Social Roundup: Pro MTBers Athletes Keeping it Interesting in the Gym

Jan 10, 2020 at 9:01
by Sarah Moore  
Danny Macaskill's 'Gymnasium' video had us thinking about gym workouts and beating boredom this winter. Danny's insane trials moves aren't a possibility for most of us, so we've rounded up some other professional mountain bikers' social posts for more inspiration on how to keep it interesting in the gym this winter. Adapt it for your own use, or just watch for pure entertainment.



Sam Hill



Tahnee Seagrave



Kate Courtney



Nino Schurter



Cecile Ravanel



Noga Korem



Richie Rude + PerformX Training Crew



Rachel Atherton



Payson McElveen


Martha Gill


Jill Kintner also has a great compilation of training videos in her Instagram Stories.


82 Comments

  • 36 0
 I may be ignorant but I really don't know what the frick is happening in most of these videos.
  • 8 5
 Mobility, stability and control exercises.
  • 4 65
flag Matt76 (Jan 12, 2020 at 1:03) (Below Threshold)
 @yavor: If pro mountain bikers need serious training in those area then that is a worry.
  • 41 14
 Sam: Having fun with his wife on the gym. I envy him. fun
Tahnee: rather classic and excellent exercise for strenghtening amd mobilizing shoulder and thoracic spine area. 100% legit, 100% painful
Cecile: mix of classic and some new age acrobatics. Highly possibly bored of rehab grind. Keeps motivation flowing
Noga: keeps it fun and meaningful while making arm pump a non issue.
Richie: uhm everything
Rachel: effective way of conditioning oblique core muscles and deep stabilizing muscles for rehab/ training before hitting the weights
Kate: excellent plyometric exercise for development of speed/power, effective alternative to box jumps. Then that table makes the most tattoed crossfitters with weirdest hair style go WTF, just WTF.
Nino: acrobatics, bloody cool. But defo not the base of his training, seems he enjoys it a lot, why not, they are humans no machines.
Payson: Like Rach but more focus on conditioning stabilizing core muscles than balance
Martha: ouch... always fun to hit PRs on box jumps but those soft things are more dangerous than hard ones... spotters always be behind stuff you put on top of each other. Anyhoo, The most classic and legit plyometric exercise for explosive power.
  • 6 1
 @Matt76: Or maybe it's a precondition for being that good? All the talent in the world gets you nowhere if you do not put in the work. Well maybe it gets you to some bar where you, in your forties can brag about how you could beat those WC riders in your teens without the part why you did not get there.
  • 8 0
 @Matt76: are you serious?! Its those things they do that enable them to train as hard as they do. You try their training load and intensity without focusing on stability and the smaller muscles etc. You'll be popcorn mate!
  • 13 11
 @jeroenk: heh no. You don’t judge athletes work out by what they powt on insta. They don’t post hours and hours of classic grind because it doesn’t get hits on Social Misledia. Oh Tahnee Seagrave works on her shoulder rehabZ she hangs on a bar With slight support of toes. She keeps hanging. She is still hanging. Tightens her shoulder blades. Releases. Thightens, releases. Richie Rude does Squats. Unracks for First set. 1-2-3-4-5-6 Reraracks. Waits. Waits. 30s. 45s. 1min. 1:15, 1:30. Approaches the rack. Unracks. 1-2-3-4-5-6 Reracks. Waits. 30s.45sec - all that 5 times total. He approaches bench to press. Picks 15kg plates for
First warm up set. Can’t find the second 15kg. Removes the first 15kg. Goes for two.
Nino walks into the gym, goes to the rowing machine. 1st minute, 3rd, 5th...

Wait no! Kate takes a pilates ball a kettlebell and a box, puts stretch band between her elbows, then wraps another stretch band on the kettlebell and on her ankle. Puts second foot on a box and starts doing push ups. Meanwhile a popular youtuber who just finished his Ridalin cycle and is back on Adderall explains importance of mixing bilateral and unilateral movement in one exercise while keeing body under tension to activate Type 1.5c fibers... Oh!!! It’s Kali Muscle waking into the gym, he has new supplement for Yoga!
  • 10 8
 @JezzaE: hahah, ask power lifters how much stability work they do. The reply will be: all the time. Every bar bell squat is a stability exercise - why do you think power lifters have broadest trunks while body builders aspire for thin trunks and wide upper bodies? Because big trunk means lots of muscle mass for stabilizing the posterior chain. You do heavy weights and occasionally Isometrics for balance when doing plyometric exercise...

It is scientifically proven that high level athletes doing yoga, functional training and generally complex wacky exercises using variety of supplements greatly improve the economy of fitness social media stars and companies producing supplements.
  • 4 4
 @JezzaE: There are far superior weight training routines than what is shown here for stability and strength. Apart from the physio excercises for injuries like Rach and Tanhee there rest are very poor.
  • 2 3
 @Matt76: it’s beyond any assumptions than most of this is “to keep it interesting” not the base of their work. I have had a shoulder injury ending with bursitis and what Tahnee does is not some 3rd grade rehab, rather something she is highly possibly forced to do for the rest of he career. If you look at Rachel’s size it is quite obvious she can move weight. Her problem surely became doing as much as she can without hurting herself. It is highly possibly true for most folks who wrecked hard and are now wrecked for life if only slightly. And when you sit there about to pump some iron knowing that each time you tried to go back to it like you used to before the injury and it renewed your injury, trust me, you will do anything that even remotely conditions your body for your main spot without wasting you again. Cecile is surely doing lots of it for comedic purposes, just watch other clips of hers on her SM. Kates stair jumps are brilliant as opposed to 99% of box jumps on the internet where people always go for height, often jumping down or build stairs down to minimize eccentric load while using a box as tall as your vert jump and landing on top near straight legs is preferable. She takes it few steps further(pun intended), making it into a set of full efforts. It’s genius.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Thanks God I am not the only one who thinks that Kate video was some weird shit for insta likes Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @JezzaE: Classic, compound exercises are far safer and will get you a solid base.
  • 1 0
 @Matt76: How do you think pros get such amazing mobility, stability and control?
  • 1 0
 @BobbyLite: From actually riding bicycles pal!
  • 1 1
 @Matt76: Oh yeah, you're right. Let's tell all these top tier athletes they're wasting their time.
  • 2 0
 @BobbyLite: you have no bloody clue. Athletic people have amazing mobility, stability and control based on everything they do. And on genetics. If you think advanced power lifters don’t have good range of movement You are living under a rock with a functional training coach and a yoga teacher, they are screwing you hard. Dancing on balance boards has nothing to do with developing balance for riding bikes or making gymnastic acrobatics. It has to do with developing balance for balancing on balance boards. Range of motion is developed with a Mix of static stretching, foam rolling and dynamic stretching, all in nuanced ways.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Ok Waki, then why do most successful athletes make these types of exercises part of their normal training regiment? How does exercising your balance and coordination not translate to better balance and coordination in your chosen sport?
  • 2 0
 @BobbyLite: there are other exercises that train balance. like single leg side abductions conditinoning muscles responsible for balance and hip stability, or bulgarian split squats. Balance balls train only deep muscles for quick reflexes, minimal corrections. Someone who competes in Ninja needs different form of balance and stability than someone balancing on a rope. Balance when riding bikes is developed by learning to ride bikes. For instance, Jolanda Neff and Maja Wloszczowska when they were on Kross, used to bang out shuttle lap after lap in Finale Ligure and San Remo for days. Maja rode plenty of lift accessed laps everytime when traninig in Livigno. road/fireroad on one day, lifts on another. Apart from that both spent lots of time doing fundamental skill training, track stands, wheelies, hopping, rocking. No amount of balancing on ball will improve your track stand or back wheel hopping.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: There are a millions exercises that train balance and coordination and they are all great. Should you stick to just one? Probably not. My point is that practicing balance and coordination on and off the bike for those "deep muscles for quick reflexes, minimal corrections" is an important part of training. There is a reason athletes like Nino, Cecile, or Rachel practice these regularly.
  • 1 0
 @BobbyLite: because they have nothing better to do?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: If I had to guess, Rachel is still rehabbing/pre-habbing that ankle following the tear..keeping the stabilizers strong. Core work would be an added benefit.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Generally agree with this, but I'd be surprised if there isn't some carryover at least for injury prevention, if not performance. I certainly wouldn't spend more than 15 minutes a day doing them though. That torture device Kate is on probably does have some true carryover as it seems to mimic that semi-stretched quad position and eccentric force from a DH run pretty well. Not sure how applying upward force to the band mimics a handlebar though. That said, it's always been weird to me that nobody seems to address how bad the mtn bike arm position is on the shoulder, and what can be done in the gym to mitigate the risk of injury. The ideal attack position, with elbows flared/internally rotated shoulder, is the exact opposite of how the bench and push up are cued due to the risk to the rotator cuff. Then again I don't hear too many pros complaining about shoulder issues that aren't caused by acute injury, so idk.

Just like with diet though, it does seem like great athletes are great INSPIGHT of their training, not because of it.
  • 1 0
 @salmonfilet: how can what she is doing on that weird machine be better for injury prevention/ dealing with eccentric loads than depth drop jumps?

It’s hard to have an issue with what Rach is doing. Her body is probably a wreck. It hit me to see all bruised Amd bumped up riders on the morning before the final when I was at VDS World Cup. Adam Brayton with giant yellow/blue/ black hole on his back, Danny who was walking weird, lumping a bit, you could see that half of the field took some serious slams during the week of practice. I was like: most of us wouldn’t make it to friday, let alone to the final. And back then I believed it was the gym training making them unnaturally durable. Maybe, yes, but I think also the “show must go on” attitude : you hurting? Who cares? Go out and do your practice. Got to show up, go to step up to the occasion
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: As far as the machine goes, it definitely might not be...I'm not sure. I'm guessing the idea is to find some way to create a training effect without risking season/career ending injuries by constantly riding DH laps all the time; not to exactly mimic the effect of riding. That said, for all the reasons you mentioned at VDS, it's almost unimaginable that people like Minnaar can stay healthy enough to stay competitive for that long, or anybody who's been on top for more than a couple seasons for that matter. IDK what the statistics would say, but if I had to guess, what makes most people lose their edge (in any sport) isn't major injury or simply age, but the accumulation of small injuries that never fully heal, incrementally effecting bio-mechanics over time.
  • 22 0
 Nino Schurter is insane...
  • 6 0
 I don't think many people can appreciate how fricken hard that is. I used to use a VewDo board with a centre rail/roller with a notch and that was hard enough.
  • 2 0
 I 100% agree! Standing on 1 foot? No freakin way.
  • 18 0
 I was waiting for the kickflip Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @BCpov: shuvits, easy. Ollie's, dang hard. Kickflip, damn near impossible.
  • 20 2
 I like the Wynn Masters training regime. Just wheelie everywhere. #wheelywednesday
  • 10 3
 I think I’ll just ride my f*cking bike thanks
  • 1 0
 That Propilot thing used by Noga looks pretty cool. Expensive though when you look it up...
For those of us that can miss out on the computer game app, is there any cheap ways to add instability to a press up in a similar fashion? I'm assuming there's a ton of stuff out there in the fitness world... Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I might actually buy one, as I've got a shoulder surgery to recover from, and it might at least keep things fun while I still can't ride. but if you're looking for something on the cheap, I'd just get a spare set of bars and a stem, mount the stem pointed straight down, and use that for instability.
  • 1 0
 Any pressing with dumbbells ('DB') and Ketlebells ('KB') will force shoulder stabilization. Pay attention to detail (shoulder position and pressing mechanics) and full range of motion.
Single arm DB presses
Bottoms-up KB presses
Scap retraction and stabilization (reverse shrugs on dip bar, scap pullups, scap retractions on rings)
Bamboo Bar / BandBell, can use regular barbell too.

Learn the difference between active range of motion and passive range of motion.

Passive range of motion (i.e. 'stretching the shoulder') is not ideal; flexibility without stability = joint instability.
  • 1 0
 @Drbillin: Thanks buddy - I knew there would be a simple way! Free weights is the simple and obvious solution I'd missed!
  • 1 0
 I take an old handlebar and put this in the middle of it www.roguefitness.com/fat-gripz. It works pretty well, but because it it round, it is extremely difficult. But using it for push-ups is deadly.
  • 8 7
 Kate’s drill for stairs is absolutely brilliant, excellent and efficient alternative to Box jumps. The other video on the other hand made it to most prominent gym fails channels...
  • 6 1
 If you haven't seen it, you may find the last half hour of Joe Rogan Experience #790 with Steve Maxwell interesting. Steve says that NFL players' sport is too risky as it is, and trainers are starting to steer clear of exercises that carry risk like deadlifts and cleans - spraining a finger on a player worth $20 million a year is not an option (e.g. Martha's box jump could have turned out nasty - we know we roll the dice when we fall).
  • 13 5
 @iamamodel: with all due respect and admiration to Maxwell, you have to remember that at the end of the say what he does is he sells his isometrics, this is what he put most of his attention to through his life and how he makes living: teaching people in his area of expertize. Then look where he came from that is JJ and you will see why isometrics is of such interest to him.

Saying Football players don’t do squats based on what one dude said is a stretch. They may not do deadlifts as much because they don’t need grip strength. I have no fricking clue how Could anyone in such an explosive sport like Football mr Maxwell. Football is power power plyo-plyo-plyo.

Deadlifts like any bloody exercise are not dangerous as long as you know what you are doing and preferably got guidance from actual power lifting coach. I would not want mr. Maxwell teach me deadlifts. I wouldn’t employ him for teaching me how to squat either. If you just go to the gym and try to lift as much as you can with no idea about warm up, perdiodization, programming, RPE well you will hurt yourself. Like I did. I hurt myself doing perfect form, all it took was working att too high RPE and minor SI Joint disfunction.

You are selective, quite a few coaches of top athletes who sat at Rogans table said squatting improves power. Each step, each pedal stroke, jump is more powerful.

Finally if you look at all balancing exercises, poliferation of crossfit, how they all train to fatigue, every god damn time and you better think twice whether barbell is so dangerous.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: agreed.

So a pretty far out episode, but one with someone that actually has gotten people strong is the episode with Louie Simmons.
He does have athletes standing on one foot atop a Bosu ball while patting their head and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pinkbike really scraped the bottom of the barrel for these videos with exception of Tahnee, Sam, and Kate doing jumps.
That failed box jump is a great way to get injured and miss a race.
  • 1 0
 *doesn't have.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: this is the first time ever I have enjoyed reading your comments. It feels a tad odd.
  • 2 4
 @puddinghead: who gives a sht, Brook McDonald is back riding trails!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: You've misintepreted my point - the point is to avoid injury in training when a sport carries inherent risk, e.g. Martha's example. BTW I didn't say I agreed with him about those exercises, I was repeating his observation. I will continue to squat and deadlift.
  • 3 3
 @iamamodel: ok. That’s fair. But it’s funny to see how pretty much all functional movement folks demonize barbell training. I don’t know, maybe it’s crossfitters giving it the bad cred. They do incredible shenneningans with barbells. Nothing better than introducing cleans and snatches to someone who can’t even deadlift or squat properly and thoracic spine/ shoulder and ankle mobility never went through their rep counting mind
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Agreed! Squats makes Watts. End of discussion.
  • 1 1
 @iamamodel: hah! look what popped up on my youtube feed. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw5EfLi4JGo
  • 5 0
 Step Brothers...FTW
  • 3 2
 All this sharing of the workout by pros...is it inspiring 'more' people? I honestly don't get the point, it's almost as if its more blatant mind games to play on the competition than anything else.
  • 7 5
 Why would pro athletes in hard training for the season be shoving a can of that crap down there throats ????
  • 5 1
 Money. I was once given a promotional can at an event. Yuck. I feel sorry for the grass I tipped it on.
  • 3 0
 Of course they are getting paid, but there are also well researched and proven benefits of caffeine on training and athletic performance. Not much different than any pre-workout you see advertised.
  • 2 1
 Pretty confident those cans are often just full of water.
  • 1 0
 @jpcars10s: they definitely sometime are. Had a friend of a friend who worked for a race team sponsored by monster. They called those water cans ‘race water’. But I would not be one but surprised if they do drink the actual stuff as well. Like I said in my comment above there are proven benefits for the use of caffeine for athletic training and performance.
  • 2 1
 @sino428: Caffiene is fine ! but we all know that is not the only thing in those .Standard ones are full of sugar and chemicals and the sugar free ones are full of more chemicals.Then there is the supersize cans of Monster and Relentless and cheaper brands, it pains me to see kids coming out of shops holding them and drinking a can or two a day cause they see pictures like this of athletes drinking them and looking like they do.If I was paid to promote this would I ?????
  • 3 1
 @SteelCityMTBer: Until you prove us with a poll that teenagers do Energy drinks because they see athletes doing them and want to be like them, leave these preachers’ assumptions, they do it for a kick some articles report. Then please remember Energy drinks made many sports including MTB for what they are. Instead promote organizations that want to classify energy drinks to be 18+. Kids drink Redbull, their parents get wasted on alcohol and my buddy is awaiting sentence for having weed in his blood, threatened to go to jail, pay fine, lose job and get social services on his kid. In Europe we used to have 330ml cans of Redbull then some other crap. Then US came with selling and marketing Monster Energy here. We now also have huge cans of Redbull as a response. This is a problem in Scandinavia because people tend to have 50% of body weight of Americans and 70% of Brits Smile
  • 1 1
 @jpcars10s: afaik for RedBull there are not prefilled cans with water, but oftentimes they just empty and refill with any other drink of choice
  • 2 0
 @Mooka: I would think that redbull (like other companies) also has cans prefilled with water.
  • 1 0
 I'll stick to the "Classic" lifts in the gym. My body is doing all that freaky shit on the bike and snowboard. I find the gym is a great way to balance out.
  • 1 0
 damn Nino is so damn cool! and the machine Kate is using in the second video is weird.
  • 2 0
 _I need to see a chiro.
_martha: no you don't, I'll show something.
  • 2 0
 Wow, can someone please tell me what that handle bar-push up app is!?
  • 1 0
 the app is meh...the device is pretty sweet
  • 2 0
 Tahnee excercise - that's a good one, thanks for the reminder.
  • 1 0
 Holy shit Martha, you're going to crack your tail bone and be out all season with that shit! Put a pad down first!
  • 1 0
 As a guy who snapped off and permanently wedged his tailbone where it ain't supposed to be... yeah, don't risk that.
  • 1 0
 Some very cool and sophisticated workout equipment there. L looks effective, and more importantly, fun.
  • 2 0
 Classic Martha lol
  • 4 7
 They were cheering for her by chanting: Hernia! Hernia! Hernia!
  • 2 2
 Comment on "OMG just look how buff Richie Rude is!!!" arriving in 3...2....1...
  • 1 0
 Tnx PB, But I am waiting for coach Dee’s training schedule for january.
  • 3 4
 Most of this stuff is completely pointless, hilarious. How do these coaches get appointed!? Awesome athletes given poor direction.
  • 1 0
 Churter is no joke...????????????
  • 1 0
 Just came here for the comments from the ‘experts’
  • 1 0
 Have fractured my spine by watching the last video Frown
  • 2 1
 Riveting stuff
  • 1 0
 Nino, do a kickflip!
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