this is from a mtb training course i am trying out
"Top 10 MTB Strength Training Mistakes (Part 1)
Mistake #1. Applying bodybuilder programs to our own - I love Arnold as much as the next guy but the world of bodybuilding he helped popularize has wreaked havoc on the strength-training field. Now we have a whole generation thinking that the key to athletic improvement is to simply get big muscles.
Use of bodypart splits (training different body parts on different days), isolation exercises and 3 sets of 10 reps are all intended to build muscle but will do little to enhance your potential as a rider. Programs that enhance your strength, power and athleticism use a far different approach than bodybuilding. While this ingrained bodybuilding mentality can be maddening, riders who follow these programs can be shown the way. They already believe in working out, their efforts are just misguided.
Mistake #2. Not having a strength-training program in the first place - Unfortunately, a lot of mountain bikers think that all strength training is similar to the bodybuilding routines seen in the fitness media. Because of the boring nature of these exercises routines, riders who would greatly benefit from strength training avoid the gym like the plague.
Instead, they opt for more saddle time, rationalizing that this is what will take them to the next level. More saddle time can be helpful but these riders, from pros to bros, are undeniably limiting their potential as a biker by not having a strength-training program.
Mistake #3. Rushing into weighted exercises -While some of us may have started out doing some push-ups and pull-ups, we progressed to using external resistance (barbells, dumbbells, etc.) as soon as we got "serious" about strength training. Unfortunately this rush to use external resistance robs us of the chance to master our own bodyweight.
As mountain bikers, mastering balance and joint control, using just our bodyweight, must be a priority with a strength-training program. You have to earn the right to use external resistance if you are really serious about your riding."
"Top 10 MTB Strength Training MIstakes (Part 2)
Mistake #4. Using machines - This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the mountain bike programs I see in the media. Your body needs a platform to display strength from and your torso is a major part of creating that platform. Any time you sit down and brace your back against something (like a leg press) your torso does not have to brace as hard to help move the weight.
There is a saying in powerlifting that "you can't fire a cannon from a canoe because you'll sink the damn thing". This is just an eloquent way (for a powerlifter, at least) to point out that how much strength and power you can display in the real world is contingent on having a firm platform to "fire" from.
Machines rob you of a chance to strengthen this platform, as well as retarding your ability to coordinate your "cannons" (arms and legs) and "platform" (torso). All this adds up to one thing - as a serious rider, machines should almost never be a part of your program.
Mistake #5. Misunderstanding ab/ core/ torso work - Call it what you will, having better strength and control of your midsection (abdominal and low/ mid back area) is paramount to being an explosive and injury resistant biker. If mistake #4 didn't help illustrate my point about the importance of this area I don't know what will.
Unfortunately, there is a huge misunderstanding about the best way to train your torso. Crunches, leg raises and side bends are what most people do to build their abs and, while better than nothing, they are certainly not the best we can do. Your torso's primary purpose in life is to stabilize and protect your spine. Most ab work focuses on torso movements, making them less than desirable to build stability.
Your torso has to be stabilizing your spine during an exercise to work on that specific function, making most well known ab exercises inefficient if not ineffective. Luckily for us, though, some of the best torso stabilization exercises are also the core lifts you want to focus on during strength training (deadlifts, overhead pressing, front squats, etc.). Add in some specific work like planks and windmills and you're well on your way to building a bulletproof torso.
Mistake #6. Over applying the "sport specific" concept - We all want our programs to be "sport specific". Heck, you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't see some value in directing your gym time to improve your saddle time. However, a lot of trainers go overboard with this concept in an attempt to impress potential clients.
Remember, strength training programs can have one of three impacts on your riding - 1) positive, 2) negative or 3) none. Hopefully you're shooting for option #1. Programs should be rated according to this criteria alone. A basic, well-conceived program that delivers noticeable results is always better than the super fancy one that baffles you with bull * while delivering nothing."