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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a beginner in the gym and have started with a full body routine consisting of mainly compound exercises. I cannot do deadlifts due to chronic back pain and a microdisscectomy I had in 2007 for a ruptured disc. So I only really do squats for legs right now. I warmup by riding my fixed gear there but it's only about 4 miles. Nice hills though.

Would like to get some more leg specific exercises in there for some extra riding strength/endurance. I favor long rides consisting of "get to the top, bomb down" more than xc racing. Ide say I get nearly ten hours on the bike a week. Can't really do more because of work.

What do you guys work in for leg endurance?

My routine if you're interested is
Bench press
Squats
Shoulder press
Seated cable rows
Tri extensions
Preacher curl
I do these 3 sets of 10 and usually superset then move on to core followed by the ride home.









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Leg press for power. box jumps/step ups/stairs, calf raises, lunges, wall sits, burpees, mountain climbers will all help with endurance. Also work on fine tuning your rep counts. If you want to build strength, only do 3-5 reps per set but at a much higher weight. If you want to do endurance, do 12-15 reps per set.
 

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Keep your riding hours as they are (at maximum schedule allows), then add these lifts 2-3 days a week after you get home from your ride:

"half squat, leg press with one leg at a time, one-legged hip flexion, and ankle plantar flexion"

4 sets of 10 of each, i believe. Scientifically proven to add power amongst a group of national level cyclist, when compared to the non lifting group.

I manage to do all those movements at home with dumbells and elastic band. One legged standing squat can work for one legged leg press.
 

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That is a great start. and some good suggestions so far. I would definitely add in the hip flexion, you can use a cable machine with the pulley set low and use a strap attachment, you can either do them strait legged or a knee drive type exercise. or really just do any of those "lower ab" workouts where you raise and lower you legs from your hips. (those are really hip flexor exercises not ab exercises). Stronger hip flexors may result in more power during peddling because it is able to reduce the negative force period in the peddle stroke ie coming back up.

Walking lunges would be pretty good as well. Calf raises would be an ok addition but I am not a big fan of single joint exercises as they don't create good motor patterns. Squat and a walking lung will take care of the calf at the same time.

As far as upper body goes I like that you have both a push and pull in there, I would get rid of the preacher curl and tri extions unless you are just trying to get bigger arms. instead include a lat pull down to go along with your shoulder press. Also we can get a little more specific with your strength, try doing all the push and pulls with a handle bar grip width.

Check out Bike James he has some interesting things he doesn't always have the proper reasoning for doing the exercises but non the less he has some good exercises. (I learned about farmer walks and the turkish get up from him)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Turkish getup. Totally forgt about that short routine he has on YouTube! Bike James definitely has some great stuff. I like the idea of subbing lat pull downs for the bi/tri exercises. I think I'll start by adding lunges in there. I do a good but if core which include those leg lifts and Russian twists. I also use an ab roller. Guess those work the hip flexor? Thanks for everyone's input! Just been worried I'm neglecting my legs.



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Squats, all the many variations thereof:- low bar, high bar, front, overhead, jump, goblet, single-leg, Bulgarian and isometric.

Squats are low, below parallel in almost all case

I also do deadlifts, powercleans, clean and jerk.

The above takes care of any upper body work by necessity.

If you lift heavy and low volume or light and extremely high volume it should minimise the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

I am not quite sure how you can squat and not deadlift? :confused: The action is highly similar and the posterior chain is still engaged. Is a progressive start possible with deads, ie: start with 5kgs and work your way up?

At all times the work above is supplemental to riding volume. For on the bike performance most of us are never limited by strength. A holistic view of health, however, means that gym work is a very good idea. And it's cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have hurt my back a couple f times doing deadlifts. More than likely because of improper form. I don't have the money for a trainer to watch me and I don't need another back surgery so I am totally fine not doing them. It's a sacrifice I am ok with. I'm sure it's the quickest way to make gains but I get disc issues to easily to risk it. I've never had a problem doing squats or leg presses.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, how do you know if you need to focus on weight or reps more?


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leg presses

regular front squats (not smith machine)

lunges with dumbbells

I'd use higher reps vs higher weight, of course you need some weight so pushing tall gears doesn't feel like much...

did I say lunges ? they are very effective
 

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Heavy weight = you get stronger. Save the muscular endurance stuff for on the bike.
+1

IMHO, if you are adding weights to your workout volume, you need to dial your volume and intensity down as the gym is another place your are tearing your muscles down. Everyone needs recovery.
 

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Kikoraa, have you tried doing single-leg deadlifts? This puts much less weight on your back, since it is mostly a body-weight exercise. It is also a great exercise to do at home, because you only need a dumbbell to increase resistance. It is a bit difficult to perform at first, and I had to improve my balance in order to be able to do the exercise properly.

Here is a demonstration by James Wilson
 

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If you are doing squats but not deadlifts I'd be really worried about quad-dominance, which happens to bikers anyway, and can lead to knee pain. First, I'd make sure to hit your posterior chain as much as possibly with your squats, I do low bar squats for this reason.

Low Bar vs High Bar Squatting | 70's Big

Also, maybe think about throwing in straight legged deadlifts, or Romanian deadlifts. You'll be doing lower weights on these than normal deadlifts which might make it easier on your back. Just start low, progress slowly and pay close attention to your back (don't round it).

You could also add in hamstring curls (usually on a machine) and leg extensions. And I'd also suggest dropping your reps a bit, maybe down to 5 or 6 for more strength building.
 

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This is a endurance focused circuit I learned back in my competitive rowing days that is quick, not overly stressful (easy to maintain your training volume), and really seems to kick my stamina up a notch. We called the Bear Circuit after the mascot

With a 45 pound barbell and running clock, do 45 seconds of each, followed by 15 seconds of rest before immediately moving to the next exercise. Repeat circuits as many times as you want (usually 2-5). The only time you put the bar down is for push-ups.

Back squat (explode up onto toes like a jump)
Reverse curls
Front squat (again, up onto toes)
Hang clean
Push-ups (hold position if you can't do the whole 45)
Upright row
Standing Overhead press
Sumo deadlift to upright row

It's not a max strength developer but it really seems to complement every endurance sport I've participated in, and my muscles can recover quickly from it, so it doesn't take away from riding.


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are you able to do a stiff leg dead? i also hate doing deads, so i replace them with front squats and stiff leg dead.

how many days a week do you go to the gym? and how do you break your workout down?

it was also mentioned that you (i dont actually know who it was, it was someone, whatever) didnt have money for a personal trainer. here's a link to some awesome form tips that will help. i think this, or something like it is something every new guy or gal in the gym should check out.

Beginner's Guide: 6 Basic Compound Lifts, and How to do Them - Bodybuilding.com Forums
 
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