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Video: Doubling Down on Training with Matt Walker – Live To Ride Ep. 4

Happy Riding

In this episode of Live To Ride we take a look at how British Madison Saracen downhill racer Matt Walker has taken the lockdown as an opportunity to double down on his training, investing in some Rocky Balboa style gym equipment and riding some of Shropshires finest trails.

Since being a young boy, Matt has been on two wheels. First on motorbikes, but then at the age of 10 he started mountain biking. Matt was clearly talented, joining the Madison Saracen Development team at age 14 before going on to race for their Factory team at age 16 where he still races today.

Due to gyms here in the UK being closed, Matt has invested in some equipment and has access to his girlfriend’s farm. We walked past a pen of Cows before turning into a small room that looked like it once housed a horse or two, inside lay a bare bones gym with a squat rack, bar bell and a few plates – industrial, but it gets the job done for Matt.

bigquotes My quarantine gym set up – it’s pretty Rocky Balboa-esque in here. The winter block that we have is normally 11-12 weeks of decent training. Since lockdown it’s almost another winter again. The block of work I’ve been doing since November to now I probably wouldn’t be able to achieve something like that for 2 – 3 off seasons.Matt Walker

Throughout the week, Matt spends roughly 4 hours in the gym. Each session has a goal, he works on a strength session, dynamic session and maintenance session towards the end of the week. Although I think he’s stoked, he spends more time out on the bike than in the gym.
Due to the border into Wales being closed, Matt’s downhill bike has been left in the shed for months, he was excited to show us his new paint work and even gave us a sneaky peak at how his Mechanic Ewan Collier keeps his bike so silent.

As we took a peek into Matt’s garage he let us take a look at another of his bikes, this one however had a 600cc engine.

bigquotes You can train and train as much as you like, if you’re training week in week out that’s only going to drain you. You need something to lift you, if that’s going out for a gin and tonic on a Saturday night or riding your motorbike on a Sunday…for me that’s what I like doing.Matt Walker

From our time with Matt, it was clear he hasn’t seen a summer without racing as a time to relax, in fact quite the opposite.

bigquotes I’m young and I’m really hungry, I’m not at the top and I’m trying to get there. I’ve definitely put the work in so I’m excited to see what I get back from it.Matt Walker

Rider: Matt Walker
Words & Filming: Nico Turner
Photography: Kieran Kenney
Sponsor: Madison Saracen

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