Mountain Bike Much Better in 2 Minutes!

Mountain Bike Much Better in 2 Minutes! A quick, easy and fun exercise you can do pre-mtb ride that will make you ride at the best of your ability level. The “Power Pose”?

A student just forwarded me a skydiving article that covered a mental tip I have been teaching our students to do for years! I never new the exact science but I knew it worked (thanks to something I had learned from Tony Robbins).

In real simple terms if you physically act confident before an event (riding your mountain bike, going for a job interview, surfing, etc.) you will perform better! The body as a huge effect on the mind and this is a way to take advantage of it. Acting confident means standing, walking and looking like a confident person. Ever watch a really good athlete like Cedric Gracia simply walk around? Are his shoulders slumped and looking at the ground? Or, are his shoulders back, chest out and eyes forward? Tony Robbins teaches to emulate the people who have qualities you would like to have. In other words, fake it to you make it! This works amazing well for mountain bikers, it won’t improve your actual skill but it will allow you to maximize what ever level of skill you have (which will often lead to performing better than you ever have as most of us perform well short of our maximum). You be more coordinated, confident and even stronger!

Why does this work? It increases your testosterone (the dominance hormone) and lowers Cortisol (a stress hormone)

Part of my pre-race routine was to emulate Cedric Gracia. Cedric is so confident that I once watched as 90% of the people in the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas turned to see who he was as he entered the casino! We aren’t talking a famous athlete like Michael Jordon, we are talking about a French mountain biker who even 80-90% of US mountain bikers don’t know who he is. Why did everyone turn to check him out? Because he walked in like he owned the joint! Shoulders back, head high, slight smile I am sure many people thought he was a rock star or that he did own the joint.


Mountain Bike Racer Cedric Gracia

Cedric Gracia, World Cup Mountain Bike Racer, Rock Star?

I knew that I was a better rider than my race results showed so I decided to take Tony Robbins advice and emulate Cedric. On race day when I woke up, before I got out of bed I would stick my chest out proud, pound on my chest and say, “who is Cedric Gracia, Bitch!” (he once wrote, “who is your daddy now bitch!” in giant letters on the back of his spine protector and after winning the NORBA National in Mt. Snow Vermont he whipped his jersey off to show that statement, the crowd went nuts!). I would repeat this a few times and take the time to breathe deep and relive some my best moments in sport. This left me much more confident than before I started this routine. As a matter of fact it worked so well I thought, “why don’t I do it on practice days too?”, so I did. Then I decided if it helped so much why not do it everyday! For some reason I got out of the habit of doing it but after reading the article and watching the videos below I am going to start doing it again.

How you can do this to help you mountain bike better? What is the science behind this?  As the videos below explain, you can do this anytime and two minutes is all you need! The first is a short 6 minute version and the second a TED talk that is just over 20 minutes. Start doing it today and let us know how it works for you!

8 replies
  1. Rich
    Rich says:

    This is good. Of course it extends to every aspect of life, not just Mountain Biking (except of course if mountain biking is your life). It works with relationships, and careers as well. It’s good advice. People like a winner. So act like one!

  2. Markk
    Markk says:

    I have experienced this in my rock climbing as well. When I climb with my GF I am MUCH less confident going into the initial pitches than when I climb with others. This reduction in confidence spills into not using proper technique. It also explains why companies that require a calisthenics routine before the start of the workday see better productivity. This is definitely now part of my daily routine.

    • Gene
      Gene says:

      Hi Mark, great comment! Often when riding with less skilled riders your own “skill” drops as their nervousness/timidness seeps into your own psyche. This sometimes happens to me while coaching, the students want me to do a super steep off-camber roll in (that I did the day before out scouting the trails for where to teach what) and I simply don’t have the confidence to it. I’m in coaching mode, not attacking the trail with confidence mode.

      Thanks for pointing this out.



  3. Jess
    Jess says:

    And think about how much a strong “ready” (or attack) position mirrors a power position: Square, packed shoulders, flat back, lats engaged/elbows out, chin up. Love it!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *