Greg Choat is a cycling coach and bike fitter with decades of experience, whose bike fitting knowledge traces back to the expertise of Steve Hogg.
Understanding the quintessential difficulty of a bike fitter’s challenge is most aptly painted in this proverb quoted by Greg in the show: “Man is to bicycle as fish is to elephant.”
Helping a human body fit seamlessly onto a carbon or metal frame requires mechanical knowledge of the bike as well as biomechanical and physiological knowledge of the human body.
Preventing and dealing with injury caused by either poor form or poor bike fit is one of the primary challenges that Greg and Colby face in their work— and which they unpack in this episode.
Welcome to the cycling and alignment podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice and dialogue about the integration of sport, right relationship to your life.
Colby Pearce 00:25
Either listeners, you have returned to cycling in Wyman, or another episode and I am grateful you’re here today. I’ve got a good one. Greg Choate. He’s a bike fitter, who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. And Greg and I have many parallel philosophies. Now, don’t get all stressed out about me only picking guests that I agree with on this pod at some point, I’ll have some people on here and we can get into some armwrestling matches, and start dissecting things that we don’t agree on. But Greg is a really well spoken and intelligent bike fitter, who’s got a huge amount of experience. He’s been fiddling about twice as long as I have. He’s also a coach, which is parallel to my own career path. So we had a lot to unpack, and our conversation kind of gets a bit philosophical at times, but we also leave you with lots of actionable nuggets. And we all like nuggets, don’t we? So without further prognostication, as I’m prone to say, or pre barricading about the bush, enjoy, Greg inchoate.
Colby Pearce 01:32
Gregg Choate, welcome to cycling in alignment. Thank you so much for making time to come and chat with me today. It’s been it’s been a while since we’ve talked, I think we met the first time at Vegas when I was out with the hog group. And that was what 2013
Yeah, that was I think that was the second time we got Steve to come up. Yeah. Yeah. And that was you had the group there with Jerry and the crew. And yeah, that was that was probably obviously, you know, your reputation precedes you a lot more than mine precedes me. So yeah, I knew exactly who you with many years.
Colby Pearce 02:09
Well, you know, that’s how it works. When you ride around in stretchy pants. Sometimes people notice you, I guess, I don’t know why that’s a thing. But I mean, you know, you and I have very parallel a lot of parallels in our professional paths. I’m a fitter and a coach. You’re also a fitter and a coach. So you’ve been doing it longer than I have been fitting for over 20 years now. Is that correct?
Yeah, yes, I started fitting back to 1999 2000 was the start of my journey, okay. that come out to a pretty, pretty nasty injury, which, ironically, had nothing to do with cycling, I was moving in moving a washing machine in my house and threw my back out, couldn’t couldn’t ride, definitely couldn’t have had difficulty walking. So both basically ended up you know, short stories and nerve impingement. And a training buddy of mine, Gordon Walker, back home is a you know, pretty big, multi sport, athlete, cyclist and stuff. And he’s like, Oh, you need to go and see this guy, who I went to college with. And when we saw this, when we call him an osteopath, or basically I used to call Scott, a witch doctor, because he lived out in the country, and he wouldn’t see you in the city because the energy in the city was bad. And so you had to come out to his office, which was about 4550 minutes outside of the center of Oakland. So you had to drive out the head to see him, then he do his stuff on you like color testing and adjustment, and then you weren’t allowed to leave, you can finish your appointment and walk out to your car because you had to let everything settle. So he basically kept you in a holding pin for a little while. And he was there I fixed me up. And that was the moment that I realized that the traditional processes of positioning somebody on a bike didn’t really work for everybody. That was young, because I grew up and I was lucky to grow up in a really great cycling community in New Zealand. And we would have we had a large club, we had some guys who were riding, you know, Euro pro at that time. One of my big influences was a guy called Eric McKenzie, who Eric McKenzie rode. If you have a look in Greg lemons book of cycling, there’s a photograph of Eric. The mind says this is how you go downhill. Eric’s going downhill. No hands with both his hands adjusting is really bright. And it’s like, Yeah, he’s pretty well balanced on a bike. I’d say that Eric was like the guy, you know, we all looked up to and Steve Swart was another one. Yep. You know, he was a big sort of mentor. Mine was in local bike store shop and back then he was riding with goes live. Yep. And, yeah, that was sort of we had this great group of cyclists and you know, they would basically put you on a bike and this is how you go on a bike and the old guys and say, you know, if you were fast, that was good. But nobody really addressed it. And it wasn’t until I had problems and I went through the traditional processes that I found out that those sort of didn’t work for everybody.
Colby Pearce 05:10
So but this guy who you worked with is osteo, slash witch doctor, he wasn’t a fitter per se,
he was not now he was just, he was just a health healthcare professional movement guy. And it was like, you know, that’s the realm that sort of opened my eyes up to you know, how how well we moved and how much that could make a difference because literally, I was out for 18 months, where I had like nerves shooting down my leg, I’d be walking through the, through the supermarket and pushing my trolley and, and my leg just giveaway and I ended up in a pile in the middle of the of the aisle. Wow. And was just like so. And the interesting thing is, I couldn’t ride I couldn’t run. Every now and then I have trouble walking. But I ended up taking out kayaking. And just because of the nature of being in a kayak waged in with your pelvis neutralized, I was racing flatwater kayaks, racing k ones, and then paddling, whitewater, and whitewater you’re even more wedged in a boat in a small whitewater boat, you’ve got hit pads on you’ve got knee braces. So your pelvis didn’t move my upper body didn’t I never had a problem. kayaking, I was you know, this was back at the start of the days and doing you know, whitewater tricks and stuff like that I
Colby Pearce 06:22
could throw your boat around no problems at all. But then if I tried to run or ride a bike, I was in incredible pain. Basically, the lower body from the iliac crest or the hip bones down completely immobilized. But you could rotate in the thoracic spine, even in the lumbar spine. You could do everything with your arms and all planes. Yep. Is that fair? And it didn’t, it didn’t have an impact on that nerve impingement. So
you were able to do nothing? Yeah, yes. Because the pelvis was so stabilized. And, yeah, so you ended up with me and you get massive thoracic rotation. Because you’re, you’re you’re letting your head and your shoulders and your blade drive the movement. Yeah. So you have massive thoracic movement. And that pelvis was so stabilized and your feet are pushed against the bulkhead at the front of the boat and your knees are up under knee braces. And, yeah, I was having had no problems. And all of a sudden, you know, when I went to see Scott and Scott, you know, chewed me up, literally, I want to say six weeks. Post me not being able to ride for quite a long time I was back competing on the bike was in a pretty substantial multi sport event. Well, mountain biking, road biking.
Colby Pearce 07:29
So as soon as that nerve impingement was freed up you everything just switched on again. And we’re able to work the muscles. Yeah,
yeah, good to go. And I had, and I had really good, you know, pretty good aerobic conditioning from being in the boat. And then Ironically, the leg strength had gone a little bit that hadn’t atrophy hugely. It was really interesting. So yeah, that’s sort of the short story.
Colby Pearce 07:54
That’s really interesting. It sounds like your witch doctor guy, sort of a a hybrid of Steve’s hogs methods a bit. And he’s he used to use more colored lenses with his clients and look at I function left and right and how that influenced the, the height of the pelvis and things. He’s kind of moved on from that now a little bit. But also, it sounds a bit like Scott story, who’s my holistic health care practitioner here in Boulder, I’ve done a couple pods with him. And he’s also in witchdoctor territory, for sure. very holistic, and just what you said at the end about how you kind of leave in a holding pen before you go while also we drive to his house, which is about 30 minutes up Lee Hill Road outside of town to go to his office and it’s in the forest. It’s very quiet and there’s a lot of good energy there and and then he works on you and he does a series you know he does acupuncture and Cairo cranial sacral frequently works with different substances on the body to help bring things back in line. He does a lot of visceral manipulation and works with what’s that metal blade call that you can use to like move the fashion?
Sorry, Austin blades. Yes,
Colby Pearce 09:00
thank you. Right. Yes. graston technique. Yep.
He does that. And yes, I did. Let’s just say, you know, in the background, I grew up a lot of my young years living in Asia and little Asian town grandmas used to do that to me with with silver spoons and stuff like that. So graston being the brand and that sort of normalized technique that like I’m trained in what’s called P and P and T which is pinned to the method which is a physio Cairo a physio out these parts who’s developed the same thing except, you know, we deal with plastic blades, rather than metal blades. So yeah,
Colby Pearce 09:36
yeah. Yeah. And then I would see Scott and then at the end, he does acupuncture puts you on a, a German machine that pulses your body with happy wavelengths of hormone harmonious electric vibes, I guess is a really dumb
pad. Magnetic pad. Yeah. And it’s Yeah, I can’t remember the name of the machine at the moment. I think it begins with Aim school day, it’ll come to me.
Colby Pearce 10:03
Yeah. Yeah. And he runs a 20 or 25 minute program that’s got a specific harmonic resonance is designed to bring about, you know, relaxation or reduction of inflammation or whatever he kind of feels is appropriate. And you lay in a chair with your needles in doing this machine. And then you that’s your holding pen, so to speak. So it’s, and then you’re, then you come out and you’re ready to, to handle the world.
Yeah, I think it’s that how, you know, we live in a society, which is just moving all the time. And we just don’t take enough time. Like, I’m also a big meditation guy. And yeah, I like to take the time to not move to Yeah, you know, ironically, it was my It was my, my birthday last week, and my, my parents sent me from New Zealand, a Buddhist meditation drum, to basically just sit down and listen to the resonance of the frequency. And I was just like, yeah, I’m just, I’m dying to get up and one of the Canyons up around Vegas and sit by myself and beat my drum, which is super cool.
Colby Pearce 11:07
Yeah. What kind of meditation? Do you practice specifically? Or do you have a specific practice? Or is it
no notice specific practice just about mainly everything based around breath, you know, being really conscious, the fundamentals of it, the comments, and yeah, the concepts of clearing your mind, I find very difficult. from a standpoint of, you know, when you’re trying to think about clearing your mind, you’re actually thinking about something. So just being present in your breath and focusing on breath work is a is really big for me, because it’s relatively important. Like I said, a lot of people you know, breathing is like sex, it doesn’t really seem important until you’re not getting any. So you know, it’s raining breedings big. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 11:54
Yeah, a meditation teacher that I’ve worked with a bit Michael Holt, he talks about how, you know, the mind is like an ocean, it’s always there always waves in the ocean, there’s always a current, there’s always a flow and, and a tide coming in, and a tie coming out, there’s movements, sometimes the mind is more active, and the social, you know, that a lot of white caps and, you know, big waves and things. And other times it’s more tranquil, but it’s always moving. It’s a fluid thing. So to calm the mind, I think. I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible there, I’m sure Buddhist monks who can bring 12 beats a minute and drop their brainwaves down to you know, almost dead or whatever. But that’s not for the rest of us who have been raised in a Western culture. That’s maybe perhaps not an attainable goal. But nor is it necessarily a desirable goal. It’s more about Michael talks about your mind being basically a giant elephant. And the elephant wanders, and when you just let it do what it’s going to do, it wanders and tramples over stuff, you know, and knocks down walls and maybe goes into rooms that we don’t necessarily want to occupy, right? Old rooms that have crappy feelings in them, or bad experiences that we don’t need to relive and rehash over and over again, we don’t need to ruminate on or maybe it goes down into rooms that involve thought processes that aren’t constructive, like negative self talk, or, you know, like, we started off our conversation like, oh, why am I doing this? Am I? Is anybody going to pay attention? Or am I going to be horrible at this or, you know, I don’t know anything about whatever I’m talking about, etc. And his practices, we learn to train our elephant to go where we want it to go and learn that that those thoughts that just because it wanders in this room doesn’t mean we have to be attached to those thoughts. We’re not identifying with those thoughts. They are not who we are, per se, what we are is consciousness. And we can direct our consciousness to help that elephant, kind of go towards thought patterns that we want things like gratitude, or appreciation or creativity or expression of our dream and goal, right. So
that’s Yeah, I think I think like anything, if you want to be, yeah, if you want to go to the end of something as a practice, you know, doing yoga and being a yogi are two different things. And, you know, and bringing that back to cycling, it’s like Olympic lifting, and lifting for strength. Using Olympic movements. They’re two completely different things like Olympic lifting is a sport. And, and so you have to execute in a certain way. But using strength work to improve your cycling, you can use we’re using those same types of lifts, but we’re just using them in a different way to a different range. We’re not you know, you’re not a six foot three cyclists shouldn’t be cracking a deadlift off the ground, just doesn’t have that sort of mobility. Right? So you still want to use deadlifts. Especially if that
Colby Pearce 14:45
six three cyclist has really long femurs? Right,
exactly. Yeah, you’ve never seen. I mean, you’ve been to I’m thinking I might go to Olympic weightlifting event. There’s no tall Olympic weightlifters. Right. Right. Yeah. There’s the morphotype which which makes you you More likely to be a weightlifter and being closer to the ground. So you have to move the waitlist distance. Right? Right, right.
Colby Pearce 15:05
But that’s what makes cycling unique is we have so many phenotypes or morphotypes there and succeed in our sport. And then as fitters we get to deal with that mess.
Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Colby Pearce 15:18
So both good things about cycling and also challenges from our side.
And my favorite one is my Indian proverb, which is a man is to bicycle as fish is to elephant. I had to translate that one. But yeah. bike, bicycle as fish is to elephant as fish. They just not. They’re just not very well related, you know?
Colby Pearce 15:43
Tell us, Greg a bit about who you’ve studied with and who influenced your line of thought and your philosophies? How did you What was your journey about? How did you end up becoming a bike fitter? I mean, you had your injury experience. And you were racing bikes before that, right. But
yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah. So I was, you know, I was a, I like to stay. I was an average cyclist who rode with really good cyclists. So yeah, I was trained with a lot of top guys back home guys who went to the Olympics and stuff like that, but was that guy who was never quite able to make at the same time with the HTML to climb, but, you know, so I was lucky enough to be competitive, and I had some good results along the way, but I transitioned to the multi sport. So which, you know, back in those days was eco challenge stuff and Xerox races and which was known about he I think Discovery Channel originally was backing some of that here in the US. But you know, where we combine mountain biking, road biking, whitewater kayaking, flat water, kayaking, orienteering rope work, and there will be a multi multi day event. And so you would rock you know, at an extreme level, like I think the raid the raid goolwa is the biggest race that most people know and multi sport. So did quite a bit of multi sport racing. But then, after sort of having me on my injury and trying to figure out how to solve it, I was like, Jesus, you know, I start talking to other people. And they’re like, Oh, yeah, I have this problem. And I had that problem and I’m not getting it solved. And so foolishly I decided to take that on. And it just became a rabbit. I’ll say a rabbit Warren. But we’ll call it a rabbit hole. Because when America a Warren is always with him. Yeah, it’s a read way Rabbits live like a den. Yeah, underground structure of multiple different tunnels, which is where Rabbits live. Okay. So it’s gonna walk. It’s called a warren cool. And so, when you go when you guys like going down the hole, it’s not it’s not a straight line, every time you go down, there’s like, all these forks in the road. Where you go, Oh, okay. I understand, say, you know, as a coach, I understand physiology. Well, if I understand physiology, I better understand anatomy. And if I understand anatomy, I better have a really good understanding of I want to understand anatomy, I did have a really good understanding of physics, we went down this one, you know, you go down this one road, and there’s multiple different avenues off the road, if you like. And so understanding physiology, and then anatomy, and then you know, if you understand anatomy, you’ve got to have a really good understanding of physics. And how you know, because the one thing which is the constant, it’s not our anatomy, even though we’re all more similar than we’d like to think the one constant is physics or gravity, it affects you in exactly the same way as that affects me obviously, mass becomes part of that equation and leavers become part of that equation. But it is a constant. And then, you know, I’m like, I didn’t understand why they understand respiration, I better understand Yo, foot mechanics, I better understand, you know, all this the strength side of things. There’s just so many different avenues that I started going down. But I think from a coaching standpoint, having the more holistic understanding is infinitely more valuable, then, yeah, I find it, I guess, because I’m getting old and grumpy, that, you know, I find everybody’s a coach these days, right? is popping up everybody, especially in these times, it’s become a very fashionable thing, because you can do it from home and cetera, et cetera. And there’s certainly groups of coaches out there who have made career long commitments to being a coach. And you understand Gabi just the commitment that takes and and i think people just being coaches or just writing training programs, that’s what I’d started describing as people just writing writing training programs unless you have a really holistic understanding of the human body and the sport and everything that goes with it. I don’t know if you can call yourself a coach.
Colby Pearce 19:52
Maybe something comes down to semantics and terminology.
Colby Pearce 19:55
I mean, we could say that a coach is someone who really looks holistically the athlete and considers all aspects of load in the sense that all stress summits. So we’re not, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about TSS, or, you know, the super hard climb you just went up or the fact that you wrote with your friends and they push you harder than ever, or we’re talking about the fight with their wife, or the fact that you ate dinner last night that really was far less than ideal. And that’s challenging your digestion, you’ve got some inflammation, and phlegm and all the things you’re dealing with, you know, just as a few examples, or when your dog wakes you up super early in the morning, like I got that gift this morning. So all this stress adds to our lives. And so a true coach, I would argue with someone who looks at the athlete from that macro lens, that 50,000 foot view, and then can also zoom into the details. Sure, perhaps, I might submit that better definition for someone who’s writing only trained training programs is a trainer not a coach. Yeah, because they’re looking at a narrow slice of life. And that can have that can obviously have benefit for someone who just wants advice on how to ride their bikes, and maybe needs programming ideas and concepts and ideas of flow within a week or a month or to build to a program. But of course, you have to limit recognize the limitations of that model. When you work with someone who is really just a trainer and they’re writing you workouts, they’re not going to be able to effectively integrate those workouts into your your total life load. And to really have the magic happen. There’s got to be some of that. But just to comment on what you said a moment ago about kind of realizing what the responsibilities are the workload of a coaches are not phrasing it the way you did. But I’m constantly reminded of how detailed coaching is and how much my clients need for me and how much I can give them. Yeah, but man, it’s just that that flow of energy information from me to my client, it constantly amazes me, because they need for me, and then I look within my own well, and I just as long as I’m plugged into the gratitude of helping other people and working with them, that reservoir never dies, it never shrinks. It just grows, actually. But watching that exchange is powerful. Well, also, I
think, you know, as a as a career long coach and someone who’s been at the game a long time, we just tend to forget how much knowledge we’ve actually amassed. Yes, if you just take it as commonplace, it’s really funny, a few years back, I was up at OTC and then we were researching our skills, certification. And yeah, I’m really big on the development of skills in cycling, because I think, you know, we’ve fallen into this I you touched on on one of the previous episodes, you know, indoor training is producing lots of strong cyclists, but it’s producing lots of bad cyclists, right, because everybody’s just focusing on on developing the engine and developing these huge engines. They’re overlooking the fact that they’ve got uneven tire pressure, bad suspension, and the chassis is out of alignment. Yes. And so that’s great if you’re going in a straight line by yourself. But if you have to turn corners or interact with other people, that’s the detriment of you know, what’s happening right now we see that play out in the roads, and, you know, anytime you go out on your bike,
Colby Pearce 23:14
So I think, you know, just looking at this wealth of knowledge, and yeah, as a coach, you have to, almost, you know, I know I’m guilty of this, I’m very good at giving really long answers to very simple short questions. Because it’s like, Whoa, yeah, it’s that depends.
Colby Pearce 23:34
Every answer really, is when you get down, right?
How deep Do you want to go into this? Yes, this, because this affects this. And it’s, it’s that whole discussion, if we talk about bike fitting, you know, people are like, oh, crank length, and I’m like, Yeah, well, Leo, to be your length and crank length and torso angle, or play into, you know, close hip angle, and you move any one of them and it’s moving everything. And so people like, oh, okay, you know, so it’s not such a complex, but because we deal with it, you know, every day, it becomes just commonplace for us. And so going back to that, I was certifying skills, and one of the guys who was a kind of member who was the certifying instructor, and he’s basically sent to somebody else and said, see what Greg’s doing. And I’m like, Well, what am I doing? I could you could you don’t, you know, you just take for granted that there’s just this you have this wealth of knowledge, which is actually really deep, deeper than you actually remember. And, and they’re just you just, you know, instinctive knowledge and you’re like, Oh, yeah, I heard about I read once about that study, or I’ve got to find that paper or whatever. So you can’t expect it’s a difficult situation to get into unload your career along knowledge on to somebody who may have a chronological age in their 30s 40s or 50s. That their cycling ages like Jr.
Colby Pearce 25:00
Yes, yes, they’ve been in sport 234 years and they’re early in the child child phase to use Paul checks rattle, or maybe they’re just beginning the warrior phase. Yeah, great point I’ve run into that barrier several times in this podcast has been an exercise in that, I would say and that’s why I love doing it because it helps constantly refine my own language, my own methods of teaching my own cues, which are so crucial, right when you’re working with people. It’s like that old game of telephone, you know, I say one thing, and then by the time it gets to the third, fourth person, it’s become warped. Well, that can even happen from me to my client directly face to face, or I’m trying to communicate one concept principle, give them a cue and how I want them to move their body how I want them to sit with a different posture. And the cues become so critical and that the barrier can become sometimes an obstruction to that learning or that communication, that flow of energy and information. Because this isn’t to blow sunshine at my own skirt. You know, like we said, I’ve been in the sport for 35 years I’ve been coaching for, I don’t know, who’s counting, I don’t know, I guess 15 ish, and then fitting for, you know, about a decade. So I know a lot of things that said very humbly, there’s so many things I don’t know. But it’s really easy for me to talk on a PhD level, I’ll say just illustratively to someone who’s in sixth grade. And when I’m doing that, I have to be very careful to outline basic concepts, and bring them back to give them context. Because otherwise, it’s really easy for me to talk for an hour and give them a lot of good stuff, but doesn’t actually teach them anything, because it’s too many levels. Down the road, it’d be the same as if you and I went and took a new class on whatever any topic we don’t know about, you know, something random, like advanced cooking, you know, pretending that you and I didn’t know anything about cooking. And we went and took a class from a world renowned chef, and he was teaching us advanced techniques on the intricacies of filling the most perfect piece of fish ever. And we were like, wait, I don’t understand how do I turn the stove on? So it would be? It would be it’s it’s something that I’m constantly refining and learning? How do I communicate with my clients in a way that’s constructive for them gives them some of my expertise, but I have to not dumb it down. That’s not the right way to think about it, but more distill it to the most effective and simple message that still conveys the higher end principles. And then we fill the details as they grow. And as we are our relationship expands, right? Is that a good way to think about it,
that’s a fantastic, I use that and see how I live now in the city of ships. There’s more World Class ships in this town than just about anywhere else. And you know, some of my clients, I’m very lucky. And so we get to cook food. And I say to them, you know, if you wanted to win the Tour de France is a book published by a guy who wanted seven times, you can just look at how he did it. And you can follow that menu, you know, in the same way that I can go down and buy a book written by Gordon Ramsay or Wolfgang Puck or whatever. But my my end product never tastes as good as his, even though I’ve followed the plan, yo, yo, cooking, it’s very well measured. Yeah. And, and so it just doesn’t work that way. You know, we can’t distill it the way your understanding is a lot of the time. And I think certainly cycling falls into that a lot with coaching. And with fitting as well as people go, Oh, I understand this part of it. And they try to apply it and you know, yes. Next thing you know, as I say to a lot of people, I said, I don’t expect everybody to come to me to get fit, then at some point, you’re probably going to have an issue where you’re going to require my level of expertise. And so and when and when you’re ready, I’m here to help
Colby Pearce 28:47
over a long enough timeline yet you keep practicing the sport eventually. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s kind of Steve’s one of his biggest impressions he left upon me is his first his first and only rule about bike fitting is there are no rules in bike fitting, meaning you’ll have seven clients come to the door where he sees some sort of core latorre trend you know, like If This Then That if they are suffering from this particular affliction, you know, whatever pain under the left scapula then he in with these seven clients in a row, he applies this method and it works to air quotes, fix them, help them, right pain free, or or fix their alignment or whatever. And then the second he’s about to write us all an email and say, Hey, guys, I figured out this correlation, how I have seven more clients that come to the door, and completely break that paradigm. And let’s see, actually causation correlation. Yes, yes, exactly. And that’s the lesson he learned. He’s beaten into our heads is there is no The human body is to infinitely complex or solving the fractal. There are too many outcomes to apply those rules. It doesn’t mean we don’t see trends. It doesn’t mean we don’t see patterns, of course we do and human movement, but the little manifestations and the outcomes of those patterns. We see similar patterns, but I see right hip drop all the time in my fit studio. But how many different outcomes Do you have from chronic knee pain to IT band pain to, you know, hip pain to lower back pain to upper back pain to hand numbness?
That comes back to the model, I think, and my approach to dealing with all that stuff is the US has perfected the trauma treatment model and medicine, racy from basically being at war for a long time. And they don’t go out of the military, and they’re really good. You got a hold on you. You know? It Yeah, exactly. It’s what I call a vanilla ice syndrome. You know, if you’ve got a problem, I can solve it. So it’s that that model doesn’t work with chronic injury. So the chronic injury model, and the traumatic injury model, the site of the pain is always the source of the pain. Yes. But in the chronic treatment model, the site of the pain is seldom the source of the pain. Yes. And, you know, to quote them, surely, Sam, and it’s, it’s like when one thing moves, everything moves. I think it was her. That might have been Thomas mines. Anyway,
Colby Pearce 31:07
they probably both said it several times, right. Yeah,
exactly. It’s one of those things we just say, because it’s true, right? It’s the old thing. I always laugh with people, the bones connected to the knee bone, and the knee bones connected to the Yeah, that’s the way we work. And that and that’s that tensegrity model, right? Yes, that so we just see it manifest and it’s so many different ways. And that’s the uniqueness of a human I think that’s what’s one of the things when I started diverge away from pure what I would call pure bike fitting or living in that bike fitting world and I started seeking out all these other professionals in different fields like like you have as well. And this is the parallel is both are Korea’s his bike fit is, is you start to go Oh, okay. So like my example is I deal with a lot of triathletes, and we’re constantly seeing shoulder issues. And I’m like, Yeah, well, I’ve also worked with a whole lot of baseball players. And ironically, we see the same issues with baseball players. And we see similar issues with tennis players, you know, what we classed as an overhead athlete. And, and you realize that, you know, 206 bones, we’ve got Arjun insertion very, almost, you know, very similar places for everybody, we have more in common than we have, you know, separating us that it’s not about the bike. It’s about the human and I can affect immediate changes on a bicycle. But humans just don’t. Humans have sometimes immediate adaptation, sometimes non immediate adaptations. And so it’s that process of understanding that you need the bicycle thing is really unique, because you’re taking an asymmetrical mechanism and trying to strap it to a symmetrical mechanism. And and herein lies all your little manifestations of you know, the slightest shift, and certain things can affect people in different ways.
Colby Pearce 33:03
I think that’s a really important point. It is a classic example of just enough information to shoot people have people shoot themselves in the foot, especially recently, with the proliferation of left right power meters or more muddied. Water is the power meters that display left and right information but aren’t truly measuring left and right, they’re just modeling it, which is, I’m just going to spoil the plot for everyone that that is useless data. Best case scenario, it kind of gives you some maybe vague sniff of what’s going on. But the vast majority of the time, it’ll lead you down the wrong road. And I won’t unpack that now and get into that in a future episode, but just take my word for it. Just stop looking at that. But
did I say to people all the time they get on thinking about getting a jewel side of power meter, I’m like, cool. So what can you see with that? And then like, I can see power on my left and my right I’m like, Okay, and what are you looking for? And then like an imbalance I’m like, when you find the imbalance
Colby Pearce 34:02
what do you what are you gonna do about it? Like push harder on the knot?
Yeah, push harder on my left leg. I’m like, yeah, autonomic movement versus conscious thought movement motor cortex versus central pattern generator. Do you want to play that game?
Colby Pearce 34:16
Yes, right exactly. How do you reprogram your movement and grams which i do i i believe is possible and I coach people to do it but I think we have to very carefully use the right tools and educate the client about how that might happen. So but that’s a that’s a long road people most people can’t go out and impact change in one or two or even six months of riding and their pedal stroke long term it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Yeah, your your episode about the pedal stroke. How to pedal a bicycle, you know, that’s a great example of man if it doesn’t happen, isn’t we just kind of fit change. I mean, you know, we can dive deep into myelination of, you know, and movement patterns and just yeah, you know, You can’t you can’t do myelinate unless you get a neurological disease. Right. So yeah, right. How do you and that’s why those habits are so hard to change. But yeah, don’t Don’t even start me on the on the pulling up, which, you know, which? Yeah, I know, it’s Dude, I can say that’s a constant battle. So yeah. So it’s, it’s how do we tailor our information to a point where the, the client is going to absorb it, right, and where it’s applicable.
Colby Pearce 35:29
That’s, it’s always a practice of boiling down to what’s practical and applicable, because I can give someone two hours or I could talk for nine hours with every client about hypotheticals and philosophy of how to generate power and a bike and postural considerations and stuff. But until I give them something that’s actually practical, practical, actionable, in a real world situation, there’s going to go out the door and think about stuff and then forget about it and go on their next hard group ride. And that’s not constructive as a fitter. It’s, you know, that balance between bringing the ethereal philosophical stuff into practical application. And for me, that comes down to I’ve got a few drills that I do, including my dead leg drills that I talked about in my head pedal bike episodes. And also simple, really simple stuff, like having people use a simple closet dowel, when they’re doing their four point tummy vacuum exercises on all fours and having them restore panel pop spinal posture, and work on diaphragmatic breathing. But then also a we can use that same dowel down their undershirt on the bike, to bring them postural consciousness, you know, how much spinal flexion Are you in? Where is that point of acute spinal flexion that we want to perhaps try to optimize a little bit or avoid? Because whenever you’ve got chronic flexion focused on one or two vertebra, you’re just asking for problems, neurological problems, physical mechanical problems, you name it, plus, you’re shutting off the nervous system signal that should be ideally passing through that happy highway from the brain down to the lower extremities. Right. So
I think so. You and I could spin out propellers on our little hats all day long. And once again, yeah, we could sit around and talk about it for a day.
Colby Pearce 37:13
Right. Right. Agree, which would be super cool. So maybe, maybe this August, if you’re around, I’ll stop by in Vegas on my next trip out to the Czech Academy, and go bike riding workout.
You, You are always welcome to come. Thanks. Yeah, we’ve got a room here in the house. Oh,
Colby Pearce 37:30
all right. Sweet. Awesome. Awesome. So we, we went around a big circle there. And I think I had another point to make about left right power meters, which was simply that we have just enough information on the market now for writers to potentially shoot themselves in the foot, meaning Yeah, you know, they, they start to dig down this hole, and they start to see, oh, I’ve got this imbalance in my power meter, you know, left, right. And whether or not that number is accurate is one thing, or really represents what you think it does. And we have to be very discerning about that. So also plot spoiler, if you really want to dig into light, right, left power, and you think you’re gonna make a difference, get a unit that’s got enough resolution to see data in actual in a pie chart, you can see Yeah, which is like a pioneer. I think Rhoda might have some software now in their latest power meter,
in the lab unit,
Colby Pearce 38:20
they do. But SRM is still modeled left, right, unless you’re talking about the new pedals. But anyway, it gets quite nuanced the level of that’s why you have to use a pioneer head unit to get all that data. It’s the mass, the amount of data beyond a normal power meter is astounding. And then you have to have software to analyze that data and look at it and say, am I really pushing, you know, with less force from 12 to one o’clock on the right than I am on the left? For example, I’m How am I going to correct that? Well, what muscle and rice and you could go on a fact finding mission to try to figure that out. However, I would suggest that before you go chasing that rock, looking under that rock to improve your performance, and try to make yourself a perfectly symmetrical machine, understand, first of all, that all humans are asymmetrical, as you mentioned, Greg, and they also move asymmetrically. I mean, if you’re right handed, how many times have you taken your car keys and stuck them in the keyhole and turn the car on or open your back door to your house? right to go home? Well, now you’ve done that 10s of 1000s of times, maybe more depending on how long you’ve been alive. And we could do that almost automatically with our eyes closed. That’s a movement engram and it’s asymmetrical. Right, we move asymmetrically in our lives on a daily basis. I mean, do you use both hands to wipe your butt every other day? Most people don’t. So it’s like we all do these things regularly. asymmetrically? Why do you suddenly expect to ride a bicycle with perfect symmetry in your lower extremities and drive the power? It’s not a it’s not a realistic thing. Also consider that mechanically, you know, we’ve got a liver that’s a pretty big organ. In bike riders, it tends to be swapped with glycogen if you’ve been eating enough carbs, if you’re on a keto diet and chronically depriving yourself of essential fuel to go fast, different story. So we’ve got this liver that’s in gorged with carbohydrates, which means by definition, for every molecule of carb, you got to store four molecules of water. Yeah, so that’s his big puffed up bag of water and carbs that you’re going to use on every ride. And, and that’s not centered. It’s on one side of your body, we have more lobes of lung on one side than we do on the other bodies are not symmetrical. So it’s, it’s I’m not saying it’s not a goal to make symmetrical power. But give yourself a break, I guess what I’m saying understand the context of the landscape you’re trying to negotiate.
When it comes back to you circle back to low hanging fruit. Right? I can guarantee you that, you know, if you you can spend all that time it’s a fun analysis. And that’s that mathematically mechanically driven mind, which seems to be attracted discipling that engineer mind, right engineer mind. Yep, yeah. And but but all the time you spend doing that, you can’t have addition without subtraction. So all the time you spend doing that you’re not doing something else. And, and possibly going back to the more low hanging fruit is going to give you better results. And better, you know, return on investment over a longer period of time, because we were human nature is we want to get to the sexy stuff quickly. Show me that I’ve got a great I get to tell a story every now and then as a as a, I had a high level Taekwondo practitioner come to see me who was trying to make the US Olympic team. And he came to see me for my movement stuff. And because you know, I’m not just about cycling, I work with human movement. And he’s like, so I, you know, run all my screens on them. I’m like, okay, I can see where you’re not doing so well. And let’s put you through some design some training for you. And we’ll you know, get you improving. So about six weeks later, we’re walking out of the facility. I’m like, so how are we doing? He goes to it’s just so good. I’m so much more balanced. My, my kicks are higher and snappier. You know, on roundhouses. I’m just super, super smooth. I’m like, Oh, that’s fantastic. He goes well, but I’ve got to ask you, Greg, when are we going to get to the really awesome stuff. And I was actually my receptionist was sitting at the desk, and she looked at me as we walked out and I went dude, when you get really awesome. Nice. And and you know, the fact being he was already, you know, what we would consider really awesome. He was trying to make the US Olympic Taekwondo team. He was already an blackbelt Sensei with his own dojo. But there was still room for him to you know, there’s still room for improvement. Because that’s, you know, to jump on to something else. That’s just what we see all the time, a lot of high level athletes is that high level compensation strategy, where they are good, or professional in spite of themselves, not because of something, some sort of magic wand or some specials, not because of the five greatest training tips, they have the five ways to create more power
Colby Pearce 43:19
now because I’ve worked with Mr. Miyagi, their whole career. Right.
Right. Yeah. So you know, so there’s lots of, yeah, there’s just so much to it. And I think that these days, the more people who go back to do the fundamentals and take care of the fundamentals, the performance will increase, just because they have a bit of foundational base of the movement, or aerobic capacity, or strength or whatever it is. Yeah, I
Colby Pearce 43:47
love that statement you made, you can’t have addition, without subtraction. That’s a great way to think about things. And really, that comes down to an athlete being discerning about applying their time and energy towards activities that are really going to have bigger impact, as opposed to focusing on dorky details, or Yeah, or shiny things that maybe might be cool to think about, but really won’t make that big of a difference of global impact on their performance. And I as a competitive athlete, for so many years, I’ve definitely learned that lesson, there were times where I was so focused on you know, whether or not I was eating organic walnuts or not, right, and it just didn’t matter at the time, it was like I and it took me a long time to start to distill that and figure it out. And hopefully, that’s where I can pass on a lot of useful lessons to my clients, and
it’s just taking on bandwidth and we all have a limited amount of bandwidth.
Colby Pearce 44:38
Yes, of course, of course and as a fitter, so that that brings me to a great point. As far as fitting goes, you know, I’ve been through two levels of IMS in the check program which is integrated movement specialist and I used to be called that course use be called something else but and I’m down to HLC three now I’m in the Czech Academy. So basically that means that they spoon feed me everything that they’ve ever every course they’ve ever produced over a period of. It’s supposed to be seven years, but I’ve been kind of hitting the gas on that. So it’ll be a lot less for me. But amazing program check is a polarizing personality, I’ll say, not everyone can deal with chat with Paul and his. He’s got a very military intense side, but he’s an amazing teacher. And now he’s, you know, just to make a point briefly on our conversation about how you know, when you’ve been doing something for a long time, you can kind of become almost too far removed from the beginner mind to be effective. I mean, Paul’s already forgotten more stuff than I’ve learned as far as human movement, for sure. So that whenever you’re in his presence, you’re just taking in everything you can and sponging as much as possible, which is great. But that said, you know, working on IMS, one, and two, now, I think we’re up to something like 64 different assessments I can make of a client just in their system alone, right. And this is more focused on things like standing postural analysis, you know, joint angles, you know, looking at range of motion for hip abduction, and adduction. And how much spinal rotation someone has in the thoracic spine. And it’s just teaching us ways to potentially quantify those things. And I’m not particularly drawn to those types of screens, per se. I think some of them have usefulness or utility for me and a fitting session. But the point I’m trying to get at is, if I took everything I know from check, and all the FMS stuff I’ve learned, and some other random things that I’ve accrued, and things that I’ve learned from Steve Hogg, I could spend literally five hours assessing a client before I even put them on the bike or move to pleat. Yeah. And obviously, that’s not constructive. Everyone has limited time and energy and information. When I listened to your interview with Damon on the bike fit podcast, which was a really excellent interview, by the way, I want to put a link to that in the show notes, because I think people will really appreciate that. I thought you mentioned in there a bit about how much screening you do with an athlete and how you work with them. And and I love the fact that I think you said there in your interview that a typical fit for you is around two and a half, three hours. Is that
accurate? correct? That’s correct. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 47:16
And I heard some other fitters on Damon’s show, say stuff like, oh, if you’re working with a client for more than an hour and a half, you’re losing them. And to me, that was like, wow, an hour and a half is a drop in the bucket. Now I understand there’s a there’s a balance, but I just all all, just say I really did not agree with that perspective. And that works for them. They’re serving clients, maybe they’re way better at distilling what matters than I am. I recognize that’s a possibility.
I doubt that. But yeah.
Colby Pearce 47:45
So we’re all here to learn what we’re here to learn. Right? So yeah, but my Okay, so my long, very long. One question is Greg, you know, how do you distill your intake for a client? How do you work with them? Do you send them questions before you do a fit session? What does that questionnaire look like? And then when you see it in person, how do you start to get a feel for how a human moves? I know you’ve mentioned working with the FMS, if you wouldn’t mind walking our listeners a little bit through that and how that works.
Okay, so let me jump in and jump around and go back to your first comment. Absolutely, you’ve learned so much everybody is well, if you you know, as much geeky as we are about this, you seek out all these different screens to give yourself a better understanding. And then you could spend, yeah, I could spend a whole day with somebody, and I will, if they’re willing to pay the price, that they’re willing to pay the dollars, I will spend the whole day with you. But I don’t think there’s so much information gets circulated that it’s very difficult for people to absorb it. And it’s, it’s also difficult for us to almost keep track of it. Because I’m like, Who did I talk about that? And, you know, that’s the process of our minds. But I think the I think the process is taking what you know, and using what is necessary to fit that environment because you brought up a really interesting port point, I’m having a discussion with a group right now who are trying to provide a service and we want to provide the best service for them, they can they create the best service bulletin they can. And the question is, how much physical assessment do we put in to that service? And the issue is, if you do I need to do physical assessment, and if there’s a lot of time where I don’t need to do physical assessment, but that quantifies or quantifies, you know, so qualifies what I think I’m seeing. So, yeah, it’s like ah, because you when you’ve got a lot of experience and used to seeing so many rapes you like, you know, going back to people who influenced me, Mike Boyle out in Boston was a big influence on me on strength training. Okay, and Mike’s got this great statement, as only Mike from Boston can say, you guys, if it looks like shit, it’s probably shit. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, right, exactly, like so you can see that in movement if you’re used to watching human movement. Yep. And it doesn’t look right, it’s probably not right. And so then we have the job of distilling, why is it not? Right? Right, trying to figure out what that root cause is, yes. But that doesn’t fit for everybody. For some people, if we just take it to like riding a bike, some people don’t want to spend three and a half hours with me or three hours with me two and a half hours, whatever it is, they just want to get out and ride their bike. And so, but they will still benefit from my expertise. So from a from a service standpoint, I’ve got, I basically have three main service levels when we’re talking about bike fit, I have what I refer to as a basic bike that a functional bike that and a comprehensive bike that the comprehensive bike that is basically reserved for triathletes, because my comprehensive bike that I take a lot more, I take a closer look at their mechanics as they relate to running off the bike, which is somewhat important and triathlon. And cycling, I take a look at the mechanics as they apply to riding the bicycle. And those two things are different, you know, the way we run just because of triple extension and non extension and cycling. But there’s some some common functionality or common fundamentals to both those processes. And then I had the basic bike that which is I just want to look at contact points and you know, alignment. And you can do that pretty quickly. You know, you’ve probably done it, you’re out in a group ride and somebody’s like, you know, riding along. Hey, Colby, I’ve got this nice hoodie, man you got let me ride behind you. Let me look at you. Okay, if you do this,
Colby Pearce 52:07
yeah, there’s a quick fix, you can give them a 32nd or 62nd. Assessment and most likely path to exactly.
And and, and as you know, as a fitter, and a business owner, hey, if you continue to have problems come to see me and we can get you in front of one. Right, right. That’s the process you’re giving back to the community in the same way probably happened to you when you were a junior happened to me when I was a junior, there was a lot of helpful people out there. Yep. So there’s that process of, you know, depending on creating, using your expertise, and what we talked about before distilling it down to fit the audience. So that, you know, my process is I do have a pre questionnaire, which I send out to people basically talks about, you know, some of it is what their expectations are for Why? Why are they coming to see me? What issues are they having? What on the bike, I tend to try and this is just my workflow, I tend to try and reserve a lot of the questioning until their prison. And the reason being, I don’t want anything to influence what I think I’m seeing a house. So when somebody when somebody comes in my first process is okay, let’s take you through the basic morphological stuff, we’ll get your height, we’ll get your sternal notch, we’ll get your inseam, we’ll get your wingspan, shoulder width, hip width, those are the morphological measurements. Okay, so
Colby Pearce 53:35
you take those as part of their intake. Yeah, sure. And there’s the purpose for that just to see how they fall relative to the bell curve in terms of the eraser. That’s
exactly that’s it. That’s exactly what it’s for. I just like to I like to mine that data and see, you know, what am I starting to see here? Because one day, I’m really hoping some bike manufacturer or assume shoe manufacturer, hears that I’m a person and thinks that I might have something valuable to contribute because I see a lot of bad products out there. That’s a whole nother discussion.
Colby Pearce 54:05
I hope agreed.
Okay. But then so then when we’ve done that, I basically take them to an unweighted assessment. And look at our o m, the basics of hip mobility until external rotation, hip flexion, hip extension, pelvic obliquity or pelvic alignment, both weighted and unweighted. And then I I’m lucky enough to have a force plate in my studio. Oh, nice. That’s a great time. Yeah, I use my force plate to basically validate what I think I’m seeing as well. It’s just a triangulation point. But it’s also a really great visual aid for a client to sort of unlike here, you can see in these four quadrants here, your you know, lift, posterior loading 57% of your body weight, lift posterior. And that might explain, you know what I think I’m seeing but I take all that and then I look at their feet and you know, on a big foot guy I was really lucky to. Yeah, I’ll say blessed. Not a man of the cloth. But I was really lucky, blessed to be able to study with Bill Peterson before he passed away. So bill passed on a huge amount of knowledge to me, I was lucky enough to be able to go down and work with him in Tucson. And then he can, he was able to come to Vegas, and we spent quite a bit of time together very close to his passing. Okay. And he was he was like, I just got to teach you as much as I can, because I’m not gonna be around much longer.
Colby Pearce 55:33
Now. Did he pass away from an illness?
Did Yeah. Lung cancer. Okay. Yeah. Not surprising if you’ve ever worked in a orthotics lab, man. And yeah, yeah, fine particulate matter. stuff. Yeah. But so I’m a big foot guy. So then I go into a pretty good foot assessment. And we’re looking at you know, medial lateral cranial alignment, first met all the critical stuff from you. And I can have a whole discussion about that. Because how your foot works inside the cycling shoe is not how your foot works when you’re walking and running.
Colby Pearce 56:09
I’ve got so much to say on this. Okay. Please continue.
Yeah. And and so once I’ve done all that assessment, then I’ll talk to the client about Tell me your history. Tell me broken bones. Tell me soft tissue injuries. Tell me what orthopedic retention. Yeah, tell me, you know, training. What do you do? You know, I do strength work, like what a strength work look like to you? Yes. Yeah, I will I do just the normal stuff. I’m like, so explain that to me, because that environment really impacts their movement. Yeah. You said, How many times have you turned the key and your car, clockwise, etc, those things all add up. And so once I’ve got all that, then we actually move to the bike. So So then we’re dealing with pretty much by the time we get to putting somebody I get to putting somebody on the bike, I know exactly how they’re gonna move on the bike, because it’s a symmetrical apparatus. Right, right. And it’s just, it’s just like, okay, I put them on the bike. And I’m like, yep, okay, here’s what we have to do. And people usually, I don’t know, whether they’re shocked, or unimpressed, or whatever, by the time we get to the bike, how little work, I have to do that, because I know where I’m going, you already have a clear picture of the athlete at play. It’s like Bang, bang, bang. And, and also, lots of my clients know that many people have walked in the door to my studio with their brand new bike, they just bought, let’s say Consumer Direct. And and I’m like, gee, I hope you within the return period still? Right? Right, send it, send it back, and
Colby Pearce 57:40
what a better frame is going to be a different size or a different geometry, because we can’t get your borrower signed off on this or
Exactly. So it’s all that sort of stuff. So you know, but like anybody, I would love to be in a financial situation where I didn’t have to manage my time as much as I do. Yeah, because we could, you know, we could sit down, you know, you could get, you know, we could find a group of fitters, and three or four guys work on one athlete, like, you know, that’d be really, really fun, but it’s just not cost effective. Right? And we’ve all we’ve all got to pay our mortgages, right. And I’m not independently wealthy, and I’ve made more bad financial decisions in my life than I have good ones. So, you know, in my quest for knowledge,
Colby Pearce 58:31
I think we would maybe run into too many chefs in the kitchen, possibly, too, unless it was the perfect blend of fitters in that,
well, that’s what it comes down to. Because I think, I think in a fit environment, you’ve got to be I think that’s a almost a maturity thing that’s got nothing to do with your chronological age, right? That’s just got some to do with where you are in your cycle, excuse the pun, is being able to just check that at the door. Because I think that’s the best part of those great environments where you get people together, and you’re just like, you know, I’m again to, I’m not married to anything I do. And if you say if you and I got together, if you came into the studio, and I we showed each other what we did, and you went Oh, okay, well, I do it this way. And I’ll be like, Huh, that’s way better than my way I’m gonna steal that. Totally. Right. And like I had a physical therapist come in the other day, and I was showing him I was doing some of my assessments. I did one. I did like a modified Thomas test. And I guess I’ve got a maybe a little unique way of doing it. I know why. And he goes, whoa, that’s a cool way of doing a Thomas test. And he’s like, I want to use that now in the clinic. I’m like, Okay, cool. So you’ve got to be able to go, okay, it just doesn’t, you know, I want to do the best way, which gives me the best information, you know, and gives the client the best outcome.
Colby Pearce 59:48
Absolutely. It’s just a tool. It’s a diagnostic, you’re getting better information. You’re helping the client better. We don’t need to have ego attached to this is my way and that’s your way or whatever.
Yeah, and I think it’s through my Korea. This Things like, you know, there was a question you we talked about or you posted earlier to me is like, over 20 something years of fitting, what are the things that I’ve learned? That I believed and I no longer believe? And that list becomes pretty extensive. Like almost, it’s almost embarrassing. When I look back at some early fits, I probably didn’t win. Oh, damn, I was Yeah. But I think
Colby Pearce 1:00:24
if you’re, if you’re honest about yourself, and you’re honest with yourself, that’s the inevitable conclusion. You look back at some of your pits you did 10 years ago, whatever. And you go, ooh, why Really? Okay. There’s some really big things I was missing there. That’s, that’s been my experience. That’s part of growing in the profession and being I think it’s also part of honest reflection.
Yeah. 100% and but it’s like, Oh, okay. And but I didn’t know we all wish we knew. knew then what we know now? Of course, yep. That’s the life that’s life.
Colby Pearce 1:00:55
My mother. You say that to me all the time when I was a kid. Oh, if I could be your age, knowing what I know now.
Yeah, exactly. So. So my, my process is not I don’t have any, you know, I have lots of tools in my toolbox. Luckily. But I do not have any secret sauce. None. Like No, I don’t I have some stuff, which, oh, maybe I just don’t consider it secret sauce. Because I do people come out and never seen anyone do that before. And like, I mean, you you’re probably familiar with, remember the the magnet stuff that Jerry and Steve are working with? Yeah, I mean, that sort of stuff. That’s, that’s pretty cool. Right? It’s secret sauce. It’s something you’re not going to use on a regular basis. But it’s like, you know, cuz, you know, I’ve studied with Steve right? Yeah. So yeah, I went over stayed with Steve lived as the United State of this house for a week and drank a beer with him. And he wrote on the back of his motorcycle through Sydney. And, and, you know, I’ve got to give full credit as well to Steve, Steve was one of the guys who did sort of put me on this path of, of education and exploring, questioning myself. Yes. Because Yeah, yeah, my history was, you know, I wrote, I guess, you know, we, some people might qualify this. I’m pretty sure I wrote one of the first checks to launch tools business. You know, I was up in Boulder seeing cliffie. And he had a box with a hole or wires coming out of it, and his dad and an office in his dad’s garage. Okay. And, and I’d been following him online, because he’d been talking about this thing called cycle path and how it could do you know, analysis of angles. And I was at the time exploring the CIF system. For fitting, okay, which was more of a, I guess, a morphological based system, let’s call it that. But very good data behind it that has about three and a half 1000 fits, I think the guy’s name was like, I think Matthew people who is a French guy did his PhD on bike fit. Oh, okay. And, yeah, so he had a ton of data. What’s the name of a system again? Sorry, C fac, then the bike brand?
Colby Pearce 1:03:09
So it was associated to them. I don’t know what ended up happening to it, but it was associated to the brand. And then I saw, you know, Clifford was coming out with that, that tracking system. And when I saw it, I’m like, wow, this tracking system is gonna, you know, quantify what I think I’m seeing and what I think I know. Right? So I was like, I was the first adapter and I still have, I would say, one of the first commercially produced retort systems ever sitting in my garage in a box.
You don’t use it every day.
No. No, not so much. So. Okay. So I was using technology. And Steve came up to Vegas and stayed in my house. And, and we were sort of talking about it. And, you know, we’re talking about the the mechanics of bike fit and stuff like that, and how everything worked and how humans worked. And, and, you know, as you know, Stevie said something like, you know, any dead shit, that’s rubbish. Yeah. Yeah, you guys. Done you should stop being such an anchor and look at it with your eyes. Right? And I was like, okay, and I was like, Hmm, what I see and what I think I see actually has higher resolution than what this technology is giving me.
Colby Pearce 1:04:31
I think Steve said it in the pot I did with him. We already have the most high resolution camera ever made by man. eyeball.
Yeah, yep. 100% and see, I think, you know, whether it’s Steve or whether it’s somebody else, it’s like, you know, the best tool to analyze. A human’s movement is another human right. With the right skill set. Right.
Colby Pearce 1:04:51
That’s the that’s the key right there though.
Yeah, yeah. Oh, 100%. Yeah, lots, lots of people. You’ve got to you’ve got to You know, and again, going back to our silo comment, you’ve got to know, what you think you’re seeing and working with other people helps you validate what you think you’re seeing, or no see or not right or see something else. Right. Right. As, as I was, you know, working on working on a screening system right now with a group, and we’re talking about, you know, with these really simple three movements, what are the things we’re looking for, right? When they, when you see these movements happen, what can you see, we’re not looking for a single thing and a single movement, we’re looking for multiple things happening in a single movement, right. So as an example, you know, you go into single leg stance, if I’m looking at you, if I’m looking at you in the frontal plane, and just to clarify, for the listeners, that’s looking straight on, right, if I’m looking fate facing you, and I get you do a single leg stance, knee, lift, and bring your thigh up to parallel with the ground. There’s just so many things happen in that movement, which are valuable and understanding. You put people in the sagittal, plane your side on and have them do that same movement, and you see different things.
Colby Pearce 1:06:14
Right. Right. And you have to have a list of cues that the the observer is looking at and looking for how are the hips shifting out a plane is their anterior shifting once it
all becomes a question, right? What are you looking for? And and being able to see those those basics movements tell you a lot? And so yeah, it’s the process. I don’t. Yeah, when I talk, when I work with positioning riders on bikes, you know, and again, back to an earlier comment you’d made in a previous episode, I refer to what I do is write a positioning not bike fit. Yes. Okay, so bike fits just that generic term. And interestingly, I’ll spin that bike fit term out, which comes from something I say about running is you can’t get fit running because you need to be fit to run. Hmm. And I think bike Cycling is the same. You need to be fitted to cycle who right to cycle. Exactly. Yeah, yeah. And well, and I think I think that’s, you know, part of the process our job, I don’t want to stop, you know, lots of people who walk into my studio, I’m gonna say, you know, it would be easy to say you need to stop cycling until we resolve these issues. But that’s not a reality.
Colby Pearce 1:07:35
Just have these discussions with my athletes, one of my athletes yesterday, actually, he’s struggling. He’s on the struggle bus so hard. We’re gonna give him a break from the wild, because he’s got he’s got really big issues. So right. Yeah, but for most people, that’s not realistic. Right. I’m also an MS. Coach. So it’s a different relationship than someone who just hired me for a bike fit. Yeah,
correct. Yeah, as a coach, you get to have those hard conversations. Hey, we need to, we need to take a step backwards to take two steps forwards. Yes.
and, you know, I with a lot of people who come to see me with movement related issues that I’m like, so how long has this been going on? And they’re like, ah, about two years now. I’m like, okay, so you don’t expect me to fix you today? Right. Right. Oh, I
Colby Pearce 1:08:17
have that conversation all the time. You’ve been you’ve been manifesting this injury for for two years, we’re not going to fix it in one five our bikes it or even in a two week. No. session, like it’s we’re talking about 24 months of injury. So eventually resolved the mechanical cause air quotes of that true injury, there’s still an emotional component. Right to that injury at this point the same
for two years. Yeah, yeah. How can we how can we know we’ve got to back out of it slowly. Yeah, we can just stick it in reverse. Right, right. We just go roll backwards. So yeah, I don’t think but my process is anything spectacular, revolutionary, whatever. I think just the fact that I take a very fundamental analytical approach to it. And and that’s I tick the boxes. And one of the and I like to think of it as a martial art approach is that I need to you need to display to me mastery before I will let you continue. Because I can I could accelerate you to black belt, and without the mastery of everything else, you’re gonna get your ass kicked
Colby Pearce 1:09:27
badly, like really badly without work on the fundamentals. So right, that reminds me of a point I wanted to make earlier that I think you might have some good insight on and that is simply that, you know, we started off our conversation talking a bit about how dreadful some people’s cycling technique actually is. And a point that I’m constantly making to my clients is that I think Cycling is a little bit of a negative wormhole of, it kind of spirals you into technique crappiness for a bunch of reasons, but when you think about it logically other sports are more apt to be self reinforcing for good technique. What do I mean by that? If you’re, if you’ve atrocious running form, you’re gonna get injured. Because it’s weight bearing. That’s probably one reason why. So injury rates are so high and running now, you can camouflage those injuries by using more and more corrective and padded shoes. And the end result of that is to put on a pair of hokas.
Which are wondering, I was wondering if you’re gonna break
out the hook, I have to
get the hook of bashing stick out,
Colby Pearce 1:10:31
oh, I will, I will bash the crap out
of Klein. I just took a client off a pier yesterday, he walked in, he’s like, yeah, these are so comfortable. I’m like, they are terrible. Every time you hit them, you slide off the edge of one. And you’re causing yourself more damage than you’re doing good. Absolute train wreck of a shoe. And, and so let me let me actually qualify that so we just don’t get sued. Fair enough. If you’ve got perfect mechanics, then the hookers are nothing but a beautiful soft cloud for you to run on. They are but eventually do not have optimal mechanics, you, you there is the potential for you to immediately laterally shift on foot strike and therefore have a detrimental effect up the kinematic chain.
Colby Pearce 1:11:19
Okay, and Greg
is a call a physical qualifier for you
Colby Pearce 1:11:23
for all the runners you’ve ever seen and done an analysis of how many would you describe as having perfect mechanics?
A very few like Waco, David, David Epstein. And Deena David.
Colby Pearce 1:11:35
No, I don’t think so.
he’s a he’s a sports writer, researcher. He wrote the sports gene stuff like though, okay, David Epstein and Ross, Ross Tucker from South Africa did a really cool analysis on Usain Bolt’s running mechanics a 2008 Olympics? Uh huh. And it’s like, that’s about as close as perfect to perfect as it can get. Yep. Right. Exactly. That it was like that nobody else right. And obviously perfect is a term which needs to be used with a timeframe around it as well. Yes. Because you know, perfect for, like, you know, and a track event, right. Perfect. Perfect for 250 meters is not perfect for the points race.
Colby Pearce 1:12:21
Correct. Right. Well, you can have perfect for the points race, but you can’t probably can’t have both. Yeah, yeah. Right. Not in the same athlete. So, okay, so running is a sport that reinforced self corrective to a degree, especially when we’re using minimal footwear, like, if you’re running barefoot, self self
limiting to a degree
Colby Pearce 1:12:40
self limiting? Yes, because you’ll either the system will collapse, or you’ll figure it out. But either way, it kind of slices that, that line, cross country skiing, if you’re skate skiing, you got atrocious form, you’ll just fall over constantly.
That’s why I’m that’s why I’m still classic. It
Colby Pearce 1:12:58
took me years to get to a point where I could move forward on those things. I was like they’re too slippery sticks on my feet. How
do I go forward?
Colby Pearce 1:13:03
I remember yelling at Jonathan Vaughters when he was trying to teach me how to ski at the age of 18. So, okay, if you’ve got really bad form as a swimmer, you’ll drown. Correct, right. But you can literally axe chop the pedals to death as a bike racer, you can murder them repeatedly. But you’re on a $10,000. Trek, you know, super slick time trial bike or pick your brand. with integrated cables and disc wheels, or, you know, whatever, lightweight wheels, and, you know, titanium bolts and all the bits and oversized derailleur pulleys. And you’ve spent more than most people spend on their cars for this bike. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you can go really fast on a bike like that, because bicycles are amazing converters of metabolic energy into mechanical energy. So so and and you and I can see horrible technique on a bike from kilometer away. But many people can’t or many riders aren’t aware of how bad their technique is. And I’ll add to this equation, the more you ride indoors, and the more you run on a trainer that’s completely fixed, a trainers a magnifier for all those bad habits.
That’s why people complain about the bikes that on trainers.
Colby Pearce 1:14:19
Right? So bike fitting business is good this year, you know, COVID has been an accelerant. And it’s either feast or famine and first bike fitters. It’s been an accelerant in the we’re gonna give you business way. So I’m gracious for all those moments of learning an opportunity to work with clients and help them out. But when people are writing swift like maniacs and racing five or six times a week, and intensity, the trainer is a magnifier for all their problems they have on the road, all of a sudden, they just, they just get amplified. Sure. And so they go, Oh, well, you know, I’ve been bound his knee injury on and off for years. And then I was home more than ever this year. I didn’t want to write outside or we had locked down or whatever, you know, depending on their story, and now, my needs is so inflamed, I can’t ride. And unfortunately, it’s really common story. I mean, there’s medicine in this experience is how I like to look at it because this helps this person deal with this issue that’s been lingering forever now it’s been forced, the issue has been forced. And we get to go down this learning journey together and I get to hopefully help them and they get to, to learn about themselves and dig inward into their own fractal. Right. Right. Right. So
yeah, it’s it’s just, that’s the process that people bicycle riding a bicycle, as I said, a lot of people is nobody gets bought into my studio on a gurney. Right. Everybody I see is 100% functional. They’re riding the bike. They’re not 100% optimal, right? Big difference. Yes. Right. Big difference. So our goal is to find that, that transition between functional and optimal. It’s kind of the reason why I like to say this to myself. The reason why people don’t like to ride with me, is because I’m always pointing out how bad other people look on the bike. It might be the fact that I’m an asshole that people don’t like to ride with me either. But I’m, I’m sticking with the fact that they don’t like me pointing things out. But yeah, it’s because they like, I’ve had people say to me, like, every time I ride now, I see the things that you showed me on other people? Yes. He said, like 10 people say, I can’t help but see them. I’m like, once you’ve been seen something, you can’t see something. You can’t unsee some things.
Colby Pearce 1:16:30
That’s true. And so it’s that being out again, you don’t know what you’re seeing until somebody points it out to you. The other day, my wife showed me a video of jack black impersonating Thor, the god of thunder running around and like basically a mankini with a with a Milner and he’s jumping off a cliff and throwing it around and stuff and you know, just just jack black like in all his glory, and, and then that was a perfect example of something you can’t unsee now it’s well done in my brain, you know, that’s a big difference between Chris Hemsworth and jack black and the Thor outfit. It was really funny. I love jack, that guy’s hilarious. So I can see some stuff here, right? I mean, when I came back from training with Steve, every group ride was like making my eyeballs bleed for a while, because it just opened my universe to stuff that I had always observed. But I just didn’t understand the implications of it. Now I got, okay, what does it mean when this person’s hips are shifting asymmetrically in every single pedal stroke? And I just wrote 80 miles with them?
What but also, the positive I take out of it, this is a great thing to just show. How many people need my help? Yeah. Yeah, from a business standpoint, again, I’m just gonna stay in business. Because there’s lots of people need my help.
Colby Pearce 1:17:43
I mean, Paul says all the time to us if you guys can’t make a living as a wellness coach or a holistic coach right now, you’re doing something wrong, because there are a lot of broken people on this planet. And but people,
people, people don’t know that they broken and we experienced this in the cycling community, is that you know, local Hawk shot who can do you know who’s gonna 350 threshold or something? You know, he says he will know there’s nothing wrong with the way I ride my bike. I smoke you on every hill. Yep. And I’m like, Well, you know, okay. Let’s, let’s just because the big thing is it’s, you know, Andy Cogan, it’s an aerobic sport. Oh, Andy, it’s killing crap.
Colby Pearce 1:18:25
I love Andy Coggan. He’s so smart. And he’s done so much to add to our sport. And he’s, he’s such a brilliant mind. But at the same time, he’s so myopic in some ways. And the irony of that is that I’ve trained with Andy and his wife, Angie on the track. She used to be a shooter. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Unbelievable. Well, it’s that whole thing to the day I, it’s, you can’t once again, his level of intelligence is so far above mine,
that it’s very difficult for him to talk to me. Right? Because when he’s talking his normal language, I’m just like, going, huh? I don’t have a PhD in mathematics. I don’t, you know,
Colby Pearce 1:19:02
I would argue that you both have you both got sizeable levels of expertise in bubbles, or perhaps clouds that are in the same stratosphere, but aren’t quite overlapping. There’s some overlap, but there’s not that much. So there the challenge becomes, you know, having a discussion where you’re able to convey your ideas in a way that that translates on both sides and get the point across. That’s how I would,
yep. The point I was trying to make, as Andy, you know, sums it up with it’s an efficiency sport, right? At most levels, with the exception of say, Olympic sprinting.
Colby Pearce 1:19:41
But that’s the problem right there. Greg, if I can interrupt like, yep, yeah, okay. I see Andy’s point. But actually, I think he’s misrepresenting the sport. And I think on the whole, we have this mental construct of what Cycling is. And for most people in our universe, that mental construct is the Tour de France. It’s It’s 100 mile road races, 102 100 k road races every day with giant, massive climbs and the flats, days or days where we just survive and don’t lose time. So sprinters win the stage and kiss the girl and get the flowers. And that’s what Cycling is. But the fact is, how many riders Do you know that practice the sport that’s part of their lives on a daily basis? Who do that type of racing or riding regular ride?
It’s a ridiculously small subset.
Colby Pearce 1:20:25
Exactly. Especially all just, you know, white elephant red herring in the room and white elephant in the room. Like, I don’t know if you guys know this, you’ve heard some of my other pods. But road racing is dying in the US, man. Yeah, at stage racing is on a massive decline, it’s really hard to find road races. So that type of that sport, we have this archetype in our minds of how that’s the sport is supposed to be or that that’s the apogee of the sport or the epitome of what Cycling is. But the fact is, that’s not how most people practice it. That’s not how most people even have a competitive outlet for it. So I think that you’re right. I mean, Andy’s right. Like you look at the Tour de France, it is an aerobic sport, dammit. Like a Robic metabolism dominates your performance in that sport. No doubt. That doesn’t mean there aren’t anaerobic moments. And it also doesn’t mean that stages aren’t one from moments where people use their Vla max to achieve separation, of course, so he missed that. And I look, this is me fully humbly, recognizing, as you said, and he’s an expert in this field. He’s a physiologist. I’m not. But I think he missed a really basic point there. How do you win? Yeah, zoom out from a big enough lens. Most of its aerobic, but how do you win the stages? You do with anaerobic bursts? Of course, in the vast majority of all cases, occasionally we have you’re outdoors. You know, mano a mano, where somebody rips one guy off the wheel, you know, gains one second per kilometer. Okay, that was it. Yeah. Yeah. That was, yeah, hold it to the line that was 100%. Aerobic, every other race outcome other than a time trial. The differentiating factor is FRC
is anaerobic power chosen. It’s funny, I just got into that discussion with somebody the other day about they’re like, No, dude, it’s all about thresholds on that threshold. It’s like No, dude, I have a very low threshold. But I have a huge FRC, and I will and I’m really old and wily, and I know how the games play. Yeah. So you know, I will use my I will race to my screens, you know, because that’s all I got. I’m not going to time travel you off my wheel. I’m not a solo, you know, I can’t pin you know, I can’t I can’t get on, you know, I can’t get on the drops and pin, you know, 320 watts, but 30 minutes, right. But now, I can still pop some water. You know, I’ll get myself to the point where I can use that skill. So if I see is the big determine how many times can you go above threshold? down? Yeah. And the big thing is like, you know, you know, bike racing. You don’t need to go faster than the peloton. You just need to open a gap and go the same speed as the peloton.
Colby Pearce 1:23:03
Right? Right. It’s the separator, it’s the gap maker.
How well can you and I think from a coaching standpoint, the biggest mistake most people make is when they try to create that separation. They go too much into deficit. Yep. And getting out of the deficit hole is very, there’s only one way to do it. And that’s come down right below come down below functional threshold to the same amount as your to a greater amount than you went above to let yourself recover.
Colby Pearce 1:23:34
If there Oh, two system, their aerobic system isn’t capable of consuming that lactate. So you got to train both. Ultimately, you’ve got to be diverse train both sides of it right.
100% Yeah, it’s a it’s a it’s a holistic it’s a holistic sport from a training standpoint. Otherwise, you know, we just turn up and everybody hand in the Wk o files, and they go out you’re the winner this week. Right? Right. Thank God we don’t do that. Thank
Colby Pearce 1:23:57
God we don’t do well. Swift is trying no offense swifter yet, but that’s exactly for me cycling. You know, as I discussed in my podcast with Jesse sandlin sport movement is about connection with self internally and with nature externally. And therefore virtual environments have no interest to me zero interest I have absolutely no desire to ride indoors and look at a screen and see artificial trees and other writers butts and planted you know, digitally recreated with me to see a screen which
looks like a 1980s video game.
Colby Pearce 1:24:34
Right? I What? No, for me, bikes are all about speed. Which means actually, when you pedal the bike moves forward, not isn’t locked in place. It’s going to be it seeing forests, seeing birds, seeing nature. That’s the external connection for me, you know, exploring topography, finding trails and roads. I can do that on my feet too. So and then internally, it’s about connection with self it’s about connection with movement. Finding that range of motion, pushing the limit feeling the engine be redlined or not just breathing 100% on a ride through my nose, and finding rhythm and breath. Right, which goes back to our comment your comment about meditation and connection your breath. Yeah. So cool. There’s a trip around the globe for you.
Exactly. For those people who tuned in, who thought they were gonna hear
Colby Pearce 1:25:26
how high your saddle height should be. So
we got we digress, we digress. There’s a simple answer to that we can jump over that episode. Lower.
Colby Pearce 1:25:34
Yes, lower. Right. Or, as you pointed out earlier, the difference between running and cycling is running is triple extension, cycling. Repeated Cycling is not triple extension.
Well, and that’s sort of, you know, goes to the majority of people we see. And you I’d be interested to hear your experience with this is the majority of people you see come in, have they settled too high. Why is that? Because we spend so much time in hip extension on knee extension. That’s what feels normal. So people get on a bicycle, and they try to find a point at which they feel closest to their normal, which is predominantly walking or standing up. Yep. And so when you start to put them down, yeah, the biggest comment I hear from everybody oppositional bikers all I feel super low. Yes. And I’m like, yeah, that’s where you’re gonna recruit those glutes and hamstrings in Yes, use that nice big long lever and the top of your leg and I drive.
Colby Pearce 1:26:30
Yeah, try that it’ll down. I’ve got some some, hopefully, some good video content coming out soon, too. In one of the ways that figured out to help riders understand why the saddle has to be down and far enough back behind the BB to initiate the power phase at 12. And I talk a lot about that in my pot on how to pedal bike, of course, but I found this to be quite instructive, I just used to have them be the brake operator and use an isometric contraction and show them that when the foot is plantar flexed or toe down, they can’t apply the power when the when the power phase starts. And then we talk about how the power phase isn’t from three to six. It’s from 12 to six, and you’ve got this massive window that you’re missing. And so hopefully, that content will be up eventually, we’re working on that. But these are the kind of things I’d love to dork out with you, Greg, you know, in person at some point, if we can work together, and I can show you these techniques, and you can pick them apart or take what is valuable for you. And also I’m sure you’d have tons of input. But I agree with that statement. I think you’re probably right, you know, people tend to feel I almost wonder I haven’t looked into this yet. Maybe you have. But I almost wonder neurologically, it seems like people are really, neurologically tuned into the own extension of their hip, probably their knee first and their hips. Second, because you feel distally the contraction of the quads as the knee extends, and there’s something about that patella relationship, that’s really important. But people are super checked out on how much ankle flexion or extension they have. It’s
like they can’t feel it at all.
Colby Pearce 1:27:56
And you show it to them in a video and they go, Oh, I just had this yesterday during a fig. I was like, I had no idea I was that toe down. It feels like I’m super flat footed, but he’s riding, you know, yeah, like a ballerina. Totally ballet mode, like 3040 degrees, plantar flexed, the entire stroke almost had no clue.
So we we saw and this is one of the things going back to a well known computer based fitting software, and hardware. Yep. One of the things I saw early on, and that’s, it’s funny, I sort of used that as I spent $12,000 to accelerate my education by buying a piece of hardware, right? I bought a computer program. And I bought a computer program and the software and it allowed me to see things and quantify how much and qualify what I was already thinking. Yes. Right. And so what we saw initially was as you shifted saddle height, and at the time, I think I ran a range somewhere near 50. mil and shift. Yep. So for those of the people who live in Syria, Myanmar, or the United States, that’s about two inches.
Colby Pearce 1:29:15
Yes. Irrelevant units. Thank
you. Right. irrelevant. And we saw no ship and knee extension angle at the bottom of the screen,
Colby Pearce 1:29:24
right? Because the body protects the knee that
neurological protection of the hamstring extension. Yes. And so then you’ve got Where are you going to make that up from? Well, initially, you’re going to make it up out of sight affliction, putting your toe down, right. And or hip. Rotation?
So yeah, we saw that. It’s like unlike Hmm, and and then all of a sudden, you’d start to drop the saddle down, the knee angle would stay the same, but what would happen the foot would start to flatten and the torque curve would start to become more normalized. didn’t have that peaks. Let’s put your tool.
Colby Pearce 1:30:01
let’s show you, you end up with a higher torque efficiency, you end up with a lower moment of torque, but a higher torque efficiency. Yep.
Colby Pearce 1:30:15
Yep. Which and how that translates to the real world is if you’re on a climb, and you’ve got a very punchy pedal stroke with a high torque peak, but not a very wide torque, not not, the torque is not distributed over as many degrees of the stroke, then you’re accelerating the bike on every single pedal stroke during three and four o’clock. So you’re, you’re basically becoming less efficient to use nd Coggins terms because you’re using your metabolic energy to accelerate the bike over and over again, instead of keeping the speed constant.
And that is the equivalent if we talk about running of you landing with your center of mass behind your foot, right. So when you’re doing that running, you actually have people who do that who overstride they have to decelerate their mass and then re accelerate mass to go forward. So it’s it’s the same phenomena efficiency, late leak. And and both both won’t last long distance at a high speed. Because, you know, a long time at a high speed. I like to use time I don’t like use distance. Yeah. Because young people go I ride 30 miles every day. Right 30 miles, because that’s gonna give me a better indication of the distance than the distance will. Right. So yeah, there’s that whole thing in the mechanics of the lower extremity where people just tend to feel more, more more comfortable, more extended. And the interesting thing is that, here’s another thing I’ve been playing with, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Something else I’ve been playing with is the reason why cyclists have overdeveloped VMO. And let uralla says the big muscle over your knee, the Big Apple shaped muscle over your knee, and then the one down your side of your leg. Yep. But cyclists don’t typically have hypertrophy or growth and Rick does for Morris and NASA down the middle of your thought. Because we’re using this lever, the drive mechanism, the glutes and the hamstrings. And the VMO on the inside of your knee and the letter on the outside of the Ivy League are basically stabilizing this femur from side to side motion. Because we never reach terminal knee extension. That’s where the maximal implication of rectus Morris’s ah. And terminal knee extension. Interesting. And so we don’t get that hypertrophy of that muscle. But if you look at somebody who’s say, a weightlifter or someone who’s just doing knee extension machine, at the gym, yeah, that useless piece of equipment. Right, right. Um, they you will get hypertrophy. Terminal knee extension all the time. Yep.
Colby Pearce 1:32:53
Yep. assuming you’re working the full range of motion without rip your patella off.
Right. So it’s really interesting. Look at all those cyclists. You’ll see, you know, yeah. dmo hypertrophy and lateral as well.
Colby Pearce 1:33:10
Right, Maurice? Not so much assuming that they are they’re trying to stabilize the femur? Would you agree that they’re basically trying to stabilize the femur from that internal and external rotation on every pedal stroke? Because their technique is poor? Because their setup is less so? No saddles? Hot too high. That’s gonna exacerbate all those impacts? Of course.
Yeah. Take Take all that apply. Yeah, I would say it could be medial collapse. Yep. Yeah. Right. So you’re going to eat version of the rear foot or medial collapse of the arch? Yep. That’s gonna you know, so you’re fighting that mechanism? If you if you’re not well supported in your cycling shoe, and you have that medial collapse. VMO has no choice but to get into gang. Yeah, heavily. Yeah. Right. So or if you’re overextended? Yeah. If your saddles too high, then you’re going to get, you know, a rotational pelvic obliquity occurring. And so that’s gonna, you know, there’s just so many once again, back to our earliest statements, you know, move one thing and everything moves.
Colby Pearce 1:34:10
Yes, of course, or throw a pebble in a perfectly pool. perfectly still swimming pool. Totally a single pebble and over a long enough timeline. every molecule of water in that pool is disturbed by that single pebble. Correct? concept and fitting. Everything’s attached the fashion that runs through everything and around everything, right?
Yeah. Yeah, let’s not go down the sexual route.
Colby Pearce 1:34:33
Another another pod, perhaps?
Like, like when I say to my 11 year old, don’t trust atoms, they make up everything.
Colby Pearce 1:34:44
And then you tell them all atoms are made of light, by the way, right.
Sasha is like somewhere in that spectrum as well.
Colby Pearce 1:34:52
Yes. Just a really Baker’s noodle. Yes. So a great, great stuff. So would you agree with this statement? I think When we raise our saddle, most people a sense, my hypothesis being that we’ve, for some reason we’re really focused on that knee extension, or knee angle. When we raise our saddle, it tends to air quotes feel better, initially, trivially, because we, we get a little more leverage on that distal quad and that patella. And I’m recycling a bit of some comments I’ve heard from some other fitters. And so I don’t, I haven’t quite got my head wrapped around this, to be honest, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. But it seems like there are several negative spirals of crappiness that can happen in bike fitting, where a client will start to self fit, and they get farther farther farther from the target rather than more towards center. Another good example is, when your saddles too low, you would think, Oh, well, if the saddles too low, the rider is going to naturally feel that and I’ll push back in the saddle to increase extension. But sometimes, what happens when it’s too low is they end up working their way forward, because they become more quad dominant, which sort of feeds itself into more quad dominance. And then they go, Oh, well, I’m sitting really forward on the saddle. So I should bring it under my butt. Because clearly, my butt wants to be further forward over the bottom bracket, and then they end up spiraling into this extreme position of saddle forward.
So if you unwrap that, what would cause somebody who was trying to self diagnose? to lower their saddle? That that’s a that’s your question. So what might cause somebody to do that is if they were writing a frame, which was too big for them. So they drop into satellite, or? Or let’s not use the frame, which is too big for let’s say, a frame, which has too little stack? Yep. Or too much reach? Because you’re anchored at the hands. Yep. So your functional torso extension, or functional thoracic extension, let’s call it is just going to try and normalize itself. So you forward, correct, you scoot forward on the saddle or you lower the saddle? Yeah. And then all of a sudden, oh, by lowering the saddle, you basically come further forward over the bottom bracket. And you stop pedaling. And I need dominant mechanic. Yep. Rather than a dominant mechanic. Yep. I mean, once again, there’s so many things we can skip that cockpit length. How long would the ship is? How, what’s the reach of the handlebar? What’s the reach of the steam? Right? You know, an illustration I give people about how precise you know, it’s funny when we say this bike fitting can be both a game of millimeters. And a game of inches. Yeah. Right. So we can move we just because of the nature of cycling, yeah, we move forward on the cell, and we move back on the saddle, whatever. But if you took, say, a four foot long Tao, and found the two foot mark in the middle, you can bounce that on your finger. You move your finger one millimeter one way. And the downfall. Yeah, right. 100% and the human body. Going back to an earlier comment I made the laws of physics affect you exactly the same way as they affect me. So therefore, we have to really take those laws of physics into account and go okay, if I move one little thing, I am shifting this mass equation. Yes. And that’s sort of where people end up chasing their tail. And typically, you’ve had it I’ve had it most fitters have had it. someone’s like, Oh, I’d been playing with my position for the last six months, a year, two years, whatever I just can’t get because they’ve actually moved further and further away from where they were. And we sort of have what I describe as the pendulum swinging effect, is that when we go too far, one way we tend to overcompensate and go too far back the other way. And, and that’s sort of what I think a lot of people do. Trying to find their their happy place.
Colby Pearce 1:39:12
Yeah. And because we’re so adaptable, we just freaking adapt to to get the task done as well. So you can be, as you’ve seen, you can be a long way off. It’s incredible. Some of the positions that come through my door, you will get people and put them on the trainer and you go wow, how Yeah, I didn’t like that. Yeah, but they just adapt because they, and you mentioned this in your podcast with daymond. It’s like, writers aren’t necessarily discerning enough to understand the difference between pain and suffering. Suffering is something we sign up for being a cyclist being an athlete, you want to go charge up a client a canyon or or hurt yourself in a local time trial or in a crit and cross the line and be heaving because you think that’s cool. Okay. I get it. Great. But there’s a difference between that and my balls fell asleep every time I ride my bike, you know, my vajay is on Fire every time I sit on my saddle and let you know
because it’s meant to hurt, right?
Colby Pearce 1:40:04
It’s meant to hurt. It’s all but there’s a difference between pain. My knee hurts off, tough it up, you know, just keep riding through it. It’s you know, my quad hurts too. So knee pain is just something I have to get used to. That’s not that’s your that’s your body telling you. That’s the pain teacher coming to tell you
something. And well when you start taking when you start taking vitamin II as a breakfast, man, you started.
Colby Pearce 1:40:28
Vitamin I love that. I love that. Do you bring that up? That’s great.
But it’s true. So many people, I just pop a couple of Yeah, I ride with guys here in town who were like super strong, and they look like a monkey humping a football.
Colby Pearce 1:40:41
Totally. And it’s and it’s like, Oh, dude, how do you feel? I feel okay. I’m like, Oh, do you want to go riding this weekend? Oh, no, I’ve got a surgery on my foot this weekend. Yeah. I’m like, Okay, did you know this? There’s plenty of ways we can get around that stuff. You just need to come and see me. Yes. And and you know, that’s out of the curse. I would love it. If
Colby Pearce 1:41:06
you would just briefly unpack. I think you’ve had a really good analogy for people taking vitamin II or ibuprofen that you unpacked on Damon’s podcast. Useful? Yeah.
But I’m pretty sure that it’s likely when you’re in college and just roommates. And then by the end of next semester, you actually think it’s your buddy? Yep. So I think that’s where a lot of my stuff comes from. Sometimes I’m the same way the equivalent. It’s the equivalent of taking vitamin i is equivalent of hearing your smoke detector, go off in your back room, walk into the back room and taking the batteries out. Yeah, thank God. Thank God, that annoying noise went away. But it doesn’t mean there’s still no fire.
Colby Pearce 1:41:47
Exactly. There’s still a fire. There’s still a fire. You just dropped the noise signal. Yeah, exactly. It amazes me how common it is for people to not have a basic understanding that they’re turning off the pain signal, but they’re not addressing.
And just the interesting thing with the pain with the pain signal as well, it’s sort of this whole shift on, you know, I’ve got to take anti inflammatories and I’ve got to do recovery modes which reduce my inflammation. No. inflammation is actually a good thing. It’s your body’s natural response to injury. Right? It’s the way you it repairs it as well that’s throbbing feeling you have is your body supplying excess blood. Yeah, to that inbox to that location trying to heal it. Now, lonely, chewed, no pain, that is not good. But acute pain. discomfort is one it’s telling you something’s wrong. And too, it’s the way of killing it. Because if you mask it, you don’t know if it’s getting any better or
Colby Pearce 1:42:47
no, right. Exactly. I coach my athletes through that all the time you got an acute injury. The last thing you want to do is douse that with vitamin I with my profane or whatever other paint, you know,
oh, I’ve been to the doctor. I’ve got a couple of cortisone shots. Yep. Yep. I’m like, how’d that work out for you?
Colby Pearce 1:43:06
I mean, in rare instances, I think cortisone can be useful, right? We I think most people hear that,
right. But that goes back to what what cycling isn’t intuitive Brian’s, but my job is going on to the field of play to make $10 million a year. And you need to shoot me with cortisone.
Colby Pearce 1:43:22
To help my team leader win the lifetime of
food on my table. Yes, and to support my family to put my kids through college, then shoot me full of cortisone,
Colby Pearce 1:43:31
I’m going to do it. And that’s just it. It’s the confusion between the amateur athlete and the professional. And for some reason, I don’t know if this is really so true in other sports, I kind of don’t think it is the more I think about it. I don’t practice a lot of other sports on an amateur regular level. But it seems to me that people who play tennis recreationally or even maybe in matches, they understand that they are not, you know Serena Williams, they understand that they should not train like her or go to the extremes that she does in her training to make her paycheck and be one of the world’s best tennis players. But in cycling for some reason, we have this paradigm where we, we glorify the professionals, okay, glorification is one thing, but we also imitate them, we try to do the same things they do. And we assume that that’s only going to make us the best amateur, right? But that doesn’t actually make a lot of sense because our life demands are completely different. Our abilities are by definition already different unless you’re a super ridiculously talented writer who just decided to become an amateur then maybe but even then it doesn’t make sense because you don’t have the training context. You don’t have the support network to deal with the fatigue created by a six hour ride where you you know burn up. You you create, you know, a 450 TSS because you’re smashing mountains and sprints and all this stuff. Like it just doesn’t so that mentality of I’m going to train like a pro. But then I’m going to go mow my lawn and take my kids to the park and work 60 hours a week. None of that. Really, when you put it to a test of basic logic, it’s like, what are you doing here? This is a fool’s errand. You’re just asking your Yeah, you’re asking for a lesson.
Yeah, absolutely. I think the big thing Yeah, tennis wise, when tennis players, I don’t think they’re immune to taking vitamin I. But when they have problems and they take vitamin II and then doesn’t work, they just take up pickleball Yep.
Colby Pearce 1:45:19
They find something else.
Right. Yeah. So yeah, it’s, we are a unique subset of human beings for sure. I’m not sure whether that makes us better or worse than everybody else.
Colby Pearce 1:45:36
I think it’s just our own little unique Eddie.
I’m really sure it just makes us the same. Yeah. But yeah, it’s a it’s a very difficult, you know, running that fine line. But we are probably one of those sports driven by the professional realm more than anything else.
Colby Pearce 1:45:57
Interesting. And yeah,
I think probably cycling has that has the the mental on that one. It’s called the K o. m. And I think running is a close second. And yeah, running like I had a patient the other week who was running in college. And they had they’re running 60 miles a week, and she was getting one day off every three weeks. Wow.
Colby Pearce 1:46:24
That’s and how is she doing with that workload? That’s
not so well. Why do you think he ended up a month late?
Colby Pearce 1:46:30
Fair, just like huh, okay. How’s that working out for you?
Colby Pearce 1:46:34
And you know, now thanks to social media and our modern universe, we have the lochlan, Morton’s the David Goggins, the Lael willcox’s to look to as these models of what’s possible. I mean, Layla is one of those humans who just literally rides her bike like nine hours a day, somehow, year round, and does all this ridiculous stuff. And that’s amazing. Like, I would crumble to pieces if I did that. And yeah, I can handle a lot of bike riding, but I’m nowhere anywhere close to that level. And the same with Locky. That guy’s a mutant. But we have to stop, I think most of us it’s not constructive or helpful for us to compare ourselves to that standard of performance. We can admire it and maybe we aspire to and that embody that at a special time, you know, a weekend or a week of riding where we take our week off from work on the summer, we go see what we can do, but to try to always be living in the shadow of that and measuring up to it somehow. I don’t think that’s constructive, nor would it be constructive for me. You know, I bust out my 20 push ups every once a while randomly, I kind of treat movement as sort of random, sporadic moments of challenge, but I’m nowhere close to doing a David Goggins. You know, he did 2400 pushups in 24 hours to break the Guinness Book of World Records. I mean, yeah, yeah. Think about that for a moment. It’s like if I did that I would detach my bicep tendon from some critical attachment. I’m sure of it. Or that, that he’s a he is the classic and he’s an outlier. outlier. Yes.
Yes. We just don’t sit funny. Do you know things in your mediocre most things? You know, in yoga yoga,
Colby Pearce 1:48:19
is it Yes, I saw is out of the Basque Country. He studied a lot of tape. He does a lot of stuff on work on tapering for peak performance, right?
Yeah. He works with everybody doesn’t just work with cyclists. So he was a junior doctor on Bannister correct. Yep. And so as to show me once in data of the Veneto team. And yeah, there’s this little bundle of data of the physiological testing and the Veneto team, which are by definition, because they’re professional cyclist, outliers. Right. And then there was this little data point always to the right and higher than everybody else’s data point. And that was me, Alan Turing. Yes. He was an outlier. outlier. Yes. And so this just shows how rare those are. Yeah, again, a group of outliers. You know, this there, they all sort of group pretty close together. That’s what it takes to be a professional. But then there’s this there’s always this one. freak freak. These are those Yano rooks, the Lance Armstrong’s bosses. Exactly. They just sit outside that that data set again, but that’s the thing we look to emulate, which is not what we need to do. Yeah. Because Yeah, we just need to get this foundation. I mean, I think Kelly’s direct sums are best you know, it’s the ready state. Yep. You just want to be you want to maintain yourself and this really state so you can perform all these tasks. And that was an evolutionary thing. I think more than anything else. Yeah. You just have to be ready to either you know, run or or fight. Again,
Colby Pearce 1:49:56
I just read Joel Greene’s book the immunity code. Have you read that by any chance? I had another he talks about this concept of young muscle. I spoke about this on the podcast of Jesse, but I’ll just repeat it here cuz I think it’s really interesting. And his definition of young muscle is, can you wake up in the morning at dawn, like, walk down stairs, walk out to the driveway and sprint up the block? 20 seconds full speed without injuring yourself? Right? Right. This is biologically theoretically necessary. But it’s also an indicator of how functional we are. Can you go from zero to maximum flat out without, you know, pulling a hammy or one myself? And he’s talking about bare feet? Right? That’s your a tall ask now. Concrete, maybe that’s a that’s a pretty big ask. Okay, let’s find a soft surface. If, and I’m not suggesting anyone on this podcast go out and do this. Like the chances of most people injuring themselves that they try this are pretty high. So I’ve been playing with it a little bit. I haven’t done the Barefoot run yet. But I’ve been jumping out my driveway on my bike and hitting it full gas just to see what happens. And just try it kind of goes against conventional logic, which is Oh, let’s start slowly and warm up. But I think there are times to rev the metabolic engine a bit. And so anyway, it’s interesting concept.
from an evolutionary standpoint, if you had to warm up.
Colby Pearce 1:51:12
You did? That’s that’s Tiger snack.
Yeah, right. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, I don’t have to be the fastest runner in the world, I just had to be faster than the guys, the rest
Colby Pearce 1:51:21
of the tribe. Exactly. And colloquially, we always use the example of being chased by a tiger or a bear. But let’s be realistic, like, in this era, that we always measure ourselves against this hypothetical history of Neolithic man. Probably most of the deaths that occurred was either by disease falling off a cliff or being attacked by another tribe. Right? You were fighting other men, I’m sure of that. Probably depends on what type of world we’re talking about. But men like to fight each other. Let’s be honest. So we’re still working on getting over that one, guys. You can do it. Right. Let’s all go Let’s all go hug and have a beer.
Right? Whether it be a bike ride, or whether it be with spears and well in sport is
Colby Pearce 1:52:01
one thing we say sport is one thing because that if that gets rid of our competitive outlet are niggles, we’ll say are angry niggles, and we can go race each other in a crit, then that’s constructive way to have a socially acceptable outcome for our anger, I suppose.
Yeah, 100%, man, next slide, you know?
Colby Pearce 1:52:21
we’ve had an awesome conversation, I think we’ve gone around the world about three times, which is give ourselves a lot of credit here. But I’ll give you that credit. Greg, if you’ve got just a little more time, I would love to kind of maybe do, we could do a little bit of a rapid fire ending show. I’ve
got a visual.
Colby Pearce 1:52:37
Yeah, I wanted to unpack. Tap into some of your experience as a fitter, you’ve been failing for so long, and you’ve seen so many human bodies in motion. I want to attack unpack an idea that I’ve had floating around in my head recently, which is sort of like, I think bike fitting in so many ways, is still trapped in 1904. And so many aspects of bicycle design are including shoes.
Don’t stop me on shoes place.
Colby Pearce 1:53:03
I’ve got the most amazing shoe project that I’m going to uncork later, though, that I’ve been working on with some guys that is going to blow everyone’s mind. So I’m super excited for that. Just to give everybody a teaser, there’ll be a podcast coming. I’ll tell you about later on email if you want, Greg, but it’s gonna be it’s gonna absolutely drop a nuclear bomb on the world of cycling shoes.
I had someone say to me the other day when I was explaining my methodology regarding foot stuff. Yep. And the guy basically goes, so hang on. Are you saying that every shoe on the market has their holes in the wrong place? I’m like, Yes, that’s
Colby Pearce 1:53:36
exactly what I’m saying. And every shoe on the market
has How is that possible? I’m like, I’m asking the same question because they came from 1904.
Colby Pearce 1:53:46
Well, that’s the answer. Yeah, that’s my opinion. Same reason. handlebar design is complete garbage and has no respect for neutral shoulders or a proper breathing mechanics or mutual wrist. It’s the same reason, you know, why do we have a bar that comes straight out from the stem on the sides? Because it’s looked that way since 1904? Why do we have cycling saddles that look like a turbo still or an airy own? I mean, shoot me now. Like, I’ll just say it. I feel fully licensed to bash that subtle because I wrote it for eight years myself. Working Olympic Games.
Yeah, I read the I read the area as well. I have no idea how I got comfortable on it. And I’m known for saying that nobody, nobody sets out to make a bad saddle other than physique. Oh, my God,
Colby Pearce 1:54:27
thank you. I I’ll just say it point blank, fizzy carry on worse saddle on the market.
I mean, I
Colby Pearce 1:54:33
just lay it out right there. Hopefully I won’t get sued for that. It’s the worst product
market. Could we just clarify? Is that a snake of bowl or?
Colby Pearce 1:54:41
What was the third one of chameleon?
What chameleon totally
Colby Pearce 1:54:46
mountain goat I don’t remember their animal analogies. Make
a bullet community. Really Come on. Someone slapped the marketing department around a little bit and just the
Colby Pearce 1:54:55
physique, the dartboard of, of saddle fitting you Really just hit the wall and send the rider out the door and don’t worry about things like offset height, saddle angle, why would we conserve? Why would we care about those? We can just put someone in an area and let them sort of sorted out on the road, you know, plus or minus 50 mils. Right. I saw great. This reminds me I gotta interrupt myself for a while. I saw the most awesome meme on Instagram A while ago, I think it was. There’s some cat three account or something. It’s super funny. And he has all these super funny posts, and one of them was bike fitter uses random number generator to produce saddle height. Oh, totally.
Yeah. Yeah, I loved it. I think I sold that one as well. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 1:55:38
I’m gonna print that out hanging on my wall, my shop.
So we should make we should make a T shirt out of that one. Right?
Colby Pearce 1:55:45
down? Well, it’s all about the match, man. It’s all about the merge. Gotta have a good t shirt. And a sense of humor about your own. Exactly. Don’t take yourself too seriously. So okay, so choose saddles bars off from 1901. Which brings me to our kind of there’s a million Italian wives tales about bike fitting, right old school stuff that still persists today. I mean, some of the more obvious examples are your knees should actually graze the top too when you pedal because it’s more Aero, which is like, um, you’re stabbing me in the eyeballs.
I just ban that.
Colby Pearce 1:56:23
No, they’re still trying to figure out how long your socks should be.
Right and the sock I just suck measuring device in the studio.
Colby Pearce 1:56:31
So I would love it if you would comment on a few of these old colloquialisms of bike fitting. And tell me what you think about them. Are they are they good? Are they bad? Are they accurate? Are they inaccurate? What can we take away from them? Maybe we’ve got some positive you can take away maybe all that should be trash.
I have to be careful because I do run a cycling camp in Italy and I immigration finds out about this. They probably won’t let me in the country. And
Colby Pearce 1:56:55
I’m coaching a guy who’s on a French team right now. And we’re battling this.
Yeah, you talk shit about
Colby Pearce 1:57:01
butter Kony manual. Yeah,
I did I have a copy. You do love it. Oh, dude. Yeah, totally.
Colby Pearce 1:57:07
Oh my gosh. All right. When I’m in Vegas, I’m gonna steal a ticket to Kinko’s. If you’re okay with that. I need I need a copy that thing. That’s history.
Yeah, it’s good. It’s pretty cool, man. Looking back at it, you’re like, Okay,
Colby Pearce 1:57:18
I see where we’re coming from. All right. So rapid fire round, rapid fire round. All right. Um, wait, okay, I got to interrupt one more thing. This actually happened at the Garmin camp, I saw Jeff Brown was our chief mechanic when I worked for Garmin in 2014. And he actually told me this, you’ll appreciate the story, that in training camps, he had been on the mechanic on teams where the mechanics were instructed when the bike fitter came to camp. And they talked about saddle height and saddle offset and all these things. The mechanics were instructed by the director of the team to put all the handlebars at the same height on every single bike. So that would look good for the photos.
Yes, absolutely. No, that does not surprise me at all right?
Colby Pearce 1:58:03
I mean, this is stuff that comes out of old school bike fitting, we got to put white tape on all the bars, they all have to be the same height so that when the riders are standing next to their bikes, and we’ve got all 20 riders in a row, the bars look uniform. I mean, that’s where the end riders probably rode, most of them rode that wave the whole season. I bet a few of them were probably like, this doesn’t work for me, I
gotta change it. But still, like, it’s like I said, to see people about when you think about cycling in Europe, yeah. It’s kind of like basketball in America. The good guys are what they are. And we’re gonna slap you on a bike. And if you don’t go fast, there’s actually another guy just around the corner who goes fast? Yeah, we’re just gonna, you know, that was sort of the default position. If you kind of ride this bus somebody else will. And I think that’s sort of what’s driven. A lot of our positioning is one aesthetic aesthetics, you know, I gave me plenty of people come in who I’ve repositioned them, and the guys come back, you know, two weeks later again, yeah, I really just don’t like this position where my bike look. Yeah. And I’m like, What do you like it but he has too many spaces, man. Yeah, guys, the guys who just give me shit on the right, you have to take all those spaces out. I’m like, you know, we tested that and it wasn’t as good as the position you’re in. Yeah, he’s like, Yeah, but you did. My bike just doesn’t look cool. Yeah. It so
Colby Pearce 1:59:18
it’s all that’s also a unique Eddy of cycling is that it’s so it’s such a weird blend of function and form. And there’s so many people are so in love with the beauty of the bike. And I understand that bikes are beautiful objects.
And I clicked them. I clicked on like pieces of art, right?
Colby Pearce 1:59:32
Yeah. And yet, they’re also look, I’m just gonna spoil the plot for you guys. I think Greg and I are on the same page here. Please allow me to speak for you briefly. But function always precedes form. That is the rule and when people come in and they look at SNP saddles, they’re stuck. Why does that have that weird beak nose I’ve got looks like Gonzo, I don’t like it and to someone who’s low used to looking at a turbo or a flight of an SMP looks really weird until you do. No, no.
Doesn’t look like dunzo looks like a plague mask. Correct the carozza 2020 Corona edition edition. Sal.
Colby Pearce 2:00:09
And why do they have that? I don’t know, man
SMP missed the window there.
Colby Pearce 2:00:13
They did. They did. They were, well, they were way ahead of their time.
But back in 214 1500, right, right.
Colby Pearce 2:00:20
So, but then they don’t care once they sit on it 99% of the riders because they realize how comfortable it is. And suddenly it looks a lot better. But form follows function. So, okay,
well form your you Well, your function will dictate your form.
Colby Pearce 2:00:37
Yeah, even more well said. Yes. It should. If you’ve got your priorities out of whack.
Yeah. Yeah. And and then performance comes down there, you know. Yeah. The other end.
Colby Pearce 2:00:50
Okay, Greg, true or false? plus or minus. What do we take away from this riders will make more power if they slide forward on the saddle in the flats or air quotes on the rivet and push back on the climbs?
False? Why start at 10? Yeah, no, there’s no way if you’re, you know, I think that goes back to my earlier comment, the rise, the reason they feel like they created more power sliding boys is because they were overextended in the first place. Or as new breed comes out, as they, as they come under load, their functional torso extension, they try to shorten it because they’re employing too many postural muscles holding themselves in that longer position. So maybe their hip hinge kind of sucks. And so they’re not able to get longer once again to apply. Right.
Colby Pearce 2:01:41
Okay. And it amazes me how many riders actually don’t even riders have been in sport a number of years don’t understand this basic concept. So I’m just going to outline a tip. Hopefully, this will be helpful to some people. But if you want to increase or decrease your cockpit reach, that is the distance from the saddle to the bars. You do this by changing stem length or bar reach or perhaps brake lever shifter shape, you do not do this by moving your saddle forward, saddle for aft impacts your relationship of center of mass to the to the axles, and the bottom bracket, but it also increase it influences muscle function and muscle recruitment patterns. So as you push yourself further back, you upregulate or increase the likelihood of recruiting more posterior chain as you push it forward, you become more quad dominant, anterior muscle chain. Fernando
agreed, yeah, you lose the advantages. The further forward you come you lose the mechanical advantage of the length of your femur.
Colby Pearce 2:02:42
Right? Agreed? Yes. Yeah, well said. And this is a basic concept that I think even Well, the reach concept aside, that a lot of writers don’t get but I don’t think a lot of fitters understand the relationship between the butt position relative to the bottom bracket. Well, how much is it is muscle function.
With a lot of frames, you can’t get there. And they keep building these five degrees C two angles, and then putting zero offsets those hosts. I know because they look pretty. I’m like, just stop it.
Colby Pearce 2:03:09
I know. That’s one of the other blessings of SNPs they have 95 millimeter long rails. So you can actually Yeah, get us out on the right place a lot of times, but I was thinking about that the other day, I was thinking wow, this is like we’ve already seen this. This trend in mountain biking, the C two bangles are ridiculously steep. And everybody wants to use a dropper post which are vast majority are zero offset.
So and then, and then to get them as far back they have to put that 35 millimeter stem on there. But I know it’s Yeah, dude, let’s we can go there all day long. Like it’s like, yeah. Okay, an interesting thing being try and find try and find the FSA. 32 millimeter offset post is there. Yeah, just can’t you can you call the FSA? And they’re like, yeah, we look at our records. It doesn’t show that those are that popular. That’s because you never bring enough of them in. Right. And, and you know, but yeah, if you’ve got a 75 degrees C tube angle, trying to do that with a 20 trying to get a good position on a larger brain with a 20 millimeter offset seatpost you’re just not going to get applied there.
Colby Pearce 2:04:09
Ya know, and we’re still waiting for Thompson to come out with their 25 offset posts. They never quite figured out apparently, they’re finding a really good setback see post that’s really solid and dependable, especially for a bigger rider. It won’t slip and wildly, it’s challenging. Even those FSA ones have 32 but the bolts weren’t great on those in the top right, so Exactly, yeah,
yeah, they’re there. Again, they’re designed around 140 pound rider.
Colby Pearce 2:04:32
Yes. Yes. Or they’re designed to be
ironically take a look at next time you see give us a monese bike. Look at 32 mil offset. Yep. To get em. Yeah, yeah. Okay, get needs to get that leverage.
Colby Pearce 2:04:48
Okay, number two, a smaller frame is lighter and stiffer therefore better.
I actually miss type this in my questions. I wrote Hi. Yeah, no, I saw I saw you light it. Step. Okay, so have you ever seen Rider hydrosol on a bike?
Colby Pearce 2:05:05
Actually, I’ve got a great writer story for you if you want to hear that.
So I mean, oh, Adam Hansen, for that matter?
Colby Pearce 2:05:14
Yes. What’s Hanson’s? What? He’s got to be? hunterdon? 8500? Yeah. Relevant units. That’s like 511 six. Oh,
yeah, he’s only six.
Colby Pearce 2:05:30
Yeah. And what size frame? Is he riding on? Probably a 61 or something. 62 big frame?
Yeah, he’s Well, I mean, he’s writing 140 mil minus 17.
Colby Pearce 2:05:42
Right, with a super narrow bar.
And a reverse seatpost push board away forward on the rails are 38 on a 38 380 bar.
Colby Pearce 2:05:52
Okay, I didn’t even get to ask you this question. Forget this rapid fire crap. What is what the trend with? Do you think this is a carryover from triathlon? Because I know,
from aerodynamics, dude. Dude, here’s the question. I asked people in the last in the previous two years of the Tour de France. I have never seen so many front wheel washout crashes in my life
Colby Pearce 2:06:14
because the weight distribution is all screwed up the weight
distribution because the chasing arrows so much Yep. Yeah. And I I hesitate to say this, but we saw it with Chloe at the World Championships.
Colby Pearce 2:06:27
You’re probably well, she was on a TT bike, though. I mean,
yeah, she was on TT by But once again, did I expect them at that level to chase arrow? In that particular discipline? Of course, because, you know, a reduction in CDA is going to be the difference between winning and losing a gold medal.
Colby Pearce 2:06:44
It’s Chloe dygert. She’s at world.
Exactly. 100% get it. But that just goes to show what a fine line that is. Because she is a I’ve never ridden with her. I don’t know. But just watching her She looks like an exceptional bike handler. Yep. She looks like she can handle a bike man. So it’s not. But then you see that position and you see every amateur and an age group triathlete chasing that position? And you know, it’s just a bit yeah, there. I’ve never seen so many front wheel wash outs in my life. And that’s, that’s what it’s about. They’re going to the slammed stem, your forward weight shift. And it just goes to show what outliers they are. Because in that position, they can still generate massive drive.
Colby Pearce 2:07:33
output is still here. There’s optimal. I mean, look at how drained Thomas’s position has evolved over the years. He used to look so clean and traditional in my eye. And now he’s slammed forward in this bizarre position, and it works for him. He’s still winning races, but also you have to look at the circumstances. He never hits the wind,
does it? Yeah, the first year.
Colby Pearce 2:07:52
The first year he won the Tour did.
But yeah, yeah. Now I don’t know what but is that really? What made the difference? Right? I gotta be in a traditional position. What do you want to buy more?
Colby Pearce 2:08:02
Right? Yeah, I mean, like, we can play these games all the time. And that, and I yeah, I think that’s human nature to ask that question. But of course, it’s also kind of a meaningless question, because there’s no parallel universe where we can have drink, do the same training and the old position, double blind this one, right? Correct. Right. In fact, I would argue, while science does teach us some things, most of the really meaningful questions you can’t double blind.
not correct. And there’s the I don’t understand this full on Arrow forward weighted position makes absolutely no sense to me.
Colby Pearce 2:08:38
Okay, so if aerodynamics is the first reason that we think riders are doing that, which I would agree with, what about what about how does this change muscle function? muscle recruitment patterns? Right. Okay, going back to our conversation earlier if the saddles coming forward, and it sends you into quad dominance, by definition, I mean, this is, this is one of the ways in which bike fitting is so in the dark, because it’s amazing how, you know, if you go to a gym and you’re see someone doing a squat, and their back is rounded over and flexion, and they’ve got the bars loaded up with a bunch of weight and their knees are coming way forward over their toes. First of all, they’re going to rip their Achilles tendons offs, you know, well, before that they’re
going to compromise their back and talent across the room. Yep.
Colby Pearce 2:09:18
So any strength coach who’s even like, one on one on one, like the most basic rule ever, it’s like keep your back straight during a squat, push your butt back, as you descend, then you get into all the finer points of that, but for some reason, this basic relationship of joint mechanics is completely disregarded in most worlds of bike fitting,
it’s like, it’s Unbelievable.
Colby Pearce 2:09:39
Unbelievable. And so okay, it’s fine to slam your saddle forward and just smash the pedals with quads. All the time, which goes against a lot of the science we’ve seen, which shows that the more advanced professional athletes what you’re doing is when you’re, when you’re a beginning cyclist, you go Jabba the pedals you you’re in your first year or two of cycling, you are amazing. more torque, you’re focusing more that torque at your knees, the better you get, the more you migrate that torque towards the hips. This is like when you understand this, it makes a lot of sense because what has more muscle around it the knee or the hip? What’s more stable, while assuming you’re using correctly the hip, right? So it’s going to make sense that riders solve that equation on their own by learning to generate force at
the hips, your
Colby Pearce 2:10:22
hips is your power center three dantian is
what I always say to people regarding strength training. I’m like, are you lift right now? Or do you do you lift, bro? Right? Because usually you say that, you know, and they’re like, yeah, I’m like, which is bigger? Yes, squatter. You did lift, right? That’s just like, yeah, that’s because your hips are more powerful. Yeah, then you need that. And your knees are exactly, yeah, yep. So yep. And it’s by a considerable amount.
Colby Pearce 2:10:47
Yes, it is. It is. And you that’s a great way to illustrate it. Everyone’s deadlift is much stronger than their squat, because they’re primarily to use a deadlift, just so if people aren’t from a strength conditioning background, they don’t quite get this, primarily using the hips as a as the way to move the bar in a deadlift. You there’s some knee movement, but mostly it’s hip, and vice versa. In the squat, you’ve got a lot of both. And there’s a lot of neat, neat tension and torque, driven from the knees in a squat. So that’s why people can’t lift as much in a squat as the candidate deadlift period. And the other thing is to understand which makes it even more relevant than to cycling. A deadlift is from a flexed position with extension.
Yep, I squat is from an extended hip position. Yep. Right. Yep. So the deadlift is just more relevant to the mechanical use in cycling, because we need to create force from a flexed position. Yep, downwards. Yes. But what’s happening with a squat is you’re resisting force downwards from an extended hip and extended knee position, whereas in a deadlift, you’re delivering force from a flex and flex knee position,
Colby Pearce 2:12:02
into the ground and into the pedal, in our case, into the pedal which to be tactical, the pedals, open chain, a deadlift, or squat is closed chain. So still waiting for a person to make that deadlift machine that’s open chain, I’ve got a few designs in my head, maybe we can get together and make our next 20 million together when we make this machine, right.
So that’s why I like a million pesos. Exactly.
Colby Pearce 2:12:27
And so then to expand on that squatting and deadlifting are both bilateral but how much Cycling is bilateral non
sports in the world cabbie. Hmm. Do you know that? I love posing this question to people.
Colby Pearce 2:12:42
Let me think about it. That’s a great quote. Well, powerlifting and when you’re actually lifting, you got one.
Okay, one. It’s an Olympic sport. I’ll give you that one.
Colby Pearce 2:12:55
Won’t be the other bilateral. That’s a good question.
rowing. Ah, okay. And it’s only truly if you want to throw rowing in the skull is truly bilateral, but rowing in a quad or a pair or a double skull, actually as well. Or an eight? I’m not, you know, it’s truly bilateral lower extremity for sure. Yeah. But that whole thing is, you know, yeah, spelling, double scaling and Olympic lifting. Right, truly, truly by natural. Otherwise, net, we have a dominant, it’s either it’s a controlled lateral movement.
Colby Pearce 2:13:30
So yeah, and it’s unilateral in terms of lower extremities, right. So there’s a nugget for you if you’re designing your own strength conditioning program. Yeah, of course, bilateral strength plays a role. But ultimately, if you want to be sports specific, you’ve got to find a way to make open chain movement, because that’s primarily what Cycling is not all Cycling is open chain, but most of it is, which means the surface is moving away from you. And it’s unilateral. So that’s why I prefer things like suitcase, deadlifts, and Romanian split squats and lunges and reverse lunges and all those guys.
Yeah, yeah. And so stay away from the leg extension machine and get away from that leg press machine, get away from all exercise machine pick up. One of the I mean, one of the big things I use in strength programming for my athletes, is identifying what I described as a bilateral deficit. So by identifying the bilateral deficit, it’s like on a single leg, how much weight differences there? How much low difference can you tolerate? Because everybody will tolerate a different amount leg, right? And so then you program for the lower the weak leg, the weak leg correctly, you never let the strong leg exceed the weak leg. Right. And, and so when you’re choosing the loading,
Colby Pearce 2:14:41
yeah, it’s the same concept in saddle height. If you’ve got one, if you’re dropping a hip, then go early warning side, which is the side that’s reaching more than you go to until the sides equal light. Yeah, same concept. Yeah, that’s very well said. Yeah. So you’ve got your power plate in your gym, I maybe at some point, I’ll have access to one of the But my poor man’s power plate that I’ve been designing my head haven’t really played this too much except for myself is just upside down bosu ball with a new bow mount on top of it.
Colby Pearce 2:15:11
Well men’s power plate.
What do you think of that? So no. So I have a force plate not a power plate. Sorry. Sorry
Colby Pearce 2:15:17
I misspoke. Thank you. Yeah,
yeah. So I first played I use the measuring force production, I mean, we can go into that as well. And the point
Colby Pearce 2:15:24
being is you see those left right asymmetries, right for exercises, right? So what I’m saying is, if I flipped on it, flip a Bosu ball upside down to the flat surfaces up and put it into both of them add on it to give some texture, make
a limiting exercise, right, you’re just like, well,
Colby Pearce 2:15:38
you’ll fall off if you’re really symmetrical, but it’ll show us quickly. It’s self regulating, you have when you squat on that, assuming your feet are equidistant from the center, to a certain degree, you’ve got to produce equal force, otherwise, the bosu ball tipped over and you fall over.
My not the tip of my from my coaching philosophy for strength stuff, is if you cannot display mastery and control of range of motion with your body weight, I have no business putting an external load on you.
Colby Pearce 2:16:06
Yes. The perfect analogy that Paul uses for that is if you’ve got big strengthening symmetries, which hint most people do, especially if you’ve been a cyclist for many years, you basically made your lower extremities in the sagittal plane more durable. And you’ve probably done that asymmetrically. Because almost everybody does. We could probably say everybody does. It’s just a question how much to what degree if you go in and arbitrarily apply strength, there are two problems with that. First of all, in any exercise where the exercise inherently challenges muscles that are already weak, the high likelihood is that after a couple reps, you’re going to start to those muscles are going to fatigue very quickly. And you’re going to start to cheat and find a way to use the muscles that are already quite strong.
And high level compensation, high level compensation.
Colby Pearce 2:16:54
And so then what you’re doing when you’re doing this strength routine is you’re just adding load on to a system that’s already has an imbalance of strength. And you’re adding more fatigue to it. And this is why I think it’s very common for athletes to go try strength training, and then be like, oh, it didn’t work for me. I was always smashed. I could never ride hard. You know, my legs were I was tired. Well, yeah, so you’re compensating by using the stuff that you’re already using on the bike. So it’s not really constructive. We want to use strength to magnify the force ceiling or train the force ceiling of those muscles in the right way. But we also want to offset all the overbuilding and over strengthening of certain chains, or muscle groups that we have that are constantly emphasized in cycling. So that’s problem one. Problem two is Paul uses an analogy, which is beautiful because Paul checks a holistic coach, but it uses the analogy of a bike wheel. Like look, if your wheels out of true. Okay, the rim is wobbly, some spokes are tight and some are loose. That’s how a wheel always comes to the shop door when it’s out or true. Apply strength arbitrarily or uniformly to that wheel would be the equivalent of tightening every spoke and expecting the wheel to get straight. Right? Nobody’s wheel straight when they walk through the door of your shop or my shop. Right? They’re all we’re all crooked. We’re always asymmetrical. So when you just go to the gym and strengthen everything, not that we really do, but conceptually, you get the idea. And we’re tightening the spokes that are too tight.
And we’re typically what happens is most people when they start a strength training program, what they end up doing is putting strength on top of dysfunction. That just locks that locks the dysfunction in easily.
Colby Pearce 2:18:29
Yes. So they’re getting farther from the mark. You’d be better off sitting on the couch and napping and then just riding your bike to be honest.
Yeah, to be honest. Yeah. And this is why going back to the martial art approach. Yep, with strength training is the same thing movement display, mastery of movement with your bodyweight, then I’ll put an external load on you. But there needs to be a progression regression curve on that. Yep. Because you just can’t once again, we want to go I want to walk into the gym and walk up to this straight bar and put three wagon wheels on each side and crack it off the ground. just doesn’t work that way. Yeah. You don’t you know, it’s just like I want to I want to start cycling and next week I want to do an Ironman You know, I’m like, whatever. Yep. Yep. Not that I did anybody say that? Never. Never.
Colby Pearce 2:19:20
Awesome. Well, Greg, we could probably talk for another two hours, but
I get I get a feeling we’re gonna have to do a round two. I would love to get around to that’d be great. That’d be great.
Colby Pearce 2:19:32
I would, I would really welcome that opportunity. And also, I’m serious about coming to occupy your guest house and and learn from you if you’re up for it. And maybe we can now tell me just let me know what your scheduling is. Man. I’m
always cool to have like minded people down here. We can show you some of the beautiful riding we have down here which is not quite Colorado, it’s different. That it says still beautiful and an hour on white there there. Even in August. We just get up early. gives us more time for coffee drinking afterwards. Fair
enough. Fair enough.
Colby Pearce 2:20:03
I’m I know there are beautiful areas in Vegas and we got that whole restaurant, Bugs Bunny Road Runner thing going on there. But I’m still trying to figure out how you move from New Zealand. to Vegas, you left one of the most amazing places on earth. Yeah,
sort of. It’s funny. It’s this expression we use in New Zealand was the reason it’s difficult to be in New Zealand. Successful in New Zealand is it’s too easy to go to the beach. I understand. Okay. But ya know, I came up in 2002. Yeah, 2002 and ended up on the east coast. I spent six years on the east coast. And then, while I was I was in New York, and New York was a great place to have clients at the time because there was a lot of alpha females and alpha males there. And, you know, there was a lot of people who had disposable income. And so a lot of nice bikes and like coaching and motorbikes needing to be done. Yep. And then, while actually while we were out here in Las Vegas, on a vacation, and a construction site next to our building, which we were at 23 storey building on the Upper East Side, a 35. storey building on the next corner collapsed. Wow, crushed, crushed Steel Building. Wow. And then the crane fell off the top, it was in the middle of construction and fell off the top and came down to our building across the street and crushed it. And I took sort of took it as a sign. And I’m like, okay, maybe time to leave New York. Wow. And at that point, that was 2008. Okay, and, and the market then died and a lot of clients went away. Yep. So it sort of made sense. And I looked at moving out to San Diego to Tucson, to evergreen Colorado actually was one of the places we looked at, to San Diego or Vegas. And at the time, the market had crashed Vegas was financially a great place to come. And I came out to Vegas and looked at the cycling scene out here. It was pretty immature. There was obviously some guys racing bikes out here, but there wasn’t a lot of cycling being done here. And it’s a beautiful place. I mean, I’ve lived all over the world and Vegas, I really think it’s a beautiful place surrounded by mountains, you know, we get snow up in the mountain tops. And I like the heat. I was raised as a child and Fiji and then went to school in New Zealand. So I spent a lot of time in Asia as well as a teenager, so I’m not afraid of the heat. Okay. And you know, here we are, we live out in the suburbs of Las Vegas. I’m from my door. On my mountain bike. I’m about seven minutes from the trailhead for about 110 miles a single track, while LVC from out my door on my road bike I can ride for I know, it’s changed a little bit since I moved here in 2008. But I used to be able to hit about 45 miles with no stoplight. Well. So you know, just head straight out into the desert. And it’s, you know, it’s desert. It’s different. It’s a different landscape, but it’s sort of beautiful in its own way, the way the light strikes the desert and the reflectivity and when it rains, we get this beautiful smell of creosote coming out of the desert and it’s unique, like, you know, and and the writing community here is growing and it’s a really good great strong community here now and mountain biking, road cycling and we’re close to we can drive to Utah, we can drive up to St. George, where there’s a phenomenal mountain biking up in St. George and Huracan. Yep, yeah, so Yeah, dude, I can think of worst places to be you know, okay. But it’s again, the market has been I’ve been very, very blessed to have great clients here. And I’ve now got a great little studio right next door to a Pete’s coffee in Summerlin, which is a great neighborhood up here and you know, right down across the parking lot from A to one specialized store. So no shortage, no shortage of customers coming through. Interesting. So yeah, cool. Cool. Well, it’s, that’s what that’s how we ended up here.
Colby Pearce 2:24:04
I’ve got a stepbrother, who lives in Vegas now with his wife and I haven’t seen him in a long time. And it sounds like I’m bringing my mount bike when it comes to see
Yes. You had the choice. Even though I you know, I like the road ride. The mountain biking here is not what people expect. And it’s just awesome. Okay. It’s like a real tons of people come down from BC and all the cold climates through the winter or going down here to ride because the writing is so good.
Colby Pearce 2:24:29
Yeah. All right. Well, thank you so much for taking time to come on today and do all the philosophy and all the things.
Colby Pearce 2:24:44
Attention space monkeys public service announcement. Really, technically, it’s a disclaimer. You already know this, but I’m going to remind you that I’m not a lawyer and I’m not a doctor. So I don’t think anything on this podcast to constitute morally or complete either of those characters on the internet. Also, we talk about lots of things. And that means we have opinions. And I guess opinions are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of anyone who is employed by or works at all. So if you want to reach out, talk to me about feedback on the podcast, or otherwise, you may do so. The following email address info at cycling environment.com. That’s all spelled just like it sounds. Gratitude