“Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to pedal to get a workout”
Carla McLeish Stealth Electric Bikes’ Central Victorian Sales Agent and all around adrenaline junkie. When Carla isn’t on the road promoting Stealth and conducting test rides she is a downhill racer, stunt woman, actor and personal trainer – Carla has featured in hit TV series such as Romper Stomper as well as Stealth’s apocalyptic zombie movie, The Shape of Things to Come. “Riding a B-52 requires the use of different muscle groups and is quite the upper body workout”. Read on as Carla analyses her riding experience and provides exercise tips on developing the muscles required to get the most out of your ride.
Electric Bike Fitness
Is there such a thing?
‘You’re cheating!’, people call out to me.
‘It depends what style of riding you’re doing’, I say.
The power of electric mountain bikes range from 250w to 6000w and above. Some ebikes, like the Stealth P-7 are pedal assist, while some have an independent throttle (pedalling advised but optional) such as the Stealth B-52 and F-37.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to pedal to get a workout!
Thousands of thrill seekers across the globe have opted for the off road and more powerful Stealth B-52. We can ride tracks with jumps, logs, rock gardens with faster continuous speeds, this requires excellent coordination, a lot of strength and a reasonable amount of cardiovascular fitness.
With a battery and motor, electric mountain bikes are heavier than ‘standard’ mountain bikes so more muscle strength is required to throw these bikes around; the motors will thrust the B-52 forward but upper body strength is critical for directional changes, keeping to the racing line and taming the acceleration.
Riding single track for an hour solid is big fat fun as well as being hard work. For me it feels equivalent to a full body heavy weight training session with 20 to 30 minute high intensity cardio on top.
“geez this is a good workout”
When I ride a Stealth B-52 every part of my body is in deep focus and coordination both mentally and physically. It’s almost like a form of meditation; my mind is clear as I only focus on the forest track ahead – with the heady concoction of adrenaline, sweat and endorphins running through me a lack of focus could result in hitting a tree or other obstacles.
Many who have test ridden Stealth’s electric mountain bikes on single track, always stop and say something along the lines of, ‘geez this is a good workout’.
I do a lot of advanced sport specific resistance training to allow me to ride harder, yet I still experience some muscle soreness in my Trapezius that night or the next day. It is almost comparable to a dirt bike ride.
I like the fact that riding my Stealth electric mountain bike can be very physically demanding, it sure beats pedalling on the roads in a straight line to try and get some exercise.
For mountain bike racers I would recommend a fast electric bike to cross train especially as the hand eye coordination must be faster while riding the electric bike. For MotoX and Enduro events for agility and the cardiovascular benefit, and the fact that you can just ride straight out of your garage and away you go is a huge benefit.
Muscles that are predominantly used while riding single track: core muscles, back, triceps, quads, deltoids.
Recommended body weight sport specific exercises:
Supine pull ups
Single leg squat
Plank – one arm, one leg alternating.
Single leg glute lift.
You should consult your physician and seek the advice of trained professionals on the correct techniques before attempting any exercises. If you are looking to safely train for bike riding (powered and none powered) or for stunts then you may be interested in the bespoke courses Carla can provide. Find out more on Carla’s Facebook page.