• Ally Mackay

Personal Training. Week 1

Updated: Mar 11

Hello and welcome to the ADAM COPLEY: PERSONAL TRAINING weekly blog.

Each week I will be giving you tips and tricks about maintaining your fitness and your bodies condition during a tough season of MTB racing. I will also have some tips about managing your mindset and getting into racing if you feel inspired by this blog and the season ahead. I’m really looking forward to getting into this blog and helping you with any questions you may have so, if you enjoy the content feel free to get in touch with me (my links are on the bottom of the blog) and share your stories and questions.

Let’s get into it!

Week 1: Introduction and how you can plan your training.

My name is Adam Copley. I am a self-employed personal trainer and S&C coach. In my spare time I ride on and off road and compete in cross country cycling for TREK BICYCLES. I have also done a few enduro and CX events.

My weekly rides consist mainly of loops, big distance and loads of descending. Living very close to Wharncliffe woods I am next door to some awesome descending and the peak district also gives me some brilliant distance riding. I ride twice a week in the winter and get one run done during the week. In the summer the running is replaced with road cycling to keep the fitness high.

I also train 3x in the gym. These sessions vary depending on my race calendar and riding schedule. This blog will explain how you can go about planning your own training.

But first, what does my race season look like?

Cross country racing is hard on the body. It is an hour of pain, essentially. Pedal as fast as you can, descend as fast as you can. Don’t break your bike (or your body) and cross the line. Due to the harsh nature of cross-country riding on the body my training in the gym is very much geared towards keeping my body supple and managing the energy levels I have so I can put all my effort into my riding, as that is where it counts.

When it comes to riding I am limited by a number of factors (like everyone) such as:

  • How much time I have.

  • Whether I am riding from work or home.

  • What my energy levels are like.

  • If my bike works (sometimes I don’t have time to fix it).

  • What the weather is like (I will run or ride 3x a week regardless, but weather can get on my nerves, especially wind).

Typically, my fitness work looks like this:

On Tuesday I will run from work, I usually cover about 3-4 miles as quick as I can and then jump on the indoor bike for 30 minutes.

On Friday I will ride, depending on how tired I am or where I am riding from. I will always ride but rides can vary from short (10 mile) power hours or long distance (25 plus miles) endurance rides.

Sunday then is usually a slower paced ride with mates but I have had to be more disciplined with this and ride with people who won’t hold me up. This sounds pretty horrible to say but I am not wasting the chance I have been given by TREK to be competitive this year. I owe it to them to give it my all.

So to break down my training week, it would look like this:

Monday: Strength and conditioning, upper body push and core.

Tuesday: Run/indoor bike.

Wednesday: Strength and conditioning, Lower body strength and power work (this is my most intense session due to having the most amount of time to rest between riding).

Thursday: Strength and conditioning. Upper body pull and core work.

Friday: Ride, Distance or XC laps based on factors above.

Saturday: rest.

Sunday: Ride either long distance (20 plus miles) or distance XC (12-15 miles).

Work on skill if riding with friends.

Obviously, the sessions above are out of season and will change when seasons start. By the time you will be reading this I will have started my season and have completed my first race.

So, with that covered. Let’s look into how you plan a training plan for yourself:

The first thing you need to do when planning a training plan for yourself is a needs analysis.

This is an in-depth review into the needs of your sport. And the needs of your body. It is a good idea to do these separately as you can look at where you need to focus your energy from. To make things a little easier for you. Below is a needs analysis of a new to the sport mountain biker, we shall call him Peat Steve. Who just wants to increase their fitness and isn’t ready to commit to a specific discipline yet:


SPORT: Mountain biking.

DEMANDS OF THE SPORT (in no order of importance):

Cardiovascular fitness.

Muscular endurance.

Muscular strength.

Muscular power.


Reaction times.

Ability to relax when fear and adrenaline levels are high.

Ability to keep the bike in working order for multiple hours.





WEAKNESSES (in no order of importance) of the athlete:

Tight hamstrings due to being sat down all day.

Shoulders roll forwards (kyphosis) due to working in an office.

Tendency to look down due to natural work position.

Strength in the legs.

General cardio fitness.

Upper body strength.

Flexibility and mobility.

STRENGTHS (in no particular order of importance) of the athlete:

Concentration levels due to work environment.

Reaction times due to work environment.

Motivation to improve.

Enjoys learning.

And that is how we analyse our needs and the needs of the sport. After doing this we have a clear picture of how close, or how far away we are from improving. We can then assess the importance of these individual weaknesses, and work on improving our strength to build a better athletic platform.

Once we know what we need to work on with regards to ourselves we can look at the needs of mountain biking. The odds are if you improve your cardio fitness your mountain biking will improve, likewise if you improve your posture your comfort on the bike will improve as your posture is holding you in a more comfortable position.

Is this making sense?

Essentially to improve you need to be honest with yourself, don’t be afraid to start from scratch and don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a coach who will understand how to improve on the weaknesses you have set yourself.

Next week I will dive into programmes and explain how the process works. However, I don’t want to overload you so take this on board and create a needs analysis.

My goals for you this week are:

Conduct a needs analysis.

Realistically plan your training time, be honest about the time you can commit with regards to family, riding, training and work.

Two quick goals for you, establish these. Write them down in a diary and then next week I will help you create a plan.

Have an awesome week! See you on the trails.




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