DH training at the school gym

Could you recommend someone that offers skills clinics near Baltimore MD. I am specifically interested in down hilling. Are there any books you know about that are specifically about downhill training or technique. i already bought the mountain bike techniques book. lastly what exercises should i do, i have weight lifting in school for a hour and a half every day.


– Sorry, I don’t know anyone who teaches skills out there.

– No books exist specifically about DH training (yet 🙂 ). This winter, work on your core skills — braking, turning, hopping, dropping, pumping, etc. — and build solid all-around strength.

– This is very simplified, but if you’re in the gym five days a week, you could rock something like this:

Monday – Strength

Tuesday – Bike trainer

Wednesday – Strength

Thursday – Bike trainer

Friday – Strength

Ride on the weekends.

Bike trainer workout: Basically: Keep the pedals turning for your entire class. Hammer as hard you can for the length of the downhill race (3-5 minutes), spin easy until you feel better, then repeat as many times as you can while maintaining good power and form.

In a nutshell: If you’re tired, spin easy. If you’re fresh, pin it!

When I interviewed Steve Peat for Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, he said his winter training consists mainly of XC rides and gym circuits.

Strength workout: The goal here is to build functional range of motion, stability and strength. Since you’re just starting out, any total-body circuit will make you stronger. Your school probably has a circuit set up, and I’m sure a coach can help you design one.

Just make sure you’re doing every major movement:

– upper body pushing down, forward and up;

– upper body pulling down, backward and up;

– lower body pushing and pulling;

– torso forward, back, side to side and twisting.

Here is a decent basic program:

– Pushups
– Bent rows
– Upright rows
– Overhead press
– Dips
– Pullups
– Squats
– Dead lifts
– Lunges
– Forward, backward and side planks

Three sets of 10 reps is the standard, and that’s fine for now. Learn and use perfect form. Make that coach earn his Wheaties.

The Mighty James Wilson demonstrates the one-armed dead lift and side press from his MTB DB Combo Workout Program

If you’re serious: For two excellent MTB-specific workouts, check out James Wilson’s programs:

– The MTB DB Combo Workout Program uses dumbbells to give you an excellent workout, and it costs only $17. BTW: I love the one-legged dead lift.

– The $97 Ultimate MTB Workout Program is much more complex, and it will make you ridiculously strong. The anaerobic intervals are just brutal!

Whatever you do, be patient. Start light and easy, and work your way up from there. Remember that you’re a DH racer, not some gym meat head. Strive for balanced, useable strength. IT DOES NOT MATTER how much you can bench press!

When I was in high school, I was convinced life would be perfect if I could bench 300 pounds. I stalled out at 265, but — you know what — no girl ever asked how much I can bench.

Rip it,

— Lee

PS: Ask your English teacher about comma splices.

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