Rider Perspective - Jamie Goldman

Aug 19, 2011
by Jamie Goldman  
Perspective: Cross Training

The value of cross training is without a doubt one of the most important building blocks of mountain biking for me. Although riding is a great workout in itself, keeping your brain and muscles guessing can increase your skills, focus, stamina, and overall health to a whole new level. Cross training doesn't have to be agonizing either. There are many different ways to go about it and many people that can help with getting you started on your own training regiment.

Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.
Hitting the gym helps rebuild.
Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.
Running is also great for the body.
Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.
Getting out on the bike is cross training in itself.

Cross training means something different to everyone I know. Some think gyms and muscle milk, some think other sports, some think yoga, running, swimming, the list is endless. I like to mix it up as much as possible to keep from getting bored with the same old thing, day to day. Here are a few things that I get out and do with some reasons why I think they could help you as well.

A fun aspect of cross training is other sports. For example, let's talk about snowboarding. For me, snowboarding has helped in a couple different aspects of my riding. Riding through the trees as fast as you can on a bike requires a great deal of focus, but on a bike you're on a trail and generally you know exactly where you're going. When I'm on my snowboard anything goes, every run is filled with quick decisions, body adjustments, and lane changes. On Mt. Bachelor you’re constantly thinking about the fall line so you don't end up hiking out for an hour, your brain is always working at full speed. Another thing that anyone who has ridden powder knows is the insane leg workout! Over the past few years I have had numerous knee problems and snowboarding has helped my knees gain strength in different positions that they weren't use to from cycling. Another thing that may sound a little funny is that snowboarding has actually helped me with crashing. Knowing what to do in a crash situation can really set a rider apart from a crowd. I always see the small guys roll out of every crash laughing and ready for more punishment. Being one of the larger riders on the circuit I don't quite bounce up like the little guys. They say it all the time: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”. I believe that may be true to an extent. Snowboarding has helped me learn to relax in a crash situation and rather than fight it 'til the bitter end, I go with it and fall like Jello. It may not work in every situation, but a relaxed, flexible body is less likely to be injured in a bad crash.

Snowboarding helps with air awareness.
And relaxing when you are about to crash.

Which leads me into flexibility. While I'll admit that I still don't do this as much as I should, I do it more than most people… stretching. Even a simple 5 to 10 minute stretch every morning can really change your day. A pretty standard one for me is getting into a doorway. While keeping one leg flat I put the other up the wall. Lying flat on your back with the leg on the floor straight as well, try and keep the leg up the wall straight for 3 minutes. Your butt won't necessarily be touching the wall the first few days, but keeping that leg flexed straight is key. Three minutes doesn't sound like a long time, but in an intense stretch it can sometimes feel overwhelmingly long. So I try and do a couple arm stretches and maybe a couple sit-ups to take my mind off the stretch in my legs (you’re still stretching the leg while doing these). Also, I try to get into yoga classes as much as I can. Going the first few times is always the biggest struggle, you're sore and tired, but once you get into the mode of going you won't wanna stop because your body feels so good. Yoga may sound all hippy dippy and what not, but there are some teachers that can make it a fun experience. More and more teachers are popping up that have an upbeat version and different than what you might expect. Also, these classes are designed to stretch and counter-stretch different muscles in a certain order so that you can safely gain more flexibility. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle trying to stretch. So take it slow and the flexibility will come in time.

Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.

bigquotesYoga may sound all hippy dippy and what not, but there are some teachers that can make it a fun experience. -- Jamie Goldman

Hitting the gym. Not the most fun of all things cross training, but can be very rewarding. I am fortunate enough to have a rehabilitation/ training facility here in Bend, Oregon called "Rebound". The guys there make a program for me that focuses on a lot of the small muscles that hardly get used in normal life, everything from balancing activities, to box hops. Box hops are different levels of tall obstacles that you jump on and off of. They help fast twitch muscles in your legs, it would transfer to riding say when you lose your front end in a corner and have to stick your foot out, your foot can likely jam into the ground and injure your knee. But if your fast twitch muscles are trained, this can likely help your chances of riding away clean. They call their training method Pre-Hab. It’s training yourself so that you are less likely to become injured. The gym is great because you can really get your muscle memory working. While your body may be strong and flexible in certain positions, it may not be in others. Working muscles in repetition will ensure those muscles will fire in a clutch situation. If you don't use it, you lose it!

Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.

Another entertaining way for me to cross train is digging. Building trails can be a great get away with friends and also a great workout. First off you’re getting in a bit of a hike. Looking for a sweet spot to build a trail is rather difficult, you want it off the beaten path so you're probably gonna be cruising around for quite a while. Secondly, digging, raking, lifting rocks and stumps are all good things to fire muscles that you may not use just riding. Riding the fruits of your labor is also a pretty cool bonus. Although not the most "defined workout" for muscle memory, it will still help with firing muscles that otherwise wouldn't be worked just by riding, which is the key thought behind cross training for me.

The results from trail building in his own yard - Jamie getting upside down on his trails.

Running. Wow, running. Everyone is different and everyone has different weak points in their body. Although some people may think that running is bad for your knees, I've found that in moderation it can really help with the fast twitch muscles, balance, and it really helps you to focus on breathing. Research at Stanford University has proved that running in moderation can actually reduce your risks of arthritis. My girlfriend and dog are avid long distance runners and I try to get out for a couple miles with them as often as I can.

Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.
Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.
Article photos by Tyler Roemer Photography.

Lastly, get out on your bike. It’s what we all love and now you'll be prepared from your training. Being a professional I have to dedicate myself to being in the best physical health that I can be and I have enough time to do all these things often, but all these things can be done in moderation and will really help you out on the trail. When I'm healthy and training I ride better than any other time. It’s amazing how much longer you will be able to ride and how much energy you will have. I am a big supporter of cross training. Keeping my mind fresh and my body strong makes me feel that much more confidant when I ride. Have fun with it. Don't take it too serious, but get out and do it. You'll thank yourself that you did.

About Jamie:

I'm all about the simple life and keeping it real. I enjoy woodworking, welding, building jumps and stunts, playing the piano, hanging out at the river with friends, evening trail rides, morning jump sessions, yoga, eating and sleeping. I love my girlfriend and my dog, my parents kick ass, and I truly believe that I am a very fortunate person in life. Thanks to everyone who supports what I do. I wouldn't be where, or who I am without all of your help. Cheers, now go ride your bike.

Santa Cruz Bicycles
Monster Energy
SRAM, RockShox, Avid, Truvativ
ENVE Composites
Clif Bar
Lizard Skins
Chris King
Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems
Five Ten
Trick-X Protection

Thanks to Tyler Roemer for the great shots too!

Posted In:


  • 26 2
 3rd pic from the bottom...POD!
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah man... so sick.
  • 3 0
 id say there were 3 photos that could be POD, 3,11 and 12
  • 1 1
 There's alot of dead space on the bottom corner
  • 3 0
 i cant get over that water fall shot. i wanna ride that trail soo bad!!!
  • 4 0
 That's cool, really informative and interesting because I do the majority of these things.

My only question is: Why is Jamie running in skate shoes? In no way can that be good for his feet! (Sorry ex-shoe store employee). I hope that just a staged photo, for his arches and knees sake.
  • 8 0
 I can practise yoga, run, go to gym..., even ride behind a waterfall

but backflip I cannot Frown
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the exact same thing. Especially for someone with knee issues, skate shoes will only stress things more unless Jamie has a pancake flat arch.
  • 1 0
 Don't running shoes give you a unnatural long stride resulting in more knee injurys? I thought that is why some of the best runners in the world train and run barefoot...
  • 4 0
 weird, because today i was thinking when is the mtb world going to see a sick trail shredding edit from mr goldman.and then this pops up tonight, although its not exactly that, but its something. great article
  • 1 0
 Yoga rocks for improving balance. I never do it (to lazy), but my wife does it and I think it is why she is actually better than most of the women she rides with even though she has only done it half as long as most of them and half as often.
  • 1 0
 Rebound physical therapy is the best, they have some of the best trainers there that are super easy to get along with and most of them ride so you both shar the same passion, i was going there after i had back surgery and they had me back riding my bike in 2 months even though my docter said to not ride for 6, not sure if they have any outside of Bend, OR but i highly recommend going to one if you have one in your area.
  • 1 0
 Got a question for some of you guys... I used to love playing soccer and going running up until I broke my ankle biking. Since I broke my ankle my "step" is off and if I'm running it becomes very painful in the ankle that I broke. I know you're not supposed to do it but I change the running style so that the ankle no longer hurts, which ends up making my hips, knees, and shins sore at the end of the run. For any of the guys out there that have had the same thing happen, what do you do? Is there anything I can do apart from re-breaking the ankle to make it go back to normal?

My broken ankle didn't ocur anytime recently either, it hapened almost three years ago now. I'm also a snowboard instructor and spend 6 days a week on snow in the winter time. I have absolutely no ankle pain whatsoever when I'm snowboarding which is interesting because before I broke my ankle, I used to suffer from quite a bit if I spent all day riding.
  • 1 0
 I agree therapy is great but also talk to someone at a running store, they know their stuff so well.
  • 1 0
 Good job on the balance working. But please do yourself a huge saving grace on your feet and back and buy a actual pair a running shoes for running, it will make a world of difference compared to running in skate shoes.
  • 1 0
 I can say that I read every single word in this article..and if it wasn't 3:30am I would be at the gym as well as riding my bike! You're the man, thanks for the tips!
  • 1 0
 Hey Jamie, Thanks for the tips on how to throw nothings! Almost won that comp. But the guy x-uped his back flip and took it. Two tricks beats one. sheet!
  • 1 0
 hahaha may dad gave me a lecture on training today and he basically all the same things. Sounds more convincing from a pro though.
  • 1 0
 Jamie seems like a really well rounded rider, nice article. Also bend is one of my all time favorite spots to ride.
  • 2 1
 the last picture hes is saying "see how cool i look biking by that sweet waterfall".
  • 1 0
 I could add every riding photo to my favourites . Jamie seems just like a chill man to hang around , great article .
  • 1 0
 jamie goldman is one if my favorite bikers, so awesome and real, good job jamie
  • 1 0
 That waterfall pic is a POD for sure. How many times do we get to see the back side of a waterfall from our bike.
  • 1 0
 The water fall is Tumalo Fall, I have riden under it a few time and its super cool!
  • 1 0
 look at that face he's making on the berm slide! hahahah! fuckin pinned!
  • 1 0
 Goldman, your my goddam hero! Can't wait to give you massive love at the Sandy Super D finals on the mic......
  • 1 0
 i guess that hard work pays off when you've got the best indian air in the game!
  • 1 0
 what water fall is that ??
  • 1 0
 does that trail actually go under/behind the waterfall??
  • 1 0
 the cloud in the 4th picture looks like a slipstream coming off the bike!
  • 1 0
 Running in skate shoes..Smile
  • 1 0
 RideOn bro!

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