Video: Erin Huck's Bid for the 2020 Olympic Team Continues in 'Strength - Showing Up'

Mar 3, 2020
by Erin Huck  

If there’s one thing that Erin Huck can teach us all, it’s how to show up. Yes, Erin is a professional cyclist, but she’s also a professional engineering program manager at a medical device company. She’s in a special place among her peers in both careers to lead by example. She’s packing two high-level careers into the same 24 hours, 7 days and 52 weeks that we all have.

bigquotes“Erin came right back in [after the initial healing her injury required] talking about plans for the future; what she wanted to do and what she wanted to accomplish. Honestly, the term gets thrown around, but Grit, just keep showing up, showing up, showing up. She showed up from day one.”Dr. Matthew Smith, DPT REVO Physiotherapy and Sports Performance.

She’s the working woman’s (and man’s) champion. She founds her success in both arenas by showing up. When Erin shows up, she succeeds, and no matter the result that’s an example to us all.

A key process that helps Erin show up is her goal setting. One of Erin’s main goals for her lead up to the 2020 season was to work on her strength in the gym. This goal was partially forced by her ankle injury and the need to rehab, but it quickly went beyond just ‘getting back’. This goal will help her to further ward off similar injury by simply being stronger, more stable and more balanced on her bike.

Yet again, Erin leads by example as these should be universal gym goals for any cyclist, especially, those that are time crunched and forced to spend long hours at a desk and in front of a computer.

So, what does showing up look like?

Photo Credit Allen Krughoff Hardcastle Photography
Photo Credit Allen Krughoff Hardcastle Photography

Photo Credit Allen Krughoff Hardcastle Photography
Front Squats. Photo Credit Allen Krughoff Hardcastle Photography
Single leg deadlifts; single leg Romanian deadlift to overhead press with kettlebell; push up to V-up; and front squat.

Erin shares one of her pre-season strength workouts with us here; note that components of it are illustrated in this episode at the listed time stamps.

A1-Barbell hip thrust ( 4x8 ) at a heavy weight.
A2-Single leg Romanian deadlift to overhead press with a kettlebell (4x8 each side) (0:27 in episode)
B1-Push up/V-up with feet on slider ( 4x12 ) (2:08 in episode)
B2-Strict slow pull ups ( 4x5 )
C1-Single leg kettlebell pass on BOSU (3x8 each side)
C2-Side plank dips (3x12 each side)

Erin showing up. Photo Credit Allen Krughoff Hardcastle Photography

bigquotes“Balancing strength work with on the bike performance does get really tough, especially when you’re at the level of athletics that Erin is. We’re not trying to overload her…. We’re not trying to get her bigger. What we’re trying to do is make sure that she maintains her ideal strength to weight ratio. Meaning, that she’s as efficient as possible [on the bike], so we really try to choose exercises that mimic her bike position.”Dr. Smith
More on Erin's road to Tokyo at:


  • 29 0
 With a name like that you can't lose. Change first name spelling to Air'n...
  • 7 2
 at least not to Annie Last...
  • 2 0
 Jack Reading and Erin Huck would be a great Tinder match it seems.
  • 4 0
 @skidmarkbro: Whatever happened to the DH racer Harry Bush?
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Had issues with scrub brush on the flow trail.......
  • 25 5
 I've got bad news about this olympics thing
  • 9 0
 The IOC - our buddy Dick Pound - is saying it'll be decided end of May. So there's a chance. She's gotta keep working hard until they make the go/no-go call.
  • 3 1
 Yea. UCI is still involved.
  • 10 0
 Always interesting seeing how focused and technical training is for the Pros. Pulling for you Erin!
  • 7 0
 So good to see such a simple and well executed programme. 6 Exercises done with intent and with perfect form. Every exercise is in there for a reason. Good luck Erin.
  • 6 0
 One of my gym rat buddies thinks deadlifts were invented by the devil to cripple your spine. Wait till I tell him I'm going to do single leg deadlifts!
  • 5 4
 Great video, some of my favourite training exercises in there and no 2 leg deadlifts Smile

Balance exercises have to be the bread and butter for bikers. Love doing those single leg exercises on a balance ball to make them harder and you get to see where your weaknesses are.
  • 20 2
 Hey @betsie
I would suggest that doing single leg balance exercises on Bosu balls etc are best reserved for rehab purposes and maybe for a bit of warm up or added fun in sessions. When we add an unstable surface it does not make it more 'bike specific.' All it does is reduce the amount of force we can generate.
What's the aim of training in the gym?
Developing your ability to create more force by growing stronger and more powerful. Unstable surface training reduces the ability to do this.
Cheers dude
  • 6 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: where are you when social misledia shitwars are waging over here... every single legitimate coach says what you just said, but you just can't blow through Ninos and even worse... Kate Courtney videos... you just can't make people unsee it

If I may, since you are a legitimate coach working with Olympians: is there any relation between how hard can one go with plyometrics (like box jumps) and level of strength/mobility? (off course considering someone doing them is not an idiot and won't fall on their back after unrealistically high attempt) I have seen a study where they say to limit the eccentric part until one reaches certain strength levels like 2xBW on squat. Or is it just a matter of a warm up?
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: hey dude. I totally agree that the Nino and KC videos have a lot to answer for. Nino at least was always very open that the crazy training that blew up the internet was an 'unusual' training session. It certainly grabbed my attention!
As for KC, she seems to get up to some bonkers stuff like the platform that shoots up and down and juggling plates on bouncy balls. Whilst it is hard to argue with her results and Rainbow Stripes I think it's a load of nonsense and that she wins in spite of that training. Just my opinion though. I just don't know how a coach can justify the risk to a world class athlete of standing on a ball juggling plates when there is probably no discernible training benefit from it.
Wish I did have Olympic athletes - not yet! Maybe one day.
Not sure I understand your box jump questions though, sorry?
  • 2 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: is there anything one should worry before going all out with plyometric exercise, particularly a kind where eccentric part is quite big? Like going deep in eccentric phase, landing off box and jumping up again?

Or what would you say about Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe) system of doing everything on one session just in different dosage, depending on a day? like 3 target weight sets of squats, one DL, 3 sets of bench? On another day: 1set of sq, 3 DL, 3BRow - Some strength coaches actually stray away from that and do one compound movement per session and advise against suppersetting heavy lifting completely.
  • 3 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: Thanks for pointing this out. I think people by default assume that if something is more difficult (like standing on a wobbly ball) that it must be a better workout. These things can be helpful to work on stability, balance, core, etc but they should be a supplement to the regular workout. They should in no way replace your main lifts which should be done for the most part with 2 feet on stable ground.
  • 1 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: "Platform that shoots up" -> it seems like that is just plyometrics training - is it not?

On another note, I have had the same conversation with a number of strength coaches regarding Bosu balls, etc, and that it is really hard to argue with the results because it sure does seem like most elite athletes use them. The only argument that I can see you could get from them is being able to increase the overall tension across your body, which does increase your strength output (conjecture on the Bosu effect, but true on strength/tension based on Pavel "The Naked Warrior").
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: It seems like you are doing some sort of variable overloading instead of a progressive overloading or a step overloading programming. I have done all three and find progressive overloading the easiest for me to maintain while getting the best benefits from. Variable overloading seems ideal if you can keep up the routine and be _very_ consistent.
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: I am not doing it again. Going with JTS now. Rippetoes fives with 5lbs every week with little if any respect to RPE seems ridiculous to me now and even ex SS guys, now BBM criticized it.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Yea, that program is very unmaintainable in the long run. You can't just keep adding 5lbs every week - I have gone through it and pushed myself beyond what I should have. 5 lbs adds up quicker than you might think! But again, that is just step loading and with a bad idea of being able to add x lbs every so many days and not even playing with reps or anything - just a very naive program. I am not personally a huge fan of JRE, but Pavel's last interview there was pretty good talking about how to go about loading in a smart way. If you haven't listened to that, I definitely would. JTS just seems like a play on progressive overloading. I am curious how that 1 month of doing "maximal intensity" works - that is a long time for trying to put in max reps, usually 2 weeks seems like the sweet spot for that.
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: JTS seems like it gives the body more time to recover. I did listen to Pavel. I tried the approach he mentioned and it is very interesting but unfortunately my joints decided to flame up again, I have to figure out wtf is going on.
  • 1 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: I just assumed that these silly workouts are the only way smart engaged people can slog through workouts day after day after day. It's not as effective at building absolute strength, but it spices it up considerably, keeps your mind active, and ultimately allows the athlete to train at a high level without burnout resulting in a net gain overall.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Rippetoe undeniably knows his shit and I have read quite a lot of his stuff. Having said that, any programme is simply a tool. That programme may work very well for one person in one circumstance and be totally unsuitable for another.
You always need to ask WHY am I doing this programme? What am I trying to improve?
Will this approach move me closer to my goals?
That particular version seems very powerlifting focused and I would be wary of any sports development programme that neglects single leg work.

As for plyo, the key is to have a foundation of strength first and, perhaps more importantly, sound movement skills so that when you apply force in an explosive or reactive manner you can maintain good (safe) body positions.
In true plyo exercise you don't go deep into the eccentric part of the movement. Instead you use the elasticity and stiffness of your muscle and tissue to transfer the energy in a different direction. Think skipping (jump rope for Americans).
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: I'm talking about that strange contraption at the performance centre. Nothing plyo about it, just a lot of leg burn!

I disagree that most elite athletes use them. Possibly a higher ratio of top athletes in more action sports type sports but not across the broader range of sports.
Naked Warrior is a great book too.
  • 3 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: thanks! I talked with two World Cup BMXers they both do only few reps of plyo not even close to fatigue, exactly in line with Tsatsoulin and Thibaudeau. I didn’t question Rips coaching, just Seemingly awkward programming. Cheers!
  • 4 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: thanks for your comment.
I am not a personal trainer by any means but have trained for various things for around 30 years and was coached in several sports as a youngster including riding, badminton, running. My old riding coach won a world title last year in the velodrome ad still coaches now! I have been on camps with Roache, Liggot etc too as a youngster and hand input from their coaches for when they were right up on the GC in the TDF.

I do combine balance into strength, especially for when fatigued on 6 to 8 exercise, 5 set supersets. Balance with strength and coordination is best done when fatigued, especially that set 4 and 5. You gotta be dying on set 4 and gone by set 5 to get the best out of it (its interesting if you time sets how long set 1 takes compared to set 5), then rest and go heavy for small reps to hit a fatigued muscle. The recovery for the heavy set is what I like to know. I used to do a 10,10,20,10 turbo session before the gym but that takes very strict diet and recovery to be able to do twice a week with 2 other gym sessions, and normally 2 nights of competitive badminton in there.

Nino uses similar exercises to promote balance and balance/concentration under fatigue. These just make complete sense, why you wouldn't do them is completely beyond me and a massive training gap if not done.

My goal is to remain at a decent level just now for my riding, family, cost and distance to races means I am just sustaining mostly at the moment as well as recovering a damaged shoulder.
If I train fully for Dh racing I will increase the intensity before the balance exercise to make them more effective and build them into supersets.
Riding a bike is massively about balance, you can replicate riding very well by using a bosu (I actually use a bosu without the flat part on it to make it harder), this is about as good as you can get, the ground is not constant or level when you ride. Another good one is to do trice push downs on a balance plate, this lets you see your dominant side and where your weakness is, you will just spin initially but as your core stability/memory muscle gets better you will stop spinning around and be able to do relatively heavy pushdowns. (well worth trying and gives so much away in a simple exercise).
I am known as a smooth rider and when training properly I can get close to 5minutes flat down Fort William for example which isnt bad for 45. (Only Peaty has been faster over 40 I think).
I saw a recent video from a trainer talking about pacing for a DH run and not getting tired which shouldn't really be a big issue as most runs are short, recovery from practice to race day is critical at regional level to be fully up to speed from a Saturday and not fatigued on the Sunday. (remember a certain enduro racer winning a dh race due to being fit enough to complete a run at full pace a couple of years back...).
Training for racing shares a lot with other sports. Take martial arts... train harder and train muscle memory. Well there is no muscle memory in a stable surface, we are not racing down a road are we? Saying that, when I was coached for road way back when we did much of what a certain trainer does now for a few WC racers and EWS racers, that was back in 1988 to 1990ish! Used to hate it as a junior. Lol.

I didn't follow Nino, I was doing similar things before Nino put up his videos. They are just common sense to me.

I did try deadlifts at one point, being an engineer and I track setup and training v performance, when my performance dropped off I removed deadlifts and after a few weeks... wow, the performance was back, everyone is different and without tracking change v performance you cant assess the needs for a person.
Tracking the benefits of diet, sleep, rest, training, bike setup etc. is just a fun thing to do.

I could go on, but when training fully I let my results speak for how my training works for me.

Thinking about racing some Enduros this year, now that needs much harder training than Dh. As much as I love the turbo (not) I am not sure I could face the intervals required to be competitive on the flatter tracks for Enduro, even in Scotland (I did borrow a bike a couple of years back and somehow sneak the win on the day but it was brutally hard as my biking CV recovery was not good enough for one of the stages at Laggan and had to rely on the technical stages)
  • 1 2
 @betsie: you have no insight into what Nino does, you saw a short clip. There’s much more to it than what can be filmed. Just like Jolanda Neff doesn’t rely on Yoga with her mom or Aaron Gwin & Eli Tomac weren’t really doing Too much of rotator cuff wrecking stuff their former coach Ryan Hughes was doing. You are not getting the concept of balance (squat requires one sort of balance, so does bulgarian split squat, standing on a rope, bosu ball or riding a bike up a hill or through a vicious rock garden) It doesn’t mean they are translateable. But we definitely come to similar results with different methods. Especially we amateurs... but also top riders Just look at bloody Chris Akrigg who told me in Q&A he never trained in the gym, bloke demolished some track cyclists on some events. Lookat Ratboy if anybody needs any proof of how worthless gym can be... how skill based sports are skill dominant. Accurate Exercise choice and specificity doesn’t guarantee success... As James Wilson told me (my sweet guru genius which I base on his program) , the only sure thing is: MTB has high risk of injury amd there’s nothing dumber than wrecking yourself in the gym when trying to decrease chance of injury. I have personally witnessed it first hand last year... I am however aware of what is happening to my body with passing of time hence I’ll be fighting for these type 2 muscles
  • 2 0
 @betsie: cheers mate. I guess we will agree to disagree on this one. That's the great thing about training, is that there are many ways to skin a cat.

As for balance, I am really not convinced that balancing on a Bosu etc transfers to anything else except balancing on a Bosu or other wobbly surface. Last time I checked, although moving, my pedals are actually pretty stable under my feet.
  • 3 0
 @betsie: Just to say that, as an engineering student, I'm really happy and surprised to see that it's possible to manage an engineering carreer with a lot of training and sports even at 45 years old, that's really cool. I was wondering if I'll be able to keep training as hard when I'll be working, seems it's possible! Cheers
  • 2 1
 Last I checked peoples bikes are on dirt and rocks which is not a stable surface. your pendals may be attached to the bike but you want to get the bike to the limit of grip and this is where instability comes from (common sense really). You can ride a bike no handed as you can steer with your core, the same goes for riding, so coordination and core stability are critical, that moving, slightly unpredictable surface below you means muscle memory is key. So do some training unbalanced, do power and strength but not so you become an "empty vessel".

Chris Akrigg is a machine WAKI, a bit like you on on the keyboard but he is on the bike.
Does he train... yes, of course he does, its called repetition and his job for him and he can slay a trail too as a bit like Danny Mac he has exceptional balance and bike control. But... when one of Dannys best pals turned up to a Dh race, who is also an exceptional rider, he was 14s of the winner in Masters. I pottered down in vets and was still well up on him (I pottered as my competition for Champs had smashed himself on the Saturday and was very broken at home, which sucked as he was in for World masters and is normally a podium top 3 rider in his category).
Chris Akrigg was 10th in his last Enduro race in Vets in 2019, he was 1 minute 5 seconds off the pace! Personally I would have been aiming for 1st in that race, but I cant do trials to save myself Wink

Waki, you have not raced so no idea where you actually sit when it comes to a race.
  • 1 1
 @betsie: nobody argues with your body not being in tune with deadlifts it's perfectly possible, but science is rather fixed on this balance thing and how translatable bosu ball is to anything else. If you want to learn more about exercise selection please check out these folks, I don't feel like butchering their work

Dr Andy Galpin.
longer version:

A bit on stability:
James Wilson

Since you don't have a defined goal and parameters (you just want to feel strong on your bike throughout X race) it is impossible to argue whatever training regimen is better. I may as well pick up Tai Chi and argue with you it's merits
  • 1 1
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: lulz. Have fun avoiding injury when you have all strength and zero stability/agility.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: I'm not rising to the bait. Enjoy your training.....
  • 1 0
 @betsie: Obviously you are fully on board with this approach and it works for you. We are all individuals and whether it is some physical mechanism or whether it's all in your head, your process works for you and you seem like a legit rider. In which case carry on doing what you do.
I really do have an open mind and who knows..... In 5 years I might change my mind.
But for now, despite it appearing to be 'common sense' at the surface level I really disagree and I think we are stuck.
Hope you have a rad season and that your training goes well.
  • 1 0
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: there is no bait. Erin specifically says in the video towards the end that she is focusing on balance and her core. Professional athletes have to put in a huge amount of volume in training and racing, and stay injury free so they don't loose their sponsors. Any decent PT can tell you this.
  • 1 1
 @clink83: please develop further what you mean by balance and core so that we can find common language? Low bar squat is an exercise that conditions core muscles and requires good balance... just like overhead squat on a bosu ball... or BMX gate start. Or are you trying to say that XC athletes should focus on exercises performed on unstable surface like Functional Movement influencers show on their youtube and instagram? What makes you think Erins routine does not involve exercises promoting agility? I did not see her training log for 6 months prior to the season? Have you? With agility, Do you mean variations of plyometric exercises, like side steps? Honestly, can you Bosu folks define what you mean by balance and stability, because pretty much each exercise that does not end with falling on the floor trains one of hundred forms of balance. Like track stand. Or back wheel hopping, riding skinnies. Can you point me to athletes who according to you perform exemplary training regime?
  • 1 2
 @clink83: to elaborate further I did not see Erin perform a typical core routine: side planks, twists, she didn't do a single crunch in that video, neither she did faced down upper body raises - can you point me to a video where Kate Courtney performs core routine? is it this boxing thing? Do you do that too? It was on gym fails, this is how I learned about this beneficial breakthrough exercise, possibly stolen from Chinese Olympic team. Or simply: is training on a bosu ball something like CBD oil - it solves everything? Or does Erin need to add meditation?
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns:" I would suggest that doing single leg balance exercises on Bosu balls etc are best reserved for rehab purposes and maybe for a bit of warm up or added fun in sessions. When we add an unstable surface it does not make it more 'bike specific.' "
Stay on topic dude. You do single leg excersize on body balls so when you're on the last lap of a race and going full gas through a rock garden you have some stabilizing muscles in reserve to keep you from crashing. Pro roadies have similar w/kg values as XC racers, they don't have a more muscular physique to be faster.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: remember when Kate won the worldd championship against langvaad because she passed her on the final tech climb? Yea...
  • 2 3
 @clink83: Stabilizing muscles for the last part of the race - that's absolute, completely unprovable horse shit. you should start a youtube channel or be special guest to Vshred.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: This is complete nonsense. When you are completely gassed at the end of a race trying to power through a rock garden its not your ankles that are going to give out (which is all that you really work by standing on a ball). The failure will come mostly from your quads, glutes, hamstrings, & lower back. These muscles tiring are what will cause bad form and bad riding position and lead to crashes. Training to develop and strengthen these muscles will provide the most benefit. And the most efficient way to train these muscles is on a stable surface.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: all the muscles in the kinetic chain are important...ankle, hips, core, shoulders. Again, basic concepts any PT can tell you that.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: Out of all you listed, Ankle stability is probably the lowest on that list. Your ankle muscles are worked during almost every other movement or exercise you ever do while on your feet. Just standing and walking around works your ankle stability. There is no need to work that specifically at the expense of those other larger more important muscles. If you want to waste your time standing on a ball go ahead. I really don't care what you do. But if you are going to post this nonsense in a public forum where someone might actually take your advice and then waste their time, I'll continue to call it out.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: if you're doing a 2 min DH run I agree with you. If you're doing the training load for endurance sports it does matter. In a race if you're calves and hip stabilizers are being overused trying to compensate for imbalances you're average power will drop, and in an oh shit moment you will have less in reserve to keep yourself in balance. In the long term overusing those muscles will cause them to become fibrotic and nonfunctional, causing overuse injuries.
  • 2 0
"A significant decrease (30.0–43.3%) in peak torque, totalwork, average power, maximal repetition total work, andaverage peak torque was demonstrated after the core fatigue workout, confirming the effect of the core fatigue workout to induce fatigue. "
"As identified in this study, disruption of core stability resulted in greater total frontal plane knee motion and altered the cyclical, aero-dynamic position of knees near the top tube with a great-er valgus positioning toward the top tube. The subjects also displayed a combination of greater total sagittal plane knee motion and total sagittal plane ankle motion.The adopted sagittal plane knee motion pattern could have been a compensatory adaptation as a result of ankling to increase the leverage of the foot against the pedal. The lack of core stability might amplify the influence of the other factors (strength imbalances, flexibility defi-cits, heavy gear selection, large accumulation of miles)that are known to contribute to knee pathology (4), particularly as cyclists continue to ride for durations of several hours with altered mechanics of the lower extremity"
You are so full of yourself (and shit) that its amusing. A 30-40% reduction in power is a huge loss. The hips and shoulders are unstable joints, and their ability to produce power and protect themselves is largely due to "core strength".
  • 1 1
 @clink83: pfff and your way to train “core strength” is standing on a rubber ball? Who questions Importance core strength?! I even wrote you that low bar squat (like every squat, overhead squat in particular) requires a lot of core strength, thus conditions core muscles (makes them stronger) even bench press requires core strength! You should even tighten... pfhhhyhyy Smile ... sorry... let me speak in “functional” training terms... you should activate your glutes when pressing. There is no sport or even job in the world that does not benefit from increasing core strength. For instance one of components of core strength is back strength. This is where we get to the deadlift.

Have you heard of caliesthenics? A fancy word for gymnastics - the fundamental caliesthenics moves like pull up variations, L-sit, push up variations, flag, plank variations, effectively increase core strength.

Please do some research on hip thrust... or squat or vertical jump. Or other components of athletic performance. Specificity is still a blurry concept for you. Anyhoo if you want a broad range of components if athletic performance instead of focusing on how to justify shennenigans tgat Jate Courtney is put through, follow this account. Please observe: they add references to research Papers:

And then the apprentice asked the master...
- coach? When do we train the core?
- all the time
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: none of those excersize are going to strengthen your periformis, TFL, gluten medius, or any of the lateral stabilizing muscles in the legs. You don't build 3d stability doing 2d 3xcersizes, and you don't refute peer reviewed science with YouTube videos.
  • 1 1
 @clink83: yes that is why people train gluteUS medius and piriformis using various exercises in prehab phase of training and later if minimal maintenance afterwards. Please don’t forget psoas and hip abductors. If you want I can recite a list of exercises which are effective for conditioning these muscles which I learned by watching hours of youtube videos and reading thousands of words on the subject, maybe because I kind of have piriformis syndrome ATM... none of these exercises involve a f*cking ball. 3D exercises... effective squatting, effective unilateral exercises (like Bulgarian squat, single leg squat, single leg deadlift, pistol squat), particularly Olympic lifts all require proficient mobility and stability. You just don’t do 10 pistol squats without good piriformis, medius, psoas and all that, you just don’t. You will waste more energy wobbling around than oushing with your leg and for the record pistol squat requires not much more strength (if any more strength) than bulgarian split squat. You won’t do single leg deadlifts with poor hip stability, without wrecking your knee. You are talking about prerequisites to strength training! And single leg exercises come late in it because you cannot train strength with unilateral exercises as well as with bilateral. Unilateral exercise is a way to teach nervous system to utilize strength gained in strength conditioning phase in single leg application. Like pedaling a bike. And here again, there are many exercises to do this (of which many I mentioned) and none of them involves an unstable surface!

You are so core oriented, yet you don’t mention lats, musculature around scapulas in general, shoulder health and Stability.

I am not questioning science, I am doing my best at quoting it using broadest possible scope, not cherrypicking some stuff which only proves what everyone is telling you!

Please follow Dr Andy Galpin and Jeff Cavaliere on Athlean X...
  • 1 2
 @clink83: finally you are assuming Erins piriformis or medius are underperforming... I don’t see any knee valgus nor varus during her single leg DL... your average PT deals with folks who have fundamental issues and Langvad is worthless in anything else but pushing on pedals, so no wonder Kate took her over anywhere outside of long flat section
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: right, pretty much all the top pros in XC are all doing balance drills on unstable platforms for agility/stability reasons, all the peer reviewed science agrees with it, and yet the cross fit bros on pinkbike who are lucky to ride 4 hours/ week are the experts who knows what works. It's like all you yahoos who say bike fit doesn't matter in XC, while the pros post pictures of themselves working on their fit in the off-season. Verbal diarrhea doesn't change that what most of the pros in XC is evidence-based, and most pinkbikers aren't.
  • 3 0
 I can also add that if you do a clean and press on a CFT machine (I have one in my home gym) rather than a straight bar (I have that too in my home gym) you realise which side you bias too and can work on resolving the inbalance.

Keep your mind open guys and try some alternatives, they pay massive dividends on the trail Smile

Just uploaded a video that should have taken Henry Kerrs KOM on one of my locals that he stole from me by 2 seconds with a wild run but my Strava screwed up and gave me a different trail. Grrr. Henry is a local to here.
  • 1 1
 @clink83: what do you think they are doing on those unstable platforms, what are you even arguing? Show me that peer reviewed science? You showed some research about core strength, how are these related directly?! I gave you a perfectly legitimate answer. How do you relate that to balance on climbs? And why do you mention XC riders? Show me the spread sheets of top XC riders and we will see how much unstable surface training they do. You won’t, you just found some awkward way to train felt woke and want to find arguments for it. Not only that you are an. XC enthusiast coming here thinking you are above everyone else.

Where’s that science? Where is: Elite XC racers use training on unstable ground as base of their balance/ agility training and training on unstable ground is the most effective way of developing stability and agility? What’s the role of balance and agility in the gym vs balance and agility on the bike? Do you even know which muscles, which types of muscles are predominantly used when riding a bike? And how to condition them?

Because all you have bro is two videos one with Nino and one with Kate, then a few insta posts of theirs. Where is the rest of XC racers? Did you miss video of Jolanda Neff doing skills drills? She’s better than Kate skill wise, does she do more bosu ball?

You may quit now, anybody with basic knowledge can see through your wish to really know what’s going on in “your” area of “expertise”
  • 1 1
 @betsie: clean requires lot of prep, you have to be good at front squatting, deadlifting, have good range of movement almost everwhere, ankles, shoulders, hamstrings, thoracic spine and what not, then it requires plenty of time to work on technique. Press done incorrectly is one of the best tickets to shoulder injury and time off the bike. To put it simply, you can’t just tell someone to just do cleans. Unless you are in a crossfit class where bad form is the norm. What weight are you moving for press and clean? what is your height, body weight?
  • 2 0
I think you need to replace Claudio and do some WC previews (I say VDS) to put your keyboard skills and extensive knowledge of everything and what must be phenomenal riding to the public, we are missing out, or are you secretly AP?
I am pretty sure that people on PB would happily contribute to see you there and see you do that course preview. There should be a lottery for the other rider you follow/get followed by, it would make a fair few bob for Pinkbike.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: @WAKIdesigns: I was a wildland firefighter in the United States through most of my 20s..aka a professional athlete, which required a ton of time with physical therapists. I was also a runner before I got into XC racing. I also have a bachelor's degree in biology and am 2 months away from a bachelor's in nursing. I've had my feet in science and endurance sports for almost 20 years. Anyone with half a brain knows instability excersizes are key for endurance racers, and it's been heavily studied:
  • 2 0
Oh hey, football players and soccer players doing the exact same types of drills...why would they be doing that if you only need to lift heavy weights?
  • 1 0
 @clink83: I clicked on the first link you provided and the conclusion of the study was:


“Resistance training in an unstable environment at an intensity sufficient to elicit strength gains of the prime movers results in deleterious effects in concentric squat kinetics and squat technique. Such observations are particularly evident on very unstable platforms”

So why exactly would I ever want to do my squats on a stupid ball instead of stable ground?
  • 2 0
 Because the purpose of squats for endurance athletes isnt to do squats well? XC racers dont lift weights in races. The forces in DH skiing are incredibly high compared to mountain biking, and those athletes are still doing balance drills on bosu balls and other soft surfaces.

BoSu BaLlS ArE a WaSte Of TiMe
  • 2 0
 Last I checked Julian Absalon was still the most winningest XC racer, he likes Bosu balls too.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: thank you I will definitely check that out.
  • 1 1
 @betsie: I told you some facts about doing olympic lifting, clean and jerk/ press then asked you what weight you are moving since unlike most exercises, form is directly related to how much you can lift. Telling someone to do cleans instead of deadlifts is ridiculous since clean starts with deadlift, then proceeds to front squat... Then to press...
  • 1 1
 @clink83: SO let's get to the study you posted.

Bloke took a few folks told them to show him their 10rep max on stable ground. Then took 40% of that 10rep max and told them to take this load and perform it on unstable platform and on stable ground and drew comclusions from there.

That's fair. What isn't is that training at 40% of your RM max is not an effective way to increase strength or power, not even speed! (do you know components of training cycle? Prehab>Strength>Power>Speed>Maintenance?) Normally you want to work within 70-85% of your 1RM max in strength phase in 3-10rep range - not of your 10RM max. If you want I can provide you with papers for that. Then comes power phase and lods of other shennenigans, additional specificity like unilateral may be added. Can you please show me someone who does plyometric training on bosu ball? I want to see that! Can you show me someone doing snatch on bosu ball? can you show me a freaking box jump from bosuball - hey! Why won't you jump from a balance platform onto a bosuball? It must be better isn't it?

You literally just gave me a paper where it is stated obviously that people took 20-45kg barbells! Thery were training with virtually empty barbells! Can you point me to a football athlete doing squats with less than 100kg on their bar? Can you point me to an athlete doing squats on a bosuball with 100kg on their back?

Again, there is a video which explains this very well that exact relation between training on stable ground and unstable by an actual world renowned coach:

you are mixing prehab with strength training. Folks, including me use bosuballs - not for increaseing strength! Just to move a bit in a different way. I end here. Please don't advise anyone with anything.
  • 1 1
 @clink83: to make sure we are speaking about same thing:
I am not postulating that EVERY training on unstable surface is a waste of time.
I am fine with the notion and use it myself that training on unstable surface is a COMPLIMENTARY work one can use in his training regime (none of the videos we spoke about shows it as the FOUNDATION of strength training of these athletes, which @betsie SEEMS to postulate to be the way)
Training on stable ground is the foundation of vast majority of training regime of successful athletes of all sorts. Strength is best developed on stable ground. Nobody who earns money on highly developed sport, trains strength, and definitely power and especially speed on unstable surface because you are incapable of exerting max available strength and power when standing on an unstable surface, thus you cannot increase your power and strength to any significant levels in any efficient manner. Every elite footballer can squat 2BW and DL 2,5BW RMax (BW being Lean Body mass!) it is the base level. That is a NOVICE powerlifter level. Nobody tells endurance athletes to train to ADVANCED powerlifter levels that is 2.5BW + which for Nino would be like 200kg back squat. NOBODY postulates that! With their nutrition schedule it is virtually impossible to reach that level.

I still think ai am talking to someone who has no fkng clue sorry... please do ball jumps. land on the ball not on the box. one leg.

Period of periods.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: let's do power press then.
Omg you are stuck in the 60s when we had 5 exercises.
You best go watch some les mills. More people in normal life do that than pretty much anything else. But les mills will have it wrong too as its ot what waking says.

Back to replacing Claudio... come on, let's see what you have got as you are the training expert you must be pinned... come on, I am calling you out. Its the best thing about riding. Keyboard warriors dont count on the trails. Wink
  • 1 1
 @betsie: 5 exercises? Who were? Not me - there are 10 exercises per day on my spread sheet, no more than 3 of them repeat through the day, that gives at least 20 unique exercises, then I have at least 5 per warm up, then I roll... how many do you have on yours? What is power press? Military press? overhead press? - great exercise, if you know how to not wreck your rotator cuff with it. I do only 3x5x50kg on it on wednesdays.
Why do you cleans on stable ground? Why do you get intimidated? What the hell is Les Mills? How Insane Is This? Why are you bringing it up now? Why didn't you say: "I do stuff from Les MIlls. I signed up to this church". HIIT - Tabatha, corssfit, circuit trainnig - whatever. makes sense depending on application. Perfect sense for MTB as long as you keep the form. I hope you don't condone doing cleans when gassing out.

BTW this is not clean, this is some bullshit.

(can I laugh now? Do yuo do body pump and argue with Olympic coach?!)

This is clean, you can learn something:

If you are not moving at least 75% of your body weight on 1RM you are not doing clean. You are doing some instagrammable BS for millenials. And your self confidence when arguing iwth Olympic coach would lead me to think you are cleaning at least 1.5BW RM.
  • 1 1
 @betsie: also please... most MTBers do some form of HIIT, especially getting close or during the season... also HIIT is baiscaly a high rep variation of 5 classic exercises... Just not sure why one needs extensive use of bosu ball for it to get the fatigue state conditioning... i do burpees too (after I warm up my joints and never to fatigue not keen on throwing myself into eccentric loading of elbows too early in the workout)

I do burpees! why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends!

Sorry I will still laugh hahahahahahah
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: you not written to Redbull yet to do the course preview with all this training and knowledge you have... come on... step up Smile

I love that you have bashed most athletic training as useless and grunting empty vessel training as the way ahead. You crack me up, you are entertainment that is for sure.

Most do Hiit, so you know most of them do you?
You have taken this so off topic its unreal.

"Great video, some of my favourite training exercises in there and no 2 leg deadlifts "

is what I said, now get back on topic.

Balance is very very important.

When it comes to going racing, sharpness is the single most important thing to do, you dont win the race in the gym you win it on the track.

Remind me... how many races have you done over how many years?
  • 1 1
 @betsie: I bashed most athletic training? f*cking Body Pump?! I did not realize we are so far apart, too bad it is you who is detached from reality.

As I said i do fatigue state training late in the training cycle when proper season is about to start. On stable ground...

This was the most worthless exchange about training I have ever read. f*cking body pump disciple... holy shit... holy f*cking shit... no surprise you speed up your POV.
  • 2 0
Read the thread, I am not detached at all.
I guess you tried body pump and it ruined you. Its hard if you pick up weights that are too heavy, great for MTB too.

haha, one of my pals says I speed up my POV too. No idea how to do that, I just go fast Smile
  • 1 1
 @betsie: i completely failed at communicating with you... "body pump" whatever you call it is a part of every MTBers routine. A part... not foundation... did you ever see a training program?

Cycle 2: Strength development:
Warm up: jumping jacks, hydrants, side leg raises, side leg holds, side plank etc.
Prehab: X2 hip thrust x10, banded pull aparts hor/vert x10 - foam rolling
Power circuit X3 : Box jumps no drop x5 / plyo push ups x10 / ball slams x5 3min rest between each set
Strength: Low Bar Squat warm up > target weight 3x5 3 min rest
Circuit 1 stability X2: floor uni press with KB held up X10 (RPE6-Cool / split squat X10 (RPE 6-Cool
Circuit 2 stability X2: push up / side cable pull holds 3x10sec / wall slides x5

Spinning 10min high cadence low resistance / foam rolling

In Power phase squat will be replaced with Clean, stability circuits with ... Body pump... Crossfit... whatever you want to call it. Box jumps with drop, more ofcus on less load and higher explosiveness...

In speed phase(cycle) even more focus on bar speed/ higher rep with heavy liftin ONLY as maintenance.
  • 1 0
You have failed fundamentally to understand what I wrote in my original comment and have gone completely off topic. You aint even on the same page mate, you just want to spout other stuff.

I have seen a training program, yes, had the chance to set one too but turned it down Wink
I would train them too hard. Effort in the gym (in the right areas) brings results on the bike.

Stop getting off topic. OMG, you are some boy.

Thanks for saying my footage is sped up, thats the speed I ride at, did you like my controlled comment after the 8 to 10ft to flat drop, that is blind and near impossible to get perfect (I did the run before but forgot to start the gorpo, the light was gone and flat for the gopro run I put up as it was after sunset), my good balance saved me from going off the grass on the right and losing some speed.

I have a goal BTW, its my goal though and for me.
  • 1 1
 @betsie: "BALANCE EXERCISES ARE GREAT AND CRITICAL TO BEST BIKE PERFORMANCE" - what balance exercises?! data? There's plenty of data on compound movements, plyometrics PLENTY. on bosu balls ZERO.

f*ck, discussion with Protour was more fruitful... holy shit... Bosu Balls and Body Pump holy f*cking shit.
  • 2 0
Clink83 already provided you with data.
The only data that matters in racing is the result.

Maybe I am just good (no I am not, I just train right) and my results dont count in my category, how are your results?

I dont just do balance that would be crazy, of course I do weights too, especially fatigued balance is a must. Benchmark your riding, introduce balance exercises for 1 month then take a new reading. Thats real relevant data to you. Everything else is just waffle.

We are talking about racing here BTW. That is what this is about. Where results are key, Clink83 gave you lots of examples but as usual you chose to back yourself into a corner and not accept that you may have missed something.

Introduce balance as part of your routine, find your weaknesses and work on them and be amazed how they translate into real world bike improvements.
  • 9 8
 What is this 'example to us all' bs. Not taking anything away from Erin and rightly big her up but why backhand belittle the rest of us by implying we are not good enough. I am not like Erin and will never be like her, but I do MY best. I feel lucky and privileged to just ride my bike and do the other things I love, but at the same time I feel guilt for taking time for myself away from my family. I don't need some bs telling me that when I do that, I'm not doing it well enough or commiting to it enough. At least, I hope it's clear that I do not like the tone of this piece.
  • 6 2
 Kernel of truth in this. Add two kids and the 'examples to us all' need to be recalibrated for realism. I sometimes wish "all" I had to do was go to work, and train to win bike races. (leaving aside the inadequate genetics or morphology). The write-up didn't bother me though. Remember its coming from Boulder CO which has quite a reality-distortion field when it comes to athletic achievement.
  • 4 2
 Dude, it’s not about you. Erin is professional athlete.

Go have a beer and try to relax, be happy about what you are, don’t worry about what you’re not.
  • 1 1
 @nurseben: of course it's a dude posting too
  • 3 0
 Great video. Lot's of good clips, good form.
  • 3 0
 What a great name for biking.
  • 3 0
 Get some Erin! Rooting for you girl.
  • 2 0
 Who's going to have to break the news here....
  • 2 0
 To be at that fitness level. . .
  • 2 2
 Only takes work and dedication [and time] on your part!
  • 2 0
 That one-leg shenanigans looks brutal.
  • 1 0
 If her nickname isn't "f*ckin" then we are missing a huge opportunity here.
  • 4 3
 The media is overblowing the virus thing. They just want your clicks.
  • 2 9
flag redsled137 (Mar 3, 2020 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 And they are trying to crash the world economy so they can blame Trump.
  • 2 0
 Send the best!
  • 1 0
 Huck to flat Erin was her name. Jumping was her game.
  • 1 0
 Oh the pain... the pain. –Dr. Smith
  • 1 0
 From experience, one-legged box jumps are HARD.
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