training tips

June
22

Weight ladders are probably the best method I have ever come across for easily improving a mountain biker’s strength without making them feel sore and tired. It is almost sneaky how the method works – you end up doing a lot of reps with a heavy weight but you don’t overly extended yourself on any […]

June
20

Grip strength is one of the most important yet least understood qualities for most mountain bikers. The rougher, gnarlier and rockier the trails and faster you try to ride them the more your grip gets taxed. The trail is literally trying to rip the handlebars out of your hands and if it succeeds you will […]

May
11

The kettlebell swing is one of my favorite exercises for mountain biking for one simple reason – they are as close to a trail ride as you can come without throwing a leg over your bike. The hip action, core strength and grip strength demands of the swing are all very similar to what you […]

May
4

A few weeks ago I did this interview for Josh Henkin’s Ultimate Sandbag Training podcast where we actually talked very little about sandbag training. After seeing my videos I had done with sandbag training Josh was interested in learning more about my unique perspective on training for mountain biking and sports in general and I […]

April
30

Getting the hips loosened up is a priority for any mountain biker. It will decrease low back pain, increase hip drive and help with your technical skills. Here is one of my favorite stretches for this vital area. Multi Planar Hip Stretch from James Wilson on Vimeo. -James Wilson-

April
23

A common concern from mountain bikers about strength training during the riding season is the soreness they usually get. This is a valid concern and one I wrestled with early on when trying to figure out good training strategies for our sport. If you are too sore to ride is your workout really making you […]

April
17

Here is a video I did a while back on how to execute a proper Military Press. -James Wilson-

April
14

Linear periodization is by far the most common approach used in designing a long term training program for mountain biking. Although is was revolutionary when it was introduced to the USA in the 60′s and 70′s it is actually a flawed concept for the average mountain biker. Find out why this is and what you […]

April
13

All right folks, it is a bit late but last week got caught up getting the new No Gym, No Problem: Real Bodyweight Training for Montain Bikers program done so hopefully you don’t mind the delay (you can sign up for this free workout by signing up for the free blog updates by clicking on […]

April
10

I just want to clarify a couple of points… If you think that most of my training advice is aimed at the gravity and freeride set then you’ve got it all wrong. If you think that an XC or trail rider needs some vastly different program or group of exercises than a 4X or DH […]

April
4

One of my all time favorite exercises for mountain biking is the Bulgarian Split Squat. You get a great single leg strength exercise and a great hip flexor stretch in one package, making it a “must have” exercise in any program. Here is a video demo of this great exercise… -James Wilson-

April
1

Katrina Strand is a pro downhiller, event promoter, skills coach and she knows a few things about strength and conditioning for mountain bikers. While I knew who she was I recently came across an article of her’s on www.pinkbike.com and was shocked to see someone else who shared my views on training for our unique […]

March
30

Sometimes I get hit with the “there is not scientific evidence for that” line from someone. For example, stretching has some conflicting “scientific” conclusions. A lot of people leave it out of their program and base their conclusion to do that on the fact that science has not proven it works. You have to be […]

March
27

The use of tempo with a strength training program is a bit of a controversial subject. In fact, its something I used a lot early in my career but not as much now. But I still think its important to understand. Find out why this is and how you can use and prioritize it in […]

March
17

My chiropractor showed me an article that he had seen in the LA Times recently about the unusually high amount of cyclists that suffer from lowered bone density. In the article they talked about riders in their late 20′s and early 30′s who were coming in for hip fractures from wrecks that were not that […]

March
16

Here is the newest DB combo drill. It is a little more complex than some of my previous ones but I don’t make any excuses for it. If you have used my combo drills in the past then you have the skills needed, you just need to apply them in a different way… March DB […]

March
12

I just posted a new Essential Exercises for Mountain Biking page covering the deadlift. The deadlift is THE most important exercise for you to learn and use and on this new page you’ll find a video demo, pics, coaching cues and a downloadable IPod compatible video. Check it out! Deadlifting for Mountain Biking -James Wilson-

March
11

In this three part series I have been exploring if riding a road bike is a good idea for moutnain bike training. If you missed parts one and two you can find them here: Part 1        Part 2 Here is the conclusion to this series plus how it should impact you… 3) It takes skills […]

March
10

I got a great question from a client of mine regarding the idea of lactate threshold training and if it is needed in a program. Listen in to hear why the whole concept of lactate threshold training is based on outdated ideas and why mountain bikers need to work on getting stronger with their anaerobic […]

March
4

Last week I dove into the top reasons I think you should leave the skinny tire riding to the roadies. In the first part I covered how the nervous system views mountain biking and road biking and why road biking does not help you out much from a movement pattern standpoint. If you missed part […]

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