There are many things that make Nino Schurter the iconic, world-famous mountain biker that he is. The commanding win the Swiss rider took at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy, certainly helped that reputation, as did wins the previous season at Windham in August, 2014. In September of last year, the Scott-Odlo mountain biker also took the discipline’s top honours in Vallnord, Andorra, earning the world title for the men while Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took the title for the women.
What it all comes down to for the cross-country phenom, though, is training, the details of which are laid out in a video called “Hitting the Gym with Nino Schurter,” part of a video series called “N1NO – The Hunt for Glory.”
All cycling disciplines are different, of course. The needs of a mountain bike racer are very unique, though—something Schurter is quick to point out—and they’re challenges of preparation and conditioning that the 29-year-old cyclist addresses in the video. Coordination and balance are key, for one. The best kind of training for the world-class riding performed by a cyclist like Schurter involves power, coordination and regeneration exercises, in some cases replicating a race environment.
For other riders, his approach may amount to a completely new way of approaching the saddle.
In fine-tuning his coordination and balance, Schurter throws himself into a workout consisting of a 30-minute circuit with nine exercises: three for the legs, three for the arms, and three for the core, spaced out by what he refers to as ‘coordinative recovery exercises.’ “As a rider,” he said, “you always need power and coordination at the same time—whether going downhill, accelerating or simply when managing tricky trail situations. That’s why I try to combine power and coordination exercises in my workouts.”
“Mountain biking is a very demanding sport,” Schurter explains, “not only in terms of endurance, but also with regards to power and co-ordination. As a rider, you always need power and co-ordination at the same time—whether going downhill, accelerating or simply when managing tricky trail situations.
“That’s why I try to combine power and coordination exercises in my workouts,” he said.
His workout, Schurter said, is specifically developed to simulate a cross-country race. “Even the regeneration exercises simulate real situations in races, like downhills,” Schurter explained. “After two power exercises I do one regeneration exercise but here I do not fully relax. Like descending on a long section of a trail, I try to balance and activate the same muscle groups. I try to even close my eyes when doing these exercises to teach my body to feel what’s going on.”