box squats

A Day In The Gym - Cooper Ott, Enduro Mtn Biker

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!

Warm Up

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. 

Box Squats

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! 

Seated Rows

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!  

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Stronger

Today, while working out, I started thinking about the progression of things since we opened the doors of CB South Fitness.  It had not occurred to me that during the weeks of opening the gym, and in making sure that things went smoothly for our members, that I was also working out more than I had in years.

A few weeks ago, a friend who is a personal trainer, put together a total body workout program for me.  For the first time in my life my workouts are organized, balanced, and I am doing them with more consistency than ever before (3x per week). From box squats, to Romanian deadlifts, bench press, and dumbbell step-ups (using the plyo box), bent over barbell-row, lateral pull downs, and a fun alteration to traditional bicep curls, my workouts stay interesting and most importantly, challenging.  I forgot to mention the best part - that each week I am adding 5lbs extra to my bar from the week before!  Adding weights in a progression is something that has never been part of my workout regimen, and I am so glad that it is now.  From bending over to pick up my 2-year old and feeling the strength in my back and arms, to how solid I am on my feet when I attempt to be the ultimate skier (notice I said “attempt”- I have a long way to go!), I feel better about everyday movements, and recreational sports, thanks to the dedication to my workouts.

Living in Crested Butte, there are a million reasons to be outside enjoying the beautiful winter wonderland that we all know and love.  But when time is limited, or you are looking for more than a cardio workout, get to the gym.  Even a 20-minute weight training session counts! 

For those of you that are not members, or have not been by to check out the gym, we have several posters on the walls with various exercises, stretches and movements so that things stay fun, and workouts can change regularly (if you want them to).  For some, this can mean adding new exercises to your ‘routine’ and challenging new muscle groups.  If you are up to the task, put together a workout sheet to help you track each exercise and weight, and then start increasing the weight slightly every couple of weeks.  Or at best, work with personal trainer, Tim Skafidas.  Personal trainers can build you a custom workout plan, to satisfy your personal fitness goals. We have an awesome local trainer at our fingertips, with 20 years experience, at a great price!  

In closing, I still have a long way to go, but each week the confidence builds as the weight increases, and I feel great!  

Happy Lifting.

*To inquire about training with Tim Skafidas please contact us and we will put you in touch, or you can check out the Training & Services page on our website!  Right now, 20% discounts on couples training sessions!

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