Hello everyone! It’s Cooper Ott again! For those of you not familiar, or just starting to follow this blog, I am a professional Enduro mountain bike racer and recently started working out at CB South Fitness, as a way to stay in shape year-round.
Kristin, the owner of the gym, and I met up for a weightlifting session early this month and it was so much fun! Not only was it awesome to have a friend to work out with, Kristin also taught me some new exercises. Here are three of my new favorites!
We started with a 10 minute warm up, Kristin on the Stair Master and myself on the Peloton bike. A 5-10 min warm is crucial for the obvious reason - to get things lose and “warmed up” before lifting weights! It’s also imperative from the standpoint of preventing injury.
After the warm up we got down to business. The goal for the day was a full body workout, targeting weaknesses I had mentioned to Kristin, and working on overall strength.
I am new to the world of squats. Squats use your biggest muscle groups and so we started there. They are a full-body fitness staple that work the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, while strengthening the core as well. I say - bring it on! Box squats specifically, are great for beginners because you use the box to guide your form, and keep the depth of each squat consistent. You have the ability to adjust the box height to whatever height you desire based on comfort, experience, and athleticism.
Unlike the banded jumping jacks (which I talk about later), mountain biking uses the same muscle groups as box squats. I immediately think about having to power up techy climbs, like the final moves on Teo Ridge. Not only is the climbing on Teo aerobically challenging, the final power moves to get over the ledgy rock and roots make it a full body workout. Box squats will keep my legs strong for blasting through moguls on the mountain and ready to go for those techy mountain bike climbs next spring!
I struggle with upper body strength, and I will be the first one to admit it. I came from an XC mountain biking background where I relied mostly on aerobic fitness. I made the switch to Enduro which requires much more upper body strength and I noticed the deficit almost immediately. Over the season I improved my upper body strength slightly but adding exercises like rows into my workouts will help me build these muscles even more!
Banded Jumping Jacks
Cycling does not require much side to side motion of your lower body, and as a result my hips and glutes are really strong forward and back, but not side to side. The banded jumping jacks really highlight my weakness in this area. After only 15 jumps my glutes were on FIRE! I am excited to add these into my workout!
One of my goals is to create a good fitness routine that I am able to keep up with even when the race season starts up again. It’s important to keep my muscles strong in every season, not only to be a better rider, but also to help prevent injury in competition. I’m really looking forward to staying strong all year long and know that one workout at a time, I am getting there!