June
30

Rider Q&A: More random wisdom from my emails…

Q: “I just found your blog and started your bodyweight workout program. Is this enough and what are your general recommendation for a rider who is looking to get into strength training?”

A: Here is some general advice for you:

– You need to start adding load if you want to get strong. Bodyweight training is very important but it is limited. Also, you have to control your bike so you need to train yourself to handle external objects. The only way to do this is to start using weights and other implements.

– You should strength train 2-4 days a week depending on how much other training/ riding you are doing. You do need a day or two off of training and riding a week but you can ride and train on the same day. A lot depends on how well you recover and you have to listen to your body at some point to know what works best for you. You need to vary sets and reps so it is hard to give you specific number there.

– Use protein powder, fish oil (5-10 grams a day) and a greens supplement (I like Juice Plus+). I use ProGrade ( www.dominateyoursport.getprograde.com) but there are a lot of good brands out there. GNC brand is usually good stuff as well.

There are a lot more details to these answers on my blog. Use the search feature to look for info on these subjects and you’ll find a lot of good stuff. Hope this helps…

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Q: “I love to ride long distances and practice ride intervals twice a week as well as the general fitness and long distance rides.  But I worry I am not paying enough attention to the muscles in my calf area.  Do you have recommended exercises that I should focus on for the lower leg?

Also, a friend who is a great rider (top racer) had a nasty spill about 9 months ago and often experiences a pain in one knee when we ride a hard epic ride.  I wonder if its scare tissue and have suggested him visiting a good sports physio clinic but I wonder if there are certain exercises one can do for the knees if one has had an injury and needs to strengthen the area.  I myself had this problem about 3 years ago and found that slow and easy was the only advice anyone could offer.”

A: Jump rope is a great exercise for the calf muscles. Get to where you can do 50-100 skips on each foot. As far as knee stuff, most of the time you need to make sure that the hips are functioning properly in order to take stress off the knees. Hip lifts and single leg stiff leg deadlifts are great examples of exercises that do that. The Ultimate MTB Workout Program would be perfect for him since it works on fixing hip dysfunction and then integrating it into overall movement. Hope this helps…

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Q: “When i ride hard, especially after doing some intervals, I get a considerable amount of lower back pain – only when i bend over, standing up and once I’m bent over no probs. I have been to see a chiro and have had x-rays and they found that my pelvis was rotated. My right hip feels out of place.

Long story short, I spent lots of money with a chiro, still have the problem and I can temporarily solve it using the dorn method. After doing the mobility and now understanding its importance I know I have some limitations when doing hula hoop circles and similar hip movements.

I also know you’re not a doctor or a chiro but am interested if you have any ideas to help me out.”


A: It sounds like you bend from the waist instead of the hips, which results in your low back being bent and rounded on the bike. When you straighten it out for a second it relieves the tension. As you get into the program and your hip function gets better you’ll “slide” you hips back more than drop them down which will help.

The only problem with chiros is that they too are treating a symptom of a bigger problem (bad movement) but few are really willing to admit that. I love chiropractic and use it myself but the truth is that until you fix the movement that causes the sublixations and misalignments you’ll just have to keep going back for re-adjustments. Hope this helps…

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Q: I have this thing at home called the Dyna-Flex Power Ball. If you have never heard of this it is a little gyroscope that works out your wrist. I was wondering if it would help out at all with reducing arm pump, and if you knew anything about it.”

A: It’s not bad but its not the best use of your training time. It promotes wrist movement and on the bike you need wrist stability so it works the wrong kind of strength but it is better than nothing. Doing fisted push ups and heavy farmers walks would do way more for your grip and wrist strength. Hope this helps…

-James Wilson-

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  1. Brad says:

    Hey Guys,

    My email was the third one down in the list here. I have finally got the issue of lower back pain solved. James advice was right to an extent. After reading his reply I decided look a lot more into my riding position and decided that I would go and get a sports massage.

    We found that my ITB’s (located in your quads) were so tight that when I bent my knees it was poping my knee cap out of position. This is caused by overuse (whoops) We got my ITB’s and shins loosened up and straight away there was massive reduction in my lower back pain.

    This is a problem that has plagued me throughout my riding career and its going to take some time to get it sorted properly but I feel im finally on the right track.

    Definatly if you have lower back pain don’t rule this out, its taken me about 7years to find someone who could get this sorted.

    Cheers,
    Brad

    Reply • June 30 at 4:13 pm
    • bikejames says:

      @ Brad – glad you’re getting it sorted out. Mike Boyle has pointed out how the IT Band is, itself, a tough chord and has little potential for lengthening. However, the glutes can improve length and take some of the pressure off the IT band so make sure you work on foam rolling and stretching the glutes as well as the IT band itself.

      Reply • July 2 at 12:31 pm

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James Wilson