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Power Gains, Bench Pr's & OTB's

Another busy and eventful week here in Squamish. We made some great gains in the gym thanks to a few workout elements I'll share with you.

A-lactic Power Gains

You know that all-out sprint as you approach a root wall, ready to thrust the bike up and hopefully stay on the pedals, even though your legs feel empty but dammit, it's easier to empty the tank than to slow down and try to spin up it? I know it all too well lol. Well, think of that, as an A-lactic effort. And isnt that so often the crux of Mountain Biking? Well we've been working on it in the gym lately.

The MTB Breakfast club (aka the guinea pigs) completed week 3 of an a-lactic power progression. Not only was everyone hitting an average of 10% higher peak power on the echo bike, but they were sustaining it for 50% longer.

So what was the workout?

-Echo Bike 8-second maximum effort

followed immediately by ....

-3x hang power cleans at 50-70% 1rm.

-Rest the remainder of 2 minutes

Then repeat, every 2 minutes for 6 rounds

Each week we increased the sprint duration by 2 seconds. But we kept the clean weight and reps the same. A good opportunity to practice technique under stress - which i always find creates great recruitment of the lower body. It would've been nice to see how a 4-6 week progression panned out. But I think morale in class would've taken a beating if we hadn't freshened things up. On to V02 max development next block! 🤮

Bench press PR's

A few of us scored bench press PR's this week as well. For me to acheive this is a surprise, as I've certainly tried harder in the past. Although never just focused on simple technical proficiency through a long stretch. Twice a week pushing, for 16 months seems to have paid off! Kudos to Peter for pushing me on this one, I needed the encouragement!

So how do you get stronger at the bench press? Here's my approach -

  1. Alternate between hypertrophy (8-12 rep sets) and strength (2-6) focusses around every 6 weeks. Use hypertrophy blocks to hone your movement proficiency as you'll be doing more reps.

2. Alternate between Bench-Press-like movements every 3-4 weeks to allow adaptation, but to avoid staleness and mitigate the risk of repetitive strain injury.

3. Be consistent, Always perform a little more pulling than you do pushing.

But the riding, well that's another story.

I'm doing OK, but I've got some work to do before we start progressing the trail difficulty and planning those epic Solstice rides. I had a good OTB on Wednesday on a trail I've ridden 100 times. Maybe thanks to the strength training I didn't get anything more than a few bumps and bruises but the confidence needs the most attention!

Key Focusses for May -

Longer weekly ride duration to build out endurance (the better weather and longer days will help)

Get more dynamic on the bike - practice skill execution in simple trail environments before progressing. Getting a riding buddy to video me will be super useful in identifying flaws.

Where are you guys at with your training this spring? What are your focuses going to be in May as the weather improves? Drop a comment below.

Are you in need of help managing your Progress in the gym and on the bike? I could be the guy for you! I still have 2x spots for new client onboarding in May. You can book a call with me by clicking the button below.

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