In this episode of the MTB Strength Coach Podcast I interview Energy Systems Development expert Joel Jamison. Joel is the author of the book Ultimate MMA Conditioning and is at the forefront of a more functional look at “cardio” and “endurance” training. In this interview we cover:

– How strength training supports and fits into the ESD concept. For a lot of mountain bikers “cardio” is the main goal and trying to get them to understand how the strength training fits in is a constant struggle in my world.

– How specificity of ESD training fits in. Most riders always figure :more is better” and you end up with people who race for 2 hours going out on 4-5 hour “training rides” all the time. How much over distance work is enough?

– A bit about the Block Training concept. A lot of riders fall into one of two categories – 1) trying to train everything all the time or 2) training only one quality at a time with no thread of other qualities in their program (hours on the road to build a “base” with no strength or intervals at all).

– Why aerobic training is important and how to train it for the specific demands of supporting intermittent bursts of activity instead of just steady state efforts.

– Heart Rate Variability technology and how it applies to the mountain bike athlete.

We cover a lot of great material, making this a “must hear” interview for the rider who is serious about scientifically and systematically improving their ability to ride faster and longer on the trail.

You can learn more about Joel, read his excellent blog posts and find out how to order his book at

Download this episode (right click and save)

-James Wilson-

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