Actually, I’m just getting started!
Let’s talk workout finishers. What are they, what are the benefits, why do I love them, and how to set them up?
What is a workout finisher?
A workout finisher is a quick, intense, usually time-based burst of cardio/strength fusion following your main workout. It can be anywhere from 1-10 minutes long. My sweet spot is 6-8 minutes! If you’re just starting or new to exercise keep it to 1-2 minutes until you get to know your limits and what it feels like to work through great amounts of intensity. As mountain bikers, this goes without saying though yes?
What are the benefits of a workout finisher?
Depending on how it’s set up, it can build strength endurance, cardiovascular endurance, or a mix of both. You can work on your speed, your power, AND you can also get the most DE-lightful overall caloric burn in a short amount of time (if that’s your jam). There are mental benefits as well that I will get into below.
Why do I love them?
I love the mental challenge that comes with a workout finisher. Think about it, you’ve come to the end of a workout, you put (what you believe) is your all-time effort into it…but you have to get through this one last final push. You see, it’s all about the mental aspect of a finisher. Even when we FEEEEL like we have depleted our energy stores, there’s more, usually a good 25% more! This push through directly translates to our riding on the trail. You know it so well! Reaching the top of that climb or that never-ending, adrenaline rushing descent. I mean, as amazing as they are, they can wear on you am I right? Or what about that burning funny feeling that I talked about in last weeks blog? Whatever the case may be, finishers will build confidence in your ability to push yourself beyond perceived exhaustion.
How do I set a finisher up?
A variety of ways, but let’s just keep it simple. My workouts are mainly strength-focused, so I go for a cardiovascular conditioning finisher, AMRAP style (as many rounds as possible). I set a timer for 7 or 8 minutes, pick out my exercises and reps, hit start, and go.
50 Jumping jacks
30 mountain climbers
20 alternating split squats jumps
As little rest as possible in between rounds.
Strength endurance is another area that I tend to look for improvement. As mountain bikers we need loads of this! Here’s one example I’ll do for a lower-body/core strength endurance finisher.
30 seconds of bear crawls
30 seconds of splits squats left side*
30 seconds of splits squats right side*
30 seconds of glute bridge kicks*
Four rounds with as little rest as possible and you’ve got yourself a nice 8-minute finisher.
*Can be done with bodyweight or add a light amount of weight depending on your fitness level.
There you have it. Easy peasy. Now go give it shot. Let me know how it went, I’d love to hear how you did! Ride strong, ride long, ride happy. See you soon!
Be sure to spread the finisher love and share this with all of your workout and riding pals.