Factory News: July ’14


UK Gravity Enduro

It has been a busy 6 weeks of riding, racing and training since the last Factory News, so without any delays, here is what I have been up to…….

UKGE Round 3, Afan.

This was hot, dry and dusty which made a nice change from the first 2 rounds and meant I didn’t have to clean my bike all weekend which makes me happy.  There was such a good atmosphere at this event and the course was so much fun, with a really diverse selection of trails, from trail centre hard pack to hand cut loamy goodness that had everybody falling off!  I had a pretty good race, finishing most stages in the 40’s in Masters, but really let myself down on one of  the stages with a 68th which dropped me down to a disappointing 52nd overall.

The MTB Strength Factory athletes both had good weekends as well, with Rob Goodey in his first season in Elites and riding his sweet new Diamond Back Mission getting a solid 22nd.  A highlight of the weekend was that he got 14th on stage 4 which was the gnarliest most tech stage of the whole race.  Well done mate!

Joe Finney, riding for Bad Ass Bikes intense went into the race feeling strong and confident.  I have been training Joe twice per week for a few months now using his bodyweight and kettlebells and he has really grown as an athlete, working hard and making some solid gains.  Just before the race we tested his vertical jump, which we had also done when we very first started training.  It is a simple test, but clearly shows increases in whole body power which relate directly to on-bike power and performance.  In 7 weeks he had improved my 6 cm which is amazing work and progress, really showing what some structured strength training can do.  The proof was in the results though as Joe, got his best ever result…… 2nd in Masters!  BOOOOOOM!  I have told him that if he does not win at Dyfi that I will give him 1000 press ups punishment, but in the meantime the lucky so-and-so is off to Whistler for the EWS.  Good luck dude.

On a side note, my wife entered the Afan round as her first ever MTB race.  Sadly it ended like this (below) on the seeding run.  Thanks to Scot (in green t-shirt) from Saddleback and the others who helped pick her up and to everybody who was so kind to her.  She is mostly healed up and looking forward to Grizedale!  Thanks to Doc Ward for the photo too……….


Looking For a Gym.

This has been proving harder than I thought at first, but I am searching the West Bristol area for a decent gym with the sort of space and equipment I need to train people.  There are too many crappy ‘health clubs’ that have a load of machines and no barbells – very frustrating.  I am in talks with a couple of places and hope to have somewhere to train you all by the end of the summer.


As well as working on my technical skills, my personal training has really been focussing on building my anaerobic endurance to better prepare me for 3-5 minute stages on Enduro races.  The 2 main techniques I have been using are:

Anaerobic endurance intervals:  4 to 6 intervals of 3 to 5 minutes duration each with recovery equal to the preceding work.

Pyramid intervals: Similar to the above intervals, except the duration builds to a peak and then decreases again. Intervals are 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 minutes long and are pretty disgusting!

Stay Strong