Testing is a vital part of sports performance training. Look at the NFL combine, they put together specific tests that are applicable for the sport, the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 5-10-5 drill and max bench press. These are time honored tests to determine how a college football player stacks up with current and past NFL players. For our purpose, we are going to have a test at the beginning of our program and re-test at the end to measure the effectiveness of our training.
Hip Power/Posterior Chain
In most sports, the hips and posterior chain are a driving force of most athletic movements. For the purpose of this 6-week program, we chose two tests. First for hip power, ideally, we would train the power clean, however, it takes time to learn that skill to get the timing of the jump, land, and catch. So, for this program, we are going to test a jump with weight, including some skill work on jumping and landing- two very important skills for athleticism. This translates to Mountain Biking through jumping or hopping the bike over obstacles. Learning how to extend the hips violently and aggressively will bring a new level to your trail riding skills!
For posterior chain strength, we will be using the Deadlift. The Deadlift is a king of posterior chain exercises. The posterior chain is everything you can’t see in the mirror – the calves, hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles (lats, rhomboids, and to some extent the traps). This test will be based on a 3-rep max. This is because there is no need to go for a max effort one rep, as you are not trying to be a powerlifter. This lift will provide the basis for strength to be able to provide the horsepower to the jump as well. The deadlift and weighted jump complement each other to provide explosive full-body power to help maneuver the bike on the trail.
When most people think of biking they think of quads, as they are a primary driver in pedaling. So, we need to have some way to measure quad strength. For this test we will be using the 5-rep max. Like the deadlift, we are not trying to be a powerlifter here, but we do want to measure your quad strength. The back squat is a safe and easy-to-learn way to load the squat pattern.
Another important aspect of Mountain Biking is upper-body pulling strength. You never know what a trail is going to have in your way logs, rocks, and maybe even danger noodles. Can you pull your bike over these things? We will use the pull-up. Even if you do not have pull-ups, there are substitutes that we can provide that help measure progress on this. Having a strong and capable back is important to most athletic events. Biking is no different.
This is how we will measure your progress over the course of the 7-weeks. These tests are designed to improve different important aspects of biking and to provide usable strength and power to your riding. Sign up below to join the program and get started on a path to being a stronger, more athletic rider.
Meets Tuesday and Thursday evening at 6:30 PM at CrossFit West Houston.
From April 15, 2021 to June 1, 2021