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30 Minutes Per Day for 30 Days MTB Training- Gym and Bike



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5 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking beginner intermediate advanced masters multi day power based hr based

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Plan Description

How do you train if you want to be consistent and lose weight?

You can go out and go hard every day, but this will leave you tired and burnt out. You can do the same exercise every day, but this will get boring.

This training plan is designed for the cyclist, mountain biker, or enthusiast to get consistent training in, and successfully gain enough fitness to follow a normal training routine.

There is a workout each and every day, but they won't ruin you or drive you in to the ground. At only 30 minutes per day, and with nothing insanely intense, you can be consistent--this is the number one way to help you get on track to meet your goals. And with only 3.5 hours to commit every week, anyone will have enough time to do this!

These are some of the same gym and bike workouts I use with my professional and amateur athletes...except shortened to fit in only 30 minutes per day for 30 straight days.

For the strength workouts--don't worry! You don't need to go to the gym! You can get most of this done at home with no equipment!

And for the bike workouts, you can either follow the intensity guidelines, or download the supplied files each day to your smart trainer or Zwift.

The workouts are well-suited for both XC and Enduro racers, and you will be able to join in on any standard training program--and have the confidence to do so-- after completing this plan!


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:12 hrs 0:30 hrs
0:48 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:12 hrs 0:30 hrs
0:48 hrs 0:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

Dr Matt Miller


I specialize in MTB performance and support rad athletes globally. I have a PhD in Sport Science and have raced in every discipline including the EWS and UCI Elite XC since 2003. In early 2019 I left my university role to focus on coaching full time.

Sample Day 1

TEST TIME TRIAL [Pre-training]

Welcome to the first day of your training plan! The first day is a test day to determine what your fitness is now and to offer you a benchmark for your future training cycles.

We will try to control this as much as we can so that we know we are comparing apples to apples. We'll make sure the lead in to test day is pretty similar, control the warmup, and it will be up to you to eat similar foods.
(PRO-HACK: write down what you ate in the post-ride comments after you upload your file)

In addition to helping you track your progress, testing will also help you to determine training zones as you start your program.

Click on the option to do an FTP test and follow the protocol. the time trial portion is VERY hard, and the program will tell you your FTP so that you can set your zones and intensities for the following weeks of workouts.

Choose a road nearby that is easily repeatable on a safe section of road with no stops. Do this on the same bike every time. Using a MTB is OK. If this is uphill you will be able to pedal more steadily (less coasting) but flat or rolling terrain are fine if there are no stops or changes of road.
Get in a 15-minute warmup as follows: 5min easy seated pedaling- 10s acceleration with high cadence RPE~7 - 2min easy pedaling- 15s acceleration with slightly higher RPE, high cadence - standing pedaling for 2 minutes with heavy gear @50rpm ~RPE 5 – 5s acceleration just below max – 5min easy seated pedaling.

Record start location and begin the test, shooting for a steady power at a maximal rate for 12-20 minutes. Record stop location, elapsed time, weather, perceived exertion, heart rate, bike and tires used.

Follow time trial protocol as above. Take average heart rate from test portion only. This is a good estimation of your lactate threshold heart rate. Zone will be as follows (derived from Andrew Coggan, PhD):
Zone 1: <68%
Zone 2: 69-83%
Zone 3: 84-94%
Zone 4: 95-105%

(PRO HACK 2: you can enter these zones on your Training Peaks profile and the metrics from your rides will be appropriately calculated.)

Sample Day 2

Upper Body & Core | Home Circuit

Complete all reps of each movement and after a very short break move to the next movement. These can easily be completed in the lounge while relaxing.

After you have done a set of each movement, have a short break and repeat for 3 total sets.

Movements are:
-Side crunches (each side)
-Standing toe touches [left arm swings down and touches right toe and vice-versa]

Complete 10-20 reps of each movement for each set. Aim to increase by 5 reps on every 4th workout.

Sample Day 3

Easy Endurance Road Ride (with diet stress)

Endurance power and heart rate zones (Zone 2). Keep pedalling and do not have big spikes in power.

Sample Day 4

3x4 min @ 90% threshold with long recoveries

Threshold efforts are a really good bang for your buck! They are not overly hard, which means you can do quite a few of them. But they are hard enough that they will definitely stress your system. Your ability to improve in this spectrum will allow you do more hard efforts when you get out on to the trail since you will recover faster between sprints.
This is just 5x5 minute efforts in your zone 4, with 4 minutes easy between each effort. Fantastic workout!

Sample Day 5

Lower Body | Home Circuit

Complete these exercises with very short rest between sets of exercises (i.e. after completing a set of squats, move on immediately to a set of good mornings).

This workout can easily be done at home or in a hotel. You don't need a lot of weight, and a few jugs of water or a weighted backpack is enough. If you have weights it's a good one to push yourself without having to go really heavy.

Warmup:5-7 minutes of an aerobic activity.

One circuit looks like this:
-Single-leg squats (non-moving leg behind you)-10 reps each leg
-Wall sit- 30 seconds (you sit with your back flat against a wall and your legs bent at 90 degrees)
-Lunges-10 reps each leg
-Box Jumps-5 reps
-Jump Rope- 30 seconds

Rest 3 minutes after completing one circuit and aim for three circuits total.

Cool down: 5-7 minutes eacy of an aerobic activity

Sample Day 6

Recovery spin

Stay below and do not enter zone 2 power, should feel like your legs are just falling down with each pedal stroke. Easy as, but keep a high cadence

Sample Day 7

Micro Sprints During Tempo

This is a super popular workout with my athletes!

You'll start with a good warmup before getting in to two tempo efforts of 10 minutes length. At the start of each minute during these 10 minute efforts, you'll sprint all-out for 3 SECONDS without shifting [NB: note that the software will only go down as low as 5 seconds, but 3 seconds is better in this case]. Instead of dropping down to full recovery, you'll continue the rest of the minute at tempo pace.

Recover for 7 minutes before repeating and finally cooling down.

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