Do you cross train?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Do you cross train?

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  • #229782

    Curious what most of you do for cross training.  Do you cross train?  If so, what cross training activities do you do?  Do you feel that those activities improve your performance on the MTB (e.g. stamina, balance, climbing, etc.)?

    I typically strength train 2-3x/week and I’ll mix in a fair amount of running (mostly trail) 2-4x/week with some occasional road roads (1-4x/mo).  I’ve incorporated plyometrics and core training into my strength training sessions and that seems to translate pretty well to mtb’ing.

    #229785

    Sounds like you have a pretty dialed routine! I would think all of those things benefit MTB in different ways.

    I run a couple times a week which seems to help with short climbs on the bike. I’ve also seen the benefits of road riding for building power and endurance for bigger/longer climbs, but I don’t do it often.

    #229800

    I don’t really do cross training, my approach is, for better or worse, a much simpler binary system; cycling in the spring, summer and fall. Free weights in the winter.

    I’ve found that upper body free-weight training (bench press, shoulders, back routines) is actually a detriment to cycling as the increase in upper body mass pretty much translates to dead weight that you need to pedal around (now I know why the tour cyclist all have the arms and shoulders of 11 year olds). That said, free-weight leg exercises, squats, leg press, leg extensions have really help my cycling sprinting and hill climbing efforts, for both road and MTB.

    I’m always looking for alternatives to free-weights but winter and I just have a fundamental hatred of each other so outdoor activities are not an option for me once temps fall below 30 F.

    How far are you running per week (on average)?  Do you do any indoor Spinning or roller work?

    #229818

    Robert Dobbs, “I’ve found that upper body free-weight training…. the increase in upper body mass…”

    I wish I had that problem LOL!  I’m tall and have always been pretty lean.  I went from focusing on size to focusing on fitness.

    As for running, right now I’m only putting in about 10 miles/week as I’m coming back from an MCL sprain.  In the spring I was putting in 20-25 miles/week.  All my running is outdoors, mostly on trails (I really dislike the treadmill and indoor cycling).  I’ll take being outdoors in the cold any day 😉

    #229829

    Do not look at it as cross training, and I’m not training for anything particular. So, with that said, I hike, technical canyoneering, mountain biking to keep in shape.

    #229831

    I’ve found any kind of interval training has helped me be faster on the mountain bike and running. Anything that gets your heart rate up high then back to a moderate level – HIIT (burpees, anyone?), plyometrics, even spinning –  is great for training your heart & body to be ready for the varied demands of mountain biking.

    You don’t even have to go to the gym or need lots of equipment – pick some high-intensity body weight moves like mountain climbers, squats, etc. and set a timer for 45sec of full-out work and 15 sec rest and you’ll be sweating and done a legit HIIT workout in under 20 min. Also, the Nike+ Training app is a good (free!) place to start if you want to do some cross-training at home.

    #229992

    I ride  gravel roads that have lots of elevation on my gravel grinder and it helps me with endurance and climbing for MTB XC racing!

    #230001

    Excellent advice Leah. Check out Ross Enamait.

    #230008

    I don’t consider it cross training yet I believe that hiking, rock climbing, downhill skiing and mountain biking help each other for me.

    #230012

    I completely agree that HIIT is great for building cardio fitness.  Doing hill sprint intervals (running) has been the biggest bang for the buck for me as it really helps build both cardio and leg power.   Unlike most of  my riding buddies I’ve found that my legs will typically fatigue (especially on a longer grueling climb) before I max out my heart rate.  Always trying to improve the weakest link…

    #230019

    Robert Dobbs – Just curious, how do you add muscle weight without eating excess calories?     I only bulk up if I try to by eating more calories than needed for maintenance weight.    Otherwise, the combination of cardio and weights just reduces body fat and increases lean mass but total weight stays pretty constant.

    #230024

    Robert Dobbs – Just curious, how do you add muscle weight without eating excess calories? I only bulk up if I try to by eating more calories than needed for maintenance weight. Otherwise, the combination of cardio and weights just reduces body fat and increases lean mass but total weight stays pretty constant.

    Hmmm, guess it’s how you define “maintenance” weight and for what type of activity.  In previous years I’d get to the gym in Dec weighing about 164lb and bench about 225lb, then 275, then 315, then by April, 335lb,  with similar gains in arm, shoulder and leg exercises and my body weight would climb to around 182-184lb. Nowadays, I stop at benching at 275 or 315lb and my body weight gets to around 175lb by April  …..yes, I love lifting and yes, I do eat more, but it is to “maintain” my power — not to just eat more. And it’s certainly not a lot more (like the protein powder & tuna fanatics I lift with). My body fat hovers around  9%-12% year around regardless of my activities, but I do very little or no cardio in the winter which is something I am (desperately) trying to remedy.

    #230027

    Thanks for the clarification.  By maintenance weight, I mean staying a constant weight.  But I realize this is hard to achieve because hunger levels vary with exercise.   But I can say that I really have to put effort into adding weight via lifting.   In the last couple years, I’ve tried to maintain high calorie consumption throughout the winter combined with heavier lifting.  I usually start the riding season in the spring at 175 but by the end of the riding season (November), I’m down to 165.   And I can’t seem to keep my weight up throughout the summer despite lifting weights and eating until I simply can’t eat anymore.

    #230364

    Ive found that when it gets cold and the road guys hit the woods, they smoke everyone. The road for me builds “motor” because of the longer, sustained efforts such as a 3 hour, 50 mile ride.

    #230372

    Ive found that when it gets cold and the road guys hit the woods, they smoke everyone. The road for me builds “motor” because of the longer, sustained efforts such as a 3 hour, 50 mile ride.

    There are a number of MTB epic rides scheduled throughout the year by me so many MTB’ers have already put in 50+ mile rides.  Plus, once it gets cold many of the road guys turn to their trainers here, not the trails.

    #230458

    I swim a lot, helps with upper body and added cardio.

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