Training vs. Working Hard

Sometimes I get an e-mail from someone who has started my program and has found that there are a lot of exercises that require them to slow down, drop the weight and really concentrate on how they are moving. This can be a bit troubling as they start to think that they are not “working hard enough” to get anything from the workouts. They usually want to know what they can do to “work harder”.

Training is about acquiring and refining a skill. Acquisition is the first part of the process.

My answer is always the same – training is not the same thing as “working hard”. Just because you come out of a workout super sore and sweaty does not mean that it was a good training session.

Training is about acquiring and refining a skill. Acquisition is the first part of the process. This is the real hard part and is more about the mental side than the physical as you really try to hone in on what is going on. As you get better and move to the refinement part of the process you shift to a more physically taxing workout while still keeping your focus high.

Learning to move better and addressing your true weaknesses will result in improved performance. Beating the hell out of yourself every time you go to the gym probably won’t. Remember that your goal is to be a better rider and slowing down and acquiring the skills you need to do that is the real essence of training.

-James Wilson-

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  1. Dave Reed says:

    I seem to find with your programmes that I don’t feel any difference on the trail for quite a while and then suddenly I realise that I’m getting exponential gains and that the programme is really working. You feel so much stronger on the trail, technique feels better and generally less beat up at the end of it :o).

    Getting the basic training right is paramount at the beginning as it is what everything after builds on.

    Reply • April 11 at 4:11 am
  2. Very true James,

    I’m super pumped to start phase 6 this week and I’ve never felt that good and strong on my bike.

    Indeed it’s super important to practice the right movement first because after it feels 10 times better when you work hard (with good posture)!!

    Reply • April 11 at 8:08 am

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson