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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help improving my technical climbing leg strength and stamina. I find myself dismounting on some of the easiest uphill sections because I just don't have the ability to power through them. These are root rocky sections that require some finesse to clean them but they don't appear to be that difficult.

While riding the other day, I was stopped at the top of a hill and another rider came by. He wasn't out of breath from the climb (like I was) and quickly descended on the other side to a creek bed below. After crossing the creek, he climbed up the next section with which seemed like little effort.

What exercises can I do to improve leg strength and stamina? What other activities can I do to be as smooth as the rider that passed me?

BTW, having to walk the uphill sections really has taken away from the riding experience and left me disappointed :(
 

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How long have you been riding, what are you riding and what kind of gearing do you have on it? Some of it is just time in the saddle. I cruise up stuff now that I died on 3 yrs ago. If you don't have one now, get a cassette with a 34 tooth cog. You can climb walls with it. Also, a hardtail requires a lot more finesse on technical climbs than a FS bike. Sometimes though, it's just about pain. When I hit a section like that and don't clean it, I roll back down and try it again. I'll keep trying it til I either make it or run out of gas (usually 4-6 times)and walk it. Even if you're not making it your legs get a serious workout and by repeating a section you really start to see the lines, what works and what doesn't. One afternoon you'll nail it and you'll feel like the master of the mountain for a few minutes anyway... Hang in there
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
06 Spec Stumpjumper

You are right. I am finding sections that I couldn't clear before that I am clearing with ease now. But, much more difficult terrain with rocky rooty climbs. I am struggling to the top only to find rooty steps that I have to pop the front tire up to clear. I am completely spent at this point and just don't have the energy to do this.

I did some further searching on a local forum and someone recommended training out of the saddle to develop leg strength and stamina.
 

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Interval's and high Intensity Training

Find yourself a quarter mile hill climb on the road near your home. Find a gear on your bike that you can stand on and climb the hill. As you progress, make your gearing harder. It is also a good idea to time yourself and see the progression in how fast you can make the hill. If you have a heartrate monitor you should be in the 75-80% exertion rate for your wokload. For me that is about 170. You should do bettween 4-6 hill repeats at the most twice a week. Take at least a minute rest between climbs. As you progress find out diferent ways to include interval training into your routine. It will take a while to feel the benfits of this type of training. But it will be worth the effort. Leg power and endurance balanced training is where its at!!!!
good luck!!!
 

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RANOACLAN said:
Find yourself a quarter mile hill climb on the road near your home. Find a gear on your bike that you can stand on and climb the hill. As you progress, make your gearing harder. It is also a good idea to time yourself and see the progression in how fast you can make the hill. If you have a heartrate monitor you should be in the 75-80% exertion rate for your wokload. For me that is about 170. You should do bettween 4-6 hill repeats at the most twice a week. Take at least a minute rest between climbs. As you progress find out diferent ways to include interval training into your routine. It will take a while to feel the benfits of this type of training. But it will be worth the effort. Leg power and endurance balanced training is where its at!!!!
good luck!!!
your max heart rate is between 212 & 226?
i'm gonna have to see some data from your hr monitor to believe this.
 

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Metalheadbikerider
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Are you relatively new to the sport?

Lumbee1 said:
I need help improving my technical climbing leg strength and stamina. I find myself dismounting on some of the easiest uphill sections because I just don't have the ability to power through them. These are root rocky sections that require some finesse to clean them but they don't appear to be that difficult.

While riding the other day, I was stopped at the top of a hill and another rider came by. He wasn't out of breath from the climb (like I was) and quickly descended on the other side to a creek bed below. After crossing the creek, he climbed up the next section with which seemed like little effort.

What exercises can I do to improve leg strength and stamina? What other activities can I do to be as smooth as the rider that passed me?

BTW, having to walk the uphill sections really has taken away from the riding experience and left me disappointed :(
If so, don't sweat it! Mtb'ing has a pretty steep learning curve, but once you get some fitness and skills developed it will come easier (we've all been in your position!).
I would start by getting some books to read-they are very helpful and are nice to have handy when you have a question. I really like Ned Overend's "Mtb Like a Champ." I recommend it to everyone for skill development, and everything else mtb.
As far as getting up that hill-just keep on riding. It may not be the most exciting, but doing hill repeats is a great way to build the necessary leg strength. If you have hills nearby (road or dirt) spin them at a gear you can handle, mostly seated, a few times. Once you have a decent base going start doing longer climbs with a harder gear, and throw in some shorter climbs at a more intense pace, as well as some standing climbs. Mix it up-any hill cilmbinfg you do at thei point will make you stronger. That's the great part about starting out-only one way to go-STRONGER! You should also be doing some longer rides to help you build a fitness base. It sounds like you have a local trail system to take advantage of? Ride to it, do some loops, and then head home. Throw some 10-15 second sprints into your ride to when you feel like it. Remember to eat and hydrate properly-it's essential for riding at an optimal level.
Also, take advantage of riding with people that are better than you. It can be a humbling experience, but it is a great way to get stronger and learn the technical skills you need.

Most importantly, don't get discouraged. The people passing you have probably been riding longer and have earned that ability to clear climbs and hit the descents.
Keep riding, reading, and asking questions on this board.
\m/\m/
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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Lumbee1 said:
I need help improving my technical climbing leg strength and stamina. I find myself dismounting on some of the easiest uphill sections because I just don't have the ability to power through them. These are root rocky sections that require some finesse to clean them but they don't appear to be that difficult.

While riding the other day, I was stopped at the top of a hill and another rider came by. He wasn't out of breath from the climb (like I was) and quickly descended on the other side to a creek bed below. After crossing the creek, he climbed up the next section with which seemed like little effort.

What exercises can I do to improve leg strength and stamina? What other activities can I do to be as smooth as the rider that passed me?

BTW, having to walk the uphill sections really has taken away from the riding experience and left me disappointed :(
best "training" device (though not originally intended as such), period, is a single speed. not to mention, you can build up/convert a bike to a single speed for the price of a trainer.

in addition to greatly improving technical riding (by virtue of being a hardtail and/or fully rigid necessitating picking the best lines), it has given me GREATLY improved endurance/climbing ability. In fact, the same rides where i used to be in granny front and near the biggest in the back are a joke now......i virtually never even use my granny up front due to what single speeding has done for me.

only downside (if you can call it that) is I almost never take my geared bike out anymore.
 

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Lumbee1 said:
06 Spec Stumpjumper

You are right. I am finding sections that I couldn't clear before that I am clearing with ease now. But, much more difficult terrain with rocky rooty climbs. I am struggling to the top only to find rooty steps that I have to pop the front tire up to clear. I am completely spent at this point and just don't have the energy to do this.

I did some further searching on a local forum and someone recommended training out of the saddle to develop leg strength and stamina.
Dude, I wouldn't be in the saddle in the first place on a rooty, rutty climb. Now the fact is, I live in Florida and all our climbs, especially the technical ones are fairly short. But what difficult climbing I do is either out of the saddle or with my butt just touching it for control. This way your weight can be shifted on and off the front wheel and lofting it isn't a big deal. Just shift back and let it bump and roll over the obstacle.

Ron
 
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