Do you know if your training is working?
If you don't know for sure, it's very possible that it isn't.
Well, it's February and I suppose I only just feel like I'm getting into my off-season program now. even if I did take a break over Christmas, I've been going now since early December. Time moves quickly!
This week, I added some real commitment and specificity to my training. Up until now, I'd been training with several "Epic" Rides in mind - Overnight Bike Packing trips, All-Day Gravel Adventures and Alpine Exploration on the Enduro Bike. I'm still going to do all of these, but a little birdie tipped me off about the return of a ride that's been on my list for a while, but that COVID had interrupted. The Squamish Enduro is back this year! Time to focus up for May 7th.. Thank goodness I've already got a great foundation laid.
If you're not familiar with the gist of my off-season program so far, here it is.
Monday - Strength 1hr
Tuesday - Ride 1hr
Wednesday - Strength 1hr
Thursday - Ride 1hr
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Ride 1.5hr (occasionally, I've subbed this out for Ski-Touring)
This has worked great for me so far, thanks to its sustainability. And so it forms the template for most of my MTB clients. Some have an extra day of strength in there, but most find that a variation of this works for their schedules.
What's been most satisfying about this program is the results I'm seeing so far.
My FTP is up 25% since the start of November - nearly to a respectable level in fact!
My Back Squat and Bench Press are not only up since the start of the program, they're approaching the levels I was at when playing High-Level Rugby - 10 years ago.
What I'm most excited about here, is that the hard work on the bike hasn't even really started yet. I should in theory have a ways to go before I hit my ceiling. I would love to see my FTP hit 300 this year, we'll see if that's possible.
The strength training was designed with low-maintenance max strength in mind. ie to get as strong as possible without investing endless hours of long lifting sessions with big amounts of struectural wear and tear. I only chose the bang-for-your-buck exercises along with a few necessary core and postural exercises to keep me moving freely. This has enabled me to have great energy on Biking days as well as keep my weight from creeping up - all I'm doing is maximizing the potential within the muscles I already have.
The Program has introduced explosive strength this block and next week I'll be diving into explosive strength workouts with greater specificity for MTB. Workouts will be fast and explosive, but won't tax me as much as this month's strength block. So I should really start to notice greater results on the Bike. Speaking of the Bike, the next few weeks will hopefully see an upturn in the weather and I'll be able to get out on the Gravel and Trail Bikes. It's been great to have a break from the trails for the last few months, but I can feel the "stoke" building and Spring is just around the corner!
If you haven't started your Pre-season preparations yet, don't sweat it. There's still time to make gains before the rubber hits the dirt. And knowing what I know now, I think in-season gains are not out of the question either.
Here's a little peek at the block 1 and 2 content, maybe it'll inspire you to get started!
If you think a program like this might be what you're after, or you just want to learn more about it. You can book a free Strategy Call with me to learn more.
If you like this kind of content and you're interested in seeing more like it, or you want to throw a request for something similar my way, Join one (or both!) of my Facebook Groups and hop in on the conversation.
High Performance for life is a group intended to help Weekend warriors get the best out of their bodies, over the longest Athletic career possible.
Strength Training for Cyclists also prioritizes Longevity and Performance equally and hopes to help Cyclists get more out of their Riding, through a little application of time off the bike.
Yours, in Health