143 – How To Ride For A Lifetime with MTB Coach James Wilson

143 – How To Ride For A Lifetime with MTB Coach James Wilson

Todays Guest:

James Wilson – Strength coach to the pro’s, founder of MTB Strength Training Systems and www.bikejames.com & founder of Pedalling Innovations and the Catalyst Pedal.

On episode #143 we welcome back James Wilson to the podcast. James is a wealth of knowledge with all things MTB training related, over the years he has trained pro riders like Aaron Gwin and thousands of other riders through his camps and online training programs.

I had James on the podcast back in episode #16 where we chatted about his training background and the different programmes he was running at that time. If you haven’t tuned into that episode I would suggest that you have a listen, it is full of information regarding training techniques and how you can make the gym work better for specific MTB training and effectively help you enjoy your rides more on the bike (listen here).

On this episode we are chatting about James’s concept of riding for a lifetime, the best practices in the gym, on the bike, off the bike and how to put all these things together to best help make this happen. This is a longer episode than normal, but it was required as there is a great deal of information in here for you to consume and hopefully help you in considering taking James advice and implement these practices into your daily training and riding routines. It is jam packed with tonnes of great stuff to help you ride better, longer, with less pain and to be able to do it for a long time.

As James says, ‘There is a difference between training for short term performance gains and training for longevity’.

Enjoy the show!

Find Out:

  • How to best ride for a lifetime and enjoy it
  • James’s ‘Riding For A Lifetime Concept’
  • Why we shouldn’t be training like the pro’s do on Instagram
  • The three pillars of the riding for a lifetime concept
  • Why we need sustainable fitness training
  • The benefits of sustainable riding strategies
  • How efficient movement on & off the bike can help
  • The 4 cardio quadrants and how these work
  • High tension and low tension movement and how we should use them
  • How Isometric training can help us become better on the bike
  • Why sitting down pedalling on step climbs is the worst thing you could do
  • How weight and traction work and why they are different
  • How to have a routine on and off the bike that works for you
  • James new Atomic Strength Isometric Training Program for MTB
  • How you can get tonnes of free training tips from James
  • Where best to follow James and find out more

I listened to James MTB Strength Training Systems podcast on his ‘Riding For A Lifetime’ concept and found it really interesting, in fact I listened to it twice (see below for link). It is something I am sure most, if not all of us want to be able to do, ride for a long time and enjoy everything that mountain biking brings to our lives, but what a lot of us are doing in the gym and on the bike will hinder us in achieving that goal. 

If you are like me and watch the pro riders training in the gym, doing crazy high box jumps, super heavy deadlifts and pushing themselves to the max all the time, you believe to improve your fitness levels and bike skills you have to be doing the same, but this simply isn’t true. These guys and girls are willing to put their bodies through hell because it is what pays the bills, it is their career and what they need to be doing (not all the time) to be at the top. However, for 99% of us this is just simply not sustainable. We will burn out, lose interest or even worst, get injured and miss that all important trail time. James chats about this and how to best get a training routine that works for you and how having 3 different types of riding sessions can help keep you fit, healthy, ready for the trails and riding for a lifetime. It doesn’t and shouldn’t be 100% maximum effort all the time!

James helps us understand his idea of the 4 different cardio quadrants, how they work and how they can benefit us on the mountain bike. He also explains how to best use high and low tension movement both in the gym and on the bike and why using high tension movement while pedalling seated, especially on tough climbs is a mistake a lot of us make as it creates a tonne of bad tension on the knees and lower back.

We also chat about how we should all try and incorporate Isometric training into our programmes and how it can benefit us with strength on the bike and make our breathing technique on the bike better when we are on tough sections and pushing hard. This is something we can all do, you don’t need equipment, a lot of space and you don’t even need that much time as the majority of the sessions take around 30 minutes. James has been working on his new Isometric training programme called the ‘Atomic Strength Isometric Training Program for MTB’ (see below for link) for a number of months and truly believes it is something that is missing from most of our training routines.

This is an in-depth episode and one you may have to listen to a couple of times to get to grips with James training techniques and the amount of information he takes us through, but I believe you will find it of great benefit both for the gym and for the bike, so stick with it and find out how we all can be riding for a lifetime.

Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy the episode!


To Connect with James and MTB Strength Training Systems:

Website: www.bikejames.com

Instagram: mtbstrengthtrainingsystems

Facebook: mtbstrengthtrainingsystems

YouTube: mtbstrengthcoach

Listen to James’s Riding For A Lifetime Podcast here: riding-for-a-lifetime-podcast

More information on James’s Atomic Strength Isometric Training Program for MTB here: atomic-strength-training-system


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Thanks again to James for coming on the show and helping us train smarter and ride better!

Thank you once again for tuning into the show!

Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.