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12 Week MTB Full Fitness Plan- Skills, Fitness & Home Workouts- Heart Rate Version

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12 Week MTB Full Fitness Plan- Skills, Fitness & Home Workouts- Heart Rate Version


Matt Miller

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12 Weeks

Plan Description

This is the first ever full-fintess plan designed for ANY mountain biker to be done at any point in the season.

This version is heart rate based. Choose the Power Based option if you plan to use a smart trainer or power meter.

The days are prioritized with [P1-5], with P1 being the most important and P5 being the least. This is useful for you in case you miss a day and so you know where to pick back up or switch days around. See below for recommendations on how many days you should aim for.

Included in this training plan is:
-Strength training- upper body, lower body and full body workouts are included in a gradual build up. You don't need to go to a gym
-Bike workouts- there are easy ones and some hard ones; these address what mountain bikers need to work on. All bike workouts can be uploaded to a smart trainer.
-Rest- recovery is important; we build you up and recover properly
-Stretching- we work on your flexibility regularly each week in 20 minute sessions
-Volume- all volume is appropriate. You can go longer as needed and shorten it up if necessary. There are planned additional rides for advanced athletes.
-Warm ups- we warm up properly for every strength session
-Fun- there are fun MTB rides planned within this training
-Skills- we work on things like pacing, cornering and braking to help you ride faster with your fitness
-Testing- we regularly reassess your fitness every 4 weeks to see how far you've come

The volume and intensity gradually increase throughout this training plan. After 12 weeks you will be prepared for a great season!

This training plan works great when done ahead of an important race when using the available two-week taper.

-Start by training for 1 day more than you have historically (e.g. if you normally exercise 2 days per week, start with [P1], [P2] and [P2] for week 1). If you maintain for 3 weeks, then add [P4]. You got this!
-If you can do every day, it is best to do with structure and order in the plan
-If you can only do 3 days per week, then complete [P1], [P2] and [P3]
-If you exceed intensity prescription on a day, skip [P5] that week to
ensure appropriate recovery.
-When completing the same amount of Priority workouts for 2 weeks in a row, do not exceed additional 1 Priority on the third week; slowly build to max number of Priority workouts
-Stretching only takes 20 minutes. You can do this as many days as you like, but not less than 1x per week.
-DO NOT add OPTIONAL ADVANCED session unless you have historically trained 5 or more days/week
-If you miss a day of training, then complete 1 fewer Priority training days

-You are overly tired or your heart rate does not reach within 5-10 beats of maximum on test days
-You are injured- do not train while injured

-The main thing is that you get about and move dynamically. If you cannot complete a movement due to your location or availability, that is OK.
-Use a spotter and don't try anything out of your ability.
-Bands, weight or even just body weight is OK!

As a Smart MTB Training Member you get access to discounted consultation--book in if you want to chat about ANYTHING! :)

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x2
02:32:00 01:35:00
Other x2
00:20:00 00:20:00
Strength x1
00:55:00 00:45:00
MTB x1
01:31:00 02:00:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
02:32:00 01:35:00
00:20:00 00:20:00
00:55:00 00:45:00
01:31:00 02:00:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Dr Matt Miller - MTB Performance Scientist & Trainer


Matt Miller is a specialist MTB coach working with professional and amateur athletes in Enduro, XC, DH and road. He has over 20 international publications focused on MTB performance, including pioneering research into FTP and braking (BrakeAce) in MTB. Matt has 20 years of personal race experience, including elite level in XC and EWS. Athletes Matt has worked with have achieved 8 USA Nationals wins (XC & Enduro), 7th overall in the EWS, 11th in an XC World Cup and top 40 in the DH World Cup.

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Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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