Workout of the Week

We're back for our last workout of January with not one but TWO workouts. Elliott has been keeping you entertained with ramps and rides but today we're traveling back to our roots and working on good ole fashioned strength. 

Elliott and I have set up an exchange of services, cycling workouts for strength training. 


This workout is set up to help Elliott meet the demands of marathon mountain bike races and multi-day stage races. Mountain biking comes with a variety of stimuli that need to be accounted for when programming strength workouts. In contrast to road cycling mountain biking consists of more upper body strength and out of the saddle work. To account for this I have put together a program with shoulder strength and stability alongside core and balance work. 

This weeks program will be Elliott's upper body day. With endurance athletes and cyclists I like to keep a simple upper and lower body split. This allows the athlete to alternate workouts according to their prescribed training volume for the week. For example, athletes can do an upper body workout the day before a long ride so their legs aren't too fatigued. Easier recovery spins or short rides can be done after leg workouts to either simulate fatigue or save them from bonking during a big ride. 

I have prescribed Elliott with both standard strength exercises as well as movements that get him into a sport specific position. 

On to the workout 

Warm Up 

Cat Camel - Bird Dogs - T-Spine Reach Backs - Band Pull Aparts 5 - 10 ea

1A. Pull Ups - Wide Grip - 3 x 2 + 2

1B.  1/2 Kneeling Single Arm Press - 3 x 8 

1C. Reaching Planks - 3 x 10ea 

2A. Renegade Row - 3 x 8ea 

2B. Tripod Band Press - 3 x 8ea 

2C. TRX 3 Way Knee Tuck Plank - 3 x 10ea 

3A. TRX 3 Way Row - 3 x 6ea 

3B. MB Pass Over Push Up - 3 x 10 tot. 

3C. Stir The Pot - 3 x 6 Each Direction 

Elliott will be in some form of a plank position for much of this workout. He will be forced to support his body weight and more on one hand or both simulating his position on the bike. I've programed focused strengthening for hip flexion during the upper body day while his lower body day (next week) will focus on hip extension. I have prescribed him with more pulling volume as opposed to pressing. This will help keep his back strong and shoulders happy. Ideally this will also aid in reducing his upper body fatigue during 4-5 hours of going up and down mountains on the bike.  

This workout can be done by anyone even if the trails aren't your forte so don't be shy and give it a try. 

- Patrick 

We will also continue our bike workouts. This week we have a variety of workouts from Baring Performance Management that focus on pedaling technique. 

"The winter is a great time to work on our pedaling efficiency and form. Some of my favorite workouts throughout the winter are pedaling drills. They focus on our inefficiencies in the pedal stroke and help you keep smooth form. The 3 types of pedal drills I prefer are slow cadence efforts, high cadence, and isolated leg training. Slow cadence pedal drills work on muscle tension and applying even power throughout the entire pedal stroke. I usually have this drills done at a power high enough to produce enough resistance at a lower cadence. For example, I would prescribe 5x3 minute intervals at Tempo Power and 60rpm with at least a 3 minute recovery in between. High cadence drills (or fast pedals) work on your pedaling form and staying smooth and fluid at higher cadences. For these drills I like 1 minute ramps up to 110-120rpm and holding whatever the highest cadence you can pedal at smoothly, any higher and you lose form. Isolated leg training (ILT) teaches your legs to operate independently of each other. Instead of relying on the opposing leg to carry the other through the back half of the pedal stroke, it will teach you to use 100% of the pedal stroke to apply power. For these drills I prefer 8x1 minute intervals for each leg, with 1 minute recovery in between. A set would look something like this; 1 minute left leg, 1 minute recovery, 1 minute right leg, 1 minute recovery and repeat. 

These drills are great to incorporate in the winter and great to program during easier rides like recovery days or light endurance days. Building a smooth and complete pedal stroke is one of the foundations of cycling that is often overlooked. Applying power consistently around the pedal stroke will allow you to transfer all of that force directly into the pedals, instead of losing some due to poor form or efficiency."

-Baring Performance Management