Video: Building Strength with Dee Tidwell


Last month we began to lay a foundation of muscle so this month we can start building strength into your training program. Strength comes in many shapes and sizes. Every sport requires different aspects of “strength” depending on its unique requirements. As mountain bikers, our strength needs to be not necessarily applied to ‘how much weight can I lift in the gym” but rather being able to rely on what I call “strength endurance,” or the ability to withstand external bike and terrain forces for long periods of time.So this month’s workout was created to help you get stronger, period. It is done in a superset format. I use this technique of loading to create a cardio response that should be similar to a zone two to three heart rate effort. The cool part is you are placing your system under load in a heavier cardiorespiratory environment similar to riding but under heavy load. This allows your body to adapt and be better at working hard for longer periods of time which in the end will make it more capable of handling the external/loading forces.Make your goal to work hard in the gym and be CONSISTENT so when it comes time to ride it’ll seem like autopilot kicks in and that’s when the joy of mountain biking really shows itself.


Two supersets (1 & 2) of three exercises each. This is the strength building workout.Use these variables:**90-100% of your estimated or true one rep max**3-5 sets of each superset**Reps- 10, 6, 4, 2, 2 – or a mix of those**Rest- 3 mins.


Geared towards an active recovery so use this quick workout to help your body accelerate recovery.PROGRAM B has one superset of five exercises. This is the active recovery workout:Supine lateral ball roll- 10 REPSBody weight squat- 15-20 REPSHorse Stance vertical- 10 EACHBent over ITYW- 4-8 EACH LETTERPush up with T-spine rotation- MAX FORMHere's an example of a basic training schedule you can use:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: PROGRAM A + 30 min spin at less than 70%
Wednesday: Distance- 60-90 minutes @ 70-80% max heart rate or ride outside
Thursday: PROGRAM B + 30 min spin at Zone 3 (Hard/Aerobic Capacity , approx 80% of max heart rate) – Do 6-10 reps of 5 min effort: 1 min rest
Friday: Intervals- 15 minute warm up - Zone 4 (Very Hard/Anaerobic Capacity, approx 85% of max heart rate) – Do 4-8 reps: 2 min effort: 2 min rest
Saturday: Either ride or do PROGRAM A again, or participate in your favorite winter activity
Sunday: Same as Sat or if needed, take an extra OFF dayIf you aren't working with any type of training plan, don't worry as over the next few months I will lay out a monthly training workout you can follow and use to make 2019 your best season yet. Each month I'll post a fresh workout you can use to make you better. Here's what you can expect over the next few months:

Feb/Mar – Strength

Mar/Apr – Power
Apr/May – SpeedLike with any training plan I encourage my clients to write down your progress over the next four weeks. I suggest that the fourth or fifth week be an active recovery week where you reduce the volume of the above workouts by 50%. An example would be to do half the number of sets you were working at leading up to your active rest week, which for most, will be 1.5 sets.

I'm Coach Dee, ambassador for Yeti Cycles and trainer to thousands worldwide. I'm a 50-year-old enduro racer, and just won my second overall season championship as a Masters racer in the Big Mountain Enduro series. For your off-season training needs, check out my freshly launched (and discounted!) coaching membership at http://www.enduromtbtraining.com

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