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 Ultimate 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

Pedaling Innovations
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 Skills and Fitness Program
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 Fitness Membership Program
October
1

When my little boy Z was a baby he was like a ninja crawling on the ground.

When something caught his eye he would zip over to it to check it out and see what trouble he could cause with it, which always kept his mom and I on our toes.

However, the real problem was that he wouldn’t practice walking.

He could do it, he just had the problem that all toddlers have when learning to walk – it is a slow and cumbersome way to get around at first.

I mean, you can see how from his perspective walking was a disaster. All that falling over and now his mom and I could have time to stop him from making his way to something he shouldn’t be messing with.

Why screw around with that when crawling has been working just fine, thank you very much.

But then one day something happened that completely changed how he saw the world and walking suddenly became worth the trouble. And luckily, I was there to see it because it taught me a valuable lesson as well.

Z and I were hanging out in the backyard when he found a long, thin metal rod that that he grabbed and tried to crawl around with. The problem was that he already had something in the other hand and trying to crawl around with both hands full isn’t easy.

Then he tried a different strategy and stood up. He took a couple of steps and it was I like a light bulb went off – you could see in his eyes that something had changed.

Standing also makes it easier to work on bikes.

He had realized that when you walk you can easily carry something in both hands. You can literally double your carrying capacity for weapons or toys or whatever it is that you want to carry.

And this was worth dealing with the pain of the drawbacks of walking. I never saw him crawl again from that moment on. Once the shift had been made he never went back to using it.

That was a powerful lesson for me as well. To be there for that light bulb moment and to see how quickly and dramatically it changed his behavior really drove home the point for me that we have a huge capacity for change…but only if we really buy into why we need to do it.

It is the buy in that changes how you see the efforts and sacrifices you are making. Changing your behaviors without changing how you see those behaviors won’t last.

In the mountain biking world you see this from people who “know” that they need to do strength and mobility training but for some reason they just can’t find the time to start or they give up after a few weeks. Once the initial motivation wore off they didn’t have the fuel they needed to keep things going.

That fuel has to come from how you see the world.

For example, most of us brush our teeth because we see the world in a way that motivates us to do it. No one wants bad breath and rotten teeth and so we perform the ritual of brushing our teeth a couple times a day.

However, most people just don’t see the world in a way that motivates them to take care of the rest of their body. Strength and mobility training are a time-sucking pain in the butt, which is how they see it even when forcing themselves to do it.

No wonder most people don’t start or quit. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We’re not taught in school that as humans we have a couple of cool super powers that we need to tap into if we want to live the lives we really want.

The first is one I’ve touched on already, which is the ability to change your reality. The story you are telling yourself isn’t “real”, it is just a reflection of how you see the world. You can change that story and, as a result, your reality.

This is how people make lasting changes – they start to tell themselves a story that makes it impossible not to change. If you see yourself as the kind of person who doesn’t make excuses and appreciates how getting stronger and more mobile will help you then you have no choice but make time for it.

The second super power is the ability to manipulate the future. You can do things now that will pay off down the road and strength and mobility training are two of the best examples of it.

Sure, you won’t see results in the first workout or maybe even the first couple of weeks but in 6 months you’ll be a different person. 6 months will come and go either way, but you can do things today that will help your future self out.

But, like I said, you have to be like Z and find the way of seeing that world that makes these choices self-evident. You can’t see the world the same way and just take on different habits, you have to change your perspective in a way that makes those habits easier to adopt.

And that’s really the hardest part. I wish I had something to tell you that would flip that switch for you, but the truth is that is part of the journey.

Everyone has to find what motivates them to change but knowing that you can and then looking for that motivation is the first step.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Kettlebell Workout
September
24

While it is one of the oldest training tools in the world the Steel Mace finds itself in an interesting situation.

First, there is no codified training system for them. Despite being used for thousands of years to condition the human body for swinging stuff in battle and for wrestling another human there isn’t a training system behind it like we would think of one.

Second, it is reemerging again in the age of the internet. This means that it is easier than ever to see people using the Steel Mace and learning what it can do…but without the context of a training system a lot of these movements and exercises can quickly fall into the wrong hands.

So, in some ways Steel Mace training is like the old Wild West – a frontier where the laws and rules are sketchy at best and can change quickly based on the new Sheriff in town. In this case the new Sheriff is the new Mace Training Guru with the slickest moves on Instagram, but the result is the same with a lot of people going “that looks great but where the hell do I start”.

Over the last few years of using the Steel Mace and training others with it I’ve found that knowing how to safely get started with your Steel Mace training is the key to getting the most out of it. And to help you do that I’ve made a previously private Steel Mace Basics Webinar available to the public.

Originally created for my private training and group coaching clients, I go over everything you need to know to get started with Steel Mace Training. You can check out this webinar and download the slides by clicking the link below:

If you need it, you can also sign up for the free 30-Day Steel Mace for MTB Workout. It goes along with the material covered in the webinar and makes a great place to start using the Steel Mace to help your riding.

I also wanted to let you know that I’m planning on releasing a new 12 Week Steel Mace Training for MTB program in the next week or two. I know it will be a while until the Steel Mace becomes a popular training tool, but my goal is to stay ahead of trends, not follow them, and for those of you who are willing to invest in a Mace and stay ahead of the curve I want to make sure you’ve got a resource to help you on the path.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson
MTB Strength Training Systems

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