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”.

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. Mike says:

    Wise words. Learnt this the hard way. Progress may slow and on bike performance may suffer in the short term, but the rewards are tenfold for sticking with it.

    Best thing I did when doing jame’s original MTB strength program was taking a step back and spending the time learn the skills and bring up my weak points. This resolved muscle imbalances and ensured the correct muscle engagement. As a result inital on the bike time was only what I could describe as painfull, due to muscle burn from weak muscles that weren’t properly being used before (specifically glutes). Once everything was in balance my performance on the bike and in the gym improved dramatically. Those inital painfull rides are a distant memory now as I consistantly improve year on year.

    By the way loving the new look to the site :o)

    Reply • June 12 at 3:32 am

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson