December
16

Last week I had the chance to talk with fellow coach Rod Bucton for his Sports Adventure Podcast. Located out of Australia, Rod is interviewing figures in the sports training world that he feels inspire others to take action and improve themselves through sports like mountain biking.

Always appreciating the chance to talk about strength and conditioning training for mountain biking Rod and I had a great conversation about a variety of topics, including why I’m usually the least qualified person in the room, why road riders don’t really ride so much to improve their cardio and what you need to ask yourself before you can really take action and change your life.

You can check out the interview by clicking the link below:

http://sportsadventure.com.au/mountain-biking/001-interview-james-wilson/

I hope you enjoy this interview and get some good tips from it. And thanks again to Rod for the opportunity and helping to spread the word about how smart strength training can improve your riding and your life.

Until next  time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

 

MTB Ultimate Program
December
14

For a lot of riders it can be tough to really enjoy mountain biking. I’ve met and talked to a lot of riders who love to get out on the trail but dread the pain that they know is going to result from it.

In fact, one statistic I’ve come across says that over 85% of all cyclists will suffer from some sort of over-use injury during their riding career. And for a lot of these riders the knees are their biggest problem area.

For years I’ve recognized the need for riders to change their foot position from the ball of the foot to a more mid-foot position in order to get better recruitment of the hips. Besides improving your power, this also takes some stress off the knees because it places more even forces through the knee joint.

Optimizing this mid-foot position was also the inspiration for the Catalyst Pedals. And while I’m hesitant to make a lot of claims in this area, one of the consistent pieces of feedback we get from riders using the Catalyst Pedals is how much it has helped their knee pain.

In fact, one customer was so impressed with his results that he told his doctor about the Catalyst Pedals and the idea behind them. The doctor, being an ex-cyclist, decided to check into the claims and the science behind the Catalyst Pedals.

After doing so he came away impressed and even wrote a blog post about why he feels the Catalyst Pedals are better for your knees. Here are some excerpts from that blog post:

“If you look at modern clip-in pedals, they have a key flaw.

They basically replicate running on your toes… This ends up overloading the anterior compartment (kneecap).

Consider how the forces get transmitted when you…place force through the center of your foot… instead of running on your toes and transferring the force to the front of your knee, the forces now get transferred up the leg and distributed to the front and back of the knee.

Biomechanically, it all makes sense to me…It’s one of those simple ideas that when you hear about it, you say to yourself, “Oh, that’s obvious”

Chris Centeno, M.D. – Specialist in the field of regenerative medicine and pioneer in stem cell research for orthopedic applications.

Click below read Dr. Centeno’s full blog post about the Catalyst Pedals.

While I know that there are still going to be a lot of people who will argue their “flat earth theory” regarding the need to be on the ball of the foot when pedaling, as more people see the benefits and science of the mid-foot position it will be harder to deny the truth.

The mid-foot position is how the body is designed to optimally move and transmit forces evenly through the knee when pedaling your bike. This is a self-evident fact in the world of movement and fitness (why don’t you do squats or deadlifts on the balls of your feet if it is better?) but it will take a while for the cycling world to get past decades of mis-information and lies about the pedal stroke.

Hopefully with the help of more riders and doctors willing to do their own research we can start to save more riders from tearing up their knees for no reason at all. You can ride your bike and still have healthy knees, you just need a foot position and a pedal that takes care of your feet so they can take care of you.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems and Pedaling Innovations

p.s. I know that some people still hold out that you need to be on the ball of your foot for “agility” or something like that. However, they usually point to sports and activities where you are propelling your body through space.

The problem is that these sports have little in common with ours since we are being carried through space by our bikes. When you look at sports like this – including skate boarding, surfing and equestrian events – you see an almost exclusive use of the mid-foot position.

Being on the balls of your feet makes it harder to change levels, which is why athletes that ride on something want to have a mid-foot position so they can easily change levels and maneuver their body. I’ll write more on this soon but the take home message is that the mid-foot position is the best position for both performance and longevity.

Pedaling Innovations
December
12

Heading into the off season you’ll probably start to hear more about the importance of Periodization. Really just a fancy word for “have a plan”, there are a several forms of Periodization and some are better than others for the average mountain biker.

First, a little about the history of the word and the concept. Started in the old Soviet Union, it was intended to be used as part of a 4-year Olympic training cycle for their state sponsored athletics programs.

It allowed coaches who had complete control over every aspect of their athletes lives to take a very long view of things. It allowed them to focus on certain things at certain times to bring their athletes into peak condition for the most important events like the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Billed as one of the secrets to the Soviet’s athletic success, it was eventually “smuggled” to the US by defecting athletes and coaches. Picked up by coaches here, the term Western Periodization was coined to describe the US version.

Before we go much further I want to point a couple things out. First, you’ll probably notice that the type of athletes that Periodization was originally created for sounds nothing like most of you reading this.

You’re not a state sponsored athlete who has nothing to do but train and recover. If you race then you have several events each year you want to do well in, not just 1 or 2. And Olympic training cycle has absolutely no bearing on your plans either.

Besides not being designed for a non-professional mountain biker with a job and family, there are some drawbacks to this type of program. The main reason is that it relies on focusing on 1 physical ability like strength, power or endurance at the expense of the other qualities.

While this does allow you to build the quality being focused on to a higher degree, it also allows the other qualities to decline. And if real life gets in the way and you can’t put in the time you need to bring them back up you end up with some lopsided fitness.

You see this a lot with traditional program that really emphasize cardio training in the early phases. There is little emphasis on strength and power in these early phases with most time being spent on a trainer or road bike.

What happens is that riders are super motivated early on and follow the plan, building their cardio but losing strength and power. They then start to lose motivation or life starts to get in the way and they don’t put the same amount of time and effort into the workouts meant to build their strength and power. They end up coming into the season weaker and less powerful but with good cardio, which doesn’t translate over to the trail very well and results in a lot of “having to ride myself into shape” when the season starts.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Periodization is worthless. Like I said, at this point it is just a fancy word for “having a plan” and having some plan is better than no plan. Compared to the rider who sat on the couch all off season these riders are still ahead of the curve.

But there are other types of Periodization besides the traditional kind. One of my favorite is called Conjugate Periodization and it was developed to combat the drawbacks of traditional Periodization for the non-Olympic, state sponsored athlete…like us.keep-calm-cause-i-have-a-plan

The main difference between the two types of Periodization is that while traditional periodization focuses almost 100% on a single physical quality, Conjugate Periodization will only focus 80% on that quality and the rest is spent maintaining the other ones.

This approach has several benefits…

– It allows you to have a systematic plan for building your strength, power and cardio.

– It allows you to focus on a specific physical quality while also letting you keep your hard-won gains in the others. This is really important as you get older since it gets harder and harder to reclaim strength and power that was lost when focusing too much on cardio.

– It helps keep things in balance in case you aren’t able to focus as much time and energy for a period of time. Since you didn’t let your other physical qualities erode you won’t be as lopsided with your fitness.

The easiest way I’ve found to use this concept in my programs is to have a Focus Circuit where I’ll pick 2-3 exercises that follow a traditional Periodization plan. This means if we’re working on Strength I’ll use 5 sets of 5 reps or something similar.

I’ll then have a Secondary Circuit where I’ll pick 2-4 exercise that let me work the other qualities, in this case Power and Endurance. This could be some Swings, Jumps or Throws paired with some high rep bodyweight exercises.

This way you are spending most of your time and energy on the focus for the phase while also spending some time making sure the other qualities don’t erode. I’ve tried both types of Periodization with myself and the riders I’ve trained and I’ve found that Conjugate Periodization gives us most of the upside while really minimizing the potential drawbacks.

Hopefully I’ve given you some things to think about when it comes to your training plan. Using Periodization can really help improve your results but knowing which type of Periodization is best for your goals and lifestyle can help even more.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

MTB Skills and Fitness Program
December
5

Few things separate great riders from mearly good riders like the ability to carve through a corner. We’ve all had the experience of chasing that rider who we can keep in sight when things are going in a straight line but leave us in the dust once we hit a corner. Riders who can corner efficiently are able to ride faster and use less energy in the process, which gives them a decided advantage over riders who can’t.

This is what makes cornering such a sought after skill – besides looking really cool it is also one of the best ways to improve your speed and endurance. Unfortunately, though, cornering is also one of the hardest skills to master. Despite more skills camps, YouTube videos and other instructional material than ever before most riders still struggle to consistently apply this skill on the trail.

The problem isn’t from a lack of knowing what do to, it is from a lack of being able to physically do it in the first place. I can explain it and show you proper technique all day long but if you lack the mobility and body awareness to do it then it doesn’t matter. All you end up doing is trying to act out what you think proper technique looks like instead of learning what proper technique really feels like.

What is really holding you back from cornering faster

At the heart of it all is that most riders simply lack what I call the “lateral hip hinge” needed to get their body into the right position on the bike. This lateral hip hinge is needed to offset the lean of the bike when you corner. If you aren’t sure exactly what I’m talking about let me explain…

The key to carving through a corner is to lean your bike over instead of turning the handlebars. However, as you lean your bike over the bike’s center of gravity drops to the inside of the turn. As this happens you have to shift your center of gravity – a.k.a. the hips – to the outside of the turn in order to maintain balance. If you don’t shift your hips then you will end up with too much weight on the inside and you wash out, usually with a hard, unexpected slam to the ground for your troubles.

But if you do get your hips shifted then you will keep pressure on the tires and maintain traction. This means that if you can’t effectively shift your hips from side to side then you won’t be able to corner properly. Until you address the root cause of the problem – bad movement – you will always struggle with the “technique”.

Which means that if you want to corner with more speed and confidence you need to train your lateral hip hinge. And nothing is better for improving this important component of mountain biking bad-assery than the Stick Windmill and Kettlebell Windmill.

Stick Windmill – Improving your flexibility and mobility. Post Continued :: Click to Read More

MTB Fitness Membership Program
November
28

I hope you had a good holiday weekend, I spent a lot of it playing video games with my little girl. It seems she’s picked up my “gamer gene” and after introducing her to Halo Reach (one of the best Halo games ever made IMO) we stayed up late every night shooting aliens and saving the galaxy.

Oh well, as fun as it is staying up late playing video games it’s time to get back to the real world today, which includes getting back to my workouts. While it may not always be what I want to do (I get bogged down by family and life just like everyone else) I also know that if I don’t get my workout is my riding and quality of life will suffer.

At the heart of everything you do on and off the bike is your ability to move well and apply some strength and endurance to those movements. If you lack 1) Body Awareness, 2) Joint Control and/ or 3) Core Strength then you’ll struggle with your performance on the trail.

And as a strength coach I know that nothing helps to improve these things like bodyweight training.Grunge Stempel rot LAST CHANCE

Which is why I wanted to remind you that today is the last day that you can get the new No Gym No Problem Bodyweight Workout v3 for just $29.

You’re saving 40% off this all-new program, plus it also comes with 6 free bonuses worth over $330.

Click here to get the new No Gym No Problem Workout Program plus $334 in bonuses for just $29

This new program includes 12 weeks’ worth of progressive bodyweight workouts. Each workout has video demos of everything you need to easily get started.

I also give you my Bodyweight Program Creation Template to show you how to create your own customized workouts to advance your bodyweight skills even further. You’ll have everything you need to get started with bodyweight training as well as the tools to keep working on it for years to come.

In addition to being a great workout to use on its own, this program is also a great addition to a regular workout program. Adding in 1-2 days of bodyweight focused training with a more traditional weights-focused strength training program is a great way to reap the benefits of both approaches.

Now here’s the best part…you can get this new program that is guaranteed to help improve your skills and fitness on the bike as part of the special Black Friday Package, which also includes…

– MTB Kettlebell Conditioning Program v3 ($49 value): This workout program combines the power and endurance benefits of kettlebell training with the unique perspective of MTB Strength Training Systems to bring a workout program that is sure to challenge even the fittest rider. If you have some strength training experience and are looking for a new challenge that will noticeably boost your power and endurance on the trail then this is the workout you’ve been looking for.

– 90 Day MTB Skills & Fitness Program ($49 value): Learn how to permanently fix the bad movement habits that are really keeping you from improving your mountain bike skills. It isn’t “bad technique” that’s stopping you from improving. This program will fix the real cause – bad movement habits you don’t even realize are holding you back on the trail. Improve your performance and safety on the trail in just 90 days with the only workouts designed to integrate mobility, strength and skills drills.

– Enduro Racing, DH Racing and XC Racing Specific 12 Week Cardio Training Plans ($99 value): Mountain biking isn’t “road riding on dirt” and we can’t just copy-and-paste workouts from their sport. Our unique sport and its specific disciplines have very specific energy systems demands and require a specific approach to maximize them. When combined with one of my strength training programs these 12 week plans give you the cardio training edge you need to ride faster and longer than ever before.

– MTB Skills Training Manual ($59 value): Get all of my best skills training tips, videos and article in one place. Created for my private coaching clients, it is a unique and valuable resource to help you bridge the gap between the gym and trail. Learn how to connect the movement skills you practice in the gym with your bike skills and how to practice them on the bike.

– MTB Follow-Along Mobility Videos ($39 value): These simple 15 minute Follow-Along routines will instantly improve your mobility, letting you perform at a higher level with less pain. Just click play on these follow-along videos as I show you how to go beyond stretching to unlock your stiff joints and find a new way to move on your bike.

– MTB Nutrition and Supplement Lessons ($39 value): While I am admittedly no nutrition expert, I have hung around enough of them to pick up a few things. One of them is that while nutrition can be complex it doesn’t have to be. In this manual I’ll share the lessons I’ve used to help my clients improve their nutrition without a lot of stress. I also include a 7 day meal plan to get you started as well as some bonus handouts I use in my facility to quickly get people up to speed with the basics.

Together this Black Friday Package is worth $383 but you can get it all for just $29.

You’ll also get my 60 Day Money Back Guarantee – if you don’t like the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3 or feel it isn’t the right workout program for you then just let me know and I’ll refund your $29. You can even keep all of the bonuses as a thanks for checking it out.

If you don’t already have a great bodyweight training program then now is the perfect time to get the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3. You’re getting 40% off this best-selling workout program plus you’re getting 6 free bonuses valued at $334.

But this special deal only lasts through tonight so don’t wait. Use the link below to get this special Black Friday Package before it goes away for good.

Click here to get the new No Gym No Problem Workout Program plus $334 in bonuses for just $29

I’m confident that you’ll love the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3 as much as I do. Bodyweight training can be very valuable but you need to use it in a safe, progressive manner to target the things we need on the trail.

And that’s exactly what this program delivers.

So the choice is yours…you can use the power of bodyweight training to help you ride with more speed, endurance and confidence or you can continue to wonder why you can’t seem to pick up new skills and move as well as you want on the trail.

With the special Black Friday Package now is the perfect time to add bodyweight training to your toolbox. Click on the link above to take advantage of this special deal before it ends tonight.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

 

MTB Kettlebell Workout
November
25

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and got to spend it with some people you’re thankful for. My whole family came over for dinner and I probably ate a bit too much but hey, that’s why I train hard so I can indulge every now and then and not pay the full price.

Speaking of not paying full price for something, I know that you’re probably getting a bunch of great Black Friday deals in your inbox right about now but I wanted to share one that I know you’ll like. It is guaranteed to help improve your fitness and skills on your bike, which is something I know every ride wants.

But first, let me quickly explain what is really holding you back on your bike.

Unlike road riding, mountain biking requires a high level of technical skill. Improving your technical skills will help you ride faster, carry momentum better and have more confidence on the trail.

This makes improving your skills an important part of progressing as a rider. As many an ultra-fit roadie has found out on their first mountain bike ride, you can only out-fitness your way through so much.

The problem is that improving your technical skills on your mountain bike requires a high level of body awareness, joint control and core strength. Without these 3 things you will struggle to apply what you know simply because your body doesn’t have the physical tools in the first place.

This makes spending time off your bike to work on body awareness, joint control and core strength important to your progression as a rider. Being able to manipulate your body and hold a position is the essence of technical skills and these 3 things are the foundation of that ability.

And as a strength coach I know that nothing helps to improve these things like bodyweight training.

Bodyweight training is something that has been used by people to develop capable, athletic bodies in all areas of the world. It so popular because it helped develop the type of strength and fitness that also helped them move better and learn new skills faster.

It is also something that can be done anywhere and anytime. Without the need for equipment you also get rid of most of the excuses that dog us as we try to stay consistent with our workout program.

I’ve been a champion of bodyweight training for a long time and have used it as part of my workout programs since the beginning of MTB Strength Training Systems. Knowing how effective it is for the specific demands of mountain biking I also created the No Gym No Problem Workout Program to give riders the first bodyweight program geared for their needs.

But as good as that program is, I’m always learning new things and improving my methods and the time has come for me to update the program to include this new stuff. Which is why I’m proud to announce the release of the all-new No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3.

This new program includes 12 weeks’ worth of progressive bodyweight workouts. Each workout has video demos of everything you need to easily get started.

I also give you my Bodyweight Program Creation Template to show you how to create your own customized workouts to advance your bodyweight skills even further. You’ll have everything you need to get started with bodyweight training as well as the tools to keep working on it for years to come.

In addition to being a great workout to use on its own, this program is also a great addition to a regular workout program. Adding in 1-2 days of bodyweight focused training with a more traditional weights-focused strength training program is a great way to reap the benefits of both approaches.

Now here’s the best part…right now you can get this new program as part of a Black Friday Package I’ve put together for just $29.

Click here to get the new No Gym No Problem Workout Program plus $334 in bonuses for just $29

Along with the new No Gym No Problem Workout v3 this Black Friday Package also includes…

– MTB Kettlebell Conditioning Program v3 ($49 value): This workout program combines the power and endurance benefits of kettlebell training with the unique perspective of MTB Strength Training Systems to bring a workout program that is sure to challenge even the fittest rider. If you have some strength training experience and are looking for a new challenge that will noticeably boost your power and endurance on the trail then this is the workout you’ve been looking for.

– 90 Day MTB Skills & Fitness Program ($49 value): Learn how to permanently fix the bad movement habits that are really keeping you from improving your mountain bike skills. It isn’t “bad technique” that’s stopping you from improving. This program will fix the real cause – bad movement habits you don’t even realize are holding you back on the trail. Improve your performance and safety on the trail in just 90 days with the only workouts designed to integrate mobility, strength and skills drills.

– Enduro Racing, DH Racing and XC Racing Specific 12 Week Cardio Training Plans ($99 value): Mountain biking isn’t “road riding on dirt” and we can’t just copy-and-paste workouts from their sport. Our unique sport and its specific disciplines have very specific energy systems demands and require a specific approach to maximize them. When combined with one of my strength training programs these 12 week plans give you the cardio training edge you need to ride faster and longer than ever before.

– MTB Skills Training Manual ($59 value): Get all of my best skills training tips, videos and article in one place. Created for my private coaching clients, it is a unique and valuable resource to help you bridge the gap between the gym and trail. Learn how to connect the movement skills you practice in the gym with your bike skills and how to practice them on the bike.

– MTB Follow-Along Mobility Videos ($39 value): These simple 15 minute Follow-Along routines will instantly improve your mobility, letting you perform at a higher level with less pain. Just click play on these follow-along videos as I show you how to go beyond stretching to unlock your stiff joints and find a new way to move on your bike.

– MTB Nutrition and Supplement Lessons ($39 value): While I am admittedly no nutrition expert, I have hung around enough of them to pick up a few things. One of them is that while nutrition can be complex it doesn’t have to be. In this manual I’ll share the lessons I’ve used to help my clients improve their nutrition without a lot of stress. I also include a 7 day meal plan to get you started as well as some bonus handouts I use in my facility to quickly get people up to speed with the basics.

Together this Black Friday Package is worth $383 but you can get it all for just $29.

You’ll also get my 60 Day Money Back Guarantee – if you don’t like the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3 or feel it isn’t the right workout program for you then just let me know and I’ll refund your $29. You can even keep all of the bonuses as a thanks for checking it out.

If you don’t already have a great bodyweight training program then now is the perfect time to get the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3. You’re getting 50% off this best-selling workout program plus you’re getting 6 free bonuses valued at $334.

But this special deal only lasts through this weekend so don’t wait. Use the link below to get this special Black Friday Package.

Click here to get the new No Gym No Problem Workout Program plus $334 in bonuses for just $29

I’m confident that you’ll love the No Gym No Problem Workout Program v3 as much as I do. Bodyweight training can be very valuable but you need to use it in a safe, progressive manner to target the things we need on the trail.

And that’s exactly what this program delivers.

With the special Black Friday Package now is the perfect time to add bodyweight training to your toolbox. Click on the link above to take advantage of this special deal before it ends.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB DB Conditioning Program
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson