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bikerbert
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hot off the presses, here you go:

After four weeks of MTB specific strength training, the group showed significant improvements in their field tests from May to June.

Here are the results:

JL DeJong:
Three runs up the bottom section of Ranch Trail at Fremont Older
May 12:
63, 59, 61 seconds equalling an average of 61 seconds

June 12:
58, 53, 54 seconds with an average of 55 seconds = 10% faster time

One run up Regnart Road:
May 10: 11min 23 seconds
June 10: 10min 40 seconds = 7% faster time

Quinnhill Rd, Los Altos (.12 miles, 285' of climbing, max % grade of 21.5)

Ghostrider
May 13: 58 seconds, 55 seconds = avg of 57 seconds
June 17: 53 seconds (one run due to respiratory issues)
Improvement: 5 seconds faster on first run, 9% improvement

AtomicAdam
May 13: 1:54, 1:49 = an avg of 1:51
June 17: 1:23 (one and done)
Improvement: 31 seconds faster on first run, 19% improvement

RJ2
May 13: 47 seconds, 48 seconds = avg of 47.5 seconds
June 17: 45 seconds, 46 seconds = avg of 45.5 seconds, 4% improvement
- max output of 988 watts

Great job fellas!! Thank you very much once again for taking part in the program.
 

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Very nice, those are some great results. Al, without divulging all you trade secrets, can you offer up a brief description of how your program is structured? Thanks.
 

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Die trying, not watching.
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Questions

Your results look good. Two questions. Was there a control group tested which did not do the training? Was the MTB specific training the only thing that your riders did during the study month? For example, I am riding much stronger than I was a month ago because the longer days and nicer weather has allowed me to spend more hours on my bike.
 

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bikerbert
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
TLL:
the program was structured to test both on and off the bike at the beginning and at the end of the four weeks. The exercises mimicked life on the MTB in terms of the necessary areas of balance, stability and power needed to successfully incorporate the arms and legs through the trunk to maximize the strength connection.

One of the main areas of emphasis was hip stability and balance. The most critical components to being able to produce athletic power. Stability is the biggest factor of limitation when trying to exhibit power. Your muscles will only produce as much force as joint stability will allow.
 

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bikerbert
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Loomis:

There was not a control group because the response was not large enough. What I can tell you is that the 16 road racers that went through our 16-week offseason training program (mobility, stability, strength & power) this past fall, who had only previously ridden to get better on their bikes, reported that their power numbers went up, those with back/knee pain that they "just can't rid of" saw it disappear, they said they recovered faster and they said they felt like had more control over their bikes. Particularly descending.

Several of them also mentioned that they had more "snap" in their sprints (this included track riders), and that they were able to sustain a higher number of watts uphill because they felt they were working more efficiently than in their previous seasons that didn't contain a cycling specific strength training program. A lot of our riders have spent quite a bit of time on the podium this spring, and in the top ten. We used this program with the Santa Clara Cycling team which experienced similar success in their results this year.

The MTBR riders who participated in our program also kept up their regular riding schedules with one of them running the San Diego Marathon.

I agree with you, if you want to get better on your bike, ride. Specificity of training definitely comes into play as someone's fitness level grows on the bike by spending more time on it. But what that approach won't help is the correction of any existing muscle imbalances that rob the body of the ability to produce power and damage soft tissue (ligaments, tendons, cartilege, etc). In fact, if they are left unaddressed, they will begin to worsen over time leading to time off the bike more often than not.
 

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loomis said:
Your results look good. Two questions. Was there a control group tested which did not do the training? Was the MTB specific training the only thing that your riders did during the study month?
My control group was the guys I race against at CCCX. I was bottom feeding all season until the last two races where I finished 3rd and 4th.

The training allowed me to almost double my riding volume and intensity. Oh, and I also dug out 4 old fence posts encased in concrete by hand with a 30 lb. pike and replaced them with 16' 4x6 pressure treated posts and reassembled the fence prior to starting Al's program.

You can read more about our impressions at: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=417955
 

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Control group

I also gained significant time in the last CCCX race against most other competitors (except Richard). That race has many short, but intense climbs, where the extra core strength and stability helped significantly. However, I found that it is important to keep my regular biking routine during the core training time frame, since endurance needs to be maintained as well for good race results.
Many of the core exercises were done standing on squishy rubber balls, on one leg or on a rocking wobbly bar to improve balance. The number of one legged squats I could do in one minute doubled to over 30 during this one month program, thanks to a much improved balance and leg strength. Number of push-ups and pull-ups also improved.
I'll continue the program (once a week on Monday at 6:30pm) for the rest of the year to stay in shape for next year's CCCX series.
- J.L.
 

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More control group info

Here's the comparison with other CCCX racers in Sport 45-55 and Sport 55+.
Positive times are min:sec they were ahead of me at the finish and negative is behind me.
Name Feb 10 June 15
Robert Estrella 7:40 1:14
Dan Crowley 7:19 3:07
Michael Simmons 4:08 -3:42
Dan Nelson 2:55 2:33
Talbott Houck 0:08 -0:03
Steven Germany -0:39 -1:52
Greg Keeler -0:47 -2:24

I gained between 7:50 and 0:11 (average 3:17) on all these competitors and they were training hard as well.
- J.L.
 
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