November
12

Spending some time getting stronger is one of the best things you can do to improve your perfomance on the trail.

While nothing can replace riding your bike, there are 3 reasons that strength training will help you in ways that just riding your bike can not.

1 – It helps you work on tension skills that you need on the trail but don’t do enough on the trail to improve past a certain point.

2 – It helps you work on movements you need on the bike in a less stressful learning environment.

3 – It helps you avoid acute and overuse injuries, helping you stay consistent with your riding and training, which is the #1 secret to improvement.

In this podcast I go over these points in some more detail and hopefully convince you that strength training is not an option if you want to be the best version of yourself both on and off the trail.

Click Here to Download This Podcast Episode

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Ultimate Program
November
5

A few weeks ago I shared one of my favorite blog posts I’ve done over the years where I broke down how to Manual and Bunny Hop on Your Bike. I really like it because it was the result of a long, frustrating journey as I tried to figure out this elusive skill based on the “normal” advice, which didn’t seem to work for me and a lot of other riders I worked with.

The key for me was understanding the right way to use your hips and not your lower back when performing these skills, which is something that a lot of coaches miss when trying to explain them. Once you start to drive the movement from the hips then everything changes and you can start to move up the skills tree in a safe, progressive manner again.

The problem, though, is that knowing how to do it when watching it on the computer is one thing but actually being able to do it on the bike is another. Having a strong, explosive Hip Hinge is extremely important but it can be tough to train it on the bike, which means a training tool you could use off of the bike to help you get a lot of quality reps in would really be helpful.

Luckily, there is a great training tool that can help improve your body position, manualing, bunny hopping and jumping on your bike…and it isn’t some fancy new contraption that costs as much as a new fork for your bike.

No, this one is actually one of the oldest training tools around – the Heavy Indian Club. Using them for several Swing variations will help improve your riding skills and MTB specific conditioning like no other training tool can.

They provide all the elements you need in a great training tool – specificity and automatic feedback being at the top of the list – and they have completely replaced kettlebell swings in my own program and the riders I train.

In this Monday Coaches Corner video I give you a mini-workshop on this vital training tool, explaining why it is so valuable and showing you my favorite exercises to do with for skills and conditioning training.

Being able to use strength training to improve your MTB specific movement skills is an important part of a good training program. Using training tools and exercises like the Heavy Indian Club Swings can help you unlock more of your potential on the trail.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson
MTB Strength Training Systems

Pedaling Innovations
October
29

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Singletracks.com website to see if I would be interested in coming on their podcast to talk about fitness training for mountain biking. It seems that a lot of their readers felt that fitness was something that was a problem for them – which is consistent with most rider’s I’ve met – and they wanted me to share some insights into what they could do.

I’m always happy to talk about riding and fitness training so we set up a time for us to record. After a few technical difficulties with the audio we were able to get things going and we talked for almost 2 hours about a wide variety of topics.

However, one theme kept popping up, which was the concept of training to “ride for a lifetime”.

I’ve seen first hand the difference between training to win a World Cup race next year and training to be able to ride for the next 10-20+ years…and trust me, there are some differences.

What you do to take your body to the edge of human performance isn’t always the best thing for your future self, which may be worth it for someone who is or has a legit chance to earn a living from riding.

But if that isn’t you then maybe some of the things I talk about in the interview can help you enjoy riding now and for years into the future.

Check out the podcast interview by clicking the link below:

Singletracks Podcast with BikeJames

As always, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about this or anything else that has to do with having more fun on your bike both now and with your future self in mind.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson
MTB Strength Training Systems

MTB Skills and Fitness Program
October
22

In this video I share some great new mobility moves I’ve been using in my program. Inspired by the Mobility Stick, they use a wooden rod or length of PVC pipe to connect the two sides of the body together as you go through the movements.

While I show you some mobility movements for the whole body, the first ones that cover the upper back and neck have been my favorites. They do an amazing job of loosening up my neck after too much time at the computer or after a hard ride.

It’s easy to start incorporating some of these movements into your routine. Give them a try and let me know how they go for you.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Fitness Membership Program
October
15

When you break it down to its most basic element, riding a mountain bike comes down to the interplay between your Center of Gravity (COG) and your bike’s COG. Usually referred to as “body position”, this relationship determines your balance points and ability to move on the bike.

On your body the COG is roughly at the hips and on the bike it is roughly at the bottom bracket. Everything on your bike comes down to manipulating this relationship to achieve an outcome like pedaling, cornering, bunny hopping or anything else you can think of.

The problem is that it can be tough to tell exactly what is going on with this relationship until it is too late. After you blow a corner you realize your COG was too far back or after you fly over the bars you realize it was too far forward but that doesn’t help you avoid those situations.

Luckily, there is a fast and easy way to tell where your COG is in relationship to the bike’s COG and how you should adjust if needed. In this video I show you how your hands are the best tool you have to check in on this because the weight and pressure there will quickly tell you the story.

Learning how to listen to your body instead of just focusing on how you look when executing a skill is the next step towards taking control of you progress as a rider. When things feel right they always look right but they can look right and fail to achieve what we really want.

Hopefully this tip can help you improve your balance and confidence on the trail. Give it a shot the next time you ride and let me know how it goes.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Kettlebell Workout
October
8

In this new episode of the BikeJames Podcast I share my thoughts on Enduro Racing and how to approach
training riders for it. A lot of riders are making some common mistakes with their training and my goal is to help you avoid them while knowing what you did need to focus on to be successful at Enduro Racing.

Click the link below to stream or download the MP3 file for this episode.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Remember that you can download the BikeJames Podcast through Itunes and Podbean as well.

If you are a seasoned vet looking for an edge or a new racer looking for a place to start your training
journey, then this podcast will have a lot of great info for you. Enduro Racing can be a fun and rewarding part of your mountain biking experience and with the right training plan it can be even better.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

MTB DB Conditioning Program
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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson