strength training

September
12

While riding your bike can look and feel like an elegant dance between you and the bike (or maybe not so elegant for some of us), when you break it down everything you do boils down to using a few basic movement patterns. It is how well you can combine and blend these movement patterns […]

September
2

Earlier this week I shared a podcast interview I did with Finnish MTB coach Jukka Mäennenä. During the interview, we talked about the importance of mobility training for mountain biking and how he was using the CARS method with his riders. Jukka was kind enough to write a follow-up article with a demo video to […]

September
8

I’ll admit that I wanted to hate it. When the Absolute Black oval chainring actually showed up in the mail I knew I was going to have to try it out but I sure as hell didn’t expect to keep it on my bike. I mean, everyone knows that oval chainrings suck and that the […]

July
13

I’ve been reading a lot of books written by old time strongmen lately and the lessons and insights in them have been pretty amazing. It is true that there is nothing new under the sun and most of what we think of as “new” and “cutting edge” is really just a rediscovery of things we […]

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 […]

April
24

In my last blog post I talked about the important adjustments you need to make with your cardio training during the riding season and how to avoid 2 critical mistakes. In it I also mentioned that strength was the real key to keeping your cardio levels high throughout the season and today I wanted to […]

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 […]

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
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-

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
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
3

When you really understand how exercises work movement patterns and not muscle groups you can see how everything you do is really core training (or whatever else your weakest link is)… You can visit http://mtbstrengthcoach.podbean.com to download the MP3 file or if this link is not working. -James Wilson-

February
26

“Thanks for the check in. I successfully downloaded all the stuff, now I’ve got to organize it all! I think I’ve got your basic idea down.Was listening to some of your audio files last night. In looking through the manual I noticed there was no Military Press which you had said was one of the […]

February
25

Even though mountain bikers need more strength than they realize there is a point of diminishing returns. Can you get too strong? How can you tell if you need to get stronger or work on building more power? Listen in to get my take… Powered by Podbean.com You can also access the podcast through this […]

February
24

“Hey James, Thanks for the info. I really appreciate your help and insight. Question for you – what about lunges in the smith rack/machine thing?  (This is the big squat/press safety rack where the bar is held in rails.) In the past I have done lunges in here and they seemed valuable but I was […]

February
13

Using a rep ladder is a great way to get some volume in while maintaining your intensity levels. A rep ladder is where you “step up” the reps during several mini-sets. Here is a great workout using this concept- Circuit 1 Exercise 1 – Deadlift Exercise 2 – Chin Ups Strength Ladder – 1/2/3 X […]

February
11

Yes, the title is a bit dramatic but it got your attention, didn’t it? 😉 I’ve mentioned several times before in my writings about my disdain for the use of machines in MTB strength training programs. However, one machine has developed an almost cult status in the MTB world and deserves special attention in my […]

January
26

It never fails…every time a new person starts with us at my facility they inevitably hit a frustration point. Even “fit” people are shocked at how little they really know about their body and how it is supposed to move and work. Even though I warn people that there is a 2 week learning curve where you […]

January
24

“James,I just finished phase 2 of your program and I am very happy with the results. Thanks to your program, small modifications in my diet and the addition of a post-work drink I have manage to lose ~8lbs while seeing considerable gains in strength and overall performance in the gym. Unfortunuately, I live in Madison, […]

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson