Video: 5 More Off-Season Exercises from Coach Dee

Jan 17, 2020 at 12:47
by Dee Tidwell  
Views: 8,246    Faves: 80    Comments: 0

I hope you made it through the holidays well and have started 2020 with a renewed approach to improving your riding. Let's keep pushing the gym work, starting with the introduction of part two of our offseason series.

In December, I taught you a five workout superset to work on hip and shoulder stability. You should be feeling the fruits of that labor as we move into step two, uni-lateral stability and core blaster routine. I suggest continuing to use December's program at least once a week while you do this one twice.

This month's goal is to create forces though the body in three planes of movement (sagittal, frontal, transverse). Think of it as 'anti-rotation' training and/or "posture maintenance under load" types of training. We all know that pulling harder on our handlebars during a sprint or uphill effort results in a stronger leg push. This is your muscular system being able to transfer those hand-to-feet forces efficiently. This is one important training aspect that we mountain bikers need more than road cyclists simply due to the terrain we ride. Force transfer in the body is often one of the causes of injury because the "weak link" in the chain tends to be the point of most stress occurrence. So, when you work to create more efficiency in your upper body to lower body force transfer, it opens up the opportunity to increase wattage, ride longer, have more strength-endurance and especially helps to handle OTB's and other crash scenarios.

Like in the video, perform each of these five exercises back-to-back without rest. See variables below.

Single leg deadlift
Single Leg RDL to Rows
Push Up Jack
Push Up Jack

Curtsey Lunge
Curtsey Lunge

Single Leg Arm Cable Row
Single Arm Low Cable Row
Russian Twist
Russian Twist

Exercise #1- 6-10 reps each side
Exercise #2- MAX form - stop two reps before form suffers
Exercise #3- 10-15 reps each leg
Exercise #4- 6-10 reps each leg
Exercise #5- 20-30 reps total
Rest 90 seconds and perform 2-4 sets depending on your experience and fitness level

I want to challenge you to three gym training sessions per week. You can try a schedule similar to this:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - Gym day - do this circuit and whatever else
Wednesday - Ride, Interval type workout
Thursday - Gym day - do this circuit (or December's) and whatever else
Friday - Off or Skills day
Saturday - Gym day - do this circuit, then go ride or visa-versa
Sunday - Big ride day

Don't forget how important rest days are. This is when you give your body and brain the chance to accept and absorb the stress you have imposed upon it during your training sessions. You do not improve while training, it's rest that allows you to improve. Be smart. Rest.

Coach Dee is an ambassador for @yeticycles and trainer to thousands worldwide. He's used his MTB training programs to win two season championships as a Masters racer in the @BigMtnEnduro series. Click here to find a program to fit your exact needs.

Want more training content? Check out previous articles.


  • 41 15
 Not an expert, but I still believe a basic squat, deadlift, bench/OH press and some olympic lifts program would be far far better for 99% of riders.
Doing these with proper form and weight (for your strength) will also do wonders for core strength and stability.

But then I guess some businesses could be hurt if people found out basic foundation movements are actually what they need
  • 13 1
 @Arierep make a video and show us how it's done! Trying/not trying to be snarky, serious.
  • 46 1
 Those are beneficial, but these are single leg based to build symmetry and stability. The better symmetry and stability the stronger and better you can be at the movements you mentioned. This article is also about creating rotational stress through the body (called transverse plane) which is happening 100% of the time in MTB'ing. The moves you mentioned are single plane based (called sagittal plane) and if solely used without training in the other two planes, quickly magnifies overuse injuries that are common to riders. I encourage you to try this program for the next month and see what it does to open up your body and riding!
  • 6 9
 Yes. Nothing builds power and injury resistance like heavy weight training. For balance and all that other stuff... Well that naturally comes from mountain biking in rough terrain. It's not like we are sitting stationary on a trainer.
  • 19 2
 Once again, huge disclaimer, I'm not an expert nor a coach nor a physio, so take what I say as a grain of salt and go check other sources (and please do so).

@enduromtbtrainer I'm not advocating for using a Smith machine but rather barbell movements where you need to stabilize the weight in all vectors besides the bar path. And no, I'm not implying your movements are BS, I would happily do them had I way more free time. For the time I have available, I'll focus on the basics.

The reason for my original comment is that I spend enough time daily at the gym and CF box to witness amateurs spending too much time on accessories and not enough on the meat and potatoes. One can also go check most conditioning articles on MTB websites and mags and the majority of them are about an array of accessory movements. What I find is that 90% of riders I know (totally anecdotal statement) lack strength, is it upper body strength, hip strength or knee stability, to mention some. Considering these are mostly amateurs with a limited schedule, who would likely rather be riding, one would think training basic strength movements would be a better time investment.
Most of the Pros we see at Instagram doing some waky rotational elastic band thing are showing clickbaity clips from the 10min a day they spent at that, rather than the boring 3h on the barbell. Being somewhat hyperbolic here, but you get the idea.

@pdxkid plenty of professionals already have all the info you want at YT. Go check Alan Thrall
  • 2 0
 Yep! I'm a firm believer in getups and swings too. Otherwise I surf and ride for fitness.
  • 7 13
flag Robbyc1979 (Jan 19, 2020 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 You’re right your not an expert and That’s how behind you are as non-expert . Limiting yourself with bar exercise gets you really good and strong at bar exercise which are not functional. Olympic lifts are way more functional but still limited. You want functional Strength then you’ll need to do a variety of weight training that may or may not include a bar.
  • 10 0
 @Robbyc1979: "bar exercises are not functional" Really? Are you sure about that? Squats are one of the most functional exercises out there with beneficial effects for any sport as well as having huge benefit for the all people in their day to day lives.

I think there's a lot of overuse and public confusion in regards to the term functional fitness these days. The terms functional and sport/activity specific have to go hand in hand, as a exercise that is functional for one activity may be counterproductive for another. When we consider the value of any exercise, especially from a functional standpoint, we have to consider the importance of the movement in relation to the sport or activity it's being used for. Ideally we want to spend the bulk of our training time on activities that will have the greatest benefit for our sport and include specialized movements as necessary and as time permits.
  • 4 1
 @Robbyc1979: So you are still living in the "functional movement" era?
Sorry, but some arbitrary classification that some movement is "functional" and another isn't holds little water, and plenty of actual experts agree.
By using some logic, the only actual "functional" movement for MTB is actually riding
  • 6 0
 @Arierep: Yup, I'll get to some of those patterns in future articles. Most people actually, suffer from lack of flexibility, joint mobility, stability and posture related spine issues. Again, these are the foundational things required to create an environment for optimal strength training and are major factors in year to year progression.
  • 3 0
 @pdxkid: barbell logic youtube channel for lifting tutorials
  • 6 0
 Making fitness complex and difficult to understand is what keeps the fitness industry alive.
  • 4 2
 While I think Barbell training is the best, based on my SI joint injury coming from certain predispositions, I cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself on form, programming, RPE, nutrition. I just don’t see any MTB coach doing it on their own. They would need to post links to experts of their choice. Beginners may require additional exercises to make themselves mobile enough as well as aware of their bodies: hip thrust, shoulders, lumbar spine, thoracic spine Power lifting works because it requires a big package of all the things functional coaches talk about. It will take years to be proficient at it so start now. Especially if you want to do Olympic lifts which are the best way to translate resistance barbell training to sports like MTB. That’s the real can of worms for mobility and technique. Start them early too. People think Yoga exposes shortcomings in mobility, try snatching... show me your overhead squat with 50% BW on the barbell in full range of motion.
  • 6 0
 @Arierep: I agree with you - if you are time limited deadlifts and squats, 2 x presses (e.g. chest and shoulder), 2 x pulls (e.g. pull up and seated row) and you are covered plus you only have to learn technique of 6 exercises. If you have more time or an imbalance then you can add more specific exercises to these six.
  • 2 0
 @pcledrew: upvoted. Simple and true statement.
  • 1 1
 @Arierep: I think you might be lost in the body building era if you think functional movement exercises are a thing of the past.
  • 11 0
 Thanks Coach Dee, high yield stuff as always.
  • 4 0
 Appreciate it, thank you!!
  • 8 1
 The "curtsey" or crossover lunge as demonstrated puts unwanted rotational stress on the knee joint. If you're going to do that move then the foot should be more in line with the thigh to prevent twisting at the knee. From a riding perspective this exercise is really unnecessary and a standard lunge is fine. If you really want to focus on bilateral movements for the lower body that incorporate balance and agility then I'd suggest a single leg squat (free leg moves behind you) or a pistol squat (free leg moves to the front). The single leg dead lifts and one arm rows are good exercises though. The one arm row can also be done with a dumbbell instead of the cable.
  • 6 1
 Typical PB!! A professional is giving you information for free and some people can only criticize. This man is a professional trainer, its his job. If you choose to take his "free" advice then be happy its free, if not then do what you want instead.

Thanks for the info coach Dee, keep em coming!
  • 1 0
 Thank you Shaner!
  • 2 0
 It could be that some of the people replying are also professional trainers or high level athletes with years of experience. The key to figuring that is looking at the type of criticism and how it's delivered. IME people who work in the industry speak up about these sorts of things not because they want to bicker about which training method is best but because they want to make sure that people get good info that is appropriate and not potentially dangerous. For anyone just getting started into strength training it's important to start with foundational exercises like a squat and become proficient at them before progressing into more specialized exercises like some of the ones presented here. In fairness to the author this is not the first article he presented and the first article does have links to assessing whether someone is ready for the challenge some of these exercises present. Those links present valuable information in helping someone figure out their starting point. That said however, one of the dangers in writing to a web audience is that you never know the level of your reader. From that perspective I think it would be worthwhile to have a paragraph at the beginning that revisits this beginner information and it would probably also go a long way to dealing with some of the concerns that have been brought forward here in the comments section.
  • 4 0
 I'm here to bash coach's absurd advice as usual. Today's episode advocates valgus stress to knees with added load (!) and one-armed cable rows. Just say neigh. Dangerous superset with ineffective.

Have you found any research evidence of isolateral resistance training improving sports performance since our last video?

You know what an actual strength athlete would recommend to pinkbike punters? Probably Pendlay rows and heavy deadlifts.
  • 5 0
Squat twice a week.
Deadlift twice a week.
Do lots of pushups, pull-ups, dips, and rows.
Throw in some power cleans once in a while. Also box jumps.

See you in the spring.
  • 2 0
 Squat twice a week (to pick up a case of beer)
Deadlift twice a week (the other half of picking up said cases of beer)
Arm day (drink said beer)
Throw up from drinking so much beer

See you in the spring totally out of breath (and wonder what was lacking from your fitness regimen)
  • 1 0
 Any of you feeling like squatting twice a week or deadlifting once a week doesn’t make too much progression after some time? I switched to Rippetoe’s system for the bulk up period where he does both on same day, just alternating nr of sets and intensity. I.e. monday SQ3x5 (RPE 7-8 ) DL1x5 (RPE 7-8 ) , wednesday SQ1x5 (RPE Cool DL 3x5(8-9 ) friday SQ 3x5 (8-9) DL 1x5 (7to 8 ) ?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: disclaimer; what do I know?! . (SQ 1,8BW, DL 2,5BW)

But at first sight, I would suggest experimenting with more volume? Once you're training intens for some time, your body & cns can take a lot more. (depending on other activities - or bad nights because kids)

Low reps and heavy weight are important, but training with higher reps and (a bit) lighter weights does come with some benefits.

While I like lifting a lot, after a while, it does make you slower. So once riding seasons kicks in again (I never stop, but ride more frequent when the weather ) I stop squating regulary.
  • 1 0
 @JWP: I was thinking about increasing volume and barspeed too but a bit later into the season as well as doing more cleans and barbell rows. Right now I am recoviring from SI injury, I don't dare to squat what I used to bench a year ago, which basically was your numbers Razz One thing's sure I won't go over RPE 8...

Do you do variations? Like RDLs? SDLs? front squats, full range of motion back squats?
  • 1 0

Yes I do, but not often. Sometimes a block of 3 weeks. Just to change things up. Squats are always with full ROM. I don't necessarily believe in the idea of shocking the muscle with a different exercise every couple of months, but some lifts really can help. For example: snatch grip deadlifts and or block pulls.

Biggest thing holding me back to more strenght, is 'eating'. I like lifting, but MTB is my absolute priority. If I would eat like you should for increasing strenght, my weight would go up and I don't see how that would help me in MTB.
  • 1 0
 @JWP: full ROM, you mean ass to heels, or the by-book horizontal thighs?
  • 1 0

I mean full range of motion but well WITHIN your mobility limits. For me that is relatively ass to grass :-).
  • 1 0
 @JWP: my knees give up with ass to heels with more weight. I get Baker’s Cysts immediately Smile
  • 4 1
 oh coach Dee, you don't have to tell me to look in the mirror to check my form, i got this. you might have seen me in the gym, i'm not liftin if i'm not lookin. i admire my form from the time i get there to the time i leave and DAM i look good! after a set i make sure it's been working by doing a bit of flexin for good measure. you forgot one thing though, don't forget to wear your cologne when you lift, the chix dig it. peace out.
  • 2 0
 And here come all the arm chair gym rats touting how much better a "simple bench, squat, deadlift" routine is. Keep up the great work and advice Dee @enduromtbtrainer I've been making all kinds of gains with phases 9 and 10! Cant wait for the first race of 2020!
  • 1 0
 Me too @provin1237, be sure to tell me how it goes!
  • 1 0
 those pesky "armchair gym rats"
what kind of gains you making?
  • 5 0
 Since when squatting or deadlifting is simple? Your post says a thing or two about you.
  • 3 0
 I do something similar to the Curtsey Lunge but on one of those balance balls. Am I on the way to snap city or is it good for balance and such too?
  • 3 0
 I think that exercise look incredibly bad for your knees even on flat ground. I'd never do it and definitely not on a balance ball.
  • 2 0
 @brookland27: I keep my front leg pointed straight up or with my knee slightly pointing outwards, and the left legs never makes contact with the ground. Let's call it a balancing shrimp squat with the rear leg to the side
  • 5 0
 I'd have to know what your injury history and body limitations are before saying yay or nay, but generally I wouldn't add an imbalance component to curtsey lunges.
  • 2 0
 @brookland27: It's actually not unless you have a history of severe knee issues. I've had two knee surgeries and it doesn't affect me. Plus, most of the movement is taking place at the hip and ankle just as it should. Check out Cody Kelley's (a past client) whips and you'll see a similar ankle, knee, hip pattern.
  • 3 0
 Those are some great variations on some of the stuff I have been doing. Definitely will bring my workout to the next level. Thanks coach Dee.
  • 1 0
 You're welcome!
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: Thanks from here too! I will show this as suggestion to my trainer.
She (is sooo beautiful) will sure pick up some of it!
  • 2 0
 @Werratte: Haha! Happy to help there Smile
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: I did the workout today. I liked the single leg, it made me stabilize all the movements. The Russian twist on the ball added a new dimension to that exercise. I will be adding this to my weekly plan.
  • 1 0
 @BlurredVision: Nice! Keep at it and be precise Smile
  • 1 0
 I don't comment much on Pink bike. But this is one topic I cannot ignore. I urge anyone interested to checkout the Functional Patterns website and see what you think. It's a very different way of training your body the correct way in my opinion.
  • 2 0
 I thought he said “if you’ve got hippie shoes” while showing us the curtsey lunge. What the hell are hippie shoes and why do I need them to lunge?
  • 1 0
 Looking for input on my program:

Mon: off
Tue: rest day
wed: off
thur: rest day
fri: off
sat: short ride
sun: rest day

I am wondering if switching my off and rest days might improve my ride performance
  • 3 0
 I look at how good his posture is and try not to cry...
  • 1 0
 Omg courtesy lunge cant think of anything worse, I would love to see any science Od those for anything. Don't do those, do bulgarian split squats instead.
  • 1 0
 Those are loading different muscles and have separate benefits. Both are great exercises.
  • 2 0
 My left ear loved this video.
  • 1 1
 Coach Dee knows what he’s talking about. Been doing his program for a few years now and it’s done wonders for my riding....
  • 1 0
 Thanks buddy! I wish peeps would just try these free workouts first.
  • 1 0
 @enduromtbtrainer: it will be beneficial to their riding for sure!
  • 1 0
 wish this was put out sooner!! been off the bike since november due to rain.. Frown
  • 1 0
 Also, shovel snow, stack firewood
  • 1 0
 When i shovel with my left arm it feels like someone else is shoveling for me!!! (lots of snow in Whistler...!!! ahaha)
  • 2 0
 Also: snowball fight, followed by snow wrestle
  • 3 3
 What is this off season you speak of?
  • 1 0
 must be from SoCal You luck SOB? Come on up N for a visit Smile
  • 2 5
 @RadBartTaylor: I'm from socal Brooklyn NY and have a ski house 30 mins from Canada in VT, you were flapping what nonsense again?
  • 2 1
 @jorgeposada: u were a good catcher but why don’t you and A-Rod just kiss and make up already, maybe he’ll have you over for a White Claw.
  • 3 1
 @jorgeposada: lol, easy tiger, sounds like you need to get out of the city more
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: If your instincts say go right go left. Much you kids have to learn.
  • 1 1
 How about my bike?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2020. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.015753
Mobile Version of Website