mountain bike training

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 […]

July
6

So I know that this one might catch some flak. If so, I’ll admit that part of it is going to be my inability to articulate my points as well as I would like. Anytime I try to introduce a new concept like this I usually need a few tries to dial in what I’m […]

June
29

A few months ago I got the chance to attend a really cool event put on by Strength Matters. It was their first summit in the US, and it was a great chance to hear some of the smartest people in the fitness industry present on the trends in what they are using to produce […]

June
15

One of the most confusing terms in training is the moniker “sport specific”. While we can all agree that it is important to follow a sport specific program, how it best applies to you can be a bit fuzzy. The reason for this is because the term applies differently to each of the 4 Training […]

June
8

A few years ago I was sitting around after a ride BS’ing with my riding buddies about our ride. While we were talking about how we made it through a particular technical descent, one of the guys – who was known for crashing a lot – asked an interesting question… “You mean you guys aren’t […]

February
17

I think that people sometimes get the impression that I don’t think that pedaling your bike is important for being a good mountain biker. With my constant message of Cardio Training is Overrated for Mountain Bikers, not using Road Bikes for Training and the Importance of Strength and Mobility Training I can see why some […]

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
20

Late last year I had the honor of being interviewed by one of my mountain biking heroes Ryan Leech. I’ve had Ryan on my podcast before and he wanted to ask me about my views on all things riding for his Pro Visions Podcast. I was more than happy to oblige and we spent almost […]

January
6

This morning I was reading the book Anti-Fragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, which is by far the best book I’ve read in a long time. I think that everyone should check it out as it does a great job of dispelling a lot of myths about our modern lives and our overreliance on linear (straight […]

December
27

Few movements are as important to us on the bike as having a good hip hinge. Being able to shift your hips back and letting your chest come down while keeping your core strong is essential to having a strong, efficient seated pedaling and a balanced Attack Position. However, it can be very easy to […]

December
18

In this podcast I go over some ways to increase the difficulty of an exercise without adding sets and reps. This is very valuable if you train at home and have a limited amount of weight or are rehabbing an injury and need ways to increase strength without using a lot of weight yet. I’ve […]

December
11

Having “bad knees” is one of the most common complaints I hear about from riders who have concerns about incorporating squatting exercises into their program. It seems that when they try to squat it causes them pain – either immediately or in days afterwards – and so it is an exercise/ movement they generally try […]

December
9

Bike fits are a funny subject because while I know that they have a time and place for some riders, for your average trail rider I think that they are extremely overrated. Like other bits of bike technology that gets misused they are often a band-aid for deeper problems and rarely “fix” the real issues […]

December
4

Few books have changed my perspective on training like Gray Cook’s book Movement. In it he does a masterful job of explaining how to use movement priniciples to guide your training instead of relying on specific methods and rigid, formulaic programs. Move well first and then move often – you can’t do it the other […]

December
2

We’re all born being “cursed” in certain ways. While I know that you can make significant changes with some focused effort it still seems like some things are more of a struggle than others. If you took that magical pedal stroke off the table and you knew from day 1 that you could pedal, bunny […]

November
20

Let me tell you a little secret to improving your fitness and skills on the trail when things get busy. This secret is so simple and easy that most people can’t believe it and look for some way to screw up the process. So yes, you can see results in as little as 30 minutes […]

November
15

One of the things that I don’t think a lot of people realize about my approach to training for mountain biking is that I don’t just make this stuff up to sound different. For example, my take on aerobic base training is not just me trying to come up with an angle to sell a […]

November
13

One of the most overlooked aspect of improving your performance on the trail is breathing and posture. Stuff like heat rate zones, power levels and VO2Max dominate most discussions on ways to improve your ability to pedal harder and longer when, for most riders, it is these two things that are really holding them back. […]

November
1

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when getting into mountain biking is to think that it is a great way to get into shape. This mindset is actually a big problem with the fitness world in general – playing a sport is not how to get into shape. Things work out much better […]

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson