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Time Constrained Strength


time block


Getting strong or staying strong during the race season is one of the never ending tugs of war a coach has to deal with in professional sport. With schedules designed around entertainment and built to suit organisers not athletes the constraints on the coach and athlete are pretty far reaching. Travel, un-pack, prep, ride, huck, race and repeat!  Often with the scheduling, it’s easier to do less rather than more or do just enough and not what’s best! With pro mountain bikers on a crisp summer’s day it’s also tough to find the motivation to lift a heavy barbell indoors! This in turn means reduced intent for the session and likely less #gainzzz banked as result….so one solution!? Read on.


Enter the stopwatch – or actually it being the 21st century the countdown timer on one’s mobile phone!

It couldn’t be simpler – we assign a certain number of minutes (Time Block) to each key area of development, retention or exploitation of the training modes and means that will, based off our best judgment, lead to continued potential to perform on the race bike. To those time blocks we assign some carefully selected exercises and boom! Job done!

The athlete gets the stimulus they need (if they apply themselves), we are guaranteed to get the session done in a certain number of minutes and bongo-bango, we have got the #gainzzz needed in a time crunched environment that puts a bit of extra added and often beneficial “pressure”/stress onto the athlete.

Looks like

If you have the required experience and competency in the gym or even with your own body weight then please give this method a go and report back.

It looks something like

Block 1 – 2 min

Foam Roll – Self Mobilisation – Snapchat – Hairdo

Goal: Feel happy – feel snappy

Block 2 – 10min

Dynamic Mobility Warm-Up

Goal: Be ready to battle 9min in!

Block 3 – 8 min

Activations or Plyometric Work (extensive/intensive)

  1. Squat Jump – X 5
  2. Ankle Jumps X 6
  3. Lateral Bench Jumps (rhytmic) X 6 each side
  4. Clap Push Ups X 3-5

In series with rest as needed for 1 to 2 Rounds – modifications as needed when needed depending on athlete “state”/traits/motivation/needs!

Goal: Build quality/control of stiffness – elastic strength – express “power”!

Block 4 – 20min

5 X 5 Strength – Strength Endurance –

Choose quality -but value capacity

Adjust weight as needed per set – but aim for delivering a challenge


  1. Deadlift @ 2 X athlete BW – prone grip only
  2. Renegade Row @ 22.5kg DB each hand

Rest as needed between sets and exercises – complete all sets and reps in 20min or less!

Goal: Retain Strength in “key” transferable strength movements with increases grip strength potential!

Block 5 – 5min

Cool-Down of choice; mobility; breathing drills, spin out on bike, Instagram laps etc…

Goal: Kick-Start Adaptations!

Total Time = 45min

And finally the KEY to the whole “method” – the stopwatch; once your allotted time for each block is up, whether you’ve finished all reps and sets or not you move on! With little to no rest between blocks other then set-up time!

As the old adage goes – Work will EXPAND to fill the allotted time-frame! There fore in this context, shit gets done.

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