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The Podcast for the MTB Strength Training System, the world’s original and best strength and conditioning system designed exclusively for mountain bikers.

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In the book Sapiens - which I highly recommend BTW - the author talks about the superpowers that separate humans from other animals. We have a couple of them but the one that I like to focus on is the ability to purposefully affect our future-selves.

Unlike other animals that are only focused on the present, humans can see into the future and project themselves into it. This allows us to make sacrifices now that we know will help ourselves in the future.

But, like any superpower, if we choose to ignore it then it doesn’t do us any good. You have to embrace the power and the responsibility that comes with it if you want to put it to use.

This is why I tell people that if you are a mountain biker then you are a mountain biker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every decision you make is going to affect your future self, both in the short term and the long term.

Trying to separate yourself from the impact of your decisions on your riding is ignoring your superpower. What you had this morning for breakfast, your sleep habits and your recovery strategies should all looked at as to how they will impact your riding.

Which brings me to this week’s BikeJames Podcast. In this episode I recap the Bioforce Coaches Weekend, where I saw some great presentations and met some really smart coaches. 

I had a lot of takeaways from it and have a couple of the speakers lined up for podcast interviews so we can dive deeper into some of the subjects. 

I hope you get some useful stuff for your own training, sleeping and recovery plan. I’m looking forward to putting some of the things I learned into place and sharing the results with you down the road.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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By the time you get this podcast I’ll be on my way back from a seminar in Seattle. It’s hosted by Joel Jamieson for his Bioforce Certified Coaches and I’m looking forward to sharing some of what I learned with you over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, though, here is a new BikeJames Podcast. Here are some notes from what I cover in this episode...

Training

Balance training for mountain biking: Does “balance training” work for improving your balance on your mountain bike?

Skills Training

Why dropping your heels on descents or dropping your outside foot in corners is a bad idea.

Bro Science

Do clipless pedals increase the risk of hip injuries? Three studies would suggest the answer is “yes”, which means a lot for the discussion about clipless vs. flat pedals.

Links to the studies - Study #1/    Study #2/    Study #3

Rider Q & A

Studies show that sitting is more efficient at sub-max efforts so why do you recommend standing up to pedal so much?

I hope you enjoy this episode and get some stuff you can apply to your own training. And remember that if you have any questions or comments about this episode or if you have any suggestions for topics you want me to cover let me know.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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One of the recurring themes in my life lately is the need to identify the right problem before you can come up with the right solution. Sometimes we think the problem is one thing and work like crazy to find answer to it only to be frustrated over and over again because we were seeing the wrong thing.

From life to training to riding your bike, it is all one big series of “problems” to solve with physical and mental tools you have available. But you only know the right tools to develop when you know the problem to solve.

The reason I bring this up is that “find the right problem to solve” became the theme of this episode of the BikeJames Podcast. By shedding some light on a new way to look at some common problems we face on the bike and in the gym I hope I can help you come up with better solutions to them.

In this episode I share some thoughts on...

Training: Horizontal Loading vs. Vertical Loading: What is it and which is better for improving hip movement on the bike.

Skills: Pressure vs. Weight for Standing Climbing: Why you don’t need or want you butt on the seat for traction.

Bro Science: Functional Threshold Power vs. Intermittent Power to predict XC race results: Does improving your FTP improve your MTB?

Equipment: Angles 90: Great training tool for chin ups and deadlifts.

I hope you enjoy this episode and get some new perspective on the problem how to improve your power, endurance and skills on your bike. I’ll be in touch next week with a new video showing how standing climbing makes it easier to navigate technical climbs.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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Hope you had a great holiday weekend. I had a good one myself, getting some riding in with Aka the Trail Mutt. 

Aka is getting a little older - just like his master - but he just refuses to slow down. I joke that he gets me out as much as I get him out but it’s true...without his enthusiasm for getting out on the trail as much as possible I probably would have skipped more than a few rides over the last 7+ years.

But I’m always glad when I do get out. The combination of being in nature, getting the “runners high” from a long, grinding climb and the adrenaline rush of some sweet momentum fueled fun is something that never gets old.

Nothing else provides this combination of soul-recharging elements, which is what makes mountain biking so unique. The struggle it provides and the environment it provides it in are the things that keep me coming back to the trail after almost 2 decades of riding.

That’s also why I love sharing my passion for riding and training with everyone. I know that mountain biking isn’t easy but with a little knowledge you can fast-track you progress and avoid unnecessary frustrations. 

Which brings us to this week’s podcast. In this new BikeJames Podcast I cover some topics that I think will help you ride faster, longer and with more confidence on the trail.

This Week’s Podcast Topics

Rider Q & A: Why does my female training partner who can’t deadlift as much as me (load or strength-to-weight ratio) outclimb me? Doesn’t my higher deadlift strength mean I’ll have more power and can outclimb her? 

Bro Science: Three studies that  tell us the characteristics of a good mountain biker.

Training: Why Crossfit or “Mixed Cardio” isn’t as good as “regular cardio” for MTB specific training.

Skills: Cockpit Control workshop overview and insights.

Equipment Review: Neat Ice Bag

You can stream or download this episode below. Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

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This week I’ve got a new BikieJames Podcast for you. A lot has happened since the last one and I had a few interesting topics to share, including...

  • The opening of my new Catalyst Training Facility in Fruita CO
  • Rider Q&A: Is speed determined by power?
  • Why your handlebars are too wide
  • Resistance Bands: Why I like them and some experiments with them
  • Bro Science: The role of emotions on Pacing Strategy

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson
MTB Strength Training Systems

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This week I’ve got a new podcast to share with you. Instead of a single topic, I had a few random things that wouldn’t make for a whole episode alone so I put them together into this BikeJames Podcast.

In this episode I cover…

  • Knee Stomp vs. Hip Stomp: Why “stomp your feet” can be a bad coaching cue for jumping or manualing your bike.
  • The importance of foot position on the bike for using your Hip Hinge and “stomping your feet” the right way (and why this is a major reason the Catalyst Pedals work so well).
  • Some history on the Turkish Get Up and why you may be missing out if all you do is the kettlebell version.
  • Some interesting studies on Isometric Training and my Bro Science interpretation of them for us as riders.

I hope you enjoy this month’s episode and I’ll look forward to sharing more stuff with you in the next one.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

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In this episode of the BikeJames Podcast I look at two recent studies and their application to mountain biking and training.

You can find the full studies below:

Recovery Posture

Low Carb Diets 

Until next time...

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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Everyone knows that training hard is part of getting better. If you don't push your body past what it did yesterday then it won't have any reason to improve your fitness levels.

But we also know that if you push too hard things can go wrong. Usually referred to as Overtraining, almost everyone reading this has experienced the symptoms of pushing our body harder than we should have, which include lack of energy, getting sick and overuse injuries.

Your body will force you to take time off and rest but taking time off is one of the worst things for your progress. Staying consistent with your training is important and so pushing your body hard while also avoiding Overtraining is the key to long term progress.

In this episode of the BikeJames Podcast I dive into the subject of Overtraining, letting you know exactly what it is and how you can use that information to help you. I also share some tips, strategies and tools I've found to be especially helpful for this goal.

Until next time,

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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Spending some time getting stronger is one of the best things you can do to improve your perfomance on the trail.

While nothing can replace riding your bike, there are 3 reasons that strength training will help you in ways that just riding your bike can not.

1 - It helps you work on tension skills that you need on the trail but don't do enough on the trail to improve past a certain point.

2 - It helps you work on movements you need on the bike in a less stressful learning environment.

3 - It helps you avoid acute and overuse injuries, helping you stay consistent with your riding and training, which is the #1 secret to improvement.

In this podcast I go over these points in some more detail and hopefully convince you that strength training is not an option if you want to be the best version of yourself both on and off the trail.

Until next time...

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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October 8, 2018

Enduro Race Training

In this new episode of the BikeJames Podcast I share my thoughts on Enduro Racing and how approach training riders for it. A lot of riders are making some common mistakes with their training and my goal is to help you avoid them while knowing what you did need to focus on to be successful at Enduro Racing.

Click the link at the bottom of this post to stream or download the MP3 file for this episode.

Remember that you can download the BikeJames Podcast through Itunes and Podbean as well.

If you are a seasoned vet looking for an edge or a new racer looking for a place to start your training journey, then this podcast will have a lot of great info for you. Enduro Racing can be a fun and rewarding part of your mountain biking experience and with the right training plan it can be even better.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

Show Notes:

  • Goal with this podcast is to inspire you to take your results into your own hands. With the right approach you can make dramatic changes in your performance.
  • Enduro Racing gets scored on the DH sections, which makes them the most important.
  • There is no bonus for transfer times so they don’t matter.
  • Top Enduro racers come more from a DH background than an XC background.
  • For them Enduro Racing is slower than their normal pace and for XC it is faster.
  • It is easier to train slower for longer than to increase your speed.
  • Big mistake riders make is training like it is an endurance event and not emphasizing where the points are really scored, which are the shorter DH style sections.
  • In DH your strength-to-weight ratio and your technical skills are the biggest factors.
  • This means they should be emphasized in your training.
  • Enduro specific fitness includes having the anaerobic engine to ride as fast as possible on the timed stages while being aerobically fit enough to ride the transfer with minimal impact on the anaerobic energy system.
  • In the gym this includes getting stronger and more mobile to improve strength to weight ratio and movement efficiency. This includes 2-3 days of strength training and 5-7 days of mobility work (can be as little as 10 minutes a day).
  • Right now I like to get strong with Ramping Isometrics (great for Strength to Weight Ratio) and use tools like Indian Clubs and the Steel Mace to work on movement efficiency. I’ll mix in some “traditional” movements for variety but I’ve found that using them to get “stronger” usually led to getting hurt or having my training take away from my riding.
  • Cardio Training = Breathing/ Make sure you are training your breathing.
  • Domino Theory - Last domino is “cardio” but first one is breathing.
  • The best cardio training you can do is trail riding…but only if you do it right.
  • You won’t become a better Enduro Racer in the gym or on a trainer - it will only happen on the trail.
  • Most Enduro racers waste their most precious training time by just going for a ride and calling it training.
  • To be training it must reflect what you are training for, which isn’t a normal trail ride.
  • Enduro training trail rides should include 2 types:
  • Moderate Skills Focused Rides: These rides have you focusing on riding as smoothly as possible instead of trying to go hard and fast. They are a great time to pick a specific skill and focus on it. Avoid redlining for sustained periods of time and focus instead on using as few pedal strokes as possible. Get 2-3 of these a week.
  • Hard Race Simulation Rides: These should reflect how you race, which includes transfers with climbs followed by timed sections. On the trail you should try to mimic the length of time you would ride a transfer stage while focusing on keeping your breathing under control and not redlining, which includes walking if you need to. You should also have some sections that reflect a stage and can vary in length. Rest if you need to but focus on putting down your hardest effort for those runs. In other words, instead of just riding “hard”, have some easy and hard sections. This may include lapping the same section if that is all you have access to to train on. Do 1 of these every 7-10 days.
  • Some easy rides or days that you work on skills drills can round out your riding.
  • If you can’t ride and have to do some “cardio training” I would encourage you to include some “cardio strength training” like combo drills or mace flows (Upper Body Cardio/ Grip Endurance).
  • Watch out for programs that treat you like a roadie or XC rider with lots of long, sustained effort rides. If it doesn’t seem to reflect the realities of Enduro Racing and they can’t give you a really good reason why not then odds are they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
  • Enduro Training doesn’t have to be rocket science but you do need to apply some critical thinking to it. You have what it takes to be successful already and with the right training program you can unleash that.

 

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