Tristan’s Training Log

This article is updated on a regular weekly basis at the bottom of the page

I am not a  personal trainer or nutritionist, this is purely a training log which I hope you find useful in some way


So it’s January and everyone is feeling a little wrecked after the weeks of drinking and excessive eating over the Christmas and new year period. For me it goes a bit deeper than that, in that I had a crash about 6 months ago and broke a few ribs and my collar bone. After 5 months of check-ups and x-rays the decision was made to operate on the collar bone and screw it back together. This combined with a hernia operation too has made the last half of 2013 pretty bad for riding bikes and my fitness.

I’ve had my operation, the New Year has started and I am buzzing to get some fitness back and get back on the bike. I only had my collar bone fixed about 4 weeks ago so I have been advised to stay off the mountain bike for another few weeks until a check up has been carried out. But this is not going to stop me getting on the turbo trainer and start getting my diet sorted. My diet has been awful over the last 6 month, eating what I want when I want! This combined with no exercise has caused me to put on a bit of weight but more importantly lose any fitness I had (which was not that much in the first place)

This is where James Wilson at MTB Strength Training Systems comes in. I came across this website when I was looking for some mountain bike specific training to kick start this year. After going through the website and reading a few reviews I signed up. You can sign up for a free mini course or you can do what I did and sign up for the whole lot hereYou get all the availble information for just $1 (currently 61p) for 2 weeks. After that it is $17 per month (currently £10.35). I know this is another monthly bill to pay but I reckon this is pretty cheap for what you get. Think about it; we all spend loads of money on gym membership, some then spend money on personal trainers. With these workouts you can get away with very basic equipment, you could easily avoid the gym altogether if you wanted. So for just £10 a month you get all the information you need to train, plus a personal trainer. This guy coached Aaron Gwin so I’m sure he can help me lose a few kg’s, get fitter and faster on the bike. Access to the website gives you all this MTB specific training information:

Proper warm-up drills

Weekly and annual training plans for on and off season

Plans for kettle bell training if you do not have access to a gym

Specialised Energy Systems Demand programs

Nutrition advise

Skills training on and off the bike


Plus even more

There must be close to 100 videos showing what to do and how to do it correctly. The forum looks very interesting. This is where you can ask James anything about the programs, any concerns or even ask how you would change certain parts to better suit your goals or situations. I personally think this is amazing for just a tenner a month. Just to add, you can cancel this at any time.


So this is where I am at. Over the coming months you will be able to track my progress as I use this to help me train. I am 5’7″ and currently weigh 73.4 kg’s. My fat percentage is 21 and muscle 39.9. I do not want to reduce my weight by that much, I am aiming for about 72 kg, but I would like to reduce my body fat to around 15% and increase my lean muscle value. My BMI is 25.4, currently bordering normal to overweight so this should reduce if my goals are achieved. All these values are measured from some Salter analyser scales so although the readings might not be exactly accurate, I am going to be using these for the duration so should give a relatively accurate picture. My main goal though is to improve my fitness on the bike. Before my accident I was an average downhill rider but got tired on descents causing me to lose concentration and technique. If pedaling was involved things got worse. So my aim is to become fitter and be able to concentrate on bike control rather than where my next breath is coming from. James Wilson also covers basic skills training on the site which I am sure will be of some benefit.

I am starting with the nutrition side of things and will then ease in the exercise after a week or so. To throw a spanner in the works I am also interested in trying some fasting. This is more from a health p0int of view rather than losing weight. If you have a spare hour or so I would highly recommend watching this Horizons video – Eat, Fast and Live Longer

Fasting has had proven health benefits to living a longer healthier life and obviously can help you lose weight, and more importantly for me body fat. The particular diet I am interested in trying is the 5:2 diet. To give a very simple overview this involves fasting for 2 days per week, then for the other 5 days you eat normally. When I mention fasting, this is not eating nothing. Fasting in this case refers to a reduce calorie intake. So for women this is 500 calories a day and for men 600. If you want to know more about this visit I was slightly concerned about training on a fasting day so I contacted James on the forum and he has given me some pointers. When researching this it looks like it might actually be beneficial but we will see how I get on.

So lets get started. These reading were taking when I got up on Wednesday morning 15/01/14. This week I am just trying to get to grips with the training plan and the exercises. Learning the form rather than trying to push it. Next Wednesday I will update this page with my weigh in results and a report on how the week has gone.




So this is my starting point. Check back here on a weekly basis to see my progress and how I am getting on. I will feedback back anything I learn in the process and hope you find this information useful.




OK, so it’s a week on from the first weigh in and at 6:00am this morning it was time to get on the scales. The news was good news. I’ve dropped nearly a kilo but more importantly I have lost 0.5% fat. This week has involved 3 strength training sessions and 2 turbo trainer sessions. The strength sessions were mainly focusing on the warm ups and getting the exercises right rather than pushing myself. On the same note the turbo trainer sessions were very short (about 20 mins) just to get me back into spinning the legs after so much time off. After this week I am definitely feeling the benefits of all the mobility exercises.


Training log 22:01:14

The diet has been going well too. From the information below you can see that I am aiming for about 1800 calories a day and in fact my average has been below 1500. It is also clear to see my 2 fast days. These were quite tricky, eating a small 300 calorie breakfast and then a small 300 calorie dinner. Usually I would eat quite late in the evening but without eating since breakfast  I was ready to eat by the time I got home from work. The pie chart shows the breakdown of carbs, fat and protein over the whole week. I need to reduce my fat intake and replace this with a bit more protein. This is something I am going to work on over the next week. The big red excessive intake on Friday was down to the beers. I’m finding it hard to give this bit up!

Nutrition log_15:01:14

Tune in next week for the next Weigh in Wednesday!


It’s a day late as I was not at home Wednesday morning to do the weight in, so this week is weigh in Thursday. It’s been a good week, losing more fat! So a total loss of 1.9kg’s and 1.5% body fat. I realise that the weight will come off quicker at first but it is still a positive result. I’ve stepped up the training slightly this week, completing more of the strength exercises and getting some slightly longer sessions in on the turbo trainer; up to about 30-40 minutes now.

Training log 30/01/14

Nutrition wise it has also been good. I managed my 2 fast days again this week and it is starting to become slightly easier. I do my training in the mornings starting at about 6:30am so I find the sessions after a fast day can sometime be quite difficult but this does seem to be improving. I will let you know how this goes.

I’ve managed to increase my protein intake and reduce the fat slightly but there is still room for improvement. This has been done by actually looking at individual meals and adjusting portion sizes slightly to get the protein up. A few protein shakes help too!

Unfortunately there are still the big spikes at the weekend. As I am not riding at the moment due to the shoulder there is no incentive to go easy at the weekend. Friday night I went to the Brentford game at Griffin Park that obviously involved a few beers and some rubbish food, and then there was a lot of food involved on Sunday. But even with these blow out days I am still managing to lose fat. I’m sure that if I stop or reduced these things can only get better but I do need some fun in my life. Catch up next week to see if it is all still going to plan.

Nutrition log 30/01/14


OK, so its been a bad we for training but the results are surprising in some ways. I missed a training session on Friday as I was off work to go to a wedding. Then with all the partying over the weekend I was too tired to train on Monday and then I couldn’t be bothered on Tuesday. This is one of the problems in training early in the morning, if you cannot get yourself out of bed, you miss your training session. Out of the 5 days training I only did 2 this week. So how do i feel?…. pretty awful! My body feels very stiff and weak. My flexibility has gone. Ive spoken to Bike James and he has recommended a few things. One of those is in the link below. I have not been able to touch my toes since I can remember. James see’s this as a real problem as this is one of the keys to mobility on the bike. I tried this today and it is quite amazing.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.02.13

Onto the results! After this terrible week it is surprising that I have not gained any weight. Everything is pretty much the same. I am sure if I kept this up the weight would start to increase again but it is nice to find out a week of poor eating, excessive drinking and hardly any training has not reeked havoc.

Training log 05/02/14

Nutrition has been bad this week. I only manage one fast day and I had Chinese New Year on Thursday night, which involved a 10 course banquet. Then a wedding on Friday and a 40th Birthday Party on Saturday… oh, and then people over for lunch on Sunday. As you can see my calorie intake has been excessive! But I am still keeping the protein levels up.

Nutrition log 05/02/14

We will seen if I can turn this around to recover from this bad week. See you next time.


Things aren’t going to well at the moment. Ive only managed to fast for one day again this week! Yet again theres been too much eating and drinking, and too little training. I had a few days off work for various reasons and this is causing problems.  I train near to where I work early in the morning. If I do not go to work it means I miss the gym, and this is not what I need. These days off have been away from home too meaning a lot of eating out.

Anyway, this is going to change! One very big bonus though is that on Monday I had my first ride back on the bike since my accident in June. It was great fun. I went to Haldon forest but all the trails were shut. We managed to find some bits to ride though :)


Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 21.23.52


I am back on track now and feeling great. My flexibility and core strength is definitely getting a lot better. One of the exercises in the routine is called a 1/4 getup and in the first few weeks I was struggling to even work out how to do this. Now I am actually completing the sets. So far I have not been pushing the training in regards to weight or cardio, I am just trying to get my movement and stability sorted. I cannot believe how good this feels. It is making me realise how I have not actually been using my core strength for years; this probably has something to do with my past back problems. Ive still got a long way to go but I am very happy with the results so far, 5 weeks in. Nutrition has also been good this week, completing both fast days with no problems and doing well on the non fast days too.


So here are the weigh in results. 70.9kg, 19.2% body fat and and BMI of 24.5. So in 5 weeks I have dropped 2.5kg and 1.8% body fat. By my calculations 1.8kg of that 2.5kg is body fat, so this does show I am loosing some lean muscle as well. I am hoping by upping the weight now I can keep the muscle more stable and just drop the fat.

Training log 19:02:14

All in all a very positive week. To add to this I have been out on the bike a couple of times and the shoulder is feeling good. I hope to do my first ever DH race this season.


What I have worked out over the last few weeks it that it is not all plain sailing. If it were I suppose everyone would be a lot fitter. Something that is coming to light is realising how inflexible my body is, to the fact that it is actually impacting my like. I spent 12 years as a Technician for BMW so have spent a lot of time leaning over engine bays. Like many people in the trade I experienced lower back problems and went to physiotherapy for this. I was always told that I did not use my core, hence the all the strain was on my lower back and was given exercises to help this but they never really helped. To this day I have never really used my core, as many people do not.

Over these weeks, I have spoken to Bike James and he have given me different exercises to do, to help get my core strength and mobility up. Having done these, it has shown how bad it really is (I will post some pictures later on). I am now starting to shift my focus to this core strength and mobility, I want to get this sorted before I try to increase my strength.

If you are ever on the bike and feel that you are really just sitting down and holding on, or you cannot get the bike to where it needs to be on trail, or you just feel very un-confident then you might have problems with your core strength and flexibility. You don’t realise how much stability on the bike comes from this. I would seriously recommend heading over to Bike James, even if you just look at some of the free bits.

Anyway, I am still chasing my goal of 15% body fat. In regards to nutrition it has not been a bad week. Friday and Saturday were not great, eating out and a few beers, but the rest of the week was good.. Even with that though my weigh-in figures are about the same as last week. I am not too bother about this at the moment as I have not been doing any CV or riding. All my gym time has been spent doing mobility work.

Training log 260214


So my focus at the moment is really to the mobility and core strength sides. I am hoping to have some interesting results next week, so tune in to find out.



Week number 7 and even more progress. There is not too much to report except I have lost another kilo and my fat% has dropped into the 18’s now, this is a first! My diet has not been great this week but it has not been bad either.


From a training point of few I missed one morning at the gym and I am still concentrating on core strength and mobility. Above is a picture of me stretching my hamstrings. As you can see it is not great but it is a hell of an improvement.. trust me.

imageIve changed the graph as it was getting a bit difficult to read as time when on and more data was added.


Ok, so we are 2 months in now. When I started out I really wanted to see big differences after 3 months and I can say that after only 2, I can see big differences. To start with I have lost 4kg’s and and nearly 3% body fat. My aim is to get to 15% body fat but keep a weight of about 72kg’s. I knew I would not lose 6% body fat in 3 months but I have lost nearly half that in 2 months so it is a good start.

Training log 12:03:14

I am keeping up with my mobility workout and I am really feeling the benefit from this. It is so nice to feel my core doing something even in everyday life. Something as simple as getting off the sofa has changed. Getting this core strength and mobility is giving me a real boost. I have even got on the bike a few times now too. I went to the GP pump track and got an early morning Richmond Park road bike ride in. This week I should get to the pump track and Richmond Park again but also get some time in on the mountain bike over the Surrey Hills at some point.

Fasting is still going well. I am pretty sure this is the main cause of the fat loss and I feel like it is cleansing my body too. It is nice to still be able to eat what you want on non-fasting days…….. and I do not think I am going to be able to give the beer up any time soon.



Ok, so first off apologise for the late update. Its been three weeks since my last but it’s all been very busy. Trying to run a website with a day job can become tricky at times. I am also trying to get a wedding organised in a short amount of time so this is adding to the work load.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 22.24.45

Anyway, lets get on with how thing have been going. They have been going well. My fat % is still dropping which is very good, my weight is too which is not so good. If we talk about nutrition first, this has been ok. Two out of the three weeks were good with all fast days carried out and weekly calorie intake well under but last week I decided I was not going to fast. This was for a few reasons. Firstly I had a lot going on and it was hard to find the days to do the fasting, but secondly I thought that it would be good to see what effect a weeks break from fasting has. I was happy with the results. It was nice to not have to worry about fasting for the whole week and the results were still good. Everything stayed about the same. Usually I would beat myself up for not sticking to the goal but I was actually quite alright about it. I am now going to go back to normal fasting this week so we will see how that goes after the week off.

traiing 02:04:14

In regards to training, this has been quite interesting. I have been meaning to change my strength training and warm up routines for a while now and this last week or so I have been getting really bored with them. This is no good for training. If you are bored, you will not want to train, and if you do train, you will not push half as much as you usually would. I have started to get back on some weights for my shoulders and arms and really enjoyed this. I do not want to get back into lifting weights every day but I need to plan a bit of this into my workouts now. I will keep you updated. I’ve managed to squeeze in a few Surrey Hills rides in the sun too so that can’t be bad!

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