T Nation

Training for a Mountain Biker

Hi Mr.Christian. Here a young man from Portugal :).

I am a Mountain biker and I have a question for regarding my gym training.
My goals in the gym are to create power to be transfered to my pedalling and to have a nice upper body condition(this is just a bonus).

Currently I have 2 workouts:

A: Squats-6x3
Bent-Over Rows-5x5
Pull ups- 2xMax (upper and lower back strenght, required in mtbiking)

B: Bench Press- 5x3
Overhead Press-5x3
Lateral Raises(shoulders)-3x8
Ab work

From my point of view, workout A is the one that helps me in my pedalling power and workout B to give me a nice upper body, without many mass gains(just as a maintenance, regarding “the look”).

It´s my first post but visiting this site since 2008.

What do you think about the exercises? the reps and sets? Any ohter info and i´ll give it.

Sorry by the not so good english.
Thank you!

I used to train for triathlons so I’ve done some bike training. I was always interested in whether weight training could help endurance. Ask most endurance athletes and they will tell you it does not help and that your time is better spent riding, running, or whatever. Do research on the Internet and you’ll find some articles that say weights help and some that say weights don’t help. From my experience, I think weight training helps to some extent, especially in a sport like mountain biking where the bike itself is heavier than a road bike and you sometimes need to be able to muscle up some steep climbs.

Your routine looks fine. From my own experience, I’ve found that doing very high reps once in a while helps build muscular endurance. I have no research to back this up - it’s just something that I’ve felt has helped me. Also, hamstring curls are actually specific to how you use your hamstrings in cycling. I’m assuming that you ride with clipless pedals that allow you to pull back on the pedal with your hamstrings.

Look into doing some plyometric work to build power. There has been some research suggesting that plyometrics help distance runners. They may also help cyclists.

Don’t forget that there is a lot of “strength” work you can do on the bike. For instance, on hills that are not too steep, try riding up in a big gear and grind your way up the hill. This is not fun, but it will build cycling specific strength. To build power, on a flat section shift into a much lower gear than you would normally use and spin at a very fast cadence. I’ve seen drills that encourage you to spin at 110 RPM which is very fast.

Hope this helps. If this did help you, you must attach a picture of your mountain bike, or at least tell me what you ride.

I will post it soon.
I ride a Scott Scale 2010 frame, ZTR Alpine wheels with dt swiss 240s and cx-ray.
Rear derailleur sram x.0, Crankset Shimano XTR with 2 rings only, Rock shox sid race and so on, It has 9,1 kg.

Thank you for your reply!

The low reps seem like a good choice. It’s a good way to build strength without as much hypertrophy (so I’ve read) to weigh you down on your bike. I guess I’m thinking of the phrase “relative strength”.