A Conversation with an Ageless Athlete - Jay Burke

ageless athlete mountain biking Mar 29, 2022

Yesterday I sat down with Jay Burke, 54 years old, Race Director of the Park City Point 2 Point, and general rager on his bike. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jay for the past 4 years. We got to talk about how he spends his time playing in the mountains and what he does off the mountain in order to help him keep his edge.

Jay is your typical mountain enthusiast. When the snow hits I won’t see him for a couple of weeks at a time. He’s out getting after that powder. In the spring and fall when the dirt is perfect, he is MIA and will show up on a rain day or after an out of season snow storm. The rest of the time however I get to see him about twice a week. We train to keep his body working well so he can get after it on the mountain.

When we met Jay was interested in what we do at our gym. I told him we work with the ageless athlete. 35-80 year olds that want to get after it but sometimes their bodies get fussy, (back, hips, neck, shoulder, elbow, etc). We teach you how to make that fussiness go away so you can perform and enjoy your time in the mountains. Initially he had a ton of questions. What about training for performance? What if I want to focus on getting faster? What about getting more explosive? What about getting stronger? The answer: Good training off the mountain helps with all of these things. What we bring to the table that is unique is we cover all the performance bases while also helping you to build more robust, healthier joints.

When your joints are healthier and stronger, you perform better. Here is an easy example. You spend all winter on your trainer, you hit the spring you immediately are out on your gravel bike getting after it. Cardio is out of control, this is going to be your best season yet. June hits and the trails are just about perfect. You go for your first proper ride of the season and crush it. On the way back to the trailhead you have to navigate a little ice, your bike slips and you step down awkwardly to avoid falling. ACL blows. Season over. This is why Off the Mountain Training is so important.

All the fitness and cardio in the world is useless when your joints fail you. For adult athletes joint health is a critical piece of the performance puzzle.

With Jay we work different aspects of performance during different parts of the year. In the mud seasons we are working strength. This includes internal training (creating dialed joints), and external training (traditional weight lifting). Pre season we work to make him bouncier (power). The one thing that is consistent throughout his year is making certain we keep the joints going.

Here is a quote from Jay, “One thing is clear, I'm doing things I wasn't 10 yrs ago...definitely my body feels better than it did 10 years ago and I couldn't be happier!” That is what Off The Mountain is all about! Did we make Jay a better rider? Perhaps, but we definitely made him a better athlete. We created a healthier, more athletic body that can handle more out on the trail. This gives Jay the opportunity to be out there more, and always improving and having fun doing it!

Our goal is to help you accomplish the same thing. Create a healthier, more robust athlete by training joint health, strength, and power. When you tie it all together the results speak for themselves!