Let your bike know who’s the boss with the help of our tailor-made fitness sessions

It’s a common misconception that top level riders spend all day in the gym. But this simply isn’t true. In as little as two hours per week, you can do as much off-bike training as some pro riders.

By training sensibly you can fill in strength and intensity deficits in a short space of time each week, eliminate areas that are holding you back and reap massive benefits on the bike.

What you need to get started

Gym Level 1 – The weekend warrior

  • 1 Kettlebell
  • Pull-Up Bar
  • Resistance Bands
  • Total cost: £100-150

Level 2 – The Quietly Competitive

  • Gymnastic Rings (TRX)
  • Medicine ball
  • Plyo Box (bench)
  • Cardio equipment
  • + All Level 1 kit
  • Total cost £250-300

Level 3 – The Ultimate Rider

  • Barbell & Weight Plates
  • Squat Rack
  • Watt Bike or Rowing machine
  • + All Level 1 and Level 2 Kit
  • Total cost £2,000-2,500

Fundamental exercises

Fitness for mountain bikers

We all want to be better riders. Weather it’s railing corners faster, learning to jump, muscling up steep technical climbs, or simply reacting to terrain in the blink of an eye and making better line choices. The end game is to keep improving and have a blast doing it.

But just like any physical pursuit, practice alone won’t make perfect. You need to train, because being stronger and fitter will make every other aspect of riding easier. And while we’re all happy to spend hours on the bike working on specific skills, or simply riding around hoping to improve, a more focused approach can bring more rapid results.

Your coach

Jonny Thompson is head coach for Fit4Racing, an online fitness programme for mtb riders. Once a forensic scientist, Jonny has devoted the last 10 years to coaching athletes from Paralympians to world number one enduro racers. His main focus with the Fit4Racing team is developing and delivering fitness programmes to pro and amateur riders.

Training the likes of Adam Brayton, Jonny also sends digital programmes to riders all over the world, many of whom ride professionally.

More info and exercises below

Keep scrolling to see all our latest fitness advice and How To features to help you become the fittest you’ve ever been on a bike…

Want to be a stronger, faster rider? Start deadlifting. Pedal harder for longer, hold a more solid riding position and take bigger impacts buckling.

Not only will pull-ups help increase your ability to hold on, they will dramatically improve your riding in other ways too.

Squats are king of strength movements. Using the big muscle groups around the hips and legs as well as involving the core means crossover to…

How to train in the gym for enhanced riding performance. Coach to the pros Alan Milway shows us how to do the best gym moves…

Interval training is hard but it’s the simplest, quickest and most effective route to becoming a faster rider. Coach to the pros Alan Milway shows…