A 3-Day-Per-Week Weight Room Plan For Mountain Bikers

Day 3 provide further body power training by combining plyometrics and 40 percent of your maximum lift with speed in a circuit-training fashion. This training can be very stressful. It provides elevated lactic acid levels, stimulates the nervous system and both types of muscle fibers and can produce extremely high heart rates.

All three resistance-training days use three to six sets. Any more than that may start to produce an over-training effect; especially when you're trying to improve aerobic capacity at the same time.

Following are a few training examples for developing muscle power.

Muscle Power Development: Training Examples

Day 1. Warm up before training. Heavy resistance training is aimed at the recruitment of high-threshold motor units. Recovery time between sets should be two to three minutes.

BB = Barbell

DB = Dumbbell

BB Squats 80%-90% 3-6r x 4-5s
Dumbbell Push Press 80% 4-6r x 3-4s
Seated Chest Press 90% 3-4r x 4-6s
Dumbbell Modified Cleans 80-90% 3-6r x 3-5s
Cable Pulldown 90% 3-4r x 4-6s

The dumbell modified clean is a modified Olympic lift. While standing with a dumbbell in each hand, you squat, lowering the dumbbells to knee level. Rapidly move the weights up to the shoulders, resting the weights on top of the shoulder muscle. Lower the weight under control back to the squat position and repeat. This exercise develops power throughout the body.

Day 2. Warm up before lifting. Use moderate resistance with a fast, rhythmic movement. The purpose is to stimulate fast and slow twitch muscle fibers, elevate lactic acid levels and improve neural drive. Try a recovery of one to two minutes between sets.

DB Front Squat w/Press 50% 6-8r x 4-6s
Seated Leg Press (one leg at a time) 30% 6-8r x 4-5s
Standing Cable Pulls (one a reps per set at a time) 50% 8-10r x 5-6s
Bar Dips (add weight if needed) 50% 8-10r x 5-6s
Hamstring Curl (no max.test) moderate weight 3 x 12-15r

Day 3. Circuit Training. Use light-moderate resistance (40 percent of maximum) and body weight for 10 to 15 fast reps. This training stresses the lactic acid system, stimulates the nervous system, fast and slow twitch fibers and elevated heart rates. This type of circuit training turns the strength training into power.

Use 15 to 30 seconds rest between stations, four to five minutes rest between circuits, two to four circuits total.

1. DB Squats
2. Cable Pulldowns
3. 1 Legged Hops (10yds.)
4. DB Mod. Cleans
5. Cable Upright Rows
6. Plyometric Box Jumps
7. Seated Leg Press
8. Back Extension
9. Plyometric Pushups

Applying a new training program can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. When trying a new program, do so in pieces. I recommend one new training a week. This will allow you to adjust to the new stress and give you a break from your normal training routine.

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5: pp 415-421 5. Stone, M. et al. Training to Muscular Failure: Is It Necessary? Journal of Strength and Conditioning, vol.18, no 3. 1996
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7. Wilson, J. et al. The Optimal Training Load for the Development of Dynamic Athletic Performance. Medicine Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 25, no. 11, pp 1279-1286
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