Our fitness culture has turned into an extension of the entertainment industry. Look around you and you’ll see indulgent training programs everywhere – it seems like keeping you entertained is more important than delivering consistent, noticable results.

The 3 Pillars of Training are Progression, Technical Mastery and Variety. Variety certainly has its place but as you can see it is not the only, nor the most important, training component. There is a saying in martial arts – don’t fear the man who has done 10,000 techniques 1 time; fear the man who has done 1 technique 10,000 times.

Variety in your program should be born out if the other 2 components. Every high level exercise has a progression that should lead into it. For example, if you want to do a 1 arm DB Snatch (one of the best MTB power training exercises around) you don’t just grab a dumbbell and go for it just because it looks cool.

Progressing into the exercise by doing things that get your core stronger, teach you the proper hip hinge technique and how to initiate movements with the lower body while finishing off with the upper body are all vital compenents to getting the most out of that exercise. Going through the progressions and developing technical mastery of each exercise on the way to the 1 Arm DB Snatch is where the variety in your program comes from.

Training is about acquiring and refining movement skills, not going through a random list of exercises that look cool and “kick your butt”. Enjoy the journey and look to develop the other 2 forgotten Pillars of Training on your quest to be the best mountain biker you can.

-James Wilson-

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