Why MTB specific fitness training?

The top level modern enduro riders are extremely well rounded and multi-faceted athletes. They have the endurance to do 2 or 3 huge back to back days in the mountains, the workload capacity to ride 30+ minutes a day at full race pace and the strength and power to attack some of the most technically demanding trails in the world. These guys work very hard in the gym in the off season and even during the race season to maintain and improve these elements, but they don’t do it using a general plan they have found on the internet. There are huge amounts of bodybuilding, fat loss, and general fitness programs available that could help you and benefit you in many ways. However, these won’t necessarily improve all of the areas that you need to really improve your performance on the bike.
  • A bodybuilding plan might improve your strength and your power in some areas, you are likely to build muscle in areas that aren’t required. They often have you in the gym 4 or 5 days a week, and split your body into separate groups so that you only target a certain few muscles in each session. Most bodybuilding plans include very little cardio, and it is usually just low intensity.
  • Fat loss programs tend to be mainly focussed around cardio and the use of light weights. While this would be beneficial to your endurance, this won’t give us any strength gains and could even reduce it. There aren’t many things in the world more miserable than spending an hour on a treadmill or stationary bike in a gym and the thought of having to do so is very uninspiring which can lead to skipped sessions and ultimately scrapping of the plan.
  • Generalized fitness programs (the type you might get from a personal trainer in a gym) can be good if the trainer has some knowledge of enduro riding and what its requirements are, but it is likely that they don’t so you will end up with general fitness program targeted towards improving in one or two areas. Again, there is nothing wrong with that and they are great for newcomers and those who are just looking to get a bit fitter and healthier but they won’t improve all of the elements that you need to so that you can really get better on the bike.
Using a MTB specific training program ensures that you improve in all areas from strength, endurance, balance, mobility, work load and recovery. More importantly, they should incorporate your rides into the program meaning that your endurance work can be done on your bike rather than spending hour upon monotonous hour in the gym slogging away on stationary bike. Your time is valuable so we want you to get the most you possibly can in the shortest possible time in the gym and spend the rest of your time outside on your bike improving your endurance and your skillset. We would love to hear your thoughts, questions and experiences if you have ever used a MTB specific fitness program, or have thought about using one. Please get in touch using the chat window or send us a message through the contact page!

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