Wrist strength and training for MTB.

A really common problem with riders I train is pain or discomfort in the wrists when they are doing press ups and other floor based movements.  We have all fallen off and jarred a wrist and maybe even broken a wrist or two over the years and it often leaves the wrist with a limited range of motion and uncomfortable in certain positions.

In the video below I outline some simple tips that will help you to train with wrist issues as well as generally strengthening the wrists so that they are more robust for riding and training.

Good luck with your training and don’t forget to check out my new kettlebell programme for building full body strength!

Stay Strong

Ben

Learning The Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is the defining kettlebell exercise.  When you learn to do it correctly, it will help you to develop a strong and powerful back, core and legs as well as offering a great conditioning session if you do higher reps.  There are loads of different videos out there in the internet showing you how to swing the kettlebell, some are very good, and sadly a lot are very poor.

Below here you can find my kettlebell instructional videos (Part 1 and Part 2) taken directly from my Kettlebell Strength Programme.  In the videos you will learn that the swing is all about generating power from your hips.  It is not a squatting motion and you should not be lifting the kettlebell with your arms!  Hip power is the key to becoming a better athlete in pretty much any sport and it directly relates to mountain biking by helping to create a strong ‘Attack Position’ on the bike as well as helping to develop your leg power for out of the saddle efforts out on the trail.

In Part 1 you will learn the basics and develop a rhythm with the swing:

In Part 2 you will take the basics and build on them to create a full swing up to shoulder height.  You also get to see me looking ridiculous doing my ‘spaghetti arms’ coaching drill!

Remember that the swing is all about technique.  You must invest some time and effort into learning the swing with good form!

If you want to use kettlebells to get faster on your mountain bike, then the MTB Strength Factory Kettlebell Strength Programme is for you.  It is a comprehensive training programme that will offer many months of training gains.  All of the exercises have professionally produced video tutorials so you can be reassured that you are doing the right exercises in the right way.  To download your copy today, just hit the link…  Kettlebell Strength

Stay Strong

Ben

Changing Things Up In The Gym

 

Joe's Programme

Things can get stale in the gym pretty quickly unless you change things up from time to time.

That’s why last night I ran my rider Joe Finney’s session a bit differently to normal.  We were a little short on time, and Joe was a bit tired and sore from riding Moto on the weekend, so rather than going through a really structured session I decided to put the session into Joe’s hands to see how he got on.

I prescribed what I wanted to achieve in the session and wrote it on the chalk board and the rest was down to Joe, selecting what he wanted to do and when and also selecting what weights to lift for the deadlift in order to reach his 2000kg target for the session.  If the session only took 20 minutes then that would be it – all finished for the night and job done!  It was simply about getting a prescribed amount of work done on his terms.  Here was the plan in case you can’t read my writing on the picture!

Deadlift 2000kg

Goblet Squat @20kg x 50

Press Up x 60

Get Up x 30

Mountain Climber x 100

Fat Bar Chins x 20

KB Swing @32kg x 40

This workload is within Joe’s capabilities and is neither easy or super hard for him.  It will have a beneficial conditioning effect as well as the strength and power gains from the big lifts, due to the non-stop nature of the session.  It took about 25 minutes of steady graft in the end.

The key message I think is that there are so many ways to get stronger, fitter and in shape for any goal.  The key is to vary the training stimulus so that the body and mind do not adapt and are always kept guessing.  Whichever path you take, you should be committed and you should believe in the programme and your ability to succeed.  By doing this I gave Joe ownership and responsibility for his own training and self-development and this is a powerful tool for a coach to wield with his athletes.  Tomorrow night we will be doing something completely different in terms of stimulus, format and outcomes.  That is how you grow physically and mentally as an athlete and rider.

Stay Strong

Ben

 

New Training Location – Bristol

MTB Strength Factory Gym

I am really pleased and excited to announce that MTB Strength Factory will be using an awesome, private gym in West Bristol from November.  The gym is called Functional Fitness and I will be training clients there for this winter off-season and going into next year.

It is not a great big globo-gym full of machines, TV’s and cardio-equipment, instead it offers a great space to develop as an athlete, with barbells, kettlebells and your bodyweight.  It is run by a couple of really good trainers with a great ethos about training and I am really pleased to start working in that environment.  If you look closely at the photo, it even has monkey bars!  How cool is that?

To accommodate the type of training I want to do with my riders I will also be adding some more barbells and discs, and a Wattbike for power training and testing.  In case you have never used a Wattbike, they really are the best tool around for indoor cycle training, measuring power, HR and many other factors, allowing us to monitor your progress and test regularly as well as putting you through some precise and gruelling winter workouts.

The gym is in Ashton, West Bristol.  It is only a few minutes cycle from Parson Street train station and 10 minutes from Bedminster. Check it out on Google Maps below:

LOCATION

I am just finalising the details of exactly what training packages and prices to offer, however if you live in Bristol or the general area and think you may be interested in training with me for recreational riding or racing, then please drop me a line on ben@mtbstrengthfactory.com.  Distance packages will also be available with details to follow next week when the website will be updated.

I look forward to seeing you in the gym soon!

Stay Strong

Ben

 

MTB Strength Factory Athlete on the Podium

Joe Finney UKGE 3rd PlaceI am a little late writing this as things have been super hectic – Sorry!

At the last round of the UKGE at Grizedale in the beautiful Lakes, MTB Strength Factory trained athlete Joe Finney took an overall 3rd in Masters category for the series!  It was a huge achievement for him as Masters is sooooo competitive and quick at that end of the field, with ex World Cup DH legend Andrew Titley taking the overall win.

Joe has shown so much improvement over the season and has worked really hard on his riding and his physicality, growing stronger week in and week out, just using his bodyweight and kettlebells twice per week with me on his decking.  Simple but effective for sure. Next year he will move up a category to either Elite, or Expert if they decide to form it as a new category for 2015.  I am looking forward to training him for the winter now, and you can expect some fast racing from him next year.

This is what Joe had to say about our training:

“I need to say a big thank you to Ben Plenge of MTB Strength Factory for the fitness training over the last few months, the proof it is working can be seen in my results. I never did any structured training prior to meeting Ben and I have to say it has been a revelation! I wish I had put in this effort when I was racing Downhill… If you are looking for a coach in the Bristol area I can highly recommend Ben, and if you just want some guidance or a basic training plan Ben offers a basic strength training programme for just £18, a bargain of you ask me, available online through his website.”

If you are a MTB racer and want some training and programming to prepare you for 2015, then I will be taking on new athletes in mid-October.  Exact prices and packages are TBC, and if all goes to plan I will be operating out of my own gym in Bristol shortly, so watch this space!

Stay Strong

Ben