Training for downhillas

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by unskilled, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. unskilled

    unskilled Monkey

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    So i would post this in the diet/workout part but i don't really care what the masochist xc people do to get in shape for riding. What specific diet and exercise plans do you downhillers use to get faster/smoother/quicker. Let me know. Also what you cut back on, beer, women, horse tranquilizers?
     

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  2. Dylan Dean

    Dylan Dean Monkey

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    not a chance! ....& double up on the horse tranquilizers! :D

    i think there have been a few threads about this in the DH category... donno how extensive it got though. some got more into gym training techniques... i don't think many of them got much into diet.
    good luck keeping up w/ it... i think i start my diet/training everyweek... then fall off it in about 48 hrs! haha
     
  3. evanthefix

    evanthefix Chimp

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    jump rope on the days you can't ride. it works very well and its super cheap and easy.
     
  4. DirtyMike

    DirtyMike Turbo Fluffer

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    Eat Healthy, ride when you can, If you cant ride. Hit the gym...Sit ups, push ups, Cardio, burn out from time to time. Other than that, nothing special, other than planning fun!!!
     
  5. Cave Dweller

    Cave Dweller Monkey

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    Get a fixed gear track bike and hit up the local velodrome. Teaches you to spin and sprint, teaches you to pedal without stopping, increases fitness and is fun (except the wearing lycra part, but i can handle it)
     
  6. Cave Dweller

    Cave Dweller Monkey

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    I have found XC on a DH bike is also good training. I can't stand the gym....
     
  7. John P.

    John P. Turbo Monkey

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    Here's the deal: DHing requires a bunch of really specialized *skills* that are hard to practice and simulate except when you're spending days on the mountain. Sure, you can do some dirt jumping, ride pump tracks, and hit some small drops on relatively flat land, but in my opinion, those will only take you so far. What you really need to do to get faster is practice riding extended steep sections, railing steep downhill turns, making quick decisions at high speed, and that sort of thing. Basically, things you can only do on shuttled or lift-serviced DH trails.

    Given that most of us don't have access to lift-serviced or shuttled DHing more than once a week or so for a few months a year, what you need to do is focus on getting the absolute most out of those few training sessions - be able to ride hard every run for the entire day.

    How to get to that level? Hit the gym in the offseason. Specifically, you need to work on improving balance, strength, and cardio. I've personally tried lots of different plans and programs, worked with personal trainers, etc., but the most complete source of info I've found is James Wilson's program (do a google search for "ultimate mtb program"). It covers all of the above plus nutrition, stretching, recovery, and more. It's really comprehensive.

    Anyway, as I mentioned, these are all just opinions that I've formulated through working on this stuff for years. I'm not even close to the fastest guy around, but I do try to stay really informed on how to train, so take all this advice for whatever it's worth.

    Good luck,

    --JP
     
  8. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    Spin classes. No sh!t will get you fit. To survive the crappy music, I close my eyes and think of the year before's runs and such. You will see a hugely noticeable increase in stamina.
     
  9. pelo

    pelo Monkey

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    John P. wrapped it up in a nice package.

    Don´t forget 2-4min intervals!
     
  10. Cant Climb

    Cant Climb Turbo Monkey

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    How's your deadlifting coming along in the "ulitmate mtb program"....?
     
  11. ThePriceSeliger

    ThePriceSeliger Mushhead

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    Just ride. Unless your a pro racer or really trying to step it up to become pro, just have fun. I'm no pro racer, but I ride all the time and step it up. Ride with people better than you, that's the best training.
     
  12. John P.

    John P. Turbo Monkey

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    Shomper, your posts are always so obscure that I can never tell when you're being seriously inquisitive or an instigating jackass. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're curious.

    The phase that I'm in now (4) doesn't have a lot of deadlift work in it, but I have noticed a pretty big improvement in the amount of weight I can do. I think James writes somewhere that your goal should be about a double bodyweight deadlift, and I've still got a ways to go before I hit that.

    The biggest improvement I've felt, though, was just how many runs I could do in a day. In Whistler last summer, I could pretty much ride indefinitely; fatigue was never an issue. I'd eventually get bored, they'd shut down the lifts, or I'd just feel like going for a beer and call it a day.

    --JP
    P.S. I think most of the reason your posts seem so ambiguous is due to your (over) use of the ellipsis, which, by the way, is only supposed to have 3 dots (not the 20+ that you usually use).
     
  13. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    fight Chuck Norris. if you survive, you're ready to race.
     
  14. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Ride road and do tons of intervals, ride corners, dirt jump to get comfortable on your bike while its in the air, limit beer consumption, ride XC and learn to read terrain and all of that, get fit. DH races are essentially sprints separated by corners. If you are strong enough to pedal twice after every corner, you could reduce your times by seconds by doing nothing but getting more fit.
     
  15. John P.

    John P. Turbo Monkey

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    This kind of gets to how personal training can be - A few years ago, I did a training program (prescribed by a coach I hired) very similar to what you're describing, and it didn't help me personally much at all. He had me do a ton of long slow distance rides early in the season to build base, then turned the focus to sprints and intervals. For whatever reason, I hardly progressed at all that season, and it was really disappointing.

    Again, I'm not saying that this might not work for other people, but it just didn't work for me.

    --JP
     
  16. yuroshek

    yuroshek Turbo Monkey

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    if you do go to the gym: instead of standing on 2 feet doing, say curls. stand on one foot. it helps keep your balance and works the mid section at the same time. or try and work out with your eyes closed, its alot harder then it seems. people in my gym look at me like im crazy untill i tell them what its all about. then they understand and say "wow i never though about that!" also you can take 2 dumb bells and a big balance ball. then you have the balance ball up by your shoulder blades and then you keep your mid section and legs all level with your knees. then pretend your benching. this is harder since you dont have support under your back anymore and have to keep your mid section tight and keep balance. you can also do 1 legged squats. or if your on your trainer and really want to die, do intervals with riding and then jump off the bike and do 1 legged squats. your body wont know what to do. let me know if you guys want anymore info.

    dennis
     
  17. LMC

    LMC Monkey

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    have you noticed a difference in size since you started with this program as well? like have you added muscle? lost fat?
     
  18. John P.

    John P. Turbo Monkey

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    Definitely noticed a difference, but not in overall size. The focus of the program is to get you stronger on the bike without gaining bulk, and it's done exactly that. I'm close to the same weight I was when I started, but my body looks entirely different - a lot less fat and a lot more muscle.

    --JP
     
  19. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Agreed, riding with faster people will definitely help you get faster. Also ride fast all the time. The more comfortable you become at speed, the easier it is to go faster because your brain will have adjusted to speed and will start processing faster
     
  20. jcook90

    jcook90 Turbo Monkey

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    I recently (today) discovered my school has a semi-nice gym and plan to be using that a lot more.

    I remember reading in bikejames's (ultimate mtb guy) posts that you want to do low reps/high weight as opposed to high rep/low weight and was just wondering what the numbers should be here, like 10-12 reps with the max weight you can do in those reps, or a weight that say you can do 20 reps of but limit it to 10-12?
     
  21. yuroshek

    yuroshek Turbo Monkey

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    jcook, i personally think that you if you wanna have more endurance, you would wanna do more reps and less weight. it will cut you up better and you will have more endurance for racing.

    also, if you do pushups do them fast. because when your on the bike its always fast movements and your muscles will learn to react faster.

    when your doin push ups get a soccer ball or basketball and put it under one hand. do 5 push ups, switch hands, 5 push ups, then put both hands on the ball and have your fingers in a diamond (so the tips of pointer and thumb are touchin each other) and do 10. the ferther out you have your hands on the ball the easier it is. and then do 3 reps of that, good luck.

    when in the gym you can do abs every day, its ok to over work your abs unlike some other muscles.

    you can also do a 10-20mins warm up on the bike and you can close out your workout on the bike as well. it will get the blood goin thru your whole body.

    do alot of dips, push ups, pull ups and sit ups. basically you wanna be able to lift your own body weight easly and will help out alot on the bike. sounds easy but it will work.
     
  22. Cant Climb

    Cant Climb Turbo Monkey

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    haha...:)...I like the ultimate_mtb_program but he seems a bit over the top with some of the power stuff. Deadlift workouts done to work towards max will leave you exhausted and your body shredded, i just think that is uneccasary to a degree, of course it does have it benefits..

    Glad your seeing good results. :thumb:

    I think alot of it is pretty basic but it takes alot of self motivation. Pushups, pull-ups, various body position holds can be done anywhere and its easy to track progress to see those individual strength gains. Also alot of strength work can be done on the bike anywhere really........the crux of all this is finding the motivation though.

    Edit: P.S. That foam roller stuff James suggests is just awesome. Feels sooooooooo good. Hooked on that thing....
     
  23. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

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    Who says dh'ers need more endurance training? Does a shotputter train by running a marathon? I think this is why James emphasizes low reps over high- while there is some endurance/fitness involved in dh racing, it's primarily a sprinting sport.

    EDIT: this is also why intervals are excellent in the off season for us snowbound northeasterners - Jim
     
  24. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Who says DH'ers need endurance? Have you raced? Ever gotten to the bottom of a run and felt like puking cause you put everything out there? Think about being a little bit fitter and sprinting the whole time and hardly being winded at the bottom of a run, thats endurance and DHers need it. The pro dhers I know train by riding miles and miles and miles

    I agree about intervals, but without endurance you cannot recover between those sprints
     
  25. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

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    Yes I race; and I see what you are saying. What I meant is that people seem to fall into the trap of only working on endurance in the off season (for us northeast people, at least). We need an overall fitness base, but it isn't totally what dh racing is all about. It's also about explosive strength. So then, lifting weights is not about building endurance, it's about building strength, hence low reps as they work tend to work better towards that goal.
     
  26. Jettj45

    Jettj45 Monkey

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  27. homepiece

    homepiece Monkey

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    HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training google it) and throw in some crossfit type workouts (corssfit.com) and you will be good to go. Currently I do 30 mins of HIIT on my elliptical and do Kettlebell and medicine ball work in my basement 3-4 times a week depending on if I hit Rays or a skatepark that week.