Need to be fitter / less fat

slowmick

"I am over 1000 kg"
I want to start training for the upcoming gravity enduro series as i'd like to be able to ride up the hills this year. But winter finally seems to have arrived in Melbourne and i am a wuss.

So looking for suggestions as to what to do next.

Option 1 - harden up and ride in the rain (means buying wet weather gear doing more maintenance on the bike)
Option 2 - join a gym and ride the exercise bikes and lift weights (heated and rain free but bikes usually suck (tractor sized seats) and the pedals are usually flogged out.
Option 3 - grab a trainer and sit on the back verandah and pedal under cover. (Cold and boring)

Has anyone read/used the The Mountain Biker's Training Bible By Joe Friel? i am looking for some sort of plan to work with one of the above options. When i used to have gym membership i pretty much got blank looks when i asked for a cycling based program.

Any suggestions/experience you can offer would be appreciated. off to get ready for a wet ride in the morning.
 

richie_gt

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Having recently decided to improve fitness and strength and having some success (I've lost 5kgs - my weight is now down to just under 70kgs) here are my suggestions:-

Option 1 - definitely ride your bike as much as possible, even if it is in the rain + increases need for maintenance! I've been riding my old mtb to work instead of catching the train (although I'm in Sydney and winter hasn't bothered showing up yet!)

Option 2 - join the gym but don't stuff around on exercise bikes and weights unless you're really committed/know what you're doing! I've recently re-joined the gym and all I've done is classes (body pump and suspension) I've found I'm getting a much better overall workout (strength and cardio) - to the point I'm walking out of there absolutely shattered! (Which never really happened when I worked out by myself at the gym!) I'm sure some classes are hit and miss but find something that keeps you motivated!

Option 3 - if you think it'll be cold and boring don't bother (I wouldn't either!) Is there some other indoor sport you can do? (Maybe this is Option 2)
 
You could run in the rain rather than ride. I try a few runs in the bad weather. It's awful when you first get out there but you soon warm up and you can only get so wet. No bike maintenance to worry about when you land back, just a nice warm shower and a feeling of self-righteousness :). Of course if there's a break in the weather get on the bike.
 

pharmaboy

Eats Squid
Gravity enduro - when it's dry but has been raining, do some city rides, plenty of bike paths, stairs etc to go play on.

When it's pissing down and that's not an option, do intervals - I'd go the t2 max version, but get yourself a spin bike and obviously you need a heart rate monitor. When I was keen I'd do one song on the iPod on, one song off. 30min workout , but stresses you, and gets your heart adapting to that sort of work rate, exactly what you need for enduro.

Anything that makes your heart still beating strongly when you lie in bed at night is causing adaptation .

Make a rule for yourself - I will never go 2 days without a workout ( excluding sickness)

Weight loss is what jackassed said - mostly diet. 5 or 6 kg make a substantial difference to power to weight.
 

slowmick

"I am over 1000 kg"
thanks for all the suggestions guys. a run in the rain will probably help me keep to a goal of no more than 2 days without a workout (will also give the bike shoes some chance to dry out).

pharmaboy - what is t2max? i have never trained with a heart rate monitor so this is all new.

wussed out this morning as it was pissing down when i got up sounds like i need to think a little more laterally. sounds like i need to get the heart moving as often as possible.

Cheers guys.
 

Shan_Man

Likes Bikes
At the gym you should try doing high intensity circuit training for fat loss. Google them, you should find detailed workouts to suit your needs usually you will do lower body one day and upper body another day. Great for whole body workout. In between you could go for a ride or run, if the weather is bad you could jump on a spin bike at the gym. Spin bikes are at most gyms these days and some do spin classes which are awesome for burning calories.
 

Plankosaurus

Spongeplank Dalepants
in all honesty, i f#@%ing hate the rain and the cold too. can handle one or the other, but i normally dont really enjoy myself even then.

i used to hate my trainer, i'd prefer to run in the rain than use the trainer indoors. But then i had knee surgery and running became not an option anymore, and part of my rehab was to lightly spin on a bike, so i went and bought a GOOD trainer and found it wasn't actually so bad any more. as my knee got back up to scratch i started getting bored with watching TV (ran out of archer episodes to watch), saw a thread containing the word 'sufferfest' and thought i'd give it a shot.

absolutely hooked! having a little suffer before work is now part of the daily routine, depending on the video you get, you can turn your legs into jelly in no time. my poor CX bike now has a slick tyre on the rear and lives on top of the trainer, sometimes i think about taking it off and putting a muddy back on and going for a ride, but then i see the mountainbikes sitting there and just say bugger it, thats what i'd prefer to ride anyway so the CX stays stuck on the trainer.

anyways, to the goals you're chasing. the trainer, if used right, can be an amazing tool for getting fitter quickly and maintaining it over the yucky months. i couldn't beleive how quickly i got back into form after 5 months with zero exercise. weight loss... as above, thats all diet unfortunately. and if you have a wife thats an amazing cook like mine, the kilos take a long time to trickle off :whistle: the way i figure it, if i can maintain a steady exercise regime over winter, i'll come out of the box like a greyhound once spring hits
 

Plankosaurus

Spongeplank Dalepants
oh, and with the running, it doesn't have to be a long run either. i made some massive headway years ago by doing a near flat out run. started with a small block (say 800m) worked up to a larger block (1.5km) then eventually settled on a 2km run and started trying to get the time down. was pretty stoked to get under the 10min mark, but getting it under 9min took bloody AGES.

all told, took about 4-5 months to get me from 95kg and unable to JOG the 800m block without coughing and wheezing, down to a modest 80kg and running the 2km block in under 9min. i ran EVERY morning, without fail, and did a longer jog once a week aswell and then an MTB ride at least once a week once i discovered how much fun that was.

set the alarm half an hour earlier, have your shorts and shoes next to the bed and see if you can get into the habit of waking up when you're dressed and stretching on the porch in the freezing cold wondering how you got there :first:
 

mtb101

Likes Bikes and Dirt
gonna have to bite the bullet mate and get yourself a cxer or roadie, that's the only way you can do good climbing through winter and where do you live? I see is that Boronia??? sh!t man you're at the foot of the dandenongs, climbing central ..... you could do '1 in 20' laps, you have the 'Wall' - you can get 1000 + metres climbing in about 60ks riding - ! that's a 3 hour ride.

forget gyms and trainers they're ok but wouldn't you rather spend it on a bike???????, all you need is consistency on roadie/cx and that will translate to mtb fitness pronto.

yes get your nutrition under control (I follow vegan/vegetarian, high carb (low gi) - doing that removes saturated fats which are mostly associated with meat and processed foods) ... no matter how fit you get if you're pulling kgs up a climb you'll have your limits i.e. KGs/Watts power output.

a program, well how many hours a week do you have to ride? You need 5-10 to develop some good fitness and results.

your 1/20 times would be a good indicator, under 20 minutes is good, do a test up there and see where you're at.
 
Last edited:

rsquared

Likes Dirt
Some great and not so great advice on this thread.

slowmick, depending on your current level of fitness, there are some easy ways to improve your condition for enduro that don't involve sitting on a gym bike or pedalling out in the cold melbourne rain (Just quietly, its a beautiful sunny, warm and dry 22 degrees up here in brisbane today. Perfect trail riding weather...).

I'm a personal trainer and run my own business specifically targeting endurance athletes across triathlons, marathons and cycling disciplines (MTB and road) as well as competing myself in enduro so I hope I know a little about this but there are also a lot of other people on here that are knowledgable about this stuff such as MWI.

Happy to answer any more detailed questions if you want to PM me but basically you want to tackle your training with an aim to improve 2 things:
1. Cardio
2. Muscular conditioning specific to enduro.

Firstly cardio, without breaking it down into a macro/micro cycle periodised training program a variety of training approaches will be best to improve your cardio/endurance base fitness. So think long moderate tempo runs/swims (45mins plus) combined with high intensity interval training sessions (30-40mins) such as group classes or even intervals on a rowing machine are great.

Secondly, muscular conditioning. Obviously you are going to want leg strength & endurance but hip stabilisation/core strength and upper body strength are all vital. While the best way to gain core strength is a very touchy subject on these forums, if anyone tells you that crunches are a must in your program, please through the nearest medicine ball or heavy object at there face! I use a lot of suspension training (crankits/trx), resistance bands, plyometrics and compound exercises such as deadlifts/squat variations (split squat/lunge pattern is crucial for mtb) to build strength while challenging posture (core training). Easy exercises to do at home to build leg endurance are squats, squat jumps, split squat jumps. Core exercises are planks or plank variations including mountain climbers. Upper body exercise could be simple pushups, push up variations, chin ups etc. My favourite exercises that I use specifically to condition/prehab my runners and cyclists that are very susceptible to knee pain and ITB syndrome etc are glute medius strengthening ones. Build these into your conditioning sesisons or do them at home. Some of my favourite glute medius exercises are side lying leg raises (think 80's aerobics), ice skater lunges with or without the suspension straps, and lateral glides or steps with a resistance/elastic band around the ankles.

Could go on for ages about this stuff but pm me if you want any more info.

Cheers.
Dale.
 

AussieBen

Likes Bikes
Its 70% diet & 30% training. I use keto & dynamic conditioning classes (plus a weight program).
In my opinion, if you drink each week the below will apply:

The fastest and most effective progress you will make for all round training/weight loss is to commit to stop consuming alcohol period. Not reduce, but stop.

It will increase testostorone, burn more calories
It will increase muscle recovery, allowing more exercise
It will increase drive & motivation, allowing more excersise and burn
It will decrease calorie intake
It will decrease your binge eating decrease further calory intake
It will decrease wallet heamoriging

Weight loss = 70% kitchen (diet)

But if you don't already drink, then my post was for naught.
 

rsquared

Likes Dirt
guys, trying to quantify 'results' into a breakdown of x% training and x% nutrition is useless and any breakdown like this that you have heard is purely marketing hype/cr@p. Putting it very simply, correct training and nutrition equals results. Neither will get you the results you want without the other and every single person will need a different amount of focus on each depending on their current status in both areas.
 

Puddleduck

Likes Dirt
Great thread. I think I'll take up AussieBen's response before I start running in the rain or get a trainer. I love beer and its definitely been increasing the middleage spread :preggers:. Might be time to change my ways.
 

mtb101

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Happy to answer any more detailed questions if you want to PM me but basically you want to tackle your training with an aim to improve 2 things:
1. Cardio
2. Muscular conditioning specific to enduro.
yep he'll get all of these if he rides his bike more - ... outdoors, you don't need to go to a gym and give your $$$$s to sit on a bike looking at the tv, get out climb the mountains. there's so many beautiful rides you can do, rail trail to warburton, Mt Donna aren't far, Dandies, why burn that precious time indoors? lights and you can do night rides.

fair enough if you have no other options but if you equip your bike fleet with a roadie, cx and mtb you're weather proof.

ultimately you want bike fitness and the best way to achieve that is riding your bike!
 

rsquared

Likes Dirt
yep he'll get all of these if he rides his bike more - ... outdoors, you don't need to go to a gym and give your $$$$s to sit on a bike looking at the tv, get out climb the mountains. there's so many beautiful rides you can do, rail trail to warburton, Mt Donna aren't far, Dandies, why burn that precious time indoors? lights and you can do night rides.

fair enough if you have no other options but if you equip your bike fleet with a roadie, cx and mtb you're weather proof.

ultimately you want bike fitness and the best way to achieve that is riding your bike!
Actually slowmick, scrap everything I said and follow MTB101's advice. It would be silly to cross train or do any sort of strength and conditioning work off a bike, I don't know why the pro's and elite athletes waist their time. I'm sure you have ample time, no other commitments in life, and were only lying when you said you don't like the cold and rain so can in fact actually get out on the bike for a couple of hours every morning or afternoon. If in fact this isn't realistic for you then there are other options off a bike which are great ways to condition yourself during the winter months. Obviously, these should only compliment time on the bike and not totally replace it though.
 

pharmaboy

Eats Squid
thanks for all the suggestions guys. a run in the rain will probably help me keep to a goal of no more than 2 days without a workout (will also give the bike shoes some chance to dry out).

pharmaboy - what is t2max? i have never trained with a heart rate monitor so this is all new.

wussed out this morning as it was pissing down when i got up sounds like i need to think a little more laterally. sounds like i need to get the heart moving as often as possible.

Cheers guys.
http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/ultimate-interval

Pretty much explains it, but it's about doing that rate of work that causes a climb in your heart rate that reaches your real max in about 4 to 5 minutes. Most of up have a hill somewhere that's around the 4min mark which you can make yourself sick on.

The first thing you need is to know your threshold on a HRM, I do this by monitoring my heart rate over a 40min race pace effort, discarding the first 10minutes and taking the rest as average. Consider an interval that gets you to that threshold in around a minute or less, then continues to climb slowly - usually about 10 beats above that rate is good interval territory, but getting to your max ( feeling sick, can't go on) is not ideal because the next interval will be slower.

It's worth knowing a bit about yourself and heart rates because you can monitor your training, and adaptations, and it gives you something to concentrate on while on a trainer ( believe it or not, this last bit is important, I can't even consider getting on a trainer without a HRM - I do too little work)

The principle can be applied to hill repeats - you ride up a 3 minute hill, at maybe 20 seconds slowing than vomit effort, then coast back down, wait 3 minutes, do it again. The goal isn't to smash the hill, the goal is to do that process 5 times - and THAT is the hard part . Extend yourself, then be able to recover.
 

Tobey Bostock

Likes Bikes
slowmick; forums aren't the place to get this sort of info. Do an introductory session with a conditioning trainer at your local gym, they will do a plan with what works for YOU. Everyone has their opinion on fitness and what works for them. But all people aren't the same.
 

pharmaboy

Eats Squid
guys, trying to quantify 'results' into a breakdown of x% training and x% nutrition is useless and any breakdown like this that you have heard is purely marketing hype/cr@p. Putting it very simply, correct training and nutrition equals results. Neither will get you the results you want without the other and every single person will need a different amount of focus on each depending on their current status in both areas.
Those numbers are accepted ballpark for weight loss, that's where they come from, and in suspect what was meant in the original post - ie weight loss is 70 or 80% diet and the remainder training.

Training is training, and specificity still rules, especially for games like cycling and non professionals who don't have 25 hours a week.

Wanna ride faster, ride more.

15 hours a week on the Mtb. BUT, getting that much enduro riding might be be near impossible and it ends up being lots of road - and you wouldn't want to look like Rasmussen and be an enduro rider - you'd break in half! ;)

So, now we've complicated your life, either embrace some spin bike based workouts, or toughen up and committ to riding 10 hours a week, period, no excuses, concrete for breakfast , yadda yadda.....
 

driftking

Wheel size expert
Is your goal to just increase cardio fitness and sprinting/climbing and long distance endurance or are you also looking at putting on some muscle and increasing strength. ?

A basic strength training routine focusing on the main compound exercises will be a good start.
Incorporating HIIT and steady state cardio into the routine will also help. HIIT is good as it also help increase muscle mass with power due to the adaptions it induces.

In terms of fitness in the legs and cardio HIIT is a V02max targeting workout so that will help on that front but if you struggle over time than you need to incorporate threshold training which improves the point where lactic starts building faster than it can remove it from the muscle (lactate threshold).

There is no point having a huge V02 which is great for sprinting but than have a lactate threshold of only 50% of that V02max because most of your riding long distance is spent just at or below lactate threshold. so having a large V02 max is great but than you need to increase your lactate threshold so you can work at a higher level during.

Obviously we are talking very high level and taxing workouts here.HIIT is high intensity interval training, you are working at 100% and usually will hit your heart rate max. weight lifting again is stressful and drastically increase blood pressure during lifts you need to be given the all clear to do these.

Because its enduro I can see the most logical workout been something like this (now I don't ride enduro so any racers or those with more training in this area please correct me)

1.A basic compound lifting routine.
2.Most of your cardio will be spent training your lactate threshold with a decent number of sprint days as well id think about a 70/30% split.
3.If you have a longer time or if you look long term you should also spend a decent amount of time just building you aerobic capacity which means long slow riders for a few weeks.

As a disclaimer I will note you should also see a doctor first and be given the all clear for you to be able to do your desired workouts and continue to follow their advice. As per usual any advice or opinions in this post is/are purely my own and if used will be at your own risk.

guys, trying to quantify 'results' into a breakdown of x% training and x% nutrition is useless and any breakdown like this that you have heard is purely marketing hype/cr@p. Putting it very simply, correct training and nutrition equals results. Neither will get you the results you want without the other and every single person will need a different amount of focus on each depending on their current status in both areas.
To an extant but all studies and testing is quantified in that way so usually you can actually get a ballpark figure. As pharma already noted these measures are accepted as guides. Personally I think diet is even more id lean towards 80% but that is neither here nor there point is diet is the key, whether your trying to bulk up or slim down diet is what gets results you only need to see people who work out but don't have diet in check they are the ones always struggling with their goals.
 
Last edited:
Top