Ever wonder what MTB Enduro Training looks like? Dan Wolfe didn't quite know either. In his search for a coach and training program to take him to the next level, the EWS racer got an eyeopening introduction to Fit4Racing.
Dan has been racing MTB Enduro without following any formal training, and to give him credit, he moves well and has a reasonable base fitness. One issue we see though, is bringing it all together. It's important to understand, and train for, the combination of stresses you are subjected to whilst racing/riding, and not just getting strong and "fit" separately.
We ran through some initial testing with Dan, most of which is sent out to all Fit4Racing subscribers. This was to establish mobility/movement restrictions, base strength tests and some 2 minute testing. The strength and 2 minute tests will be by Dan when he follows the full program.Why do we test mobility?
One of the most effective methods we use to train riders involves high intensity. There are different degrees of high intensity, not all of them are all-out kill yourself. The higher the level though, the more likely movements will break down and become unsafe/less effective. So testing mobility allows you to identify areas to avoid/work on/change to subsequently choose movements you can perform safely and to an appropriate range...
... Note on appropriate range. We will be producing a video with our position on range of squats and other movements in the coming weeks. We feel it is important to give a full explanation.
We also test mobility to prescribe fixes for red-flag areas. This is important to keep, or achieve, a balanced body. This is not only good to avoid injury but also to reach more optimal positions for performance.Why Test Strength?
We test 3 rep max lifts - Back squat, Deadlift, Press. These form the basis of prescribed weight thereafter. So if you are working in a strength, power or speed phase you know what weight should be on the bar. We prefer to test 3 reps over 1 rep because it is way safer.Why test 2 minute maxes?
As with the strength test, it is important to know limits and achievable workloads. By testing you capability of a single movement performed repeatedly over 2 minutes, you can then take a proportion of that for workouts and know that work is achievable and at the same time testing.
Ultimately, testing is the best way to establish a starting point so you aren't working blindly towards a goal you don't even know is achievable. It is important to note that testing is just that - testing. Training is a completely different thing and should be performed differently. Not every training day is a test, and nor should you feel that way.
Once the testing was done (not all of it on this one day), Dan went head-to-head with pro downhill racer Jack Reading on a multi modal workout. This was to expose Dan to the type of training he will see on the Enduro Program he will follow once back home. Here is what they did:
In a 6 minute window, work up the ladder by 2 reps each round on Push-ups and Box Jump Overs. Keep 6 calories on the Assault bike each round.
• 6 Calories Assault Bike
• 2 Push-ups
• 2 Over Box Jumps
• 6 Calories Assault Bike
• 4 Push-ups
• 4 Over Box Jumps... And so on
Once that part was finished, there was a 5 minute rest and they went back down as fast as possible from where they finished.
If you're considering this MTB fitness training workout, you can substitute the Assault bike for Row, Ski, 100m Run or even skipping. Ensure you are familiar with all of the movements and you are fully warmed up.
The purpose of this workout was to increase general capacity and function for riding. The combination of movements were chosen to keep intensity high but not break down. The box jump overs were a test of focus as well as athletic ability, and as Dan said in the interview, it replicates perfectly the demands of a race run. Note here though, the box jumps could become dangerous and the option of stepping over is always a good substitute if unsure.What next?
Dan will go home and probably wake up the next day with some sore muscles, but ultimately be more aware of his limits both on and off the bike. After that, he will access his Fit4Racing program via the website and hit 2-3 sessions per week leading up his first race in 2020. We stay in touch during his training and get him back in January for some more fun.
If you are considering a Fit4Racing program you can follow the exact one Dan and our other pros are following, all of which can be done from day 1 at your local gym. As we said above, you can vary the workload and follow a semi-personal program ideal for your riding, but beyond that, you can vary the number of training days from 2-4 depending on how well you recover, how much bike time you can get and how much you love/hate they gym. Sign up with no contracts and see how great Fit4Racing can be for you.
Take a look at our website for more awesome free workouts for mountain bikers - Fit4Racing