How Strong Should You Be? Increase your Moto and MTB Strength

As a rider, strength is an important part of on bike control and overall performance as well as resistance to fatigue. In this article we look at where you should be for optimal Moto and MTB strength and weight should sit for optimal performance.

As a working total that we can use as a sliding scale to benchmark, your 3 rep max combined backsquat and deadlift weight is a great place to start to gauge your overall strength to bodyweight. Below we’re going to look at a starting point, a performance minimum, a performance maximum in relation to bike riders, and a specialist in something like weightlifting where strength to weight ratio is super important! So where should you start?

Starting Benchmark
This is where we’d expect most people to sit as a minimum. It should be fairly easy to achieve if you don’t have any injuries.

Male 2x Bodyweight
Female 1x Bodyweight

E.g. if you weighed 80kg, your ‘starting benchmark’ weight for both lifts would be 160kg combined for male riders and 120kg for female riders. For example, 80kg for 3 back squats and 80kg for 3 deadlifts.

Performance Minimum
With minimal training you should quickly be able to hit these numbers.

Male 2.5x Bodyweight
Female 1.5x Bodyweight

Performance Maximum
As a bike rider this would be the maximum strength benchmark you should aim for.

Male 4x Bodyweight
Female 3.5x Bodyweight

Specialist Maxiumum
Much more than your performance maximum combined bodyweight it’ll start to hinder your on bike performance as you chase outright strength in favour of an effective power to weight ratio – ideal for when you’re on the bike.

Male <4.75x Bodyweight
Female <4x Bodyweight

Where should you be aiming for? You’re operating range should be somewhere between be between the performance minimum and the performance maximum. If you’re already there, great! This doesn’t mean you should ignore weightlifting, in your training though. It’s something you should consistently maintain, however your efforts will be well spent adding to your speed, power and endurance performance on top of your already strong baseline.

If we look at the Fit4Racing power couple Adam Brayton and Meg Whyte, they have two very different body types, but their numbers are interesting.

Meg weighs 47kg, her 3 rep max back squat is 70kg and her 3 rep max deadlift is 100kg, a combined weight of 170kg. This puts her at the top of her performance maximum at 3.6x bodyweight.

Adam’s numbers are naturally higher. He weighs 71kg, his 3 rep max back squat is 140kg and his 3 rep max deadlift is 160kg, combined at 300kg. This gives him a 4.2x bodyweight index. Like Meg, that puts him at the upper end of his performance max.

Analysing their numbers, they’re both at the upper end of their performance brackets. This means they should be looking to maintain strength in their training, but use that baseline to build and grow their speed, power and endurance.

What should you do? Never neglect strength building exercises in your training as they compliment other movements. Establish your own personal benchmark and build from there to increase all elements of your training. Our programs cover Moto and MTB strength, capacity and accessory work to build on all bases of training through multi modal exercises. check them out.