Mountain Bike Strength Training

July
21

Last week on my blog I shared some of my thoughts on how to use strength and mobility training to improve your skills on the trail. Like I’ve said many times before, it doesn’t matter if you know how to perform the skill if you physically can’t do it in the first place. While all […]

July
16

On the trail everything boils down to one thing – balance. The better balanced you are the faster you can ride and more confident you will be doing it. Or, as Mr. Miyagi put it in the original Karate Kid…”Balance good, karate good. Balance bad, may as well stay home”. On the trail we’ve all […]

July
7

It doesn’t take long on the trail to realize that mountain biking is a total body sport. Unlike a lot of endurance sports like road riding, you can’t hide a weak upper body and core from the trail. The trail forces you into situations that require you to use both your legs and your upper […]

June
23

One of the things I try to get across to riders who are looking to improve their cardio and endurance is that the human body is a complex organism with a lot of inter-related parts. This means that it is very hard to isolate a quality and try to train it in isolation. What this […]

June
20

A while back I got an email asking a very interesting question. This rider had noticed that there was a difference between the hunched back postures you see among the highest level pro riders and the posture I talk about trying to achieve in my Body Position Clinic blog post. They were curious why we […]

June
11

Riding season is in full swing and so this week I wanted to share some insights into an in-season training plan that can help you ride strong all season long. Being able to balance Cardio, Strength and Mobility training in a way that supports your riding is the idea but can be tough to do […]

June
4

I’ve been training with kettlebells for a long time. Since about 2004, to be exact. I love kettlebells because they allow you to get a great mountain bike specific workout with minimal equipment and time. Because of this I use them a lot in my own workouts and with my clients as well. Over the […]

June
2

One of my favorite guys to hear speak in the fitness industry is Gray Cook, one of the guys behind the Functional Movement Screen. Gray has an amazing way of putting complex concepts into simple, easy to understand terms that I really admire. The other day I was driving around listening to a recorded presentation […]

May
12

I think that one of the stupidest terms in the sports training world is “cyclist”. I mean, while it makes sense from a broad business category for the beancounters at corporation it makes no sense from a training standpoint. Unfortunately mountain biking gets lumped firmly into the general cycling category and often at a detriment […]

May
5

Over the last decade or so of working with mountain bikers at every level I have heard one question more than any other one – how do I get rid of my low back pain from riding? Low back pain is at an epidemic level on the trails and it is robbing a lot of […]

May
2

Yesterday I went for a ride with my trusty trail mutt Aka and my riding buddy Pete. We hit Butter Knife, which is a super fun trail with some of the best single track in this area. It is technically challenging and it ends with a 45+ minute ride back up a jeep road to […]

April
28

Welcome to Pumping Up with Hans and Franz, we’re here to pump you up! Today we come at you with the Butt Blaster 4000, puny ones. The Butt Blaster 4000 will target your buns and thighs…yeah, buns and thighs…and leave them pumped up and ready for the beach, the night clubs and even your local […]

April
16

In my experience one of the hardest things to teach riders is how to get into good body position when standing up. I’m not talking about getting them to bend their body in a way that looks like good body position, I mean where they are actually strong and balanced on the bike. And no, […]

March
24

The 80-20 Principles tells us that with anything in the world, it is the small causes that have big results. Also known as the Pareto Principle where it was first observed in the world of finance (named after the guy who first found that 80% of a nation’s wealth is held by 20% of the […]

March
17

A lot of riders waste time trying to “ride themselves into shape” after an off-season of either doing nothing or spending too much time on a road bike. They find themselves struggling to find their groove and have to spend a few weeks or even months getting their riding legs back under them. The take […]

March
7

I was talking with one of my private coaching clients yesterday and we were talking about how to adjust their training once the riding season starts. In the past they would stop training their legs as they did more intervals and got out onto more rides in order to save their legs and they wanted […]

February
10

This off-season I’ve noticed a marked trend with the riders I work with via my Distance Coaching service. While I still get the usual DH, XC and marathon riders a large percentage of riders are training for Enduro Racing. I’ve seen the popularity of this type of racing grow, even getting to the point that […]

January
29

One of the things that really separates strong riders from everyone else is the ability to stand and hammer on their bike. If you are a downhill or 4X/ Dual Slalom rider then this seems pretty self evident – the fastest guys are just as strong while standing at the end as they are at […]

January
27

The other day I got a great question on my Facebook Fanpage asking if is there a point at which strength is optimized, and endurance/ cardio training becomes the priority. While there are a lot of factors at play and the specifics can change based on the athlete and their situation, in general I think […]

January
22

Let’s face it – our wrists take a beating on the trail. From the pounding they take simply holding onto the handlebars to the countless injuries they incur from falls, for a lot of riders their wrists have been through a lot of wear and tear. And with that wear and tear comes a loss […]

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson