This was great week for me both on the trail and in the gym. I had my first session in the inaugural Skills & Fitness Boot Camp, had a bunch of clients stepping up and showing some impressive progress and got some great rides in out at the Lunch Loop trails. Here are a couple big things I took away from this week of training and riding:

– You can become a pretty good rider using pretty bad technique. You simply max out your technique and have little room left to improve but you can become pretty good without coaching or training. However, to become a really good or bust through a plateau you need to get your technique solid.

– Want to instantly improve your technique on any exercise. If you are having trouble getting an exercise down try saying the coaching cues out load. I try to break an exercise down into 3-5 coaching cues and literally chant them in my head. When I get someone who has trouble I get them to say the cues out loud and they get better right away.

– Don’t discount de-loading/ easy weeks in your strength training program. I’m experimenting with Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 Program, which is a powerlifting based program that has you build up to moving some serious weight (relative to your strength levels). It then uses a de-loading week where you back way off to prepare for the next 3 week build up.

At first I decided I did not need the de-loading week and went right into the next build up. However, the last two months I’ve used it and gained a better appreciation for it. Far from being a waste of time or just “going through the motions” I’ve found it a good way to “reset” my movement after going super hard the week before.

When you’re pushing the envelope of your strength levels you will get a little sloppy so it is good to balance that with some weights that you can dominate. This not only gives my body a rest but improves my focus for the next phase…

So that’s what I’ve learned this week, hopefully they have some meaning for some of you as well. Feel free to post any big things you took away from your week, I’m always interested to hear what other people learn about training and riding.

-James Wilson-

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