The best way to increase your strength is with functional strength training or "weight training". I tend not to like to use the term “weight Training” because of what most cyclists or endurance athletes picture in their head when they hear it. Mostly a gym with big leg press machines and lots of guys in front of the rows of dumbbells checking out their arms as they lift the heaviest weight they can for a couple of reps. OK, enough about that.
Mountain biking and cyclocross racing are unique in the fact that they demand a lot more from your upper body and core compared to Road Cycling. Every time you go through a technical, rocky up hill section or whenever you dismount or remount on the CX bike you use core and upper body muscles. If your upper body is not ready for that high demand then your heart rate is going to sky rocket, which will take energy from your legs or the engine.
Its also important to note that usually when you are passing someone, dismounting and jumping over barriers your heart rate is pretty much at LT anyway and the stronger your core is the faster you are able to execute these non-pedaling, high tension, fast contraction movements.
So why not work on it in the gym and then practice it on your bike.
I like to call this particular workout “10 sets of Hell”. It is very demanding. It stresses your upper body and legs and gets you more prepared for the unique demands of mountain biking and CX racing.
The exercises can be changes depending on your weakness, but in this video we have:
- Kettle ball Swing (great leg, core and upper body workout)
- Sled push (which will get your legs used to accelerating, whether you are running up a steep hill with your CX bike, or just passing another racer on the trail)
- Oblique dumbell presses (done one side at a time)
- The Rope (very demanding of your upper body)
All the exercises are done 10 reps and then you move to the next exercise, there is no rest or break. The weights used needs to be about 60-70% of one rep max. The goals is to go around and do this 10 times. That is 10 sets of four exercises at 10 reps each.
This is a very tough workout and you need to be ready for it, so don’t speed to your nearest gym and grab the weights and go at it.
You will need to warm up properly (about 10 minutes of cardio), followed by a number of active stretches to get your body ready for the main set.
Afterwards make sure you get back on a cardio machine and use light resistance to slowly bring your heart rate down and give your body to stabilize your blood sugar level. If you stop and lay down after the workout chances are you will get faint and might even get sick.
In-person session include an assessment and posture analysis and then take you through your own workout so you can do it by yourself at any gym or if you like it can be all body weight for $75, and don’t forget to check the CoachAhmadi FB page, and while you are there click “like” to get more fun, informative and inspirational posts.
Book a session with Coach Ahmadi to create a custom training plan that includes the right endurance work, strength workouts and bodywork for you.
Coach Ahmadi's holistic approach to fitness includes a combination of functional training and bodywork. For over 15 years, Coach Ahmadi's methods work with pro athletes, weekend warriors, busy professionals, adaptive athletes and clients wanting to feel stronger, move efficiently, and correct pain or injury.