Jesse Melamed got some new training tools to play with! He checked in with me, his performance Physiotherapist, Aaron Dobie, to ensure he has his technique perfect. Take a back seat to see what a Zoom tele-physio appointment looks like.
Jesse also discussed the changes to his life and training since the COVID-19 pandemic.How his training is going during the pandemic:
I feel like I usually have a pretty good balance in training, but the one thing that is consistent year-round is going to the gym for my strength training. Not being able to do that has been the biggest change in my training. When the pandemic started, I decided to work on something new so I bought some kettlebells and have been learning to use them. I have base knowledge from my off-season training programs with Dobie but I wanted to learn more. I love the balance of skill, coordination and strength required! On whether he's training at home every day:
Not quite, very much just going with the flow. I love to exercise, so I’m not worried about an extended period of inactivity. I am still able to ride my bike but I have been leaving that for soul riding and fun. So my true training is done swinging the KB’s and on Zwift, but it has been reigned in a bit. My aim is consistency for the (un)foreseeable future. What his weekly schedule looks like and how it has changed:
I told Dobie explicitly that I did not want a strict program during the pandemic that would cause me stress by being required to follow it exactly. I have weekly training and life objectives that I tick off as I see fit based on my day and how I feel.
I started going for gravel rides and doing some yoga. It took a few weeks but eventually the fire to suffer and work hard came back. I’m trying to keep that consistent now, never pushing beyond my limit and listening to my body a lot more than usual. I’d say I’m on Zwift at least once a week, outside riding 3-4 times a week and then trying to get 3 KB workouts a week.
Once we have an accurate idea of when our first race will be, I will start adding structure. I am sure there will be lots of warning.How he's been staying motivated with an uncertain future and not knowing when the next race is:
Honestly, it was really hard for me at first. I felt like I lost sight of my goal and with that, who I was as a person. Sounds deep, but that is where I was.
It was great for some reflection though, I realized that I am very goal-driven and able to stay motivated and determined because I set my sights on something. Currently, I have decided to do the best that I can and enjoy the process of goals more. The KB’s are a huge help - having something totally new to learn has helped me keep the training consistent. What the transition has been like from his normal strength routine to the kettlebell routine:
Painful! It has been eye-opening. I’ve been going to the gym for years and I feel like I am pretty strong and pretty balanced. But kettlebells will tell you the truth of just how strong and balanced you are.
I have really enjoyed the process of learning the moves and seeing how my body can or cannot do them. It has made me pumped to see how far I can get with them and see how I’ll feel afterwards.What he's working on during the pandemic that he's never had time for:
Honestly, a lot of time and energy has been put into creating content. It isn’t something I like to focus on normally. I like to keep my social media natural and relevant. But without racing to fulfill sponsorship obligations, I am really trying to give back to them, what they are continuing to provide for me. It has been a struggle but it is my job now so I am treating it like any other job.
Besides that, I am doing more yoga which I never really give myself time for. I am starting to see the benefits. I normally stretch quite often but yoga has allowed me to find parts of my body that I didn’t realize I needed to stretch. I am also reading and studying more, anything, and everything. What are the key components to success in racing? What were you working on most going into the 2020 season?
Hard work and talent. Talent isn’t something you can work on, but hard work will always generate results. That means physical fitness, mental fitness, skill development, fine-tuning your bike, and many other little details. I would like to say I am pretty well balanced in those areas so I am trying to add 1% in all. I made good improvement in the mental side last year, and this off season I worked on trusting what I did and solidifying it. How he determines what he needs to work on most:
Everything requires an assessment to ensure you are working on the “lowest hanging fruit” and you can not always self-assess. For the physical side, I have Dobie and our team Physio, Tara Lazarski, so that is easy. For riding specific components, I rely on my close circle of friends, team, and family to be honest with me and help me identify what needs to be addressed. Specifically, my family has got me to work on why I have been having big crashes recently as they hate to see me injured. What he does for recovery:
Recovery is one thing that hasn’t changed. I focus on the foundational principles to recover - real food, water, sleep/rest, and some light stretching. Currently, I am able to be even more consistent with recovery. It is easy to get the required sleep and rest, and I have extra time to cook great food with my roommates. I have always allowed myself to eat as much healthy food as I like, but making more diverse dinners and enjoying the cooking process has helped me keep a healthy relationship with food.
Same amount of chips and ice cream though, those never fail to go on sale at the grocery store…Aaron Dobie
is a Sports Physiotherapist from Vancouver, BC. Aaron is working as team Physio with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team on the DH and EWS series - @dobiept
Jesse Melamed would like to thank his sponsors during these tough times - @jessemelamed