Video: EWS Pros Face Off in an Isometric Fitness Challenge

Aug 19, 2020
by Jonny Thompson  

This is a big challenge, so if you are untrained or inexperienced please proceed with caution.

We had Elliott Heap and Ant Hale (Nukeproof EWS Pro riders) in the gym for a session before leaving for their European rounds. We wanted to give them something different and challenge their ability in a different way – isometrics. The purpose was to increase their ability to hold positions for their upcoming races, but the result was surprising.

We took a traditional CrossFit workout (Cindy) and added a twist – for each movement we introduced a time holding it. Not only that but we added a dynamic movement in the middle of the holds. Not following? Check it out in simple terms:

For as long as possible:

5 second pull-up hold, 1 pull-up, 5 second pull-up hold

5 second transition/rest

5 second push-up hold, 1 clapping push-up, 5 second push-up hold

5 second transition/rest

10 second squat hold, 1 jumping squat, 10 second squat hold.

Why isometric for this mtb challenge?
Isometric holds are very under trained. They aren’t very “instagram” so we don’t see much of them in the media. But with the correct application, isometric holds can increase muscular endurance and strength massively. Most importantly, for riding, it helps with holding positions for long periods of time. This is especially good for longs days of demanding riding, much like an EWS event.

You don’t have to be an elite rider to benefit from this type of training though, this Elite MTB challenge calls for specific times but if you are a beginner or find this difficult, simply reduce the time or the type of

Visit the rest of our website to view more articles, challenges and programs to help you become a fitter rider - Fit4Racing


  • 52 0
 Gonna watch later with a bottle of Mountain Dew and some Doritos, providing valuable comments as the armchair-professional I am.
  • 21 0
 You can use the geometry of the Dorito as a protractor to ensure their elbows are going past 90 degrees.
  • 1 0
 Gold Medal for you Sir
  • 1 1
 Does a wank count as a workout?
  • 11 0
 I took my shirt off to watch this.
  • 8 0
 I’m pretty keen on my current fitness program; Shit4Racing
  • 2 0
 Sounds great!
  • 4 0
 @fit4racing: Listened to Elliot on Downtime podcast the other day. He was glowing on the gains he's made since working with you. Can't wait to see his results when we get some racing again.
  • 5 0
 @poleczechy Is that the program where you eat a bunch of psyllium husk and then lose 4 lbs after your morning coffee?
  • 4 0
 @Chris-Sasquatch: I'm not going to give away all my secrets... But yes.
  • 9 1
 "I play real sports. Not trying to be the best at exercising"
  • 1 0
  • 2 2
 Typical CF workout: smashing Watts on the assault bike for 3min followed by pushups/squats....hmm sounds like good training for a certain pinkbike sport. Just don’t do the flailing push ups or hands stand walking if you don’t want to.
  • 3 0
 James Wilson would be stoked.
  • 2 0
 Well done guys! The only way for me to find out how tough of a workout this is.... going to have to try it for myself.
  • 1 2
 @fit4racing with a bit of thought, MTB has very little if any isometric work as it is nearly always dynamic (with the exception of mid-section). Just holding the attack position requires constant (small) adjustment as the terrain changes and the rider works the trail features.
  • 3 0
 Dynamic, but small range of motion, and no return to a neutral position (think how often you get to extend your legs to give the quads a breather on a descent), so muscles are continually contracted. Isometric makes sense. Pro moto dudes and mtbers have been doing weighted wall sits for ages after all
  • 1 0
 Okay, so I'm not fit enough to race the EWS yet. Need some more beers and a burrito to console myself.
  • 1 0
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