Mountain Bike Preseason Training Plan


• 8 weeks, 5-6 days/week
• Designed to be first block of training completed early, before competition (if applicable)
• Contains session for the gym and saddle
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This 8-week training program is designed for high level recreational and competitive mountain bikers. It is intended to be started as the first block of training in preparation for the season.

The program combines gym training and cycling to develop the necessary athletic attributes, technical skills, and durability needed for a long season of mountain biking.

The 8-week long plan includes 2 unload weeks, a 3-week hypertrophy and strength cycle, and two 3-week base-style cycling blocks.

Program Goals
1. Build protective “armor” for the season through hypertrophy.
2. Build strength and muscle recruitment for short, intense efforts:
3. Build eccentric strength, lactate buffering capabilities, and maximum effort mental fitness:
4. Begin to build your aerobic base:
5. Train sport-specific speed skills and tempo efforts:
6. Strengthen your core:

Program Overview:
WEEK 1 (SESSIONS 1-6): Hypertrophy and Base; 10 total hours of training
WEEK 2 (SESSIONS 7-12): Hypertrophy and Base; 10.5 total hours of training
WEEK 3 (SESSIONS 13-18): Hypertrophy and Tempo; 9 total hours of training
WEEK 4 (SESSIONS 19-24): Recovery/Unload week; Core and Base; 8 total hours of training
WEEK 5 (SESSIONS 25-30): Strength and Base; 11 total hours of training
WEEK 6 (SESSIONS 31-36): Strength and Base; 11.5 total hours of training
WEEK 7 (SESSIONS 37-42): Strength and Tempo; 10 total hours of training
WEEK 8 (SESSIONS 43-48): Recovery/Unload week; Core and Base; 9 total hours of training


Required Equipment

A commercial gym should have the equipment required to complete this program. If you’re working out of a home gym then use the following list:
• 8/12 (female) and 12/16 kg (male) Kettle bells or  15/25# Dumbbells
• Barbell, bench, rack and weight plates
• Stationary bike or trainer (preset to a difficulty that will facilitate sprinting)

This program requires you, during some sessions, to move between cycling and lifting in as little time as possible. In these cases we’ve designed the circuits to be done with kettle bells or dumbbells so that you can move them to the stationary bike (or as close as reasonably possible) and transition quickly.

Sample Training


Obj: Strength, Short, Intense Effort

4 Rounds
5x Bench Press (increase weight
each round as follows: 45/45#,
50/55#, 55/65#, 60/75#)
5x Front Squat (increase weight each
round as follows: 45/45#, 50/55#,
55/65#, 65/75#)
10x Sit-ups
Instep Stretch

(1) Work up to 1RM Bench Press

(2) 6 Rounds
2x Bench Press @ 85% 1RM
Hip Flexor Stretch

(3) 6 Rounds
5x Front Squat - increase load each
round until 5x is hard but doable,
then immediately…
2x Jump Squats
Foam Roll Low Back

(4) 7 Rounds, every 60 sec.
5x Push-ups
5x Goblet Squats @ 12/16kg
Sprint for 15 seconds (cover as much
distance as possible)

(5) 3 Rounds
20/20 sec Standing Founder
10x Face Down Back Extension
20/20 sec Kneeling Founder
20 sec Superman Hold

Obj: Recovery
Dur: .5 hours

(1) Easy ride for .5 hour.

Obj: Eccentric Strength, Sprinting,Core

4 Rounds
10x Swings (12/16)
10x Goblet Squat (12/16)
10x Toes to Sky
60 sec light spin on stationary bike or trainer
Instep Stretch

(1) 3 Rounds
Full Leg Blaster
30 sec Sprint on Stationary bike/Trainer
60 sec rest

(2) 4 Rounds
Mini Leg Blaster
30 sec Sprint on Stationary bike/Trainer
60 sec rest

(3) 3 Rounds
6x Russian Triangle w/ 25# plate
45 sec Front Bridge
15x Sit-ups
60 sec Farmer’s Carry @ 12/16 kg

(4) 2 Rounds
Foam Roll:
30s Upper Back
30s Low Back
30s Inner/Outer Quad (L then R)
30s Calves (L then R)

Obj: Base/High RPM Pedaling
Dur: 1 Hour

(1) Spin at 95-100 RPM in Zone 1-2
for 1 hour

Obj: Base
Dur: 3 hours

(1) Ride Zone 1-2 for 3 hours.
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1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.


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This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete's Subscription.