Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

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Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

Postby XRPRO29 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:01 am

Title may be confusing, but let me explain my situation a little.

I live a busy lifestyle and time is something i don’t take for granted. I live in El Paso, Texas and im located on the far eastside of town which makes my commute to the trails a good 40-45 minutes away; which equals 90 minutes of driving. I easily lose an 1-2 hours in just driving back and forth. So the commute has made me a weekend warrior bike rider. I go once every weekend, but i find myself not being able to build on my endurance and strength because i only go once a week.

I’m trying to build up my endurance as well as my quad/thigh muscles. Usually i do pretty well, but I’m trying to move on to more difficult trails. So far i have lost 25 pounds with a mixture of playing basketball and jumping rope on the weekdays and Mountain biking on the weekends. Just to give you guys an idea im 5'9 and 188 pounds.

Sometimes my quad muscles give out before my stamina and sometimes I’m dead tired but my quads are still good to go. I attempt to bike ride around my neighborhood but the paved road doesn’t compare to the terrain i ride at all!

So the magic question is: What type of exercises can i do to increase my leg strength and endurance to better prepare me for the trails.
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Re: Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

Postby Castle81 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:10 pm ... quadriceps

That may help with some strength training. If you can find some hilly road sections near you, a ride there a few times a week will help on endurance. I use the Strava app on my phone, which has user generated "segments" you can challenge local riders times on. Hill climbs are a popular challenge.

Also, pay attention to what you eat and when. If you're aiming for weight loss, you may be avoiding carbs? Carbs aren't bad, you just have to be careful. Carb loading the day before a ride can help avoid the "rubber legs." Your body stores fuel in your muscles, liver, and fat cells. It will burn energy from it's stores in that order too. If your muscles lack the on-board stores you need, they crap out before you get your heart rate up.

When you start exercising, your body releases hormones that start the process of convering stored fuel into a simpler form that it can use. Eating releases the same hormone so food can be stored easily. If you eat too soon before you ride, you double down on that hormone and boom, muscle flame-out.

Hit up Half Price Books. I've found several good cycle & mtb training & nutrition books for cheap that way. Your local library is even cheaper! :)
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Re: Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

Postby Irishmongooserider » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:12 am

To improve leg strength, sprints on the bike and squats off the bike work great, as do leg presses. I got to box squatting near 475 lbs before deciding to level off, since pure max lifts aren't the best for cycling workouts. Do lighter weights and tons of reps to truly benefit for cycling, as that best recreates pedaling. Running stairs helps endurance a ton, and helps your legs at the same time. Football and basketball is great for a fun way to build up both endurance and muscle mass, as you're doing both fast reflex movements and running for speed. Also, be sure to try to eat 40/30/30 ratio carbs/protein/fat foods before riding. PB & J works great for a readily available food that is close to that ideal ratio.
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Re: Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

Postby TwoHeadsBrewing » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:00 pm

IME there are two main components to off the bike fitness: cardio and lower body strength.

The best, hands down pure cardio that I do (and also hate) is running. I really do hate it, but it's an exercise that doesn't allow any rest without stopping completely. A stationary bike is OK, but it's hard to know exactly how good a workout you're getting without also getting a heart rate monitor. And, believe it or not, I hate stationary trainers more than running! I find that a good 30 minute run twice a week is enough to keep my cardio at a decent level for mountain biking, since you get a lot more coasting and resting on a bike.

The second part is strength training, which others have already mentioned. Try doing a circuit like this twice a week, and you'll see a huge improvement in your uphill sprints and long grinds. Start with 10x, and increase until you feel the burn. No burn means you're not building that muscle, only maintaining it.

1. Kettle bell squats - hold a 20# weight in your hands against your chest, down to a 90 degree squat with your legs shoulder width apart. Focus on control and form, not speed.
2. Push Ups - normal, inclined, fast slow, whatever...just keep that heart rate up while we give the legs a little breather.
3. In-out jump squats - Feet together, drop into a squat, jump up with your feet together (aw yeah, this one sucks!)
4. 20x 3 count Jumping jacks
5. Burpees - youtube it! You can incorporate a push up into these if you like, but really focus on the standing up part. Feet on either side of your hands, squat, back straight, stand up.
6. 90 degree holds - drop that butt, hold 90 degree angle between calves and thighs for as long as you can.
7. Full sit-ups - again focus on form, not on speed. Don't flop around like a piece of bacon in the fry pan, don't cheat and use your legs.
8. Standing long jumps - for these I think marking out a line is helpful. Make it far enough out you can't dog it, yet not too far out you can only do it once or twice. You want to focus on your squat and then EXPLODE into your jump. This is a great exercise for those quick uphill sprints, or when you want to stand and grind out a hill.
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Re: Training for Mountain biking without mountain biking

Postby wa_desert_rat » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:30 pm

If you can afford it, get a GOOD rowing machine. They are not cheap (I found one at $200 but it got destroyed in a fire a few years ago). The good ones I like are on rails about 10-feet long (rotate upwards for storage but still bulky) with a movable seat, feet strap in to fixed foot rests. You pull a rope attacked to a freewheel on a rotating fan. The more you work the more it cools you off. These are great for cardio!!! They can also improve lower body and abs. Most gyms have them. But most gyms are probably almost as far as the bike trails, huh?

I hate gyms. But I hate running more!!!

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