Here is what I believe is at the heart of my mission with MTB Strength Training Systems – strength and skill are what really separate an average mountain biker from a good/ great mountain biker. One of the hallmarks of a good rider is their ability to make things look easy and that comes from not operating near their strength and skill ceiling all the time. The higher that ceiling, the harder you can push without blowing up or crashing.
Strength and skill are also the basis for great trail riding endurance. The nature of trail riding requires a lot of High Tension Cardio (your ability to create tension in the core for sustained periods of time) and strength is the foundation for that. Strength is simply tension – the more efficient you are at producing it, the easier it is to use it.
Better skills make you more efficient on the trail. You will carry your speed better and not waste as much energy having to pedal after braking too much in corners or in technical trail sections. You can hold a better body position when climbing and descending, meaning that you don’t waste as much energy with bad movement.
Strength training is also the best way to practice and ingrain good movement. Drilling how you want to move on the bike in a low stress environment like the gym allows you to really think about how you move and make corrections. These basic movements are the building blocks of technical skill and without a way to assess, fix and ingrain basic movement it makes it tough to get the most out of skills training and trail riding.
Endurance has a place, and a very important place, in a riders program. However, the current advice to most riders relegates strength and skill to the backseat, as if they were optional. Getting stronger, moving better, increasing your High Tension Cardio, and purposefully improving your skills are a blueprint to success that will never fail.
The Culture of Strength and Skill I am building is made up of riders who are dedicated to that blueprint. Riders who know that there is a better way to train, that trail riding is far more than “road riding on dirt”, that you can’t just pedal your way to being the best rider possible. Rider’s who aren’t beholden to their equipment and instead spend their time, energy and effort in improving themselves.
I understand that this message is lost on some riders, maybe even most of them. I know that not everyone is as passionate and driven as I am and the riders who are attracted to this message. But for those that are, my goal is to provide you with the best direction possible for your time, energy and effort.