Building leg endurance

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10/11/2020 6:09 PM

Just got back into riding again after about a 3 month break. I’ve always struggled with having endurance in my legs. I’m 6’3 and about 185lbs, I’m in okay shape, need to work cardio some.

I always find myself sitting down a lot at the end of the day when riding due to my legs just being tired. I’ll land off a jump that normally I can soak up (small over jump) but instead I almost end up sitting down when landing due to my legs giving out. This is typically towards the end of the day after riding for a while.

I’m about to start hitting the gym again this week. I’ve always done 4 sets of barbell squats 115lb x 12 reps. Typically front squats. Then extensions and calf raises. Is there a better leg workout that will benefit me more at the track so I can ride at a faster pace for more than half the day?

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10/11/2020 6:25 PM

MTB

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10/11/2020 6:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/11/2020 6:28 PM

Weights aren’t going to help endurance. Can you run? I do a loop that takes me about 45 min. That’s the most efficient way to build endurance.

You could also cycle on a road bike but that’s boring to me. I started mountain biking recently and think it’s a great workout too but probably not as efficient as running or road biking for a focus on leg endurance. Those you can do right out your door but MTB you need to find some local trails.

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10/11/2020 6:37 PM

For me the best ways are running and indoor rowing

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10/11/2020 6:54 PM

Ride more. Simple as that. I’d also implement progressive overload to your lifting. 115 ain’t much weight for 185 lbs. you can implement other legs exercises. Goblet squats, step downs, Bulgarian split squats, dead lifts, etc.

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10/11/2020 7:00 PM

crusty_xx wrote:

For me the best ways are running and indoor rowing

I have a concept2 rower since 6-7 years now and row frequently. But I don't think its that great for leg endurance. For me I find that it helps a lot with arm pump.

Although now that I am mountain biking almost daily, I am not interested in rowing at all lol!

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10/11/2020 7:42 PM

For strength - squats, dead lifts, Romanian dead lifts, leg curl, calf raises.

Cardio - rowing, running, stationary bike, mtb/road bike. Cardio should be minimum 20 minutes a session. Aim for 30+. I like running or rowing for more intense cardio sessions. Any biking for lower Heart rate, longer, low intensity sessions.

Moto wise - do stand up motos. Ride 2 laps standing, then a lap normal, two laps standing etc. until you’re able to remain standing for as long as you’d like.

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10/11/2020 7:43 PM

Cycling.

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10/11/2020 8:42 PM

Thanks for the info guys. Gonna keep on getting it with my squats and start putting on more weight. As for cardio/endurance, I think running will be my best thing to do. 30 minute sessions at least 3 times a week. Thanks fellas. Just needed some guidance cool

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10/11/2020 8:44 PM

You should have your legs shortened.

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10/11/2020 8:47 PM

I think height plays a big part. Guys like RC could stand with a slight bend in his knees where tall guys like Travis P199 had to keep his bent around 125 degrees. My unprofessional advice would be to get some taller bars or bar mounts along with the workout stuff.

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10/11/2020 9:24 PM

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Powerband in every gear !

10/11/2020 11:15 PM

coastie44 wrote:

Weights aren’t going to help endurance. Can you run? I do a loop that takes me about 45 min. That’s the most efficient way to build endurance.

You could also cycle on a road bike but that’s boring to me. I started mountain biking recently and think it’s a great workout too but probably not as efficient as running or road biking for a focus on leg endurance. Those you can do right out your door but MTB you need to find some local trails.

That‘s just not true. Even endurance athletes like marathon runners and Tour de France pros lift. The more power your legs have the less „effort“ every standing up is. And theres a difference between getting stronger muscels and bulking up.
I‘d say go to the gym, get strong legs and ride your bicycle to get them to last.

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10/12/2020 12:16 AM

With the rough below. Your legs will be strong in 4-6 weeks. Sets a good baseline. Is totally achievable with a kettlebell and bike.

Cardio
Pick a leg based cardio of your choice (Cycling, MTB or running) or ideally a mixture of 2 disciplines. Aim for 45-60 min rides and or 15-20 minute runs.
Minimum 75 mins per week. Ideally 2 hrs+.

Strength
Complete a basic military style workout 3 times a week. Start with some dynamic stretches. Cool down with static stretches.
Aim for 15 minute sessions plus warm up / cool down. Total 20-25mins

In that session complete 250-350 reps in sets of 15-20 reps. Do round 1 straight one after the other. 45 second break then round 2. Repeat until you time out.
Leg specific - (1) reverse lunge (better for knees), (2) Jump squat or box jumps.
Overall fitness - (1) Push ups and (2) two handed kettle swings.
Core - (1) Leg raises & (2) sit ups,

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10/12/2020 12:18 AM

me: speak to a professional and get a program suited to you and your goals.
also me: Cycle hard(sprints) and follow it with weighted leg training. Squats, deadlifts etc.

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10/12/2020 1:18 AM

In my Opinion, you need to do 2 things.

Build leg strength, keep a note of the weight you lift, this should be increasing month on my month at least, otherwise you’re not getting stronger and somethings off.

Secondly build an endurance base, get on a bike and do 1hr + sessions at an easy RPE (hr zone 2) ideally working towards 2-3hour sessions or even more if you have the time/want.

In my OPINION doing intense 20-30min cardio sessions 3 times a week is pointless if you don’t have a base level of endurance to go with it.

However I could be completely wrong, this is based of all the research I’ve done to this point in my life, I’m not an expert just self taught and plenty of trial and error.

Oh and try to keep protein consumption at 1.2 - 1.5g per kg of body weight a day. This should enable you to keep as much muscle mass as possible whilst possibly loosing weight (Fat) due to the added cardio (calorie expenditure) depending on the calories youre consuming (this is a whole other conversation but if interested weight manipulation is purely calories in vs calories out)

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10/12/2020 1:27 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2020 1:40 AM

Running will indeed build leg strength, but in my opinion cycling is much more relatable to what you'll be doing on a MX bike. I also like to look after my joints (even though I'm still in my 20s!), I don't like to do high impact cardio when I'm doing a high impact sport. Don't get me wrong, I used to love running and have ran various half marathons and a full marathon. I've just got plenty of experience now and can see how great cycling is. It's low impact and targets those leg groups really well. Plus you can do it for as long as you want, unlike running where an hour may be your limit. Whether you choose road cycling or MTB is up to you. If you have killer hills in your area then MTB for sure, it's so damn fun as a training tool! Intervals are easier on a roadie due to the consistency of the terrain and generally not needing to stop.

You don't need to blast out 3 or 4 hour road rides to get stronger legs, although it can help. A favourite of mine is a workout that takes an hour, or less. 10 mins steady pace to warm up, then do 6-9 60 second sprints, out of the saddle at maximal effort. By that final sprint you'll be begging to sit down after 20 secs. This will improve your leg strength and also aerobic capacity in little time at all. Finish up with 10-15 minutes warm-down.

I would supplement cardio with weight training. Off-season I do heavier weights but keep every workout as full-body and not split my exercises into groups. We don't need to be bodybuilders in MX. I do 3 sets of 8-12 reps, each exercise targeting a different muscle group. Usually 7 or 8 exercises total, takes me 50 mins. In season I will still do this workout once a week, then twice a week do circuit training, higher aerobic workout with lighter weights to simulate what we do on an MX bike.

For strengthening legs in the gym you can use dumbbells, barbells or if you don't have access to a gym you can do bodyweight exercises. If you want to workout from home I would suggest grabbing a kettlebell, this does wonders for circuit training. Look into squats (back squat, front squat, overhead), front/rear lunges, leg press, calf raises and hamstring extensions. I really enjoy lifting as heavy as I can during the off-season on the squat rack, which builds super powerful leg muscles and then transitioning to lighter weights/more reps as the season approaches.

In my opinion the best complete workout to benefit MX is rowing. I mainly do the above as mentioned, but I love rowing once or twice a week during the winter too. With rowing though you really need to nail your technique before you start trying hard. It will take a few sessions and it's good practice to film yourself somehow as you can almost guarantee you think you're doing it right but you'll be leaning too far forward at the catch or too far back at the pull. Drive with the legs, extend your body with the hip hinge motion and pull through with the arms - done correctly it's 70% legs, 20% core, 10% arms. Play with the damper on the machine, putting it at 10 like most gym buffs is plain wrong. Use the drag factor setting within the machine's settings and aim for 115-130. 2k rows, 5k, 30mins or even 10k are top notch workouts.

Also, as mentioned above, you need a good diet. Plenty of protein and water!

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10/12/2020 3:13 AM

mountainbiking and a taller seat for your height will help a lot

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10/12/2020 3:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2020 4:01 AM

Body weight hindu squats. When you can 6 sets of 50, you’ll never have a problem again.

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10/12/2020 4:26 AM

MotofactioN wrote:

Thanks for the info guys. Gonna keep on getting it with my squats and start putting on more weight. As for cardio/endurance, I think running will be my best thing to do. 30 minute sessions at least 3 times a week. Thanks fellas. Just needed some guidance cool

Do not over look the Romanian deadlift and leg curls. These target the rear of the leg muscles “hamstrings”. Standard squats/deadlifts target the front “Quads”. A leg day should have squats or deadlifts, calf extensions, and Romanian dead lifts or leg curls to effectively target all muscles of the legs.

Personally I do 3 total body workouts a week. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Have been in and out of the gym on and off since my early 20’s. My biggest gains have come in the last 2 months of switching to total body workouts. Changing my eating/drinking habits and intaking 1 gram of protein daily per weight in pounds. Hitting each muscle group 2-3 x’s a week with Cardio or moto on off days.

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10/12/2020 4:44 AM

Rogue Echo Bike for indoor options, thing will whoop your ass in the shape quick.

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10/12/2020 5:13 AM

Endurance means high reps low weight. In my experience endurance is based off of a good strength foundation. So what happens is ill be weak in the endurance area, then strengthen up with low reps and high weight and then that sortof plows me through that endurance plateau. Im not a trainer by any means but its what i noticed. An example: you can hold a 2lb weight forever but maybe a 10lb weight for a few mins. If you strengthen the muscles holding the weight, the 10lbs of weight then feels like 5lbs and thus you can hold it longer.

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10/12/2020 6:21 AM

Like 20 years ago Greg Albertyn used to have a website that he shared training advice on. He said he would do 3 sets of 50 reps on squats with 135 for strength work. He said he didn’t need to squat 500lbs for moto, he needed his legs to last long Motos so that’s the way he trained. I’ve never tried the 3x50 but I’m sure if you did that once or twice during the week, plus some cardio, your legs would be good to go lol

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10/12/2020 9:48 AM

Lowlander wrote:

With the rough below. Your legs will be strong in 4-6 weeks. Sets a good baseline. Is totally achievable with a kettlebell and bike.

Cardio
Pick a leg based cardio of your choice (Cycling, MTB or running) or ideally a mixture of 2 disciplines. Aim for 45-60 min rides and or 15-20 minute runs.
Minimum 75 mins per week. Ideally 2 hrs+.

Strength
Complete a basic military style workout 3 times a week. Start with some dynamic stretches. Cool down with static stretches.
Aim for 15 minute sessions plus warm up / cool down. Total 20-25mins

In that session complete 250-350 reps in sets of 15-20 reps. Do round 1 straight one after the other. 45 second break then round 2. Repeat until you time out.
Leg specific - (1) reverse lunge (better for knees), (2) Jump squat or box jumps.
Overall fitness - (1) Push ups and (2) two handed kettle swings.
Core - (1) Leg raises & (2) sit ups,

Thank you for sharing. This info. I’m going to look into getting a kettle bell for at home squats and workouts. I typically find that when I hit a really hard leg day, my legs are crazy sore for about 4-5 days. So it’s challenging for me to hit heavy weight again until they’re mostly healed up, but I could definitely still hit some endurance type leg workouts while my legs are sore from heavy squats, ect.

Thanks again.

Also, not sure why my legs are so weak. I can bench press a decent amount. My back, arms, and shoulders are decently strong. But for some reason my long ass legs have always been really week. I guess because when I first started going to the gym years ago, I neglected them and would skip leg day a lot. Well not any more! grin cool

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10/12/2020 10:05 AM

Lowlander wrote:

With the rough below. Your legs will be strong in 4-6 weeks. Sets a good baseline. Is totally achievable with a kettlebell and bike.

Cardio
Pick a leg based cardio of your choice (Cycling, MTB or running) or ideally a mixture of 2 disciplines. Aim for 45-60 min rides and or 15-20 minute runs.
Minimum 75 mins per week. Ideally 2 hrs+.

Strength
Complete a basic military style workout 3 times a week. Start with some dynamic stretches. Cool down with static stretches.
Aim for 15 minute sessions plus warm up / cool down. Total 20-25mins

In that session complete 250-350 reps in sets of 15-20 reps. Do round 1 straight one after the other. 45 second break then round 2. Repeat until you time out.
Leg specific - (1) reverse lunge (better for knees), (2) Jump squat or box jumps.
Overall fitness - (1) Push ups and (2) two handed kettle swings.
Core - (1) Leg raises & (2) sit ups,

MotofactioN wrote:

Thank you for sharing. This info. I’m going to look into getting a kettle bell for at home squats and workouts. I typically find that when I hit a really hard leg day, my legs are crazy sore for about 4-5 days. So it’s challenging for me to hit heavy weight again until they’re mostly healed up, but I could definitely still hit some endurance type leg workouts while my legs are sore from heavy squats, ect.

Thanks again.

Also, not sure why my legs are so weak. I can bench press a decent amount. My back, arms, and shoulders are decently strong. But for some reason my long ass legs have always been really week. I guess because when I first started going to the gym years ago, I neglected them and would skip leg day a lot. Well not any more! grin cool

Jump for show corner for dough...well big arms are for show, strong legs are for dough wink good luck fella let us know how you get on

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10/12/2020 10:16 AM

MotofactioN wrote:

Thanks for the info guys. Gonna keep on getting it with my squats and start putting on more weight. As for cardio/endurance, I think running will be my best thing to do. 30 minute sessions at least 3 times a week. Thanks fellas. Just needed some guidance cool

More weight might not be the best. Less weight and higher reps would probably be better as it simulates what your doing on the bike.

I am 6'3" 170 and try and base my workouts around what I do on the bike. I usually do Goblet squats with a 25 lbs kettlebell. Usually, do sets of 20-24 and do 4-6 sets. Bodyweight lunges going forward and going backward work great as well.

Heavyweight will create power/strength and lower weight and higher reps will create stamina/strength.

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10/12/2020 10:52 AM

You need 1 session in the gym per week at high weight, low reps. Then 2-3 long bicycle, rowing and walking sessions in low heart rate zone (zone 2 max -5-10bpm). 120min is great, 90min ok.

Forget about building stamina in legs using strength/weight training, you are activating the wrong muscle fibers even with strength training without weights.

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10/12/2020 11:40 AM

coastie44 wrote:

Weights aren’t going to help endurance. Can you run? I do a loop that takes me about 45 min. That’s the most efficient way to build endurance.

You could also cycle on a road bike but that’s boring to me. I started mountain biking recently and think it’s a great workout too but probably not as efficient as running or road biking for a focus on leg endurance. Those you can do right out your door but MTB you need to find some local trails.

Wut? Weights for sure will increase both muscle strength and muscular endurance...

Aerobic endurance too, just to a lesser degree...

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10/12/2020 11:51 AM

MotofactioN wrote:

Just got back into riding again after about a 3 month break. I’ve always struggled with having endurance in my legs. I’m 6’3 and about 185lbs, I’m in okay shape, need to work cardio some.

I always find myself sitting down a lot at the end of the day when riding due to my legs just being tired. I’ll land off a jump that normally I can soak up (small over jump) but instead I almost end up sitting down when landing due to my legs giving out. This is typically towards the end of the day after riding for a while.

I’m about to start hitting the gym again this week. I’ve always done 4 sets of barbell squats 115lb x 12 reps. Typically front squats. Then extensions and calf raises. Is there a better leg workout that will benefit me more at the track so I can ride at a faster pace for more than half the day?

Front squats are awesome as they put more emphasis on your quads, back squats put more emphasis on your glutes.

It is very difficult it gain both strength/size AND increase aerobic endurance... Aerobic endurance can be built fairly quickly (depending on your baseline couple be on less then 4 weeks), but muscle strength and endurance takes months...

As many have suggested, stick with the big 3 (squat, deadlift, bench), throw in some overhead shoulder presses to complete the workout followed by some cardio. I do strength before cardio as form while lifting is likely to break down (and risk of injury go's up) if you are tired going into your lifting.

Though I am on a different phase with my weight training, I really think the 5x5 model during the race season is one of the better approaches. Higher reps builds endurance but also build size (which size is pretty much unnecessary for racing).

Ultimately you on bike training (dirtbike) should be priority over the weight training, and as others have suggested maybe 2x in the gym per week and riding 3x per week.

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10/12/2020 11:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2020 11:52 AM

coastie44 wrote:

Weights aren’t going to help endurance. Can you run? I do a loop that takes me about 45 min. That’s the most efficient way to build endurance.

You could also cycle on a road bike but that’s boring to me. I started mountain biking recently and think it’s a great workout too but probably not as efficient as running or road biking for a focus on leg endurance. Those you can do right out your door but MTB you need to find some local trails.

Monk wrote:

Wut? Weights for sure will increase both muscle strength and muscular endurance...

Aerobic endurance too, just to a lesser degree...

Not to sustain a 20min race. It will help with strength, but the time it will take to build up stamina by increase of reps is to long to make an impact in moto. Waste of time.

Triathlon guys realized the lack of impact from high rep strength training a long time ago. They where in forefront.

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