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fitness for long descents

Oct. 24, 2017, 8:10 p.m.
Posts: 494
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

sometimes i burn up as i try and maintain the attack position on long descents. i imagine everyone does to a degree. legs and core get that lactic acid burn. 

training suggestions to improve my fitness for this?  is it, as ever, heavy squats followed by heavy deadlifts....

Oct. 24, 2017, 8:22 p.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Heavy(ish) squats and deads will help, but for long descents that's not where I'd focus. You want to put energy into higher reps and interval style resistance training - ie medium intensity work sets with short breaks. Your strength doesn't need to be sky high but you need to maintain in and you need to be able to recover quickly. 

Bang for the buck, cleans are going to give you the best results IMO. I would keep the intensity level at about 75% and reps at sets of 5-7 with short breaks, say 45-60 seconds. Aim for a weight that will let you do 3-5 sets after warming up without needing to drop weight as the sets pile up. the first set should make you work, but be manageable and the last set should be damn hard but allow you to finish with good form and technique. If your technique is breaking down as you go through the sets then you're using too much weight.

Oct. 24, 2017, 9:10 p.m.
Posts: 494
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

cleans?

Oct. 24, 2017, 9:31 p.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: JBV

cleans?

power cleans, or power cleans to a push press. you could also do clean and jerks but I would suggest power cleans to start.

power cleans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePdfXwyjyHw

power clean with a push press - I like the first one better as it's all one movement. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxXLT2d3anE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTIpfqbJ_D4

this one is fun to watch as it's klokov using 405lb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJeWms-6-2Q

clean and jerk - this dude is 150lbs and lifting 415lbs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUGHCXGL18


 Last edited by: syncro on Oct. 24, 2017, 9:38 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
Oct. 24, 2017, 11:09 p.m.
Posts: 10823
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: JBV

sometimes i burn up as i try and maintain the attack position on long descents. i imagine everyone does to a degree. legs and core get that lactic acid burn. 

training suggestions to improve my fitness for this?  is it, as ever, heavy squats followed by heavy deadlifts....

A seasons pass at Whistler with lots of laps.  A few weeks in and you'll be golden.

Oct. 25, 2017, 10:54 p.m.
Posts: 494
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

holy crap that power clean stuff looks technical!  probably somewhat incongruous as well to attempt at the Comox Rec Center...

i think next yr is the yr that i try and learn bike park riding. but at Mt Washington, down the road as it were.

Oct. 25, 2017, 11:16 p.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: JBV

holy crap that power clean stuff looks technical!  probably somewhat incongruous as well to attempt at the Comox Rec Center...

i think next yr is the yr that i try and learn bike park riding. but at Mt Washington, down the road as it were.

you should be able to do the first one no problem at the rec centre. if they allow people to do deadlifts then there should be no issue doing cleans.

Oct. 28, 2017, 11:37 a.m.
Posts: 12651
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

This August I was in Leogang, Austria for three days of riding as much as I could. I noticed at the end of each day that I was feeling completely hammered by the rather long descents.

Up until that point I had thought that Kettlebell swings and road riding were enough since my body held up just fine in parks with shorter descents (Sölden and SFL in Austria, Winterberg in Germany and Ferm Libert in Belgium).

Now that the season is slowly coming to an end I am back at the local big box gym. The staff does not really care, deadlifts are ok with them. And some of the people training there have a form that is scary to watch.

I love kettlebell swings simply for the speed and the ballistic movement but I think I give learning the Power Clean a try although I am a bit scared of the movement, although the book by Rippetoe and various videos are a good start I guess.

My swing technique is fine and I regularly do some snatch-grip high pulls as part of a warm up. I think that is a good start.

I have tweaked my back twice within the last 12 months, since I was too eager to do more than my body could do. This was a setback every time and pretty frustrating to say the least. 

That is the reason why I am very careful with an increase in weight at the moment. And I still ride my bike a wee bit as well before winter might be here.

As an example I currently do double kb front squats with 48 kg (2x 24) for 5x5. The last two sets are quite challenging. 

And my plan is to increase repetitions as soon as the last sets are not a challenge. So my plan is to be able to do 3x 10 smooth reps with 48 kg before I even try and go for a barbell squat. I maybe even think that two sets of 20 with 48 kg might be a good idea as a whole body preparation before I do barbell back squats, if you know what I mean. 

So my first question regarding Power Cleans is how would you program with what weight to start and how to progress?

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer


 Last edited by: Mic on Oct. 28, 2017, 11:48 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 26, 2018, 10:44 a.m.
Posts: 371
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: JBV

holy crap that power clean stuff looks technical!  probably somewhat incongruous as well to attempt at the Comox Rec Center...

i think next yr is the yr that i try and learn bike park riding. but at Mt Washington, down the road as it were.

Get a qualified coach or trainer to show you. It's a tricky movement to learn. Anything with a focus on explosive hip movement and grip strength will do wonders for your riding. Kettlebell swings, squats and cleans/snatches are awesome too - and equipment and coaching might be more accessible.

Feb. 1, 2018, 3:36 p.m.
Posts: 1353
Joined: July 11, 2014

Jumps, med ball slams, sprints etc. can provide good explosiveness training without spending the time to learn to do a clean/snatch properly. Kettlebells are also way easier to learn/work with.

Feb. 2, 2018, 12:41 p.m.
Posts: 2189
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

https://riprow.com/pages/how-to-riprow

seen this in various stages of design over the last few seasons . interesting training concept

April 8, 2019, 10:13 a.m.
Posts: 12651
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Been pretty busy this winter to get as much Vroom as possible for another season of bike park riding with my little kid.

Now, I really have an issue that keeps annoying me on long road rides, for example - my wrists hurt from doing power cleans. I did work on the flexibility of my triceps, should girdle and wrists but it does not seem to go away, I guess I did front squats (bad back for back squats) with too much weight for my puny arms and wrists.

Does anybody have a good idea....apart from resting, icing etc? Yeah, I know....silly question - but I do not want to give up on Power Cleans, so awesome.

April 8, 2019, 12:17 p.m.
Posts: 1353
Joined: July 11, 2014

Are you catching the bar with weight in your wrists on cleans? The weight of the bar should be entirely across your front delts with your hands just guiding it there. Some people (myself included) only have 2-3 fingers on the bar in the front rack position. If the weight of the bar is in your wrist then you are not in the right position (too far forward most likely).

April 9, 2019, 9:24 a.m.
Posts: 12651
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Thank you for your reply. 

Hmmm....I do not catch with my fingers and think it might not having anything to do with my power cleans but with the front squats I did.

Guess my hip and upper body is too stiff for front squats beyond 50% bodyweight. So..more technique and movement prepping and less ego...once again.


 Last edited by: Mic on April 9, 2019, 9:25 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 11, 2019, 2:22 p.m.
Posts: 371
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: Mic

Been pretty busy this winter to get as much Vroom as possible for another season of bike park riding with my little kid.

Now, I really have an issue that keeps annoying me on long road rides, for example - my wrists hurt from doing power cleans. I did work on the flexibility of my triceps, should girdle and wrists but it does not seem to go away, I guess I did front squats (bad back for back squats) with too much weight for my puny arms and wrists.

Does anybody have a good idea....apart from resting, icing etc? Yeah, I know....silly question - but I do not want to give up on Power Cleans, so awesome.

Maybe you went too heavy too soon. Maybe you didn't warm up well enough. Maybe you don't have sufficient wrist/elbow/shoulder/upper back flexibility. Get some coaching. Cleans are super complicated and difficult to self-diagnose.

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