May
8

Strength Goals for a Mountain Biker

Strength is huge for a mountain biker. The stronger you are the easier it is to crank out slow RPM grinders when the trail steals your momentum, jump up and sprint a hill or straightaway and basically manhandle your bike around the trail. It also makes you far more injury resistant and durable. One of the biggest things that separates roadies from mountain biking are the strength demands and so making sure that you have adequate levels is important to your performance and long term health.

So, how strong is strong? I used to say list a double bodyweight deadlift and bodyweight military press as big indicators but over the last few years I’ve changed my mind a bit. Here is my most recent list of lifts and recommended goals for each:

Male Strength Goals

Lift                                                 Level 1                         Level 2                              Level 3

Chin Up                                    BW X 5 reps       +25% BW X 3 reps              +33% BW X 1 reps

1 Leg Squat                           BW X 5 reps       +25 pounds X 5 reps         +50 pounds X 5 reps

TGU                                       16 KG X 5 reps        33% BW X 3 reps                50% BW X 1 rep

Push Ups                             BW X 8 reps      Feet Elevated X 12 reps   Suspended (TRX) X 12 reps

Female Strength Goals

Lift                                                 Level 1                         Level 2                              Level 3

Inverted Row                      BW X 5 reps       Feet Elevated X 5 reps          Chin Up X 1 rep

1 Leg Squat                           BW X 5 reps       +15 pounds X 5 reps         +35 pounds X 5 reps

TGU                                       12 KG X 5 reps        20% BW X 3 reps                30% BW X 1 rep

Push Ups                                 BW X 1 reps                BW X 5 reps                     BW X 10 reps

Some people may feel that my push up recommendations are bit conservative. However, my definition of a push up is much stricter than what most people call a “push up”. For one to count in my facility you have to come down until you chin and/ or chest touch the floor with no movement in the core. Based on this most people’s amount of pus ups they can do is cut dramatically.

These are cobbled together from things I’ve heard recommended by other strength coaches and some of my own observations while training people over the last few years. They are not scientific so please don’t take them too seriously, they are just what I look for in riders when assessing their strength levels. If you don’t have any already they should give you an idea of what to shoot for in your own training.

-James Wilson-

Social Comments:

WordPress Comments:

  1. Mike says:

    Interesting, I would be on level 3 except the pushups (I’ve never tried a suspended push up before, but do 15 feet-raised-on-a-ball, proper form pushups) and chin-ups. I can’t do a single body weight chin up. I never have been able to do a chin up. I’ve been doing “aided” chin-ups and pull-ups for a while now, but I have never been able to make it up to my own bodyweight (220lbs.)

    I’ll have to give the “suspended” push ups a try sometime. I just need to find a TRX…

    Reply • May 8 at 9:16 am
  2. Eric says:

    Nice. I like goals. I have some work to do.

    Reply • May 8 at 2:42 pm
  3. cookie says:

    James, great post!
    I’ve always found benchmarks like the traditional deadlift and press to be pretty useless as I don’t have that equipment at home. I need to work my 1 leg squat and TGU as they are the weak links for me!

    Mike, just make one 😉

    cheers

    Reply • May 8 at 5:33 pm
  4. vlad says:

    Pardon my ignorance, what is TGU? Good post BTW, I have really enjoyed your last few posts.
    Thanks Vlad

    Reply • May 9 at 2:58 am
    • bikejames says:

      @ vlad – TGU = Turkish Get Up. Glad you’ve liked the last few posts…

      Reply • May 9 at 7:48 am
  5. Dave Everson says:

    If you’re weak the trail will beat you. If you’re strong, you get to pummel the trail. Do your dumbell combo drills!

    Reply • May 11 at 6:56 pm
  6. […] Alkuperäinen artikkeli löytyy tästä. […]

    Reply • July 20 at 12:28 pm

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson