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Off season training


This topic contains 74 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  singleandfixed 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    With all this rain, I think it’s time to begin some of the off season work. I typically use the off season to heal injuries, work on imbalances and build strength for the following season. I also spin a few days a week all winter. I’ve built up a decent home gym that has all I need to keep at it.

    This winter I’ll be ridding my fatbike 2-3 days a week so I may forgo the spinning unless its really nasty out. I’ve spun several years in the off season but find nothing replaces actual time on the bike.

    What are you guys doing to stay fit and keep active over the winter?


    secret agent

    I have a trainer for my road bike, but I can’t stand using it. I will break down and use it if there is a long spell of utterly un-rideable weather. Otherwise, I just ride on the road if wet or go to the fat bike. I have a universal gym and a bunch of weights, but can’t seem to get into those either. Biking has great fitness benefits, but it is not why I do it. I was never a gym rat in so far as weights and tread mill etc. I have to be doing some sport or activity that is not just training. Probably why I’m not in better shape.

    With that set up at home, there is no reason not to be super fit. Unless you don’t use it.



    I may spin once a week on the trainer – but I find it soooo boring, so I get most cardio on an erg machine (the cal/hr is much higher than spinning and if your form is correct works similar muscle groups to cycling), play in a couple volleyball leagues to have fun and keep the legs, core and reflexes from getting sluggish. Best fitness training I’ve ever done in the offseason was P90x, had phenomenal results last year and plan to do the program again leading up to the season (Jan-April).

    Best improvement I could get for a riding season would be to somehow figure out how to beat allergies. I can’t breathe once the ragweed and goldenrod pollen goes airborne, OTC stuff barely touches it, which limits my peak season riding more than fitness or anything else. All the training in the world wouldn’t prevent me from breathing through a straw for 2 months.



    @fasttimes That home gym is frickin amazing. What I wouldn’t do to have a pull up bar and a legit rack in my house. Way to take it over the top with the padded floor and weights too. Just need one of your carbon rigs in there to stare at for motivation.

    As for winter training, I actually wanna put in my time at Joyride to work on jump skills/confidence. I’ll put more time in at the gym too, focusing on posterior chain movements, which get weak with lots of saddle time and not enough gym time.

    I’ll probably work on my darker beer consumption too. 🙂



    One thing I’ve learned about off season training is that there is no off season (for me anyway). It is a matter of balancing weight training and riding. If I ride more my lifting suffers and vice versa. With regards to weight training I put in about 5-6 hours a week. It does not sound like a lot, but you do feel it. Of course that hour is filled with other forms of exercises such as calisthenics and basic gymnastics. All of which I find helpful as my body ages. The lifts are basic snatches, squats, cleans and variations there of. Proper form is key as well as completing the prescribed sets.

    An example of a session might go like this (of course there is endless variations):

    1) warm up: lunges, push-ups, handstand holds, etc… 15 min
    2) snatches 10×1 increasing weight 50% to 85% of your max every minute
    3) back squats 3×5 85% of your max
    4) 3km run for time



    Batemans Bicycle Company has newly built “the spin shack”. I plan on getting out there once a week as the whole group ride concept with entertainment can surely make spinning a more enjoyable experience!


    A set of kettlebells to do in addition to lunges, push-ps, handstands etc is a great way to maximize your work out at home with very minimal equipment needed. I find one of the best ways to remain riding fit is to have a workout you actually enjoy doing with minimal barriers to entry. If you can workout in your own home you are set! Driving to the gym leads to failure (IMO) i’ve found at least. Kettlebells for some reason are enjoyable perhaps because they feel more primal than a set of weights?

    Joyride is always a good idea too….

    Crossfit is like cheap personal training, i have had great experiences with that too!
    *highly recommend Tidal Crossfit. Workouts nearly kill you in a small time window, minimal expense and since you are working in a group you are motivated. Instructors keep you on track and with proper form.

    Good luck! Winter is almost here!!!! sad face



    I also started Yoga last year as part of P90x and highly recommend it for cyclist. Incredible for core strength, balance and flexibility… which all help on the bike immensely.

    I used to scoff at Yoga. Then I did it and found out how challenging it can be!!



    Just finished my Saturday session. About an hour work out.

    Was broken down like this:

    -warm up (mainly upper body/shoulders)
    -20 clean and jerks, progressive weights until 135lbs
    -as many rounds as possible of 12 overhead squats 65lbs, 12 power cleans 65lbs, 12 burpees in 15 minutes
    got 3 rounds and 4 squats before running out of time



    Great session at Joyride 150 last night! dusted off the wee bike for the first time since around June…. Jump section feeling hot again. woot.



    We need some berm jumps in the don…

    1. Bermshot.jpg



    Picking up XC skis this year now that I’m living close to Algonquin Park. I DO have a trainer but have a hate-hate relationship with that thing. I’ll still probably suffer on it from time to time.

    Like others have said, I mostly like being out doing stuff more than working out, but I am trying to work in yoga using a set of Ryan Leech vids from the BCBR. I’ve also started running, and while that also is no fun, it’s kind of fun… Maybe Type II?



    A couple of weeks ago, I discovered Joyride for the first time, so I will definitely be spending some time there, honing technical skills. Once I finish healing anyways. I managed to crash on a jump line, and bugger my knee.

    My off-season routine is pretty simple. I focus on my core, spend time doing laps in the swimming pool, and enjoy time on the basketball court.

    My core work doubles as some anaerobic training. I modified a workout I used to do in the Army. Countdown sets of 3 basic calisthenic exercises, as fast as I can with no rest between. A basic example: pushups, situps, leg crunches. Start with 10 of each, now 9, now 8, etc. Takes 10 to 15 minutes, and grows in length with the off-season. I’ll mix up the exercises too. Burpees, spiders lunges, plank taps. Anything that is good for the core, and another muscle group makes it into my routine. The key is not to stop moving. It’s supposed to be high intensity.

    After that, I hit the pool for some laps. Helps with lactate recovery and aerobic capacity.



    Anyone made a partial or complete move to indoor training yet?

    My previous off-seasons have been paying off and I’m hoping to build on that this year. I’m down a bunch of weight and feel better than ever on the bike. I have a lot of muscle imbalances and injuries to correct come this time of the year and that has been the focus in the past. Working on opposing muscle groups and overall strength have taken priority over actual training on a bike or treadmill. Being that I am more of a downhiller than an XC guy this made the most sense for me and certainly helped me out of a few major get-offs this summer that would have otherwise sidelined me. At 47, I was still ripping the park and holding my own with the young guns.

    I have a solid spin bike but never really had a program to follow. I would spin 3-4 hours a week just to keep the cardio up but saw minimal returns and it was mind-numbing.. The past few winters the spinner has been greatly replaced by my fat bike, which I really enjoy. I love it actually. I definitely felt great come spring time but never really had that upper fitness I was looking for.

    This winter I finally have a program in place and have made the jump to a smart trainer. I went for the Wahoo Kickr and so far it’s been great. I have always know that my fitness was the area that I needed to focus on and this should give me what I need to improve that. I’m only a few weeks in and so far so good. I still have a few days of strength training in my program and will get out for the odd, though not as frequent, fat bike ride. Bellow is a screen grab from Zwift. It’s a lot of fun and I will use it for the odd ride but the bulk of my training will be following an actual program. Zwift has an FTP test and some climb/build workouts that could also work but I wanted a full off-season program.

    My work last year helped me complete in a fairly substantial multi-day stage race and I hope to do something similar this year. I am also looking to add some week-long big mountain epics and bikepacking trips abroad – Zermatt, Mont-Blanc etc.

    It’s both intimidating and inspiring to see the numbers the trainer spits out at you. I am really enjoying watching my power and watts/kg rise. For me, having these quantitative metrics to counterbalance my perceived fitness will be a game changer. I’ve always worked hard but never really had a proper plan. My spring time goal is ambitious but I am looking forward to the challenge and the gains that come with it.

    Anyone else got the training bug yet? What sort of plan are you following?


    Renegade Hardware

    This year was pretty bad for me physically, from low riding hrs to an illness that took me out for the first quarter. But, I’m back and I want to race again, and take that top step at the Enduro races, so I’ll be back to weights for the offseason and like you Marc, working on repairing imbalances and injuries. Mid winter I’ll be back into cardio training as this comes back fast for me typically.

    No nice home gym anymore since our new places is a bit smaller, but I’ll make do.



    Sorry to hear about the illness and low ride days, that would really bum me out. You definitely don’t need the setup I have to get the job done. I’ve had lots of years with just a bench and bar in the garage. I actually like that Rocky style paincave best, but i’m old and soft now 🙂 But, I still load 4 plates on the bar when squatting, so cage was a must when alone.

    Hopefully the winter is good to you and you can get some solid gravity days in next summer. Bromont on a modern trail bike is nothing short of amazing. Lots of other great short haul destinations to race and ride at. Blue is always fun and great for keeping you on your game when the bigger mountains call.

    Best of luck on the comeback!

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