescribe, but typically gym/strength training is 2 - 4 times weekly (depending on phase/time of year), 40 - 75 minutes in duration, and varying levels of intensity (moderate to maximum output).

Muscle dehydration should not be a concern.
  • 3 0
 Do you guys have any tips for grip strength, or more specifically, arm pump? I've been really into going to the climbing gym (well, not recently) to change things up and feel that this has definitely helped combat arm pump. However, i was surprised to hear from a friend that races moto that a lot of moto guys don't do grip strength exercises and instead do more cardio to help in the area. What's your guys take? or is my buddy a kook?
Thanks!
  • 2 0
 Great question and one I get a lot. It's true that a lot of MX guys turn to cardio to eliminate arm pump and the theory there is somewhat valid - the more fatigued you get the more you rely on your grip to hold onto the bike. But grip training is also valid, especially grip endurance training like climbing. The issue is, everyone has a fix and everyone feels that if it works for them it will work for everyone. The fact is, you shouldn't be looking so closely at the immediate fix, but look more broadly at the general condition you are in, if you are in good condition and have left no stone unturned (mobility, strength in all areas, hydration, nutrition, power, speed, function) you should never have an issue with arm pump, and better yet, you'll be in a great place to be the best rider you possibly can be.
  • 4 2
 In my experience arm pump originates (generally) from poor postural mechanics, tight, rounded shoulders and a rounded thoracic spine. Start with your posture. I'd even suggest seeing a physio or chiropractor to make sure your spine is optimally aligned. Then chest stretching, forearm stretching, Shoulder stability work. Bicep/tricep training and then after all this is done, look into strengthening your grip.
  • 5 0
 Yes, I think for grip strength (beyond riding) in this order: 1) Deadlifts (added benefits as well), 2) Develop shoulder/scapula strength and stability (you will hold on less), 3) Develop hip and leg strength (you will hold on less), and 4) I prescribe many exercises (Single Leg Squats, Split Squats, Wood Chops, etc.) where athlete are required to hold dumbbells (for added grip strength).

This might not be grip strengthening answers, but more about how to get more out of your current grip strength: 1) Be sure to understand wrist position (for riding and training....both are different) instruction, 2) Be sure to understand proper shoulder/scapula (for riding and training), 3) Get some on-bike coaching regarding body position and technique, and 4) Work on your mental and emotional areas....as they can override all the above.

I will add I'm 'moto guy'....and suggest/prescribe to most of my PerformX athletes....for forearm development. Mostly because it requires ALL the above (fitness, technique, and mental/emotional). Plus time flies when you are having fun!

I don't think your buddy is a kook! www.pinkbike.com/news/the-science-of-going-downhill-faster-2015.html
  • 1 0
 Wow, that sounds all like great information. Thanks a bunch guys!
  • 1 0
 I've recently got steel macebell - one of the few gym/strength items that you can still order online without crazy wait times. My forearms and grip are on fire!
  • 1 1
 @smoothmoose: Those work well for sure!
  • 1 0
 @smoothmoose: Agreed! Good tip! Very medieval.
  • 2 0
 If you were sidelined off the bike because, oh I don't know, a dog ran out in front you while you were running errands and you went OTB and really broke your clavicle and *really* did a number on your AC joint, which interval workouts would you prioritize on your trainer?
  • 2 1
 Ah bummer! Did you have surgery to repair? Assuming a doctor would clear you, I'd recommend seeing a physio or chiropractor to make sure the structural integrity of your spine, SC joint and glen-humeral joint are "in their correct" positions. From here you can do specific exercises to get the clavicle moving, to decompress the joint and then bring stability exercises into the mix. For sure you should move it in all ranges where there isn't pain. And to specifically answer your Q, do what you can that doesn't hurt with a handlebar set up that is high.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Thanks, I did have surgery to repair. My whole body (esp. neck, shoulders, sternum) felt immediately better after the surgery. It's all still pretty fresh, my post-op appointment is tomorrow.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: thanks for the info!
  • 1 1
 @pmhobson: I would encourage you to be smart. Do what the doc and PT says, with the only exception of move. Move within the ranges that don't hurt. Do isometric arm, chest and back work as long as there's no pain. Movement like this will help accelerate the healing, pump out the bad and encourage a stronger recovery.
  • 2 0
 Recovering from bone block surgery to repair my shoulder from a posterior dislocation. Due to the time between injury and repair, there's significant abrasion to the shoulder capsule as well. I'm working with a PT and personal trainer to recover, but any extra input you have for recovery would be welcome. posterior dislocations are pretty uncommon, so there isn't a wealth of knowledge on recovery.
  • 1 1
 Sorry to hear that @groghunter! Defiantly make sure your deltoids and biceps and triceps are strong. I'd suggest making sure your pec major and minors are also strong, and actually a bit tight to prevent another post dislocation. Make sure too that your clavicle is moving well at the SC and AC joints.
  • 4 0
 Agree with Dee here. As you can here...it's not a straight forward answer. I would say you would need to be assessed properly, to establish your range of motion, strength/weakness level, and pain threshold. This is a big one for me, as I have no rotator cuff muscles on my left shoulder (Bankart surgery was not successful), and had two grade 3 AC separations on my right. Without healthy shoulders....you are really limited by on-bike performance....both due to the physical demands of riding (like the hips, a very active joint, but more vulnerable as a shallow joint) and knowing you will require to protect yourself if falling (I am going to put out an article on this soon). I know all about this first hand! The benefits of being older!
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: @enduromtbtrainer thanks for input. I'll definitely look forward to your article on how to protect the shoulder. I can identify, I'm older, and on my third surgery (though two of them were for this crash, failed bankart repair, then bone block to make up for it.) They've always been my trouble joint, and never felt like I had a good read on how to keep them from getting messed up.
  • 3 0
 In your opinions who are the strongest guys on the WC/EWS circuit and where do you think you think your average bike rider who doesn't train off the bike could improve to make the biggest impact with little commitment?
  • 3 0
 It's a tough call on "who's the strongest" as "strength" is subjective and means many things. It's good to see though, that all the riders on the circuit are taking strength and conditioning seriously now.
If you could fit only 2 sessions in per week of purposeful, whole body, conditioning you would see a huge difference in your riding ability. These sessions don't need to be drawn out but it's important to warm up properly so you're in a good place to hit your sessions at full tilt. Try to incorporate upper and lower both of these sessions and where possible use weight. Seek a good trainer or a program that fits your budget and need, then your time can be put to best use and you don't need to fret about the intricacies of what to do.
  • 2 0
 Like Jonny said....'strongest' is very subjective. I would say the strongest is the person with the least 'weaknesses'.

As for where a rider (who doesn't train off-bike) could improve the most with little commitment....easy....through commitment! Commit to something, anything....being slower, faster, more fit, less fit, fun only, being competitive, etc, etc. Just commit!
  • 1 1
 Agree on my boys points. I also think the "strongest" mean those who can withstand the fatigue the longest. Part of enduro is attrition and I believe the more you can be prepared to handle the rigors for the longest time will usually be the victor.
  • 2 0
 I ride Enduro and DH, compete in the elite class down here in Mexico whenever I can show up to the races. Just do it for fun, really.
I've got a couple of questions, might just post them and see if any gets answered:

1. Quick snack 15-30min prior to workout. Sometimes I don't bother in getting up earlier just for the sake of a bigger snack.
2. How would you recommend to prioritize the different types of training. I mean, if I workout 6 days a week what would be your recommendations (%) on: Strength training, Cross functional training, riding (Long distance vs short but explosive), balance and proprioception training.
3. I see many (if not all) pros use a road bike to train. I understand the benefits since it helps to get more km in the leg and train sprints or cadence training its easier. What would be a good substitute for us mortals who can't own a road bike and do not have the time to take their MTB up and around the city any given day.

Cheers!
  • 3 1
 1- If you have a meal an hour to and hour and a half before a workout you really don't need a snack.
2- It depends on many factors, but: 1X strength training/ 1X cross training/ 1-2 long rides/ 1-2 interval workouts depending on weakness, 1x skill work
3- An indoor trainer or for miles, an easier loop in town you can do multiple times
  • 3 1
 1) I often do the same for early morning strength workout....½ serving of yogurt, oats, & fruit....quick/easy digest foods before exercise. Same if riding or rowing workout. I need 30 minutes to feel digested.
2) Regarding prioritizing training, through PerformX I prescribe the following protocol/phases (in this order) through the off/pre-season; movement/muscle balancing, mobility, core overload, relative strength, power, and conditioning. Each of these phases can last 2 - 6 weeks, depending on the athlete (keeping in mind genetics, past injuries, strength and weakness, etc.). In my opinion, each of these protocols/phases build on each other, so the athlete is best preparing for an on-season. Proprioception training is applied in small doses within these various protocol's/phases, but I believe is best developed 'on-bike' (plus added benefit of skill development).
3) I wouldn't say all pros ride road. Try putting in your mileage/time on your MTB for 'base' and aerobic development. Big hikes are great as well, plus you can enjoy with your significant other and dog....unless you have a fascination with lycra? Kidding.
  • 2 0
 When squatting, whats your take on the "ass to grass" mantra, is it unnecessary strain on the knee or is it beneficial to work the full range of motion under load? I would argue that my bikes geometry (seat location) doesn't let my leg bend to an acute angle when riding, so maybe I don't need to strengthen this range?
  • 3 2
 Lot's here on this question! I personally don't recommend loaded ATG squats for most people. Getting into the low squat position like many cultures do to converse, I do recommend. Most people don't have the hip/pelvis/ankle mobility and muscular flexibility to get down that low along with the fact that most can't stabilize their spine either in general squat patterns let alone max range of motion. Those combinations, or lack thereof, for me, means there's no reason for most people to perform a loaded ATG squat move.
  • 4 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: The biggest concern for me when I see people trying to "reach depth" or "getting deep enough" is that they lose sight of spinal integrity simply to reach a desired depth. The "correct" depth is likely one you can reach while maintaining your spinal curve whilst being stable. I see very few people who can do this and get ass to grass.
  • 3 1
 @fit4racing: 100%! The old "butt wink"
  • 2 0
 Quick answer....go as deep as you can go without 'tucking hips' or possibly knee strain/pain. If tucking hips or knee pain....then I would address (most likely lack of mobility) prior to concerning yourself about squats. Often it's in the hips (anterior/posterior imbalances) and ankles (limited dorsi flexion). This is why I address movement/muscle imbalances and mobility training prior to strength (specific), power, and conditioning phases. Regarding your limitations 'on-bike' (due to geometry of seat, etc.), this should not dictate your range of motion in squats (or any exercises). To recruit muscles (I like to refer to 'movements' more often) thorough, you should always (in my opinion and experience) explore full range of motion (with the guidance of a professional). There's way more to it than this (injury prevention, psychological impact, biomechanics, etc., etc.), but I didn't want to blow by your question without some input. I'm going to explain further on my new YouTube channel in near future (PerformX Training / www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA/featured?view_as=subscriber).
  • 4 1
 For a time limited amateur with a full time job trying to build endurance, how should I split my time between low intensity aerobic training and higher intensity workouts?
  • 3 1
 I assume you are asking about improving for general riding?
You can commute to work. If you have a gym at work, take half your lunch break and work under 75%. Add Running. And you can do 2-3 days a week of LSD with 1-2 interval work, but don't forget you can gain endurance by what you do in the gym as well!
  • 3 0
 It generally depends on what time you have where you can combine low intensity with say, a commute, or without leaving the house so the total time is less. In general, if you work a 9-5 and can't ride though the week but can at weekends you should aim for strength and conditioning 3 days per week split by lower intensity (2 days) this would fit with a 1 hour a day 5 days per week schedule. This though, depends on how well you handle volume, some can do more, others need to work up to it.
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer and @fit4racing have you covered!
  • 1 0
 Once you are into your riding season, how do you maintain that "snap" in your performance without over training? That on demand power in the middle of a sustained climb to get over an obstacle.


Also, do you recommend Yoga (or other stretching type routines) on strength days?
  • 2 1
 Make sure you still get in the gym twice a week when "in season." Snap typically comes from muscular stability and strength and most riders stop going the gym once the season begins and that's a mistake.
Stretching.. we each prescribe mobility and flexibility based off what a client needs. But strength days should begin with a dynamic warm up and light stretching of problematic areas and mobility work, myofascial stretching and decompression exercises at the end. @yoga15app knows what's up for mtb
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: I agree, the loss of snap comes from a lack of conditioning, keep spinning the plates while you're on season.
  • 1 0
 This snap you mention, I would call this POWER. For me power is the end goal with athletes. Through a series of off-season training phases (I've outlined in answers above a few times), I focus on developing athletes maximum power (within a time frame). Once this is achieved in the off-season, then I shift things to maintain this power, where the balance between training, racing, and recovering is important. Definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Yoga and stretching are not the same. I suggest you do yoga and stretch. I would suggest Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, for flexibility, mobility, strength, and mind/spirit. As for stretching, there's a lot out there. Try it all, but I do suggest 'The Stark Reality of Stretching'.
  • 1 0
 Any recommendations for someone who has a torn meniscus which is now causing a bakers cyst. I have previously had ACL & PCL reconstruction on the same knee.
Would you go straight for Surgery or is there a maintenance program you guys could recommend. Thanks
  • 2 1
 Hmm, lot's to know before answering, but since I can' find that info out, here's my general response! Talk with your Doc first. Check with a physio to see if they can help. Then I'd say be sure all your hamstring and calf musculature are as supple as possible, start at the hip and clear the hip, then move down the leg. Dry needle trigger point therapy is beneficial too. Also working the back of the knee in the tissue around the cyst is helpful.
  • 1 0
 Great advice from @enduromtbtrainer. Has anyone (professional) suggested arthroscopic surgery? Maybe ask your doctor/surgeon's (who'm ever performed your surgery's / viewed your MRI) advice.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: hiya yes I have had an MRI and surgery has been recommended. A friend had arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus tear two years ago and hasn't had great success.
I just dont want to go straight to the surgeon as a solution. Though I dont think I'm going to have much choice. Knee is significantly inflamed and painful.
Thanks a million for taking the time to write
  • 1 0
 Regardless of performance on the bike and stuff. What is more benefitial to prevent injury in case of a crash, you reckon. Very good mobility (do Yoga, stretching, fascia training) or pure muscle/strength (hit the gym, do weights). Obviously combination of the two is the way to go. But still.
  • 1 1
 You actually answered your question! I agree that both are important. One thing you must do during the season is gym work for sure and hitting the areas that you know are weaknesses and/or prior injury sites.
  • 4 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: I agree, a combination of mobility/flexibility and strength. Adam Brayton has had some hideous crashes and come out relatively unscathed because 1: He has a good amount of strength and muscle mass and 2: He's from the fells of Cumbria and made of pure stone inside.
  • 1 2
 @tedchalk - learn from my smart ass, try hard stupidity: no point in going hard in the gym as a mean of injury prevention for riding. Cuz you’ll injure yourself in the gym Big Grin you may have an underlying genetic issue or overuse injury and going too hard will make it come out. Like my bloody SI joint! As James Wilson said: there’s nothing more stupid for a Downhiller than getting injured in the gym.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd love to hear your SI story, send it to me in a ping or info@enduromtbtraining.com, might have a few tricks up my sleeve for you
  • 2 0
 I'll go with @enduromtbtrainer on this....mobility/flexibility and strength are both important. I think you get it....but I'll this for others reading...

Regarding mobility/flexibility: 1) To possibly prevent a fall; mobility/flexibility can aid movement on-bike, so this might prevent a rider from going OTB (over the bars), etc., if they can move better/further on the bike. 2) To possibly prevent an injury from a fall; think of it this way, how would a rag doll (supple) tumble if you tossed it across the ground? Now do the same with a 'Barbie doll' (rigid). As you can imagine....the 'Barbie doll' would tumble violently (compared to the rag doll).

Regarding strength: 1) To possibly prevent a fall; strength can support you during big impacts and hits, so you stay on bike (instead of falling/crashing). 2) To possibly prevent an injury from a fall; strength could offer you the support (especially in arms and legs) from body and head impacts. See youtu.be/Gs5jDthyqXM
  • 4 0
 Any ideas on pre-ride warm up? Just quick to open up hips, IT bands, etc without looking like a jerry?
  • 3 0
 Lunges are always a good movement to get things open, try pushing the knee out at the bottom to really open up. You could probably get away with doing these discreetly.
  • 1 1
 Squats, lunges, leg swings, hip openers, jump rope
  • 2 0
 Try 2 - 3 minuets of this yoga combo youtu.be/7J3YOekAP4w. Even if you can't 'flow' through the entire time, break it up in 2 - 3 sets X 1 minute per set of this combo. I really like the hip and shoulder hinging as warm-up/priming pre ride.
  • 1 0
 Does it make sense to train basic fitness, in German Grundlage G1 (with 60 - 75 % of your max puls) if you can only do 45min (during lunch brake in the gym). Or do these low pulse work outs only make sense if you can do it for 2 hours and more?
  • 2 0
 What else are you doing?
  • 2 1
 So I really don't like to work out or exercise, but I enjoy riding my bike. I'm not really concerned with performance as I'm feeling pretty good about my riding, though I'm working on technique; got a trials bike to practice some stuff.

Do many regular folks do this stuff? I only have one buddy who trains and even he doesn't go as far as this ...
  • 1 1
 Do many folks do what? Skills work?
Keep in mind that gym work also helps improve your skills due to the fact that you are working on improving how your body moves. The better moving body, the easier it is to learn new skills. It's like soft malleable clay vs hard brittle clay, which is easier to mold and shape?
  • 2 0
 As "Elite" as Fit4Racing may seem, most of our clients are actually riders who simply want to enjoy their bike time more. Many of them work 9-5 and can't ride through the week and can get to the gym, therefore it makes sense that the work they put in contributes to their passion. I'm sure loads of them would love to ride more but can't, but in my opinion they may actually become better riders as a result.
  • 2 0
 I assume you are asking if 'regular folks' train off-bike. Here in Squamish, I would say 50% of 'regular folk mtb'ers' ride only....50% ride and do some for of 'exercise' (gym, yoga, pilates, run, and/or more). I would not suggest working out/exercising if you don't enjoy it. That sounds counterproductive to quality of life.
  • 1 0
 If you had 3 days a week to lift how would you structure it? Push pull legs? Full body each time? Or the obvious arms arms arms?

One more question, for an athlete in a performance sport like enduro or dh would you recommend staying in a caloric deficit, maintenance, or surplus? I could see pros and cons to all 3.

Thanks for your time!
  • 2 0
 I'll take the first part of this question and Todd can take the nutrition.

The mistake we see many riders making when splitting their training is following a traditional "bodybuilder" split. This is often because they are influenced by trainers or friends who advise them only on what they know. It is important then to see your training sessions as performance improvement time and not maximal growth time... which is debatable to the 3 day split anyway.
So if you train 3 days, don't neglect any area. You can certainly have a focus, so if you are building leg/hip strength on a particular day you can integrate a more upper body focus on the condition in that same session.
I hope this helps.
  • 2 0
 Quick answer; 1 day per week lower body strength, 1 day per week upper body strength, and 1 day per week whole body strength & conditioning.

Most exercise would be compound/multi-joint movements, including; Deadlift, Clean-Press (a modified version), Leg Pull (with exercise ball), Knee Pull (with exercise ball), Squat (various versions), Pull-up (or pulldown), Chest Press, and Back Row.

I must add....PLEASE FOCUS on execution and body alignment regarding the exercises above. I know many do these compound/multi-joint movements above (I see it on social media, YouTube, etc.), but I really do believe 75% (or more) are executing these movements with no understanding of alignment and kinetics (example; chin up when performing Deadlift, Squats, etc....elevated/protracted shoulders when performing Deadlifts, Chest Press, Back Row, Cleans, etc.). I do not prescribe these exercises to be strong at them (training is not a competition). I prescribe these exercises to develop movement, stability, and sports specific strength/power.

For those interested, I'll demonstrate the proper execution and body alignment (my opinion) on my NEW YouTube channel (PerformX Training / www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA/featured?view_as=subscriber) soon.
  • 1 0
 I'm in a frustrating spot where every ride I go on seems like the most difficult thing in the world. I know I'm getting faster (on both the ups and downs) thanks to Strava, but I'm just so exhausted it's f*cking miserable. I often get lightheaded mid-climb and just want to lay down and die. This is my eleventh year of riding/racing so I'm not a beginner to this. I just don't know how to get over feeling like shit when putting in effort.

Am I not recovering? Not eating enough? I'm Front Range based so my average weekday rides are ~10-12 miles with 1,600-3,000 feet of elevation gain.
  • 2 1
 Fellow front ranger!
To me there are a few issues- 1. Overtraining. 2. Hydration 3. Nutrition 4. Breathing. 5. Sleep/recovery - how are these issues for you?
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Hey Dee, thanks for replying. I'm trying to find out if I'm over trained, but if I had to guess, I would say I am. Looking back on the last 4 weeks, my best rides were when I stopped riding for 6 days to do some home improvement.

2. Hydration usually isn't an issue for me.
3. Nutrition is probably better than most, but I suspect I may not be eating enough. I just started tracking my calories to be certain. What caloric intake would you recommend for someone riding 50-75 enduro miles a week in the FR?
4. My breathing might be terrible? I'll have to pay attention.
5. I've been struggling with quality sleep lately. I've been trying to improve it, but despite my best efforts it doesn't seem to want to improve.
  • 2 1
 @fullendurbro: Oh ya, there's some good room for improvement!
Food- enough can definitely be an issue especially if you are reading 50-75 miles in the FR! I don't have enough info to give you a solid answer, but I'd imagine 4-5k kcal a day, including when riding.
Breathing, yes. Work to find a rhythm similar to two small breathes in, one big one out. Try visa versa too, a little bit of experiment will go a long way. AND I'd have to make sure your thoracic spine and thorax were actually supple and your diaphragm was working correctly... lot's to do with posture.
Sleep is HUGE! CBD can help, 50mg before bed. I also have other things we can talk about.
  • 1 0
 I have to admit....I'll scratch my head a bit on this one. If you are going fast on ups and down (with proven performance through Strava), and you can push your physical limits (due to strong bike skills), then I think you should be exhausted. My question would be to better understand what you classify 'exhausted'. You used 'most difficult thing in the world', 'f*cking miserable', and 'lay down and die' in the first sentences. I know many want a nutritional or training recommendation, but I want to add that at least 50% of my training clients improve more through working on their mental and behavioural training.

I'm not saying that physical recovery, calories, and training might not have flaws, just be open to what I've mentioned above. There's also many other questions I would have as well, but I got to move on to others!
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Thanks, Dee. I messaged you about getting some training together at the end of last season but decided to hold off so that I could pay off my student loans this year. Getting together with you is still on my list of things I'd like to do.

Funny you mention CBD as I've just started taking it to help with sleep in the last 30 days. It does seem to help a bit.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: I think you've scratched the surface of the second piece of this puzzle for me. I think that fitness and nutrition are a piece of the puzzle for me, but I've also struggled with anxiety my whole life. In my riding, that manifests itself by obsessively worrying about my performance. For example, if I had a bad ride on Monday because I felt over trained and exhausted, I'll spend all of the work day on Tuesday worrying about how I'll feel on my ride, so of course when I swing my leg over the bike, I've set myself up for failure.

It's a work in progress, but not an easy thing to manage. Thanks for your input!
  • 4 0
 Who is the sexiest person you have ever trained, and why is it Josh Tofsrud?
  • 2 0
 Wait a second...did you just ask a question...then answer it. Are you a Republican??? Sneaky.

BTW....it is not JT. I only find him attractive.
  • 1 0
 From a nutrition and exercise standpoint what do you recommend generally to athletes recovering from shoulder dislocations? I know there are a lot of variables so let's assume that its an anterior dislocation and the athlete's cleared to start training again.
  • 1 1
 Well, hydrate properly- half your body weight in ounces each day. Eat clean and supplement with missing/lacking nutrients. Are you seeing a physio the PT?
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: When you say half of body weight, is that in pounds or kilograms?
  • 1 0
 Patience and persistence is key. But you also have to go slow with PT as the muscles will recover faster than tendons, and it's possible to damage them 6-12 months or so post-injury if you're training too hard. I lost a long-head bicep tendon, it looks funny but luckily is mostly cosmetic. This is why I posted, if I were to do anything different it would be to limit intensity of upper body training for a longer time. There may be no pain to dissuade you until it's too late as well.
  • 1 0
 No prescriptions from me until a proper assessment. The shoulder is a shallow joint, complex, and there are many variables. Assumptions have bit me in the ass in this job. Start with your doctor/surgeon, followed by physio/sports medicine specialist.
  • 1 0
 Hi Jonny I’m eating sh*t loads of pies at the minute, will this affect my performance when I’m back? In all seriousness how many times a week should I be training at the moment with the racing being so unsure? P.s if you want some pies please drop me a message off what you would like ???? Miss you ????
  • 2 0
 I can't handle any more pies mate, the last load were all gone in less than 3 days.... which certainly hasn't helped my performance! Haha!

The amount you train at the moment depends on how much riding you can actually do. Say this amount is minimal, train more for sure but make sure it doesn't become a chore. My suggestion is to train as much as you can handle, keeping an eye on your recovery. Any "spare" time, use it on recovery techniques.

Missing you too brother. X
  • 2 0
 I DM'ed you my address. Fedex me 6 pies. I'll then tell Richie to take it easy on you.
  • 2 0
 I have constant tightness/pain around my SI joint. I do a fair amount of mobility work for both my posterior and anterior chain but can't seem to resolve this. Any suggestions?
  • 1 1
 Many.
Have you seen a physio or chiropractor? Have you had a car accident or serious accident? Have you had tailbone trauma? Myofascial stretching and ELDOA exercises (which i can teach you) are your best options as the sacrum has 22 axises of movement and a proper assessment and correction is primary. Think of your sacrum as the "basement/foundation" to your spinal building. If it's off, the rest of your spine and hips will be too. In the end it can come from many place and b/c of many issues so it's hard to answer with any specificity.
  • 1 0
 Great advice from @enduromtbtrainer. His ELDOA is a great start.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: and @enduromtbtrainer - I went through ELDOA and I was really good right away since I do work on my hamstrings and psoas a lot (All glutes as well) but deadlifts and hanging L-sits keep flaming up my SI Joint. No form of Squat does it. My form on DL is good. I can do 100kg squat x5 - at worst a bit of tension. 100kg deadlift and I can feel it. I not only stretch psoas I did some Athlean X style conditioning. My only precondition I can think of is medium tightness between L3 and L4 - according to my physio and it does hurt a bit when SI flares up.

For instance, I can touch my toes any time, after short warm up I put both palms on the floor, with few days of stretching, I can put my forehead into my knees to top that. On a regular gym day, If I warm up, foam roll, do plyo with eccentric, mobilize ankles, stretch calves, - I may get buttwink on squat, but only when I go below horizontal thighs. And it's a slight wink, not something one can observe on physio videos of poor souls being put through stretch hell. I never go below horiozontal on squats. I have ZERO mobility issues with deadlift form, even for straight leg deadlift. Last thing I can think of: my left ankle (have problem on left part of SI for the most part) is tighter than right one.

Just More ELDOA?
  • 1 0
 With the gyms closed, all I have is body weight exercises and a set of kettlebells (10, 15, 20, and 25lbs). What exercises would you recommend to make the most with these without having access to the real deal barbells?

I'm used to doing squats, deadlifts, bench, and overhead press as my main lifts, but struggling to simulate anything similar at home. Every workout I find online is setting me up with a bunch of different exercises, so struggling to narrow it down to the most effective exercises with these lower weights to get into a normal routine.
  • 1 1
 There are a lot of recommendations but to keep it short I'd say check out each of our social media channels as we've put out free workouts for the home during this time.
@fit4racing / @enduromtbtrainer / @PerformX
  • 2 0
 Think about the physics of movement and how you can manipulate the weight you do have and gravity to increase the strain.
For example, single leg squats (pistols) are great to add load and continue getting stronger with bodyweight only.
Pike push-ups or even handstand push-ups can load the shoulder well enough to replace a barbell.
Many of these movements will increase your functional ability also, so you may well be in a better place from having a break from the "real deal barbells".
  • 1 0
 I've just started a YouTube page (due to our current situation)....so check out a dumbbell routine I've posted. I'll post more next week, including some stretching, yoga, and rowing workouts.

NEW PerformX YouTube page: www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA/featured?view_as=subscriber
  • 1 0
 And I have free home workouts on www.enduromtbtraining.com/blog and Live facebook recordings on my FB page @enduromtbtraining
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: IG is @performx_training
  • 1 0
 Is there any scientific journal or other medium that publishes reputable research dealing directly with mountain biking? I'm interested if the basis for your training stems primarily from research in other sports or if there is a direct link behind these exercises and mountain bike performance. I recall hearing from someone (I think it was Todd) that grip strength and grip endurance is an indicator of mountain bike performance in gravity disciplines. I would love to read the study indicating this, or do the research myself if it hasn't been tested!
  • 1 0
 I need an objective assessment of my weak areas. XC racer here. Jumping into enduro for the first time when events resume. I can't rely on my own strength/skill/mobility assessments to guide my training focus. I'm worried about the industry focusing on the "just for fun" rider. Riding is never work to me and training in the gym is just as meaningful to me as being on the trail because I am doing it to make race results improve, which increases fun. I can't find anyone here in Western PA to evaluate me without just trying to train me to road bike on dirt.
  • 1 1
 Love your dedication! And agree 100% with your XC mindset!, we are not dirt-roadies! Each of us performs online screenings and provides online coaching and know we can help. I'm at www.enduromtbtraining.com. Jonny's at www.fit4racing.com and Todd is at www.performxracing.com
  • 1 0
 Hello, I hope all is well.

I am trying to build my endurance base and was curious what you would recommend. Currently, I am doing LSD (Long Slow Distance) and just trying to log as many miles as possible. Is there benefit for adding in sprints, which have a longer recovery time for me?

Thanks!
  • 2 0
 You definitely want to develop your aerobic system (base training / LSD), but you also want to make the transition to sprints and workouts you often see from @fit4racing (circuit style). Short story....endurance helps develop power....power helps develop performance.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX : your assessment of the Adam the Privateer's lack of hamstring mobility stuck with me (I am sure I would give him a run for his money). Is it just a matter of stretching them daily ie touching my toes or can I use a foam roller or do any other movement to try and gain mobility there?
  • 2 1
 @djyosh Don't forget about stability and how lack of it can create tightness in order to provide "stability" to the body.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: point taken. I definitely need to work on strength in a lot of other areas so will work on it as an overall project rather than just focus on hammy stretching. Thanks!
  • 2 0
 Ha! I can't believe the number of people who've said the same to me regarding Adam's lack of hamstring/hip mobility! I had 2 people try and explain this to me in Italian while on a trail ride in Croatia. Never forget it....including my explanation! Ok...now your question. First understand, much of physical traits are genetic (you might find the same in your parents). This doesn't mean you are doomed, but there will be limitations.

Simply put, a shortened muscle has too much overlap of actin and myosin filaments, which can lead to the muscle being under active, consequently weak. In other words, short muscles are weak muscles.

I suggest training the hamstring (and hip) through various hip exercises (with exercise ball - knee and leg pull + squats + deadlifts + leg adduction/abduction + more), as strength = mobility. Keep in mind, training the hamstring alone is not enough. Everything is connect, so reciprocating exercises are important as well. I'll add some examples on my NEW YouTube channel soon (www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA?view_as=subscriber), or hit me up at todd@performxracing.com if you don't see soon enough.

I also suggest stretching the hamstring (and hip) both statically (traditional stretch held) and dynamically (yoga, pilates, etc.). Again, I will post some stuff on my YouTube page soon.

Otherwise, @enduromtbtrainer has you covered for foam rolling and various other release techniques. As you'll also often see with @fit4racing training routines, hip hinging (deadlifts, Russian swings, rowing, and more) is key.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: thanks for the detailed reply. I had just been blaming cycling in general for the lack of hamstring and hip mobility (as this is a common theme at post-ride events). A serious lack of exercising/stretching/training could also be a factor. Subbed to your channel and will be checking out the content to slowly get my aging parts in some decent shape to try to build up some resilience and flexibility.
  • 1 0
 I’m 52 but starting to feel like I’m starting to lose some of my stamina. I’m often maxing out my heart rate around 180+ BPM on punchy long climbs. I’m hoping if I can improve my strength I can bring that heart rate down a bit. I’ve started doing yoga, more core, and focusing more on leg workouts, including deadlifts. Any recommendations on what type leg exercises I should focus on to improve my climbing strength?
  • 1 0
 Yes, it sounds like you need a bit more endurance to start. But you always hit the basics like many posts have mentioned, but squats, lunges, deadlifts (both regular and romanian). Keep doing your stability and mobility work as those improve so too will your stamina and strength. Try working a strength workout twice a week for three weeks, take a bit of an active rest during the fourth week and I bet you'll see a change you'll like Smile
  • 1 0
 I'm 52 as well. I would like to answer your question here, and say try this, this, and this, but there are so many variables regarding stamina/endurance, strength, and even what exercises to prescribe. A mix of strength training, cardiovascular/on-bike training, yoga, and stretching is what I typically suggest to the recreational athlete/rider. Keep in mind strength training does support endurance (and vice versa).

But to answer your exercise question, I would focus on compound/multi-joint movements, including; Deadlift, Clean-Press (I teach a modified version), Leg Pull (with exercise ball), Knee Pull (with exercise ball), Squat (various versions), Pull-up (or pulldown), Chest Press, and Back Row. You can go to my NEW YouTube page (www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA?view_as=subscriber), with more content being added soon. You can also me up at todd@performxracing.com.

Also be sure to check out the following:

- www.enduromtbtraining.com / @enduromtbtraining
- www.instagram.com/fit4racing / @fit4racing
- www.performxracing.com / @performx_training
  • 1 0
 What are people doing right now without access to a gym, weights (sold out) or equipment? Has anyone taken a look at some solid body weight exercises that can be done without all this?
Personally, I have been doing a body core and postural workout that complements my riding. Check out Mark Lauren - You are Your Own Gym or his excellent EFX program for true full body strength!
  • 1 0
 Look into www.ancoretraining.com and use code ENDUROMTB. It's the first travel/home cable machine that fit's in your hand. Add bands, a ball, some dbells and you should be GTG. Each of us have free home workouts on our pages and you can find my facebook live workouts on my page at @enduromtbtraining
  • 2 0
 Best advice for someone who has to labor hard at his 40 hour a week job? I do asphalt work - Shoveling, raking, lifting awkward objects.
  • 2 1
 In my eyes you are one of those few riders who gets to ride more than go the the gym. BUT, when you go to the gym prioritizing strength work will be important, so I'd say once a week strength work and then the variable riding workouts. AND be aware b/c of your hard labor work, it's a high likelihood that you may fatigue more quickly during your training since you've used much of your energy during the day so pay attention and rest when needed, and don't forget to eat and hydrate a lot!
  • 1 0
 I assume you are riding MTB a few days per week, if so, I'd suggest yoga 3 days per week (say Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). I like starting or ending my day with it. I think it will compliment your labor job well. Here's a couple links to videos I think that will compliment your type of physical labor:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZ7jGGov-k:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NW9pcHCryg

Now keep in mind, it can take 2 - 3 weeks to get things rolling, and possibly making it a habit. So stay committed for the 3 sessions per week X 2 - 3 weeks. Trust me, you'll feel the difference in mind and body.

Now if you want to add something to the above, and can get 2 dumbbells or kettlebells (15 - 25 lbs will do), check out my NEW PerformX YouTube page (www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pJWyGk42r2gH7pa5hp0SA?view_as=subscriber). I have a good little dumbbell/kettlebell session that won't burn you out (about 20 - 30 minutes total), and I think stimulate muscles/movements your are not using in your job (that will assist in your MTB riding).
  • 1 0
 I am at the age where delayed onset muscle soreness is a regular occurrence. After a hard ride I’ll take it easy the next day but the second day is when I’m sore but I want to ride . Any suggestions. Thanks!
  • 10 0
 Ride again the next day! and the next, and the next....

Can't get hungover if you never stop drinking, right?

right?
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: actually there is some truth to this, on a philosophical note I try to ride every day as you never know what tomorrow will bring. .
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: Amen to that. Ride one for me since I'm waiting on a clavicle to heal (see my question above if you're curious -- i wasn't even mountain biking!)
  • 4 0
 Do some research on recovery techniques, particularly around nutrition. DOMS is something that you can overcome with consistency though, but in the meantime, look at how you can reduce the soreness so you can get back out and ride more.
  • 1 0
 Before I answer, I would want to know more about your 'hard ride' (length, level of output, type, etc.)? Age? What other form of exercise do you do? What does your diet consist of? Quick answer....check in with @enduromtbtrainer regarding foam rolling and release techniques.
  • 1 0
 Hey guys,
Ive been an avid MTB rider for years and also have a degree in Athletic Training. How would one go about getting involved in training MTB/motocross/cyclist athletes in the competitive scene?
Thanks!
Graham
  • 2 0
 This is a difficult question as I'm sure we all became MTB trainers in different ways. My suggestion is to train as many people as possible with a view of increasing performance in their given sport. Getting straight into such a specific sport too early can compromise your ability to see outside the box. During your time of training for performance you may end up with a pro MTB racer to add some trust with other, then more will come.
Do what you do well, have your own "style" and enjoy what you're doing, much of the rest is out of your control.
  • 1 0
 Educate > practice (techniques on yourself) > educate > practice (techniques on others) > educate > hustle.

Results will promote you.
  • 3 0
 Hi, You can make a decent healthy meal with 3 ingredients. What do you recon is the three key ingredients to success.
  • 2 0
 Good challenge!
The difficulty here is macro vs micro nutrients. To have a nutrient dense carbohydrate I'd suggest a sweet potato, then protein (with good omega 3) salmon, and it's a tossup between an oil for additional fat or nutrient dense veg like kale.
I skirted around a little but hope it helps.
  • 2 0
 I can't give you any healthy advice based on only 3 ingredients. It's like asking to build a good bike with only 4 components.
  • 1 0
 I've literally just finished this vid that is almost 3 ingredients, but super easy and good for anyone looking for an easy and nutritions meal: fit4racing.com/the-zone/easy-meal-prep-slow-cooked-salmon
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: Going to give it a go! Thanks!
  • 3 0
 I believe someone messed up the layout? Eric from Giro is under Dee's photo?
  • 1 0
 Good eye
  • 2 0
 Maybe that's what Dee was referring to when he listed himself as a "believer".
  • 2 0
 If you could give an intermediate/advanced rider only three exercises to best improve performance, what three exercises would you recommend?
  • 5 0
 Squat, Deadlift, Pull-up.
  • 1 1
 To add to jonny's... Lunge, push up, bent over row
  • 3 0
 I would suggest you choose 6 of the best exercises....and agree with @fit4racing and @enduromtbtrainer exercise recommendations.
  • 1 0
 I suffered a ruptured tendon in my thumb fromy bars ripping my thumb in the wrong direction during a crash. I'm back riding but it's still feeling weak. Any hand exercises I can do to build strength back into it?
  • 1 2
 Did you have surgery to repair it?
  • 1 0
 @sidekicksjn: I assume you are in PT?
  • 2 0
 Not sure when you suffered this injury....but time might be your best answer. If more than 6 - 9 months since injury....see your surgeon and/or PT. Otherwise, see us three guys favourite 6 strength exercises above. You will develop grip strength if applying these exercises correctly.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: Yeah it was just over a year ago now. Will give those exercises a try.
  • 1 0
 As a mountain biker, what's the best way to balance strength vs cardio training? I know that doing cardio after weight lifting can "kill your gains bro" for example. How to prioritize both in and out of season?
  • 1 0
 Much of the "science" can lead you down a path of being too cautious. If doing a ride after a heavy session is the only way to get either of them in then it's definitely going to be better to do that than not. Yes, some evidence suggests it's not optimal to train "cardio" after a heavy session, so consider reducing the time you spend lifting and integrate that into a conditioning workout, this way you will increase your capacity and strength/function.
  • 1 0
 100% agree with @fit4racing on this. I would also want to know the details regarding your strength and cardio training. 75% of the strength work I prescribe to athletes would not be inhibited if followed with on-bike riding/cardio.
  • 1 0
 Im a fat, unfit 40 year old. Everything hurts after ive ridden my bike. However I want to beat my mates at trail riding. I can ride twice a week and do one other thing. What should that be?
  • 1 0
 Basically you should harden the funk up. Seriously though I feel your pain, probably yoga.
  • 2 1
 A gym workout that will training the entire body during that session with flexibility/mobility work at the end. Keep riding, it'll take some time but you'll get there!
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Yes, agreed. Gym doesn't always mean pain and stiffness. You can certainly strengthen and increase your bike ability while still becoming more mobile. Choose large compound movements and in the early days keep it light and focus on good movement.
  • 2 0
 Buy an e-bike. Too soon?

Seriously....listen to the guys advice above.
  • 2 0
 My lower back gets tight when doing a lot of climbing, are there exercises or stretches that I can do to eliminate this, or should I just climb less?
  • 1 1
 Hmm, lot's of options but the obvious to me are: is your bike fit correctly? Have you had your seat fitted to the width of your sit bones? Do you stretch or train in the gym? What do you do for work... do you sit most of the day?
  • 1 0
 Sorry....but this is not Q&A type answer from my side. Full assessment and evaluation required to even attempt to answer. Quick answer....yoga and ride.
  • 4 0
 Sumo vs conventional. Which is better for MTBers?
  • 3 0
 Conventional for sure. I'd go as far as to say more on the side of Romanian. The reason? You're training the hinge to increase your on-bike ability, not just to lift more weight. A more stiff leg deadlift really makes use of the posterior chain without relying on quads, which are often strong in riders anyway.
While we're on, high bar back squat every time, leave the low bar for the powerlifters. Same reasoning as above but in reverse - quads vs hinge.
  • 2 0
 @fit4racing nailed it. Conventional. You are not training to be better at training. You are training to better at riding (I am assuming).
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: @PerformX Thanks!
How do front squats fit into the mix? I tend to do low-bar as my main with front as an accessory...

Also, any thoughts on deficit and snatch-grip deadlifts?
  • 2 0
 @JCO: Front squats are fantastic but we see so many injuries and movement restrictions in wrists and shoulders with riders it's difficult to create a good front rack position. We often prescribe them but with options around mobility restrictions and if all else fails high bar back squats. The important point here is that you're not performing a front squat at all costs, regardless of safety, the efficacy of the movement hinges on you loading correctly, which of course means a good connection to the shoulder and not having the bar on your wrists. If however, you were to be doing lighter weight front squats or thrusters at a weight you can safely fully grip then that is fine, but more for conditioning pieces. I would still go high bar backsquat and front accessory if you're a serious lifts (which is sounds like you are) but add in deadlifts once a week, so for instance the famous Hatch squat program would be twice per week back and front on the same say (both high bar) and I'd add in pulls through the week to balance, then consider a pulling focus for the next cycle (note - this is more high level "hybrid" content where your focus might not only be improving riding but all performance/strength).
Deficit is good if you're very mobile but be cautious, I see far too many people mindlessly following a program and adding them in even without being able to perform a regular deadlift safely. Good movement first, always.
Snatch grip - GREAT! Especially from the hang, don't stress about doing them from the ground unless you're bothered about getting better at snatching. Instead, bring the bar from a rack to standing and hinge over to just above the knee, this is a fantastic upper back and hip movement that we prescribe in our programs often, the crossover to riding is amazing.
  • 2 0
 @JCO: @fit4racing has nailed it.

FYI....I don't prescribe front squats. I prescribe deadlifts with various grips....but it's often mobility and alignment that's more critical. Simply put....I have no problem challenging conventional strength, power, and olympic lifting exercises/movements to improve (my opinion/experience) on their application for MTB biomechanics and development.
  • 1 0
 Do you think athletes are maintaining a good level of fitness? And for the ones who cant get outside as much as others what do you think they should work on most to come back trail riding.
  • 2 0
 Regarding professional athletes/competitors....it's hard to say what others are doing, but I have NOT been prescribing “fitness maintenance” (not in the true sense) to PerformX athletes through the past couple months. My thoughts on this is that it’s too high of a demand when considering the following: 1) we had already completed 60 – 70% of off-season preparation, so a fairly high level of ‘fitness’ to ‘maintain over extended period 2) we are not sure the length of this period….or should I say when back to racing, 3) higher priorities in life right now, like staying healthy, supporting family at home, etc. 4) motivational landscape, meaning, what are we targeting, and 5) limited access to training facilities and riding.

Regarding those who can't get outside to ride as much, I would say take advantage of the time, and focus on strength/weight training, yoga/mobility work, indoor cycling/rowing (if possible), and nutrition. Basically use all the extra time not riding to something productive, possibly even new.
  • 1 1
 I think @PerformX said it perfectly and share the same approach. I'm actually curious to see what the "research" will show after this is over about what athletes (and especially non-athletes) did during this time... were more lazy, or more motivated.
  • 1 0
 Does stretching or dynamic flexibility impart any benefit to MTB fitness or injury prevention?

Also, what types gym specific exercises are good for lower back pain on the bike?
  • 2 1
 100% and do it for life too!
Generally speaking, anything to strengthen the core which includes the glutes. You also need to consider mobility for your thoracic spine. Squatting, Lunging, Bending.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: awsome, thanks for the advice.
  • 1 0
 Hello,
I ride my bike for fun and for racing. I also do training of the bike (strenght and cardio). How many rest days do I need in a week and how does a rest day look? Thank you
  • 1 1
 2-3 rides a week/ 2 gym sessions a week and 1-2 rest depending on how the riding and gym workouts go. Rest days are doing nothing to going on a walk and stretching. Something that feels good to do but isn't intense enough to create any work per-se. Oh and napping is good Smile
  • 5 1
 I love photoshop
  • 1 0
 a great program, with a wide breadth of extensions.
  • 6 7
 Barbell training periodization: do you use different strategies with intensity/ volume/ bar speed as the training season progresses? Like going from higher % of 1RM with lower rep to build strength to lower percentages but higher bar speeds to build power?

Could you give an example from one of your elite athletes, of a typical set of squats or bench press around December and then around March? Then for maintenance around June?
  • 3 0
 As you probably already know, a good absolute strength base is desirable to then build power and speed. So for example, early in the early offseason for our elite riders we would be hitting the slow lifts (Deadlift, Squat, Press, Pulls) at rep ranges of 3-5 for a few weeks with incremental "deloads" along the way. We'd use a traditional progressive overload for this with % off their 3 rep max. We'd transition to lower % and higher speed with banded work, still with the barbell but with the emphasis on speed, the band, in addition to the prescribed weight, on the bar gives a really good stimulus. We only use Olympic lifts at higher % with riders who have the technique nailed down but we move to this in some shape or form.
This could be much more detailed but I hope it answers your question and gives some insight into the approach I like to use.
  • 1 1
 What's up @WAKIdesigns! I agree with Jonny.
So yes and yes to your first two questions. You have good wisdom there so not much for me to say other than, of course, it always depends on the person, history, injury history, athletic background, body type, etc, etc.
In December my programming is usually more focused around hypertrophy to set the stage for two strength and one power phase working towards June. I usually start "maintenance 1" in July and do one a month with last being in September-ish.
  • 5 0
 Regarding barbell training periodization....I'll first start with this. After a thorough fitness test, bio-mechanic test, and verbal discussion, I typically prescribe the following phases (usually 2 - 6 weeks in length): movement/muscle balancing, mobility, core overload, relative strength, power, and conditioning. Now once the season starts, I could also revisit each of these phases as well, depending on the strength and weaknesses of the athlete, evaluation of performance, break in race schedule, and more.

So regarding barbell training (as well as other training tools), I typically create periodization within the following phases of 'relative strength', 'power', and 'conditioning' phases. The perdization can be set up as both micro (short/daily) and macro (long/weekly or monthly) cycles or periods. The one thing experience has taught me, is the periodization cannot be to 'rigid', as many variables can come in to to play with our sport. This includes; riding (for testing purposes, for skill development, filming, etc....which can depend on weather/conditions, product availability, and a lot more), injuries, illness, and simply energy levels. There's a lot of moving parts to consider. For me....you have to communicate with your athletes frequently to assess....then prescribe based on the sum of all these parts.

But, I do like what you are asking and getting at, regarding periodization, strategies, % of 1RM, etc.. This is the stuff I studied through the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Assoc). This is the science of training that's really exciting to chat about! I love it. But after 25+ years of training experience, I would say the past 10 - 15 years have taught me to understand there's also an organic (feel free to butcher me on the use of word) and one-size-doesn't-fit-all part of this, and you have to gain a feel for it. I wouldn't say this would work for everyone, and that's why I wouldn't be best for everyone. There is no best restaurant....as it depends on whether you are vegan, meat eater, etc, etc.. This is why Jonny, Dee, and I have joined forces on this. Science and education has taught us. Experience and experimentation has molded us (and continues to).
  • 1 3
 @PerformX: wow! What a response Smile I have been doing a lot of “classic” progressive overload stuff, with complementing exercises but then my SI joint got messed up and haunts me from time to time, like now. So I went with JTS approach of more focused training sessions, ramping up during the week, backing off a bit, ramping up again, adding just a bit every second week or so and mixing variations of classic lifts. Again on the side of other exercises like basic plyometrics. But then I got interested in bar speed, explosivity and only recently came upon Louie Simmons stuff where he kind of goes hand in hand with what some Olympic lifters teach as well as sprinters, even BMXers. Like executing only few reps 3-5, with not much load but with maximum form and speed achievable, with shorter rest periods. I was always very good on mashing steep climbs because I could make it with low cadence without getting too tired, but since I focused on quality of my explosive work and made all compound lifts faster, I am finding that while I still have that base for climbing, there’s extra power to reach for. Sure most of it is perception but I do feel more capable of increasing speed when mashing a steep climb. Also, BMX style high cadence sprints, damn, rarely possible in the woods but the acceleration is fantastic! I dig “organic”. I also noticed that trying to lose weight for the season and gain muscle at the same time don’t go hand in hand and I feel too drained when I am counting calories while lifting heavy. It feels so much better when packing on muscle and goodies before Christmas Smile

Concept of strength out of minimal muscle mass is also interesting as hell. I mean bloody @remymetailler - who would say he can deadlift 230kg!

Thanks! Cheers!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: You sound like you've done some research, experimented on various training protocols, and can attest to what has worked (or not worked) for you. I love hearing feedback from others training experiments (what we're all doing).

I will only add, I do not train riders very often to be stronger at climbing. My MTB athletes primarily race down....not up. If I was to do a quick summary of my training protocol/goal with athletes....it's 1) MTB specific movement and stability, 2) impact strength, 3) whole body power, 4) anaerobic threshold, and 5) injury prevention/risk management.
  • 1 0
 Best upper body exercise for DH / enduro?

Best lower body exercise for DH / enduro?

Ideally for someone working out at home ( no fancy gym machines)
  • 2 0
 Tough to say, where do you feel you are weak? Look towards compound movements first - large full body movements.
  • 1 0
 Agree with @fit4racing. I would add....you need to assessed (if wanting a proper answer). Compound movements are king. Barbells, dumbbells, and rowing machine (beyond bikes) would be a good start.
  • 1 0
 Are there benefits to an undulating periodization plans for mountain bikers? (assuming the athlete is an intermediate to experienced lifter)
  • 4 0
 Absolutely, especially for well trained individuals like yourself. Keeping things varied is crucial to continue making progress. In your case you may need a more complex approach to a beginner lifter, lifting close to your max for more volume but further from your max than a beginner (I hope that made sense).
  • 1 1
 I agree with jonny. Keep in mind you'll have to do a bit of discovery as some athletes do well with different forms of periodization.
  • 1 0
 I typically create periodization within the following phases of 'relative strength', 'power', and 'conditioning' phases. The perdization can be set up as both micro (short/daily) and macro (long/weekly or monthly) cycles or periods. The one thing experience has taught me, is the periodization cannot be to 'rigid', as many variables can come in to to play with our sport. This could include: riding (which can depend on weather/conditions, work, etc.), injuries, illness, energy levels, life, etc.. There's a lot of moving parts to consider. For me....you have to communicate with your athletes frequently to assess....then prescribe based on the sum of all these parts.

There's also an individual and one-size-doesn't-fit-all part of this, and you have to earn/develop a feel for it. 25 years later....I'm still earning. Science and education teaches us. Experience and experimentation molds us.
  • 2 0
 What are the best shoulder workouts to prevent the shoulder injuries that are all too common in the mtb world?
  • 2 2
 Scapular stability work is important. Deltoid work is crucial. Bicep/tricep work if very important to stabilize the shoulder as well. Then balance chest and back prime mover workouts
  • 2 0
 What other sport (non two wheeled) do you think would best help a mountain biker physically?
  • 2 1
 Climbing. Grip strength is crucial for both.
  • 1 0
 Agree with @enduromtbtrainer on this. Go climbing/bouldering. Surfing and swimming are good as well (for breath, cardio, shoulder, core, mobility, and more).
  • 1 0
 After having a heavy injury, ex. a dislocated shoulder, after rehab, mentally what is the best way to get back on shape in your experiencie with the pros?
  • 1 1
 Man... of course it'd different for each person, but doing your time in the gym to get stronger and give you confidence will definitely help. Being weak will only make you timid on your bike and that will lead to mistakes and mistakes to injury. Going slow and developing your confidence on your bike is also crucial. Only do what your brain will allow you to do. Baby steps turn to giant steps and soon you'll be back to your normal self.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer said it perfectly. Get your confidence back....or as I often say....you have confidence, but need to take steps to remove self-doubt (mobility and strength tests revealing progression/improvements).
  • 1 0
 I would love to hear how and why you use balance work (e.g. bosu ball). Why or why not do you use them? What are the benefits?
  • 1 0
 I use a Bosu Ball for a few ankle and knee rehab proprioception exercises, but somewhat limited use. As you'll hear from most answers (in this Q&A) from @enduromtbtrainer, @fit4racing, and I....focus on training that compliments your riding (which is already full of balance and coordination development)....including mobility, strength (relative), power, and conditioning. Both on a respiratory/cardio and biomechanics/strength level.

In my opinion....too much 'circus training' (on Instagram) out there.
  • 1 0
 How do you do plan your training sessions or what do you think is best? Progressive overloading, linear overloading or some sort of variable overloading?
  • 1 1
 Good Q. Yes, yes and yes. Depends on the athlete. Everyone is different and every coach has to constantly evaluate to see how well the system implemented is working for the client. Even for us coaches, it's always a "controlled experiment" due to so many variables involved on a daily basis. So experiment.
  • 1 0
 Hey y’all! I was wondering how you were going to prescribe training once we have an official race schedule? Anything you will be focusing on in particular?
  • 5 0
 1) Fitness Testing Part 1: In first 1 - 2 days of news, I will have my athletes repeat their pre-season fitness testing, to establish their current fitness levels. Our fitness testing will include; RowERG, BikeERG, and SkiERG maximum and sustainable watts test (note: some of my athletes do not have access to, or where not originally tested on, Concept2 equipment, so will modify accordingly). This testing provides great insight to athlete’s maximum power versus sustainable power (primarily at a respiratory level), so that training preparation can target requirement of athlete best. Much can depend on genetics, body type, sport discipline, and adaptation as well.

2) Fitness Testing Part 2: In the first 2 weeks, I will have my athletes complete a host of strength training routines (primarily at a biomechanics level; including unilateral movements and strength/mobility), to get a snap-shot of their current output (vs. pre-isolation). Their will not be enough time to go through then entire 5 - 7 months of off-season training preparation (which is applied in the following priority order; movement/muscle balancing, mobility, core overload, relative strength, power, and conditioning), nor do I believe the athletes will adapt the same (I believe they will adapt quicker), both in respiratory and biomechanics adaption. Once the first 2 weeks are completed, I will develop their individual training to ’fast track’ their race preparation.

3) Creating the optimal metabolic/nutritional, mental/emotional, and on-bike training (both for fitness and skill development) landscape for each athlete. Due uncharted waters, I have been putting together a ‘priority list’ for my athletes, so they can map out their days/weeks accordingly once we get the green light. This will be quite individual in prescription, depending on each athlete’s situation (access to gym or not, access to riding or not, etc..). I will chat with each athlete, so we can strategically create this priority list when the timing is right.
  • 1 1
 Todd nailed it.
  • 1 0
 Any advice on a training regime and diet for a super skinny dude trying to race downhill? Am super confused what to do , training and diet wise.
  • 2 0
 You need structure and accountability for sure. If you are just starting to look seriously at improving the best place to start is to hop on a program designed for DH riders. In the Fit4Racing one you will be able to adjust the amount of strength vs capacity work depending on your needs... which sound like to increase muscle mass. If you're not confident with going straight into training, find someone who will coach you through basic movements so you can execute them safely. For diet, it depends on how old you are. There are loads of good services out there for nutrition, we give some basic advice on the Fit4Racing program but if you want a more tailored plan check out Nutrition Savvy.
  • 1 0
 Are there any medium difficult calisthenics exercises particularly great for mtb? Medium difficult i mean like back lever, muscle up.
  • 2 0
 Email me (todd@performxracing.com), I'll send you a non-gym workout (my version of calisthenics).
  • 1 0
 In your experience with clients/athletes, how successful is meniscus surgery, in general?
  • 1 1
 I've had two and both have gone well. It will always depend on how healthy you are to begin with; how stable/strong your legs are from the hips down to the feet; how good the doctor is and how good your "recovery" team is. But if you need it, typically it means you should get it done.
  • 2 0
 Dumb bell dead lift. Is it worth it?
  • 2 1
 Better to do them than not to!
  • 2 0
 Go single leg, it'll increase the tension and impact. Or if you're doing them in a complex with other movements then yes. Don't forget, you are training to ride better, not just to get stronger. The hinge of the deadlfit can be effective for bike performance from a 1 rep max all the way to bodyweight only.
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer and @fit4racing nailed it. Agree on the unilateral (single leg) dumbbell deadlifts. Hip hinging is king for MTB performance.
  • 1 0
 When creating a plan, how often should you change the workouts? Should it be changed every week or every 2 weeks or monthly?
  • 1 1
 It always depends on the person, but my programming is typically 15 workouts-based. Monthly is good too since you can perform three weeks of increasing work/volume/intensity and then use the fourth week as an active rest week to allow your body to absorb the prior weeks of training load.
  • 2 0
 We like to keep workouts varied as much as possible. We repeat some of the strength work within cycles so we can see improvement and work to % that have been proven most effective, but for the conditioning workouts they are different every day, that's why we need to film our program fresh every week.
The reason for the variance?
Traditionally you would see "assistance movements" after a compound lift (large lift like a squat) then later in the session some light conditioning or cardio focus. There are issues with this if you lack time, and also if you're training for a more dynamic sport such as MTB. We combine a lot of our assistance movements into our conditioning pieces by prescribing sub maximal sets and moving between apposing muscle groups quickly. This way you get the best of both worlds - strength and capacity increases, but it also reflects the demands of riding way better.
So to summaries, it depends on what element you are focusing on but the variance keeps your body guessing and progressing faster than waiting for a plateau.
  • 1 0
 How I 'create a plan' for athletes, is as follows: 1) I perform an assessment (verbal and biomechanics) and fitness testing. 2) I have my athletes complete a strength training test (primarily unilateral movements and strength/mobility), to get a snap-shot of their current output (vs. pre-isolation). This could last 2 - 4 weeks. 3) Following the 'strength training test', I prescribe training phases in the following order; movement/muscle balancing, mobility, core overload, relative strength, power, and conditioning. Each of these training phases typically last 2 - 4 weeks.

Physical challenge > adaptation > physical challenge > adaptation > etc.
  • 1 0
 Hey Guys, any advice for rebuilding arm strength after a distal bicep strain/ tear?
  • 1 1
 How bad?
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: I have full range of motion and decent strength just feels like my elbow gets extremely overloaded on certain movements
  • 1 1
 @RippyMcShred: I'd say to stay away from painful movements and train the ones that don't hurt... as in all the others available. Working in four ranges (think of breaking down a bicep curl into four distinct ranges, so 45 degrees each) do 6 reps in each range as long as there's no pain. Does that make sense?
  • 1 1
 Oh and have you had your elbow adjusted by a physio or chiropractor?
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Not yet, plan to soon.
  • 2 0
 I'm not qualified to prescribe any movement on your injured arm however, I will say this - train your other side. Evidence now suggests that this will increase your rate of improvement on the injured side.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: AGREED. I've seen this work first hand. Good advice.
  • 2 0
 To ride every day, or not to ride every day. That is the question.
  • 1 0
 Do what you love. Consider why you're doing it. There is your answer.
  • 1 0
 If the goal is FUN....maybe...yes? If the goal is FASTER...NO!!!
  • 1 0
 At what point does gym work get eclipsed by on bike skills, and how do you recognize that more gym work isn’t the answer?
  • 1 1
 I believe gym is always part of the answer. As well move through life we can always determine a weakness that can affect our ability to move well, BUT the best way to know is to get assessed by both a qualified trainer and skills coach and hopefully they can work together (like I do with my local skills coaches) to come up with a comprehensive plan for both. leelikebikes.com has good solutions for online skills coaching
  • 1 0
 When a good on-bike coach points this out to you?
  • 2 0
 Hi guys!
Which dumbbell workouts would you recommend for enduro racing?
  • 3 0
 Dumbbells are a great tool, for the lockdown I took a 22.5kg dumbbell and a 36kg kettlebell and that's all I've been training with. It would be impossible for me to give you a workout and say it's the best without knowing the weight you have. But I will say this - don't be limited to one movement, combine the dumbbell with a short but fast run and use the dumbbell in large movements such as the thruster and do rounds of that to increase the intensity.
  • 1 0
 @PerformX: thanks guys!
  • 1 0
 Best way to build better aerobic fitness in the gym? I can sprint a trail at 160bpm+, but can get winded mowing the lawn,
  • 1 1
 That's a big question! There's a lot we'd have to unpack to drill down to some of the main causes, Holler at one of us and we can help
  • 1 0
 Get a side hustle lawn mowing. Sorry to be a smart ass....but you answered your own question....do more of what your not strong at (aerobic work).
  • 1 0
 Does riding a lot have negative affects on my posture? If so what can I do pre/post ride to maintain proper posture?
  • 2 1
 Yes, especially if you sit for work! An active warm up beforehand helps. Post stretching and mobility work is necessary, but don't forget awareness. You have to be aware of your "life" posture as you move about, sit at work, etc.
  • 2 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: I agree. Sitting at work is one of the worst things for your posture. Try to move around as much as possible and if you can get a standing desk. A word of warning though, if you're new to standing all day take it easy and sit for part of the day and stand for some, over time you can increase the time you are standing.
  • 2 0
 It could! Depends on your actual riding posture as well. But this is a big contributor to why @fit4racing, @enduromtbtrainer, and I have established successful MTB training businesses. Not because of marketing, big talk, or any other BS.....but due to MTB'ers experiencing positive results in their riding when they include off-bike training.
  • 1 0
 For glutes; better to go with heavy weight or to spend more time with less weight and increase time under tension?
  • 2 0
 That depends of how well you hinge at the hip. Deadlifts are great if you can perform them well and the load is taken on the glues and not lower back. Either way, I like a combination of lighter loads focusing on the glues and heavy compound lifts. So deadlifts obviously, but with an emphasis on shins vertical to avoid excessive quad engagement, and single leg deadlifts/glute bridges.
I find single leg deadlifts are a great way to train the glues and feel them firing, which is often difficult when under large load, so try to incorporate them into your warm-up/priming before deadlifts.
  • 1 0
 Depends on the goal?
  • 2 0
 lol, now I see kilo11's post.
  • 1 0
 Could you recommend a quick 5 minute stretching, mobility routine for legs & lower back?
  • 2 0
 A common cause of lower back pain is anterior pelvic tilt from tight hip flexors. Don't crucify me yet, there are other causes and I'm not discounting that it could be something else but for now I'll presume you are one of the 90%+ that I see with muscle tightness as the cause of the pain. I must stress that you should see a specialist in-person for an exact diagnosis.
Back to it. If you are one of the many that suffer from tight hip flexors which in turn cause lower back pain, check out the couch stretch. I have it in part of this video about mobility: fit4racing.com/the-zone/how-to-improve-mobility-for-mtb-riders
Don't simply do one movement and think that will solve all of your problems, you need to look at the body as a whole system and in doing so, strengthen your core, iron out imbalances and increase the flexibility in your hips.
I hope this helps.
  • 1 0
 Try this as well...https://youtu.be/7J3YOekAP4w

More to come on my NEW YouTube channel.
  • 2 0
 How does lego batman get that 9th ab?
  • 2 0
 He only eats lego which has very few calories, in fact I've heard you burn more calories digesting it than it actually contains.
On a serious note, abs are all about body fat %, please avoid high volume sit-ups and crunches. Your core should be a balance between all sides, any increased tightness from crunches etc can easily cause issues around the pelvis and lower back.
Train core with isometric holds, predominantly planks, side planks, bird dogs. Check this video I made about core you can do daily: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-iRHk6XhJY&t=103s
  • 1 0
 Would you make any significant changes to the training plan of someone riding single speed vs with gears?
  • 3 0
 Not huge changes but there is definitely more of a requirement for slower cadence power application, therefore I would suggest prioritising strength work if you aren't already.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing said it well. Agreed.
  • 2 0
 Nice photoshop skills on the main thumbnail lol
  • 2 0
 This was taken from a video we did with Dan Wolfe for Pinkbike. You'll understand more about the photoshop if you watch the vid - www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7cCVuKY5U4
  • 2 0
 @fit4racing: Gotcha I'll take a look! Thanks for doing this AMA I'm learning a lot reading the comments!
  • 1 0
 Do you even fast? #16:8bro
  • 1 0
 18:6 bro : )
  • 1 0
 Fitness whole pizza in my mouth?
  • 1 0
 Alternatives to burpees please?
  • 2 0
 Lie down and stand up....?
Many people really hate burpees, why is it you are looking for an alternative? If it's wrist/shoulder issues then you can use small dumbbells to reduce the angle of your wrists on the ground. If it's to look for an easier option you can reduce the height of the burpee by placing your hands on a raised platform like a box or chair.
  • 2 0
 @fit4racing: right shoulder issues from bouldering mishap I’ll give the dumbbell a go ta.
  • 1 0
 Yup....but would depend on why I'm creating the alternative (wrist, shoulder, etc. issue) or ???
  • 2 1
 No comments yet on how fake that pic is at the top?
  • 1 0
 Nevermind my comment, saw the one below.
  • 2 0
 Tongue in cheek. Check this video and see why this picture was created: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7cCVuKY5U4
  • 2 4
 This is like CrossFit: a bunch of pointless exercises that are better for injury than strength combined with a few core Olympic lifts that are the reason you actually get strong.
  • 2 0
 What are you referring to when you say "this is like CrossFit"?
It seems like you have a very strong opinion of the subject, have you had a bad personal experience that has caused this?
I'll wait for your answer but before you do, yes, some of what we do has elements of CrossFit. But I disagree about the pointless exercises. If Olympic lifts were the only real benefit to training for riding how do you think I would train our riders... Only Olympic lifts!!! I'm not precious about what we do if it works, but if it doesn't work we don't do it.

(We only know what we know. You probably have reason to believe your statement is true but have failed to explore other possibilities)
  • 2 0
 Like @fit4racing....I'm curious to what you are referring to?

FYI...all 3 of us guys are fans/advocates of core Olympic training/lifts. Also keep in mind....none of prescribe training to be stronger at training....we prescribe training to be strong in sport. There is a big difference in those two statements.
  • 1 0
 Do you reccomend a plant only diet and why?
  • 2 0
 I tried plant based for a month, here is a video of that experience and a lot more of my opinion than I can add on here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUKEZ9b3jHY&t=128s
  • 1 0
 YES. I am 80% plant based and improving on my health and fitness. I'm still experimenting (with more and less % from animal products).

Why? For me, I'll sacrifice some health and fitness (can't confirm either way) for a better world and less animals suffering. Strengthening my soul is just (or more) important than my squats or watts. My opinion.
  • 1 0
 Why are body building movements no good for MTB training?
  • 1 1
 Simply, they are isolated joint movements designed to maximize the growth and look of an individual muscle so it can selectively be spasmed on stage to look good. Nothing about athletes is isolated. Movement is synergistic and the brain doesn't think in individual muscle spasms rather patterns and thus the need to always work to be the best athlete you can be
  • 2 0
 Hi Jack, thanks for the question.
We see a lot of riders doing "bodybuilding" in the search for strength and then "cardio" to increase their fitness. This is so 1995.
Bodybuilding is actually creating more time under tension by inefficient movement, this is actually the opposite of what you should be trying to achieve as an athlete/rider. Yes, some hypotrophy and "building" is necessary for balance however, compound lifts should always be the primary movements in a good strength and conditioning program.
The danger with bodybuilding is that the muscles are so isolated that your body loses function because of imbalances between opposing muscles. This imbalance can easily miss-align shoulders, hips, back and more so, make you stronger on one side increasing the likelihood of injury.
I hope this helps.
  • 1 0
 Because a majority of the exercises I prescribe development; kinetic movement, alignment, stability, conditioning, and proprioception. This is typically not the goal with traditional 'body building exercises'.
  • 1 0
 Is weighted running good or bad for building cycling muscle groups.
  • 1 1
 I believe neither and actually good for the body due to the fact that running does many things that riding doesn't. Just compare them in your head and you'll get what I mean. I encourage my athletes to run 2-4 times a month just to breach the monotony and the cycling position of stress.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer:
Definitely does, thanks for the advice coach Dee!
  • 1 1
 @RippyMcShred: You are welcome!
  • 2 0
 We've seen a lot of weighted running recently, probably because of the huge profit margins on weighted vests and events in the CrossFit games. Personally, I think a weighted run is ok once in a while to mix things up but I certainly wouldn't incorporate it into any regular training. I'd prefer to see it in off-road hill reps than flat road running to reduce the impact on joints and increase the efficacy of the movement, after all, if you want to get out of breath more on a run simply run faster.
I also see poor runners running in vest, this is a terrible idea. I believe there are 3 reasons for this - they need something to motivate them to run, they are worried they will "lose all their gains" and they use it as a crutch to hide the fact they are shit runners in the first place.
  • 2 0
 I agree with @enduromtbtrainer and @fit4racing on this. Great advice from both guys. Love to hear some feedback. But I do prescribe running to my athletes, pending no knee, ankle, or hip issues (that therapy/surgery cannot reverse).
  • 1 3
 Why don’t riders just do CrossFit?
  • 2 0
 Good question.
If you didn't already know, I own 2 CrossFit gyms. In the 10 years as a CrossFit gym owner I've seen many different "expressions" of CrossFit, some great, some terrible. The issue with "just doing CrossFit" is you are at the mercy of the trainer at that particular gym and their idea of what is good for you as a rider, often meaning they miss the mark and put you into a box they find appropriate for general population, this sometimes means you are treated as a competitive exerciser rather than an athlete with specific needs.
You could argue that a broad and general fitness is all you need, and CrossFit provides that. The issue comes when you need to balance the type of work and skills acquisition with riding and the time you have available. Often a CrossFit session is either a waste of your time because you are learning skills you'll never need for riding. And on the other end of the scale, you could be digging yourself into a hole with insane volume that simply breaks you down.
If you are considering joining a CrossFit gym (or are already in one), make sure the trainers know your needs as a rider, prioritise good movement first and don't simply brutalise you.
I'm a fan of CrossFit and use many of the great things about it in our programs for riders, but I wouldn't send any of my riders into a CrossFit program.
  • 2 0
 Some do.

For MTB athletes, I'll take CrossFit over traditional gym/body building training, spin class, or road cycling. But, I think it (CrossFit) can be modified for MTB and other sports to be better suited towards sports specific development....versus it (CrossFit) being a sport of its own.

I think @fit4racing has modified and developed a better form of MTB specific CrossFit. I would say @enduromtbtrainer and I has also incorporated various CrossFit 'style' training and exercises in our training as well.

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