Training Tips With Brian Lopes
Training Tips With Brian Lopes
“Proper rest and recovery is something I’ve found helps more than putting in more riding,” says Lopes, who is now 48. “The older I get, the smarter I have to be about the number of days on the bike.” Photo by Bryson Martin, Jr.
Brian Lopes is a multi-time National and World Champion mountain biker whose specialties include downhill,
dual-slalom and four-cross.
The older I get, the more I need to warm up before putting out a hard effort on the bike. Make sure you get at least 15–20 minutes of pedaling easy with a couple short 20- to 30-second, 80- to 85-percent bursts to get those legs and heart rate pumping a bit. This, along with drinking Hammer Nutrition’s Fully Charged right before I go out to buffer lactate, really helps.
Proper rest and recovery are something I’ve found help more than putting in more riding. The older I get, the smarter I have to be about the number of days on the bike. Being 48, I’ve learned that I don’t recover as quickly as I used to, and more recovery and fewer days on the bike, especially hard ones, keep me fresher.
Session sections, moves or areas where improvement is needed the most. When we are kids, we go out and practice wheelies in the street for hours. As older adults, we have an hour or two to get out, and all we want to do is ride. I get it, but if you want to improve the skills, repetition is needed. And, of course, getting proper lessons/instructions from someone qualified will help a lot. There’s no use spending your time picking up bad habits.
Additional tips for training at home
Here are a few things that everyone should be able to do at home or on the street in front of their house.
Squats: Three sets of 20. Find something to hold in your house to take the place of weights (example: a watermelon). If you can’t find anything, or this feels easy, try one-legged squats. Three sets of five on each leg should be challenging, but if it isn’t, increase the number. Go to 90 degrees on all squats, working a fuller range.
Planks: Three sets at 1 minute each. Try to increase the time with each workout. Start with increasing the last set, then all three.
Push-ups: Three sets of—you decide. Everyone is different, but try to find a number of push-ups where the first set isn’t pushing you to your limit but also isn’t super easy. You want the third set to be hard
Sprints on your bike: Work with what you have as far as length or hills. Example: My block has about 250 meters of flat, a short steep uphill, then across and back around. I’ll do five 100-percent efforts from a dead stop on the flats with 1- to 2-minute rests in between, followed by five longer, three-lap efforts (that equal 1 mile) at 95 percent, with 3 to 5 minutes recovery between them. Intervals are never fun, but they make a huge difference in increasing your top-end fitness.
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.