Don’t Get Stuck With Tunnel Vision

So often we tend to focus on the obvious.  When what really may be needing the most attention seems to most to not have any direct relationship.  This is coaching at its finest and one of the things that I personally believes separates great coaches from good ones.

These last two weekends I have finally able to get on bikes with some of our athletes and this is always fun for me but it also puts me in a funny situation.  I am definitely not on the level of our athletes when it comes to their sports and they tend to babysit, which I am thankful for, but they also need to ride.

Well anyway when it comes to mtn biking I am probably the most out of my element because it is so much lighter than my dirt bike and it freaks me out.  Especially when it comes to cornering.  I have been maybe 5 times now and pretty much live in the butt puckered holy crap I may die space most of the time.  Again largely in corners.  I walk thru the check list in my head of what Im supposed to do, Ive watched out athletes ride, Ive listened to them coach people but it was never clicking.  I wasn’t able to stay forward on the bike in the “attack” position to let the bike do what it can do.  I couldn’t figure it out.

Within 1/2 of our first run last Friday with Amanda Cordell, Landen Powell and Mitch Ropo, Amanda ever so nonchalantly looks up from her phone , because she had enough time waiting for me to check emails, and says “don’t pinch your knees like that.  You are losing balance in the corners.”  Well in my mind I disagreed.  This is very different from what we do in motocross and just from what made sense in my head.  So I gave some snotty comment back, told her she was still not funny, and we started back down the trail.  Luckily she was way in front of me and couldn’t watch me take her advice.  So first corner comes up, I take her advice and HOLY CRAP, railed the corner. (for me anyway)  That was it.  Adjusting what I was doing with my legs allowed me to get into and stay in the proper position with my upper body.

One of the keys to coaching is realizing that we have an end goal to accomplish and instead of giving out cues to fix every little thing its about finding the 1 thing that fixes 5 things at one time.  Being able to figure this out for clients and athletes is huge.  We so often over coach or just don’t coach the right thing.  We get tunnel vision and assume if the arms are out of position that the arms must be the problem.

Open the eyes up and look at the whole picture.  You may see something totally different.

Kick some ass today.

The Gym Doesn’t Replace Your Sport Itself

I get asked quite a often by some of the action sports athletes we work with to make sure that their training is as relevant and functional to their sport as possible. This isn’t exactly what the purpose of a strength training program is. There is not much that goes on during a motocross race or downhill run, on a wakeboard or snowboard, or in a ring that a barbell or other gym equipment can truly replicate. To be honest, that’s not our goal. For athletes outside of barbell sports, doing that sport is vital to your success. The training program we use in the gym is to increase your “functional” strength as it is relative to the sport you are doing to reduce risk of injury during the sport itself. No amount of “functional” training will duplicate what will be gained from spending time on your dirtbike or wakeboard. Just like in wrestling. I can get you strong as hell and conditioned out of your mind, but its still not going to compare to having that opponent grinding you into the mat.

So our goal is to make sure you can get the absolute most out of your training of the sport you are doing by getting you stronger and better conditioned in the gym. No amount of strength or conditioning will make you a more technically sound rider. But it will help you to maximize your practice time.

Join our newsletter by clicking here and we’ll hook you up with our free Off-The-Bike Training Template to help you get started.  You can also check out our training options by clicking here.

How to Beat Arm Pump

Welp, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t believe there is one particular thing that actually gets ride of arm pump all together.  I can easily make the argument that the stronger we get your grip via fat grip carries and holds the less you would have to work to hold onto the bars and therefore you would not fatigue your grip so quickly.  Then I can just as easily argue that the more muscle and strength you have in your forearms the harder you will be squeezing and therefore building up more arm pump because with added muscle comes the ability to fatigue faster. So now where do we go?

I strongly believe that arm pump is a factor of being comfortable on your bike and riding with proper efficient technique. BUT, we can definitely help with that.  Our number one focus with all our athletes is proper movement mechanics and efficient movement.  We want them to understand where their stability should be coming from when they are in the proper riding position, and how to most effectively stay in that position.

We have gotten great feedback from some of our athletes that are out running clinics like Landen Powell.  He has been able to immediately reduce arm pump in the riders he is working with by helping them use more efficient techniques that use more of the entire body than just the arms and shoulders.  Being able to combine great on bike coaching with great off bike training and coaching we have found a killer combo that can’t be beat.

We do utilize a lot of upper body conditioning that hits grip greatly and I strongly believe that it definitely helps.  Everything from kb swings, slam ropes, clubs, to heavy farmers walks.  I don’t believe there is ever a need to have a weak grip.  But still nothing beats being efficient on the bike and comfortable.  Nerves creep in and we get tense and we squeeze.  It just happens.  This is another reason that we begin all our sessions in the gym focusing on breathing.  We want all our athletes to know how to properly breath and brace to relieve stress and tension in our bodies. This is exactly what we want our athletes focused on at the start of the race.

So with all that said what are our favorite exercises for arm pump?

  1. KB Swing
  2. Fat Grip Farmers Walks
  3. 1-Arm DB Rows
  4. Planks
  5. Lat Pulldowns
  6. Chest Supported Iso Holds
  7. Chaos Shrugs
  8. Battle Ropes

But what beats all of these is good riding mechanics and using your bike and body efficiently.

If you aren’t training with us already, check out our programs to get the most out of these movements, while also becoming stronger, faster, and more stable (on the bike and off).  We also offer online programs for those of you who can’t make it to the gym.

See you guys on the Dirt!

A Parent’s Perspective

It’s now been about 9 months since my kids have been training with Deacon and the

SISU Strong team and it has had so many positives impacts for my kids and for our

family. It has always been our philosophy as parents that if we surround our children

with good people and role models, the chances of our kids being happy, successful, and

productive would increase dramatically. Well, we hit the jackpot with the Andrews

family and his team!

There are many gyms and trainers out there but the trick is finding one that is doing it

for the right reasons. Here are the traits were looking for:

-Positive atmosphere

-Focus on developing good work habits for young athletes

-Teaching lessons that training and working hard for what you want in life is a

lifestyle, not something you do every once in a while or just before a race

-Measures their Athletes INDIVIDUALLY.

-Striving to be their best…not someone else’s best.

-Being supportive but also honest with their athletes on where they are.

-Someone who will pat them on the back but also kick them in the butt when necessary.

-Put their well being, physically and mentally ahead of any results.

You might notice something is missing from the list. (Results). Results come

naturally when the above is done right. Here are the results/ improvements we have


-Responsibility and follow through – kids rarely miss a session and when they do

they make it up. They feel a responsibility to the program to put maximum effort in

and has taught them the important life lesson of “always follow through with your

promises and goals”.

-Increased self confidence- We have seen this on and off the track. Believing in

themselves and having the confidence they will succeed.


-Time management- Being able to balance school, training, racing and being

teenagers successfully.

These are the things that are most important to us as parents and we could not be

happier with the results!

Deacon and his team do it right!

PS….You may ask, what about the results on the track? Well, just look at how ALL the

athlete’s in the program have been performing. I dare you to find any program’s

athletes doing it better and seeing the improvement like this one!