Strength Training has a long and interesting history in the world of sports. It wasn’t long after people started competing with each other that they figured out lifting heavy stuff made it easier to beat your opponent. From ancient Greeks to Roman Gladiators to the modern super-athlete, getting stronger has played a role in the success of countless athletes through the ages.

But while getting stronger has long been recognized as a way to get better at your sport there are still a lot of riders who are confused about how to best use it. And no wonder – you can hear a lot of conflicting and confusing advice.

On one hand you have those who tell us that strength training isn’t important and that you don’t need it. They say that there is no proof that getting stronger helps your performance on the trail. Some go so far as to claim that it can actually decrease your performance.

On the other hand you have those who tell you that Strength Training is one of the most important things you can do as a rider. They say that you need to focus a lot of your time and energy in the gym getting stronger. Some of these people go so far as to focus most of a rider’s time and energy trying to build a better mountain biker in the gym.

So which is it? Do you need to avoid strength training or do you need to focus a lot of time and energy on it? What are the real advantages of it for us as riders? And how do you make the best use of it this off-season?

Well, I’m glad you asked. In this podcast I answer those questions and more, giving you the lowdown on why you should strength train and how to get maximum transfer from the gym to the trail.

In this podcast I cover…

1 – Myths and misunderstandings about Strength Training.
– What is Strength Training?
– Does strength training improve our performance?
– How much time and energy should you devote to strength training?

2 – Benefits of Strength Training.
– It teaches the body to move more efficiently.
– It allows the body to access more motor units for Speed/ Power and Endurance training.
– It is one of the best ways to prevent overuse injuries.

3 – How to use Strength Training as a mountain biker.
– Focus on training the basic human movements and filling in gaps.
– Focus on improving your 80% efforts instead of constantly hammering the 100%.
– Don’t turn strength training into cardio training.
– Basic workout template and periodization schemes (Rep Ladders, 5/3/2, Complex Circuits)

Download this episode (right click and save)

There’s a ton of great info in this podcast, you’ll learn all of my top Strength Training tips and strategies to help you develop the strength base this off-season that you need to ride strong all season long. If you have any questions about Strength Training or about off-season training in general please feel free to post them below, I’m here to help out if I can.

And in my next post I’ll go over Power/ Speed Training. The ability to quickly recruit your muscles in a highly coordinated manner is essential to being able to pick up speed quickly or power over obstacles. In other words, being able to tap into and repeat a true 100% effort, which is something a lot of riders seem to struggle with on the trail.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

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