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  1. #1
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    How important is weightlifting for MTB

    Well hard to describe, but i feel at times when i descend a trail full of roots and some rocks to keep control of the bike due to my shoulder and arm strength, so is it important to go to the gym for some upper body workout.
    Like shoulders,triceps,biceps?
    and what else is important?
    regards
    Pekka

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PekkaS-works View Post
    Like shoulders,triceps,biceps?
    and what else is important?
    regards
    Pekka
    Add lats and a good core workout (including lower back), and I think you've about got it covered. I had a trainer friend design me a half-hour dumbell and ankle weight workout ages ago, and I do that at home twice a week (maybe three, if its really crappy weather, and I can't get outside).
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  3. #3
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    Ok thank you so some dumbbell exercise like sitting up and move it from side to side, or was it like up and down you did?
    well ill let my physiotherapist make a program maybe ill by some dumbells and do some workout at home?
    regards
    pekka

  4. #4
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    I do:

    1) dead lifts from floor to full upwards extension,

    2) military presses (simultaneous arms and alternating arms),

    3) curls (same),

    4) lat pulls, or "rows",

    5) shoulder things too difficult to explain (simultaneous arms and alternating arms),

    6) push ups (3 different kinds on rotating days),

    7) reverse tricep curls (simultaneous arms and alternating arms),

    8) about 5 different kinds of situp/core exercises with 3 pound ankle weights,

    9) different versions of the classic "plank", and

    10) reverse leg extensions specifically targeting the lower back (lay across breakfast bar, hold onto far side, lift legs to horizontal, straight back and to left and right).

    I strive to avoid doing this routine in the same order, ever, but it's easy to get into a routine!

    I originally started this due to a belief that as you age, some weight bearing exercise is a very good idea. The surprise was that it definitely helped with regards to long mtb rides/races.

    Never let it get too monotonous, or you'll quit!

    Tom
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  5. #5
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Most important is forearm grip, upper body and core. Thankfully, the legs and glutes are already done while mashing on the bike. You don't need huge, Dwayne Johnson guns to control a MTB.

    My off-bike workouts involve repetitive, no-weight exercises; elevated, reverse situps, planks, standing high-jump onto a 3.5 foot wall and bar dips.....really ALL you need!
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  6. #6
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    ok thx mate

  7. #7
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    yeah im not out to build a Dwayne kind of body but i wanna feel that i have control of the bike when it gets really bumpy not the feeling have had that im not gonna be able to hold on to the handlebar, there for i am wondering if i need to strengthen my arms and shoulders

  8. #8
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by PekkaS-works View Post
    yeah im not out to build a Dwayne kind of body but i wanna feel that i have control of the bike when it gets really bumpy not the feeling have had that im not gonna be able to hold on to the handlebar, there for i am wondering if i need to strengthen my arms and shoulders
    I found that forearm grip strength is tantamount, for enduring long rides - especially when extended downhills and braking is involved. Use the spring hand gripper 25-100 times daily. Now, you don't need a death grip on the bars, ever....but you'll need some forearm sinew to resist fatigue.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  9. #9
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    core strength and mobility, are the most important things. The more well rounded of an athlete you are, the better you'll be on the bike.
    If you don't have a good strength training and streching routine, you are not going to achieve your full potential.
    There are some good programs for MTBers.

  10. #10
    AZ
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    Elevated dead lifts, Bulgarian squats, Planks and variations of, Burpee's, jump rope, leg curls, pushups as well as running and swimming.

  11. #11
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    I do the Bill Phillips Body for Life routine... Its pretty basic stuff and covers about everything. I think its been a pretty big help.. I go a little heavier in the off season

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I do the workout in Friel. There's some customization possible; my version is
    -leg press
    -step-ups
    -heel presses
    -seated row
    -standing row
    -pull-down
    -chest press

    It's almost all free weights, which I think is better for cross-training. Lower weights, higher rep counts.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Depends what your body is like now. What do you weigh? Muscle is heavy. At 200lbs, I stopped lifting a few years ago because I want to downsize my upper body after 10+ years of lifting in the winter....maybe if I can get smaller I can get faster uphill.....

  14. #14
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    Or climb....

    I've found MTB and climbing go hand in hand. Want a back/forearm/core workout? Go to your local crag or gym. Plus to me its much much much more fun than lifting. And as with MTB it generally keeps me in the woods with friends.

  15. #15
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    Depends what your body is like now. What do you weigh? Muscle is heavy. At 200lbs, I stopped lifting a few years ago because I want to downsize my upper body after 10+ years of lifting in the winter....maybe if I can get smaller I can get faster uphill.....
    I hear you. Downsizing the guns and chest was NOT easy or fun. I found out for cycling - I had nearly 35lbs of upper body mass that was dead weight on a bike and by losing most of it - the climbing greatly improved.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  16. #16
    Daniel the Dog
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    I do 500 lb squats to failure Just kidding.

    Keeping muscle may slow you down, maybe, but it is good for you overall. The problem is the super skinny dude is going to struggle to keep weight in the future. I know a guy who weights in the 160's at 5'11" and has a gut. No muscle.

  17. #17
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    well right now of course i cant do much heavy lifting at all due to my back injury, maybe and hopefully in the future.
    i weigh between 97-99kg depending what i eat and maybe not always so healthy

  18. #18
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    I never use to do any kind of strength training just bike workouts, because the theory being if you want to be good at mountain biking go mountain biking. I have heard both sides of the training story time spent in the gym is time spent away from the bike so that cant be beneficial. Also that time in the gym can help overall core strength and upper body strength to help control the bike. And then there is the sprinters who do tons of leg workouts to get those massive legs to push the crazy high power which they push.

    The past 2 years I have not been on my bike as much as I would like because of my job and being away from home 20 days a month. The other thing my job has done is give me some serious upper body strength, as well as forced me to go to the gym on days off. So now I notice the difference when I get to go out on the bike for the control aspect even though the job doesn't do much for my endurance or leg power.

    The other thing I have found though reading a lot about different strength training is how much it is helping with recovery and injury prevention. As a result of all of this I am going to be putting in as much cross training as I can over this winter and spring to get ready for my return to recreational racing next summer.

    The area's I am focusing on are core (planks/stability ball/medicine ball), compound movements (rows/press), and power (pull ups/deadlift/power clean) with a secondary goal of some isolated movements for some muscle imbalances I have. All the workouts I have designed so far are intensity driven (I am tired at the end of a set) and I really like circuit type workouts. Things like biceps curls and tri extensions are super popular at the gym but don't really do much in terms of functionality.
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  19. #19
    Grip it and rip it.
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    Get yourself a TRX, the only piece of home workout kit you need for mtb, IMO. If you don't know what it is, search for it on youtube, lots of videos about it .
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

    michaelmblog.wordpress.com

  20. #20
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    I have a TRX and it is great, I am just following the TRX Force workout plan right now, I just wish they showed some more progressions with the package.

    The mobility parts are really good and I think every rider would benefit from it.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
    Rocky Element
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  21. #21
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    Kettlebells are great for building power endurance, and most of the muscle groups balance out your cycling muscles. Lots of hamstring, lower and upper back, and shoulders, forearms.

  22. #22
    I hate sugar sand.
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    I go to the gym waaaaay more than I bike and it shows in my lack of endurance and lack of mad MTB skillz. Building up your arms, shoulders and core seems like it would be beneficial in helping you control your bike, but bulking up from serious heavy lifting seems like it might be a hindrance. Benching 2x your body weight probably doesn't come in handy when riding a bike either.

    I think I'll switch my focus to higher reps at the gym instead of pushing for max weight. And I definitely need to increase my leg strength and endurance, rather than further bulking up my upper body.

  23. #23
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I've been using about half my gym time lately doing intervals on a spin bike.

    Of course, if I had a little more time and daylight, I'd be on a real bike. But it's an easy way to stuff a little more pedaling into my week.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    In the XC and training forum there is a whole thread on James Wilson MTB strength training coach and soem of his specfic workouts, they seem to work well and are very strutructed to MTBing.

    Hard part for me right now is base building and maintaining strength workouts, just not enought hours in the day with life going on if you know what I mean. For workout time riding wins out everytime.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  25. #25
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    I was browsing some journals the other day and found a pretty interesting artical. They had two groups of cyclists one was only doing endurance training and the other doing endurance training plus weight training specifically for hip flexor muscles. They found an increase for pedaling efficiency due to the reduction of negative pedal forces. ie the stronger hip flexors during the upstorke weren't fighting the opposite downstroke.

    I could only read the abstract so I am not sure what exercises they were doing specifically but they did say hip flexors. so its not only the upper body and squats you need to do in the gym ad some of that hip flexion strength as well.
    Rocky Element
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