Offseason Gym Work for Young Racers- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    384

    Offseason Gym Work for Young Racers

    Does anyone have any thoughts on a good gym plan as we head into a lack of daylight in the offseason? Right now, my 12 year old is getting to ride at least 3 days during the week and 2 days on the weekend. When daylight savings hits, the weekday rides will be hard to squeeze in (we're talking about getting lights).

    In the past, he wrestled during the winter, which kept him in shape. He's no longer interested in wrestling and wants to dedicate himself totally to riding Enduro (with some XC and Cyclocross mainly for bike time and to develop his legs). Without some kind of structured plan, I'm afraid he'll couch potato it during the week this winter.

    We've also talked about joining a local climbing gym, as one of his best friends won nationals this year in his age division for speed and bouldering, and he enjoys climbing.

    Anyway, just curious if anyone has any recommendations on gym routines. I'm thinking mainly bodyweight core/leg/balance/mobility training, as I'm scared of really hitting weights at his age.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    600
    I suppose the big money option would be a RipRow -- I've been curious, but haven't been able to justify spending the money:
    https://www.outsideonline.com/2319246/review-riprow

  3. #3
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,140
    squats with 1/2 bodyweight

    arnold presses at 1/4 bodyweight

    pushups

    situps

    simple stuff really, do these it translates to MTB (grip, arms, core, legs)
    then at least 30 minutes on a spinbike to maintain aerobic capacity

    deep breathing exercises as well. build the air intake
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,728
    Enroll them in gymnastics. Aerial awareness and strength and balance etc. Pretty hard to beat. The guy that runs the big kids team in our town swears by it. He is a big freeride/ex-DH racer guy.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    384
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Enroll them in gymnastics. Aerial awareness and strength and balance etc. Pretty hard to beat. The guy that runs the big kids team in our town swears by it. He is a big freeride/ex-DH racer guy.
    Yeah. That's a good call. He used to do parkour classes (which was basically gymnastics for boys), but the classes were really unstructured, and they weren't developing the strength that I wanted to see from that program. I've heard that it's improved, though, so I might put him back in that or explore a "real" gymnastics program. He definitely has slopestyle type aspirations as well, and that's ALL gymnastics now.

  6. #6
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,140
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Enroll them in gymnastics. Aerial awareness and strength and balance etc. Pretty hard to beat. The guy that runs the big kids team in our town swears by it. He is a big freeride/ex-DH racer guy.
    yes this.

    pro tip: rings...parallel bars
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,728
    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Yeah. That's a good call. He used to do parkour classes (which was basically gymnastics for boys), but the classes were really unstructured, and they weren't developing the strength that I wanted to see from that program. I've heard that it's improved, though, so I might put him back in that or explore a "real" gymnastics program. He definitely has slopestyle type aspirations as well, and that's ALL gymnastics now.
    Funny, yeah I've seen some of our Parkour classes that have some ski/snowboarding/bike focus...but its a LOT more casual/fun than a legit gymnastics program that competes etc. They just go flip around and have fun (which is good I'm sure)...buts a far cry from a real program that builds their bodies and truly trains. We have friends whose girl is WAY into gymnastics and every day they drive her 45mins to a gymnastics "school" that does typical education but entirely at the gym and then they do all the gym work. Hardcore. Its like a ski academy (we have those too...some kids even live there, its weird). Nevertheless, a normal gymnastics program will be pretty damn good I'm guessing but maybe hard to find.

    I think a solid Jujitsu program is great for kids too. My young kids love it when we've done it. The kids get to beat on each other a bit...and get a lot of flexibility and core strength.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    8,569
    Any indoor skateparks in your area?

    Keep the handling skills sharp. Think of it as parkour on a bike.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    384
    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Any indoor skateparks in your area?

    Keep the handling skills sharp. Think of it as parkour on a bike.
    No indoor parks, and our outdoor park doesn't have lights, unfortunately (even though we've been trying to get them there for years). He does ride BMX a lot, though, and definitely shifts to that more in the Winter since he can ride street under streetlights and in parking lots and such near the neighborhood at night.


    We've talked about BJJ. Unfortunately, his 6 years of wrestling have given him an aversion to rolling on the mat with other kids.

    And yeah: I'd love to get him into a real gymnastics program. There ain't no strength like gymnast strength. Plus.. being able to tumble and planche would be amazing. I've always wished I could.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    No indoor parks, and our outdoor park doesn't have lights, unfortunately (even though we've been trying to get them there for years).
    A few tripods with these might help with the light problem (I've got a bunch of them in our backyard for night riding):
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQ4L1SB/

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    8,569
    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    No indoor parks, and our outdoor park doesn't have lights, unfortunately .
    Looks like it's high time for you guys to get some headlights and get into night riding then, as you mentioned earlier.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,470
    at 12, I'd say the concerns should be more related to avoiding overspecialization rather than specific "training" for anything.

    https://www.wpr.org/uw-madison-study...time-tiredness
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKCN1141YY

    If wrestling isn't doing it for him, find something else he can do that's not related to biking or wrestling.

    My parents let me overspecialize too early. WAY too early. I had repetitive stress injuries from it in high school that forced me to stop competitive soccer for years in order to let my body recover. And there are still lingering issues at 38yrs old that keep me away from activities that have too much running. I didn't really pick up biking until after those repetitive stress injuries showed up.

    Introducing gym work isn't a bad idea, but it should be more of a general fitness sort of thing, rather than specific training for specific sports.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    384
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    at 12, I'd say the concerns should be more related to avoiding overspecialization rather than specific "training" for anything.

    https://www.wpr.org/uw-madison-study...time-tiredness
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKCN1141YY

    If wrestling isn't doing it for him, find something else he can do that's not related to biking or wrestling.

    My parents let me overspecialize too early. WAY too early. I had repetitive stress injuries from it in high school that forced me to stop competitive soccer for years in order to let my body recover. And there are still lingering issues at 38yrs old that keep me away from activities that have too much running. I didn't really pick up biking until after those repetitive stress injuries showed up.

    Introducing gym work isn't a bad idea, but it should be more of a general fitness sort of thing, rather than specific training for specific sports.
    Yeah. Ideally I'd like him to crosstrain in something that feels more like play (like gymnastics or rockclimbing). If we do gym work, other than the occasional spin class, it will likely be general core/balance/mobility work on a bosu and things of that nature.

    I guess I could probably look up kid crossfit/bodyweight exercises to get some ideas.

  14. #14
    Keep on Rockin...
    Reputation: Miker J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    6,350
    Good question...

    My boy, now 13 also wrestles in winter and mountain bikes the rest (LaCross in Spring). Been doing both since about 4 years old.

    IMO there is no replacement for resistance training with weights if you want to perform very well athletically. And some roadwork.

    Squats, presses, chins. Shorter, hilly, intense runs in the off-season.

    Deadlifts are harder to master safe technique so while I've tried to get my boy there we've backed off on those. Instead I've integrated a trap bar dead lift to replace the traditional dead lift.

    1/2 hour 3 times a week doing this will do a lot. But, it takes a lot of discipline, and that's not something many 12 year old boys have.

  15. #15
    Bikes in jeans
    Reputation: jestep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,137
    Nordic skiing would be my first choice if that's something available in your area. Not much benefit for technique, but your lungs and quads and most other lower body and core muscles will be ripped when spring rolls back around.

    I've been a rock climber since I was around 10 and was competitive for a few years, so I always recommend it, but you aren't going to get much if any benefit to biking by climbing. It's still super fun and has a similar community that biking does, so totally recommend it if that's an option.

    Otherwise as others have suggested there's plenty of gym routines that work great. I personally tend to steer away from sort of training unless the kid is super motivated to do it. It often gets boring to younger people and ends up pushing them away if they start feeling like they're being forced to keep it up. Obviously depends on the kid, but just IME pay close attention to whether they actually want to do whatever it is or if it's us parent's as the primary motivator.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  16. #16
    MTB Dad
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    30
    SPARK BMX TRAINING – Physical Preparation For BMX Athletes has great gym and home training plans for all ages. Tell him “Bike Like a Tike” sent you...you won’t get anything special but I might, LOL.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    137
    American Ninja Warrior gyms are popping up all over the place. If there is one in your area, go check it out with him. Awesome training that will improve athleticism in pretty much any physical endeavor, and he will probably love it, which is the most important part of the equation.

    Rock climbing is great too, as well as gymnastics. Kids Crossfit. Find something he is stoked to do.

Similar Threads

  1. Gave up my gym membership - Going the Home Gym route
    By Dion in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 09-17-2012, 02:32 PM
  2. Parents: How young is too young...
    By Slow Danger in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 64
    Last Post: 06-04-2012, 09:05 AM
  3. Good offseason work
    By ej63090 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-24-2011, 07:17 PM
  4. Only one bike, x-cal training info help ? Gym also and home gym
    By Iceman30 in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-08-2011, 02:53 PM
  5. Striders how young is too young?
    By ae111black in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-20-2011, 11:28 AM

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.