How Fit Are Cross Country Racers? | GMBN’s XC Boot Camp With Nino Schurter

How Fit Are Cross Country Racers? | GMBN’s XC Boot Camp With Nino Schurter


(energetic music) – [Neil] Professional
cross-country racers are elite level athletes, and this is the Olympic discipline
for mountain biking. They have to deal with
undulating circuits, lung-bursting climbs,
and technical descents. The races are typically
an hour and a half long with no rest, even the
descents are hard-fought, so rarely do racers get to recover. The physiological requirements needed to meet these demands are truly elite. (man grunting) So how will a pair of
mere mortals compare? – Just how fit are world
cup cross country racers? We’re here in Switzerland to find out. – Yes, we’ve come all the way out here for just one day to go to the gym. – With someone very
special, Nino Schurter, one of the greatest of all time, seven times world
champion, Olympic champion, winning everything again. I don’t know whose idea this was. – I have no, Garmin. – Nino’s a Garmin sponsored athlete. Well, we’re Garmin sponsored as well, so, it was their idea. Here we are. This is going to hurt.
– It’s going to hurt, Neil. You ready to get your– – You’re looking very blue, Blake. – I feel very blue, Neil. – You’ll look green in a minute. – No, you, you’re going to
get your legs ripped off. And beaten with the soggy end. (energetic music) – There’s two parts to this day, gym, and then on the bike. Have you seen the video of Nino doing this that’s already on YouTube? – A little bit. – So this circuit training is nine things. Three exercises for legs, three for core, three for upper body, but there’s no rest. In between your circuit,
you have 20 seconds of, like, cognitive recovery,
I think he calls it? So, juggling balls,
standing on balance boards. – [Blake] Juggling balls. – [Neil] Juggling. – [Blake] I can’t juggle, so–
– I can’t juggle. – I’m going to have to
find some other means of cognitive training. Do you know I keep saying this on videos, nervous, but, do you know what, I’ve never been nervous going to a gym. Goosebumps, because it’s Nino Schurter, and we’re going to be
following in his personal training facility, where
he gets trained up. This is a crucial point in
his, basically in the season. He’s winning, he’s won
both his races so far, and now he’s training and getting ready for those next ones. And we’re here, we’ve got ropes set up, juggling balls, we’ve got balance, we’ve got some weights, we’ve
got some crazy wheel thing that looks nuts, some medicine balls. Are you ready for Neil and
I to throw up on camera? Because it might happen today. (pounding music) – [Neil] Nino Schurter, Olympic champion, seven-time world champion,
six-time world cup champion, with 32 world cup victories along the way, and the two-time Cape Epic winner. Neil Donoghue, me. A two-time British downhill winner, with various top tens
at world cup downhill and two UK Gravity Enduro championships. These days, I don’t stick to any sort of training schedule, although I do still try
to keep fit by riding a couple of times a week, with a pub stop, and the odd road ride,
and a pushup or two. Blake Samson, an
ex-professional free rider. Blake comes from the mountain bike family. that are at home on big jumps on the trail and not in the gym, and aren’t necessarily known for their training
and athletic diets. Although Blake is no stranger to big ride, and he’s strong as an ox. Possibly just from
fitting heavy accessories to his beloved Jeep, and
a few casual bicep curls, that’s beer. Nino’s going first, I’m then copying what Nino does. Blake’s following me. – Ready? – Oh, you’ve really– – There are three torturous
exercises for each muscle set. Jumping and turning onto the
box with a bar in your hand was an absolute killer
to start it off with. (heavy breathing) (dramatic music) The squat with a kettlebell
on the balance board took a lot of skill along
with the physical effort. Dragging the weights with your heels was an absolute killer, because it took a lot of downward pressure to actually move those weights. (heavy breathing) Holding on to the radiator with your legs being thrown around was complete sadism and one I really struggled at. (heavy breathing) Some of these exercises
were actually too hard. We had to make it a little bit easier. That ball twist, holding a
dumbbell between your feet, became just too difficult
for me and I had to do it with the ball by itself. Also, the bar raise whilst
leaning over the medicine ball really tested out your lower back muscles. Then, for the upper body, the rope, the press up on the ball, and the dips that almost
finished Blake off. – Death. (grunting) (upbeat music) What about if we can’t juggle? Is there something else we
can do instead of juggling? ‘Cause I, yeah. – You have to learn. – You have to learn, cool. (energetic music) (heavy breathing) Thanks, Nino. That was insane. 42 minutes. Three reps. From toe to head. I can’t even… I’m done, but we’re not done. We’ve got loads more to do. We’ve got to go cycling. (raspberry noise) – Some of that was
actually impossible for me. I couldn’t complete the exercises. I didn’t have the strength on
circuit one, nevermind three. – The end of circuit two
, I was, the core twist when you hold the weight
between your feet. – That was another one, I
couldn’t actually hold the weight. I’ve burned 512 calories. – I’ve burned 500. – And 29 hours of recovery. Except we’re going to an
interval session afterward. – If that was hard– – VO2 Max interval sessions, so I
know what this could be like. – There’s going to be throw up. – Yeah. – He’s setting up more stuff. That’s the squats, Neil. We’re not done in the gym, Neil. – [Neil] I literally felt like
throwing up in the other one. – [Blake] Did you? – [Neil] Yes. – Did you hear me coughing? (coughing) Oh no, Neil. (energetic music) – Easy. – So, Nino’s just 100. – And I’m going to do 70. – I would recommend that, Neil. So, he did 130. Okay, go. (grunts) (energetic music) – Good. – Out of breath. – Five minutes. Six times, five minutes in V02 max. – 35 minutes in V02 max and
you guys just try to follow. – Nino’s V02 is like 410 to 450 watts. Mine was 320 about ten years
ago, so it’s not looking good. – I’ve never had one. – You guys ready? – Don’t forget to start your computer. – And let’s go. – Mine’s 450 watts. (energetic music) (mumbles) Nino behind him, kicks his ass. – Push, push, push, almost to the top! – Doing great. Go, go, go. – I will chase you. (energetic music) – On the bike we did V02 max intervals. V02 max, simply put,
is the amount of oxygen that your body can consume
during intense exercise. Along with functional threshold power is a figure that shows just
how good your fitness is. The highest ever recorded V02 max is 96. That’s milligrams per kilo, per minute, associated with a male
cross-country skier. And it’s 77 for women. It does get lower with age,
but generally speaking, anything above 50 puts you in
a very high fitness bracket. Back when I was a pro
Enduro racer, mine was 69, but it’s much lower now. Blake has never done a V02 max test, and whilst Nino was
really open with his data, this was one figure he wanted
to keep close to his chest. – Second interval. – First one went quite
well, I averaged 445 watts. – Second interval, Neil. I was way over my V02 max, so
I’m going to pay the price. I was 100% out of my comfort zone. In these intervals, Nino can normally produce
between 410 and 450 watts, depending on the conditions. That’s what he’s aiming to do. Monitor his power on his Garmin computer, and sit at that consistently for the 5 minutes,
then it’s a four minute rest. That includes riding down a
steep, rough, downhill track. Anytime leftover is
used spinning in circles on flat, then repeat. The problem for myself
and Blake, we ended up taking much longer than 5
minutes to get up the climb, so we’re only getting a minute
or so rest at the bottom. Nino’s actually riding
much further up the climb, then spinning back around
and coming down the descent. What about the data for
those six intervals? It was six times up the hill, designed to take 5 minutes each time. Nino’s average heart rate
for those six intervals comes out at 166 BPM, which is about 86% of
his maximum heart rate. His power stays really consistent, 445 up to 454 and only
gradually starts to dip on that last couple of
intervals, down to 432 watts. Over to me, you can see
on that first interval, I tried to stick with Nino,
unsuccessfully I might add, and my power was 312 on average
for that first interval. But, if you see just how
much higher my heart rate is, I was up to about 95%
of my max heart rate. Then you can see on the
subsequent interval, how much my power starts to go. Second interval was 265 and it goes down, down again to 232. My average heart rate
was about 95% of my max, my average watts was 254. You can see how Blake didn’t take the bait of Nino in front and he’s much
more consistent than I am. Actually, for those last three intervals, he beat me to the top. His average heart rate was
175, and his power 220. Well, thanks very much Nino. I’m not sure I should be thanking you because that was ridiculous. – I hope you enjoyed. – It was torture. (laughing) Absolutely wrecked, I feel
like I used to train quite hard but nothing like that. Thanks for that, and I
see what you actually do. A couple of weeks now until the next race. Now we know what it takes
to have them stripes. It’s not easy. – So if you want to see a
video a few years old now of Nino racing Marc Beaumont, an ex pro downhill racer, click over there. For Nino pro bike, click over there. – Don’t forget, hit the globe subscribe because you’re missing out. Give us a thumbs up like
if you like cross-country. – Thumbs up.

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100 Comments

  1. Hi GMBN, are you looking for new editor or camera operator? I make videos like you. My latest video is: Van Der Poel wins European Championships.

  2. #askgmbn Hi, just want to ask if one can do trick or average trail jump on a hardtail non thru axle bike? Love the show, from Philippines.

  3. Noooo MTB is about going down hill and not even pedelling, this is like road bike – eternal torment. Oh wait a Bike Computer that cares about power and cadence sponsored this right.

  4. #AskGMBN Have you guys thought about putting together a basic fitness regimen to help people get into better shape and help with riding? Or maybe doing a video?

  5. Nino is a great athlete, but has no charisma at all, he bearly said a whole phrase in this 14 minutes. You guys should do a training session with Avancini.

  6. Impressive, but…that's what Nino does for a living, and he's a professional, and that's his JOB. I am not even slightly surprised that two great riders who haven't been on a similar regimen struggled with the exercises. The first day Nino did them, he didn't look like that either….probably MUCH closer to how Blake and Neil looked on their first day. What surprised me the most, was the wattage. Martyn said it best on the dirt shed show when he said, paraphrased…"You could put a weightless Blake on Neil's bike and together their power output would equal Nino's." That really puts it into perspective for me. When I watch something like this I'm intrigued, but when you get to that level of training, it's no longer a hobby…and that's what I have zero interest in.

  7. Heh, I'm just happy that I've come back to mountain biking to try to lose some weight. The whole training program was interesting to me, but I shall just ride, thanks.

  8. with that data VO2 would be around 75.5 ml/kg/min but most likely maxes higher at about 77-79 ml/kg/min possibly.

  9. This dude is a pro (probably #1 )at the top of his game with the best at his disposal. Theres no comparison. Watching the training exercises was very insightful.

  10. Was that Emilie Siegenthaler’s father as Nino’s coach or just a man with a similiar last name? 🙂

  11. Good job – interesting look at both the on and off-the-bike work. Quick note, relative VO2max is "ml" not "miligrams" (11:10) 👍

  12. Awesome , Great episode GMBN – Nino is a real inspiration, you can just see his enthusiasm and dedication to his mountainbiking. It reminded me of his Hunt for glory series on You Tube
    (well worth a watch whatever type of mountain biking you are in to)

    https://youtu.be/xW-nWnl5hYk

    https://youtu.be/EC-tA1ZqWlU

    Just riding for fun, but have tried to include simplified versions of this workout into our own gym sessions.

  13. Excellent presentation ! Both you guys did fabulous. Meeting (in the video) Nino was incredible. Thank You.

  14. Presuming Nino's VO2max interval target values are correct, it is amazing that the average of the average interval HR values is only 86% of his max HR. It looks like he was starting each of the intervals close to fully recovered.

  15. Watched this whole video and no mention of the fact Nino basically lives in a training paradise. Well Summer at least, winter probably different story.

  16. Totally mental! So much variation in his training i loved the balance and coordination exercises! Now is this every day for Nino?

  17. Next Episode from GMBN, " How wet is water? | GMBNs boot camp with Flipper the Dolphin in our bath tub"

  18. If I ever saw Nino on the trails I'd think to myself… "ah look at this twat with the world champion top on…. oh shit it's an actual world champion!"

  19. What it takes to get to the top, looks like it would have been a great mid evil way to torture people! Geez the pain!

  20. Was this all one day? Or were these workouts on various days? (Maybe circuit + squat/plyo on day 1, V02 intervals day 2.)

  21. Brilliant glimpse into the dedication required to be one of the best.
    Funny thing about going to watch the older video… the non-stabilized GoPro footage makes it looks much more gnarly than with the modern carpet ride feel of the newer cameras.

  22. Cracking video! Neil and Blake are definitely much fitter than the average bloke in their age bracket, but Nino? Jesus!!

    Very good insight into the work involved in becoming that good. It’s awe inspiring, it really is…

  23. Does anyone know what the little device was that they pedaled across the gym? Like a tiny wheeled elliptical?

  24. Considering xc is the most popular mountain biking discipline of all it is surprising how little GMBN cover it

  25. It was great seeing what the greats can do and how they get there. Nino too. We did not hear much from Nino did you interview him? He seems a good bloke.

  26. Spectacular video, guys! The content, editing, interactions… Everything was on point!

    Nino is such an excellent champion! I hope he gets to enjoy lots of success for a long time to come.

    Kudos to all for the great info and entertainment.

  27. Relax guys, you do well remember Nino is on steroids like all pro athletes. Nevertheless I would do better cause I hit gym 5 times a week 😛

  28. I do interval training at least twice a week and I think I have good conditioning…You guys just jumped right into it …That takes balls lol …Awesome video Neil and Blake
    How did you guys felt the day after ?..
    The public demands to know how painful it was just to getting up ..

  29. 0:57 legs ripped off and beaten with a soggy end? what on earth is a soggy end? is this some torture tool from south africa?

  30. Planning to sell my Caad8 roadbike in order to buy xc mtb. Xc mtb="more freedom" maybe. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️

  31. It's of course a hard workout seemingly but actually these 2 guys have almost no fitness at all in these indoor-crossfit exercises so although being hard they should be bearable by the time for You

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