"Competitive" weight lifting

I used to have a fairly extensive list of weights - from a big Olympic bar and plates etc. Now I have only 2 adjustable mass kettlebells (12-40kg). Between the kettlebells and the plates that fit in them, I can still do pretty much any exercise I want.
There are three things we work on in the sessions:
  1. core stability
  2. drills that challenge balance while working on the legs
  3. grip strength
The connection between the upper and lower body is the core. If it can’t respond to demands of terrain, you can’t ride fast and loose. Even on an indoor velodrome, core strength helps - but it is so obvious for Enduro/DH riding.
Anyone can go in a commercial gym and press lots of leg weights on a bunch of leg machines. They isolate muscles and don’t do anything for balance or proprioception. One-legged squats or deadlifts, however, don’t use a lot of weight but challenge the entire leg to go through the motion whilst maintaining balance. Much better outcomes for cycling.

And finally, one that a guy I learned a lot from told me about years ago - grip strength. Because you are both steering and holding on by hand, grip strength is important. It is only recently that I have seen scientific journal articles reviewing research into this. It appears he was entirely correct about the importance of hand strength. Both maximal strength and endurance.
So we finish off the sessions with a “who can hold the plate the longest” competition. It’s painful, but fun.