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RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 24, 2020 at 4:02
May 24, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@WAKIdesigns: Unfortunately I think there are way too many unknowns for me to be able to comment on how and what you should do. You may see benefits from improving strength and power, but equally you may need to rest more, work on pacing runs, get more bike time... I dunno? A quality, consistent gym programme is one part of your physical preparation and (as I think you know) reps, weight and speed should be considered and tweaked depending on your goal, the training phase and time of year. On top of this, there are so many other facets to riding a bike downhill at speed with control. Put the Dutch BMXers down a run of Fort William and I think they'll get arm pump and quad burn pretty bad, even though they can squat your car. If you really want to optimise your riding performance I'd recommend seeking a coach to work with 1-2-1 over a prolonged period of time. I may be telling you something you already know, but having a coach is way more than being told what sets and reps to do. It's about getting a programme you believe in, adding accountability not only to training but to recovery, nutrition and lifestyle, getting quality feedback on all aspects of your training and riding, having support when you need it, knowing when to go hard and when to back off, and more. It sounds like you have a good level of knowledge but that is almost adding to the confusion of what you should do.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 23, 2020 at 7:04
May 23, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@WAKIdesigns: First up, I'm going to be 100% honest and say that I am not an S&C expert. There will be other coaches better placed to comment on this. The figures you're quoting are high-level performance indicators. If you are close to hitting 2 x bodyweight for deadlift, 1.5 x bodyweight for back squat and 1 x bodyweight for benchpress then you are an experienced weightlifter. If you're striving for 2.5 x bodyweight for deadlift, 2 x bodyweight for back squat and 1.25 x bodyweight for benchpress, you are probably a world-class athlete, especially if you are hitting these numbers as a bike racer. The Dutch BMX racing team is a good example of this, as they have some of the best professional athletes in the world in their squad and are aiming to win World and Olympic titles. You can presume that they have been training for a long time. We're talking years and years of consistent training, including regular, year round S&C. They will also have a team of support staff looking at their training, including S&C, physiologist, psychologist, physiotherapist, coach, manager and more. Regarding what you and other riders should strive for, it's really going to come down to what stage of development you are at. Training is different for every individual. With most riders I coach I first need to assess their ability and experience. I'll look at fundamentals like range of movement and control through range of movement. If things are looking good then we'll take things further with some loaded strength work, starting small and increasing load as appropriate over time. If an athlete I am working with is hitting 2 x bodyweight for deadlift 1.5 x bodyweight for squat and 1 x bodyweight for benchpress then I've probably done my job and they need to start to work with a specialist S&C coach. Hopefully they keep me on board for their on-bike coaching! To sum up, should you and other riders strive to be an experienced weight lifter or a world-class athlete? Why not? Dream big! But reflect on where you are right now and don't underestimate what you'll need to do to get there. Like I say in the episode above, gains come fast at first, but as you get better you need to work super hard for small progress, and it will take time. It's all about consistency and effort over time. You need to assess where you are at and set realistic, smart goals for where you want to go. I guess if you're unsure if you should strive to squat 2 x bodyweight for a 1RM back squat then you're probably not at that level yet. I've raced World Cup XC in the past and I'm nowhere near squatting that, and I try pretty hard!
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 22, 2020 at 4:13
May 22, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@lognar: The ones I get Ben to do in the video. They are really good tests and are fairly simple. Most riders can do them at home, providing they have access to a smart trainer and a gym. The test Ben does is a Ramp Test on Zwift to determine Max Aerobic Power (Vo2 Max) and tests to determine maximal lifts for the back squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench press. We do these to set training intensities for the training phase and to monitor progress. When it comes to maximal lifts you have to be very careful. Don't start lifting weights without guidance of a professional or without knowing what you are doing. I don't recommend doing absolute 1 rep max lifts unless an athlete has a history (years of experience in regular lifting) of Olympic lifting. I usually calculate 1 rep max from either a 3 rep max or 5 rep max test. As mentioned in the video, we had to get creative as Ben only had a certain weight and a combination of plates. It's also a good idea to monitor peak sprint power (over a 6-second sprint) on the bike, but usually this is best recorded outdoors on the bike with power cranks, on a direct drive trainer like a Wahoo Kickr or on a dedicated smart bike. A wheel-on indoor trainer isn't great for peak power tests as the wheel often slips, and the kind of power Ben puts through the bike isn't great for drivetrains. Box jumps and depth jumps are also good. My advice for testing at home would be to understand the reason why you are testing. Then choose a test that mimics your event demands and make the most of the equipment you have available. So if you have a power meter or smart trainer and you're training for DH/Enduro measure efforts similar to the length of the event. In my opinion, you'd be much better off measuring 3-minute power for DH or Enduro than you would be measuring 20 minute power to estimate your FTP, which is basically the maximal power output you can sustain for 1 hour. That really doesn't matter in downhill or Enduro.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 21, 2020 at 15:01
May 21, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@mmmitch: CP definitely has it's place, and it's used a lot of top-level XC racers not just for Short Track but also XCO, as well as Track Endurance athletes and Road Cyclists. I think what is worth noting is that all of these tests do serve their own purpose, and you may want to train and monitor multiple metrics. What's it boils down to is understanding the demands of the event, and training to meet these. My concern around emphasising FTP is that riders will latch on to this (in the same way road cyclists have in the past) and think that FTP is the golden ticket to fitness. In reality, a training programme which boosts FTP may not be the best way to help you perform in DH, Enduro or XC mountain biking, unless you are starting from an untrained level of fitness.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 21, 2020 at 9:41
May 21, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
He has a Wahoo KICKR Snap and chose it for use at home and in warm-ups at races. I'd recommend investing in the KICKR or KICKR Core direct drive if you can though.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 21, 2020 at 9:39
May 21, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@noplacelikeloam: Improved fitness can (not 'will' - there's more to it than that) increase your speed going downhill, and as you get fitter your FTP may well increase. However, unless you're riding a continuous downhill where you pedal steady-state for up to an hour, Functional Threshold Power isn't the metric you should be looking at.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 21, 2020 at 9:35
May 21, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
@bentopi: No you don't need to delete the comment at all. It's good that training and fitness are being talked about regarding mountain biking! It's just there seems to be a lack of understanding of what FTP is and why it's useful. I'm not saying it's not valuable or worth noting, it is a really useful metric, and people love it as it means you can discuss and compare a value with your mates. But there is a hell of a lot more to being fit and fast on a bike than FTP.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
May 21, 2020 at 9:00
May 21, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Does Baseline Testing & Builds A Home Gym For World Cup Training - Walk The Talk Episode 3
I actually asked Max not to mention FTP in this episode, as it would add to the confusion surrounding FTP as a performance indicator for mountain bikers. You're right that a lot of XC racers can, and often do, have a high estimated FTP (based on a percentage of a 20-minute test or MAP test) but this is usually down to their high Vo2 Max and W' (anaerobic tank). So even though a lot of XC racers have a high FTP by proxy, having a high FTP doesn't really make you a good XC racer, and it certainly won't make you fit for DH. It does however allow me to set Ben specific training zones so that I can help him get in shape to race downhill. * It's worth noting that FTP tests usually calculate or model FTP from a percentage of 20-minute effort or 1 min MAP, so depending on your physiology it isn't always a true representation of FTP. If you really want to check your FTP value is correct from a MAP test or 20-minute test, complete a 40-minute effort and see how you fare. You might be surprised that the output isn't sustainable and you are riding way over anaerobic threshold heart rate.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
Mar 19, 2020 at 3:40
Mar 19, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Returns to World Cup Racing in Episode 1 of 'The Privateer: Walk The Talk'
It’s called a max aerobic power test because the test is done aerobically from the beginning and ends at the max capacity of the riders aerobic system. There will be a contribution from the anaerobic system (these systems don’t simply switch at a given power output) but the main contribution will be via aerobic energy pathways. It is a power output that corresponds to the maximal oxygen consumption intensity. It’s a great way to determine Vo2 max with the correct equipment.
RabWardell pinkbikeoriginals's article
Mar 18, 2020 at 8:30
Mar 18, 2020
Video: Ben Cathro Returns to World Cup Racing in Episode 1 of 'The Privateer: Walk The Talk'
@blowmyfuse: I have faith... I have faith... I have faith... I have faith... ;)
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