This book is one I’ve read and referred back to quite a bit. Tim S. Grover’s book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable is about his experience working with elite level athletes in which he mainly focuses on the personality traits and work ethic that make the greatest as good as they are.
The book’s an easy read and has got a lot of useful stuff in it for anyone wanting to develop their riding (and in all aspects of their life for that matter). One of the things that caught my eye the first time I read this book though, was a part in which Tim talks about retired NBA player Kobe Bryant. He’s talking about Bryant’s attention to detail in his gym workouts when he discloses that Bryant dedicated 30 minutes of each of his 90 minute long workouts to focusing on his wrists, fingers and ankles and that he’d be doing these workouts 2-3 times a day. A third of every gym session dedicated to his hands and feet! I’ve seen similar levels of time dedicated to hands and feet in British and Olympic level Judokas also.
It’s an interesting learning point for mountain bikers wanting to develop their riding as, if you look at virtually all the standard gym advise given in mountain biking articles and videos, they don’t include working on your only points of contact with the bike. Occasionally you hear elite level mountain bikers let you know they’re thinking about it – Josh Bryceland mentions riding a 3 hour motorbike race to toughen his hands up before riding Vallnord in the Syndicate episode below – but it’s not often.
So how long are you dedicating to exercises for your hands and feet?
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.