Mountain Bike Strength Training

November
12

A few years ago I went through the RKC Kettlebell course (before Pavel split to start Strong First) and it was a great experience for several reasons. Along with learning a lot about how to coach kettlebell lifts I was able to dial in my own form on several lifts, which helped me a lot […]

November
10

This last weekend I did something I haven’t done in over a year – I went to compete in a Bazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. If you don’t know, BJJ is my favorite cross-training activity for a lot of reasons, one of which is that it gets me out of my comfort zone both literally and […]

November
3

With Halloween behind us and the holidays right around the corner, our off-season training time is starting to tick away. We only have 6 months until April, which is when a lot of people’s riding and racing season starts to get into full swing. And while 6 months seems like a long ways off and […]

October
31

Strength Training has a long and interesting history in the world of sports. It wasn’t long after people started competing with each other that they figured out lifting heavy stuff made it easier to beat your opponent. From ancient Greeks to Roman Gladiators to the modern super-athlete, getting stronger has played a role in the […]

October
27

Yesterday I got out with some of my buddies for a mid-morning ride. It was the kind of morning that you ride mountain bikes for – perfect weather, great company and fun trails. And even though I was pretty tired from 3 straight days of training BJJ and a ride on Friday, I was still […]

October
1

A few months ago I wrote an article outlining why you don’t want to push through the ball of your foot when you pedal your bike. In it I explained how the foot functions two different ways depending on what kind of movement you are creating, and how pedaling a bike wasn’t like walking or […]

September
29

As much as we like to pretend that we’re all just a bunch of kids riding mountain bikes, the truth is, many of us aren’t as young as we used to be. A lot of you reading this are fast approaching, or are past 40 years old, and the rest of you will be there […]

August
27

This weekend I got to see one of the original and strongest influences on my training programs present at a seminar. Ian King is an Australian physical preparation coach who has done as much to innovate modern training as anyone I know of. Among other things, Ian is the man who introduced the training world […]

August
18

Last week I had a couple of riders ask me about how to “strengthen” an area that was hurting them. Like most people they thought that the painful area was too weak and needed to get stronger. This is a common problem and one that affects a lot of mountain bikers. I’ve had this exact […]

July
30

I recently read a book called The Science of Running and it had a lot of great cutting edge info about how the running world is using science to drive their training. If you don’t know, track/ running coaches are usually at the head of the pack when it comes to innovative training ideas and […]

July
25

Over the last few blog posts I’ve been talking a lot about skills training and how it can help your performance on the trail. By improving your movement efficiency and safety, working on your trail skills improves your performance in ways that the more “fitness” oriented components of a program can’t. This adds up to […]

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 […]

Follow MTB Strength Training Systems:
James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson