Maxing out bad technique, chanting cues & de-loading weeks

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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  1. Harry says:

    5/3/1 has got to be my favourite program, although I never bench, just do more overhead work.

    Reply • May 29 at 9:01 am
  2. jeffB says:

    James, I have touted the “deloading” period for years. Years and years ago when I was powerlifting I moved some big time weight and had regular recoup weeks. I don`t really prescribe to “periodization” training, but when I got into bodybuilding I developed a program that offered 4 week, 12 week, and year long goal setting, and each phase “deloaded” to a rest week. I use 13 week phases, each having 3 four week segments and a rest week. I don`t bodybuild anymore, and haven`t for several years but the program worked very well for me in my BMX training once I established how to apply it. I do 4 weeks of base strength (increasing max lifts), 4 weeks of power(rate of discharge), then 4 weeks of speed specific(sustained rate of discharge) training.

    Of course like everything on the internet it`s easy to see written word as strictly black and white. My program lives and breathes, and changes in real time if the need calls for it. Not to mention that you`ve got to put in time to just ride yer` dang bike! Isn`t that why we all do it anyway?

    Reply • May 29 at 9:29 am
  3. Darren says:

    Does this mean on the weeks when ‘Deloading’ is applied you reduce the weight and increase the reps? Or just reduce the weight and do the same reps as what you have done for the previous 3 weeks?

    Reply • June 3 at 4:57 pm
    • bikejames says:

      @ Darren – reduce the weight and do the same amount of reps. It works best with heavier, strength based programs that have you working up to 90%+ of your max.

      Reply • June 4 at 6:29 am

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