Let's talk gym routines- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Let's talk gym routines

    I have decided that it would benefit me to hit the gym to help my racing (duh). I plan to hit the work gym 3-4 days a week on my lunch break, and was wondering what exercises everyone does to help their racing.

    Most routines I have found are for getting jacked, which I have no interest in. Im looking to tighten up my upper body for long days in the saddle and reducing fatigue.

  2. #2
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    I think the basics like dead lift, barbell squats, bench press and pull-ups are all you would really need along with some good core work. Make sure you have good form and don't lift too heavy; good form trumps all. Core is probably going to help the most. 3-4 times a week seems a bit much. I hit the gym 1-2 times per week.

    Also, I have found that yoga helped my biking more than any weight lifting routine.

  3. #3
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    Core exercises

  4. #4
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    Kettle bells.
    "These things are very fancy commuter bikes or really bad dirt bikes, but they are not mountain bikes." - J. Mac

  5. #5
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    Iím probably not a good example, because I lift hard 3x per week to maintain and build muscle, and not to help my MTBíing. My physique is definitely not typical of a cyclist, and I carry a lot more weight up top than most riders. But I played football in college and have lifted hard my whole life. Itís my priority.

    My general routine: 2x Push (chest, shoulders, triceps) and 1x Pull (back, biceps). No legs because I ride 2-3x per week, and thatís enough for me, though Iím going to try and add a leg day going forward.

    I generally do Olympic free weight lifts, and do 3 exercises per muscle group, with 5-6 for my back, ranging from heavier (4x6), moderate (3x8) and light/supersets (3x10-12, supersetted).


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  6. #6
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    It really depends how detailed you want to get. I know some athletes who rotate every 3-6 weeks between strength and explosion. For a general tightening of the upper body I would suggest stretching every morning and doing core work every day. Think 4-6 exercise circuit with high intensity low weight. In addition I would seriously look at kettle bell routines. Typically 5 rounds of 5-6 exercises 5 reps each. Lastly do not underestimate the power of sprinting.
    Paul

  7. #7
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    15-20 min bike/elliptical warm-up
    15-20 min stretch/foam roller
    15-20 min kettlebell swing, goblet squat, windmill, single leg deadlift
    15-20 min upper body, pullup/dips/lat pull down/row/dumb bell bench press/curls etc.
    Leg press and extensions if I'm not riding much.

    Hard to get in and do it in the summer since our riding season is so short as it is though.

  8. #8
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    Yoga, Aerobic workouts, Core, and running Don't get to carried away with heavy weight low reps (anaerobic).
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  9. #9
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    I basically do ab ripper x from the P90x routine as my core workout.

    I also do that thing where your knees are on the ground and you hold onto the little wheel and roll out and in.

    It has improved my riding on steeps and technical bits.

    I do other stuff, but just for fun. Squats/ deadlift to help with lower back pain. Then all manner of bench press etc.

    I start with cardio, but usually in the form of the rowing machine. It was always tempting to do the spin bike, and I did it quite a bit when I was riding less, but now I'm riding 4 days a week, so it's counter productive. No good getting a saddle sore from the @$$hatchet on the spin bike and ruining your real riding the next day!

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  10. #10
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    Figure out your weak spots and work on those first. I hit the leg adductor and abductor machine pretty hard because it prevents some pretty terrible leg cramps after a hard ride. Core; back and abs are important. I'm old so strength work, squats, lunges and such are part of my drill.

    Here's a guy with some workouts.

  11. #11
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    As a few have mentioned 3-4 days a week during the season is, i think, a bit much.
    Off season you could get away with it but everything i have read is that lifting is such a strain on your muscles and stress that if you are riding a minimum of 6hrs a week, its tough to recover.
    I struggle with how to fit lifting into an in-season routine but i go 1-2 usually on mondays and maybe a friday if i'm not racing sat. and its mostly just maintenance lifts (much of what has been mentioned above) and not building
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Kettle bells.
    This is the answer. All I do along with stretching.

  13. #13
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    I do ~20-30 min worth of core work 3-5 times a week year round. Nothing crazy and in the words of my coach, we try to NOT do too many things that make the hips smaller (crunches, situps). most of my abdominal exercises are things like reverse crunches, leg drops, hip bridges w/ leg raises... ...etc. Add a bunch of Planks of all varieties and really that's it.

    what I do nearly every day (and sometimes 2x) though is rolling and stretching. Stretch the shit out of everything and this is probably a good habit for you younguns to get into - eventually you'll thank me and everyone else who told you to do so.

    Ideally I'd spend ~40min in the morning but tend to run myself short and end up doing a session in the evening which is GREAT to work out all of my bad posture (even though I have a standing desk at work). Roughly 2min/stretch - sometimes more, sometimes less it just depends how much you have to release. Don't get all agro and try to make it hurt, just keep some tension (is that the right word?) and when it releases, try to go a little deeper... rinse and repeat. All your glutes, hammies, calves, quads, hips... keep them happy and your back will thank you for doing so.

    Today (after short track yesterday) will be one of the 2x sessions.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I do ~20-30 min worth of core work 3-5 times a week year round. Nothing crazy and in the words of my coach, we try to NOT do too many things that make the hips smaller (crunches, situps). most of my abdominal exercises are things like reverse crunches, leg drops, hip bridges w/ leg raises... ...etc. Add a bunch of Planks of all varieties and really that's it.

    what I do nearly every day (and sometimes 2x) though is rolling and stretching. Stretch the shit out of everything and this is probably a good habit for you younguns to get into - eventually you'll thank me and everyone else who told you to do so.

    Ideally I'd spend ~40min in the morning but tend to run myself short and end up doing a session in the evening which is GREAT to work out all of my bad posture (even though I have a standing desk at work). Roughly 2min/stretch - sometimes more, sometimes less it just depends how much you have to release. Don't get all agro and try to make it hurt, just keep some tension (is that the right word?) and when it releases, try to go a little deeper... rinse and repeat. All your glutes, hammies, calves, quads, hips... keep them happy and your back will thank you for doing so.

    Today (after short track yesterday) will be one of the 2x sessions.
    Are you doing short track in Boulder?


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Are you doing short track in Boulder?


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Yessir! A little on the loose side, a few people ruined their day (and hopefully that's the extent of it)
    Yea itís crazy how bad we need the rain. Golden is a dust bowl.
    Keep the fires away.


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  17. #17
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    Lots of good advice thus far. I tend to periodize My work outs. Periodically I will focus on lifting by going to the gym 3 days a week and other times just doing the occasional single, all-out set of push-ups, pull-ups or planks for several weeks in a row ..with lots of cycling of course. When I do go, the emphasis is on heavy squatting and core work.

  18. #18
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    Free weights in my opinion are best since you have to stabilize the weight rather than relying on a machine to do it for you.

    Squats, deadlifts, and bench will cover almost everything. You can mix in some other stuff like press, clean, situps, or pull ups too. With these lifts, 1 hour a day for 3 days a week is all you need and you'll build fairly balanced muscle all over.

    Find a 3x5 program online and just stick with it. A program will force you to progress and will yield much better results than going to the gym and doing the same thing every day or guessing what you should be doing. Over time you'll learn enough about yourself to tweak the programs to suit you a better, but at first just following the programs will work.

    I suggest starting by reading this book. It is VERY important to learn the correct techniques.
    https://www.amazon.com/Starting-Stre...rting+strength

  19. #19
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    I wholeheartedly support strength training. It corrects imbalances and overall makes you stronger and more athletic, and who wouldnít want that? What you do will all be about individual goals and preferences but lots of great ideas here.

    During the true offseason I follow a power lifting type routine focused on the big four: bench, overhead press, squat and deadlift. Each lift has its own day of the week dedicated to it. I also do accessories tailored to structural imbalances (eg, if core stability is holding back your squat, do front squats)

    Prior to preseason, I stop this. I stay in the gym but focus almost exclusively on stability, mobility and balance. So what this looks like is:

    - yoga one day a week at least
    - two days a week of lifting, but will be things like single-arm dumbbell Bench press, lunge with single-arm overhead press, kettlebells. These sessions are short: not a lot of rest, lots of supersets. Not a lot of legs, and if I do then it will be an exercise that emphasizes balance (eg, split squat w back foot up on exercise ball)
    - three days a week of core, usually same day as the lifting day
    - stretch / foam roll after every hard ride

    I second the advice to follow a program. How much strength you do shoukd vary based on how much your riding. I recommend no CrossFit; they do too much high intensity; parts of their philosophy are good but parts are like the 7 minute abs of strength sports. I recommend no Olympic lifts as a beginner; itís too high-skill and the risks are not justified by the returns. Even me, I think itíll be years before theyíd be worthwhile for me to do.

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