Hey, I'm Matt Mooney, the owner and founder of MTB Fitness. This is how it all began.
MTB Fitness came into fruition on January 22nd 2016. I've been a Personal Trainer since 2011, when I turned 19. I used to be mad into my mountain biking as a teenager.
When I became a trainer, I was working 25 miles away from home. I was leaving the house at 6am everyday Monday-Saturday and getting home after 9pm. That meant MTB went out of the window. I got really into weight training, but for the 3 years I worked there, I missed the outdoors.
After 3 years I moved to my local gym to start working with clients closer to home. I live in Saddleworth, just on the edge of the Peak District, in England. Working closer to home meant I could now ride again. My Girlfriend Sophie bought me a 2nd hand Orange Five for Christmas. I was HOOKED. I couldn't get off the bike. Any spare minute I was out riding. I well and truly got bitten by the bug!
I remember on one of the first rides I did though. It was the ride, or moment, that gave me the idea for MTB Fitness. I was riding up a climb that I used to be able to ride with EASE. I used to be able to pedal up, happily chatting to whoever was next to me. Not this time!
I got up the first 1/3 of the climb, and after not riding for a few years I was DYING!
My legs burnt.
My lungs were on fire.
I felt sick.
I felt horrific!
I was keeled over the bike, gasping for air and feeling sick, wondering what the hell was going on with me!
It's not even that tough of a climb!
I knew I needed to get fitter. I was strong from all the weight training. But my endurance was crap. I wasn't bike fit. I wasn't MTB fit!
I started riding more, 2-3 times a week. I did MTB specific workouts 2-3 times a week in the gym. And I started doing interval sessions 1-2x a week. Over a period of a few months, I went from DYING on the climbs to being able to hit top 10's on Strava on most of the climbs in my local area.
Because I had the knowledge of how to train, how to eat and how to recover well, building fitness on the bike was fairly straight forward. I knew what to do. I just had to implement it.
I started reading more and more MTB magazines. Watching more MTB videos (shoutout to GMBN!). Joining more and more MTB groups on Facebook and just generally getting sucked into the hobby obsession that is mountain biking.
As I got more and more into riding, it became apparent there was a real lack of quality training, nutrition, recovery and mindset advice out there that was specific to mountain bikers. There were a few trainers giving advice, but no one on a large scale. For a sport that is SO reliant on fitness, it seemed bonkers to me that there wasn't a ton of information out there showing riders how to get fitter!
On the night of January 22nd 2016, I put together a survey. I wanted to start some free daily emails giving advice to mountain bikers. I wanted to know if A) people would be interested and B) what their biggest struggle was. I posted it into a handful of facebook groups and onto a few MTB forums. Then I went to bed.
The next morning, I was BLOWN AWAY. The survey had crashed. Within a few hours I'd received 1,000 responses. The free trial I was using had reached capacity and was refusing new entries. It was clear that my hunch that mountain bikers wanted advice on training, nutrition, recovery and mindset was right. (Fun fact - you can read that initial forum post here, it's still live. That post is the inception of MTB Fitness)
I started sending the free daily emails. After about 10 months, I opened the MTB Fitness Facebook page and started putting out content each day. As the audience grew into the thousands, I started getting messages every couple of days from people asking me for training programmes to help their mountain biking.
Around the beginning of 2017, I started working on a training programme for mountain bikers that I would release online. I worked for over 12 months getting it right. It took, literally, hundreds of hours to create. I wanted a programme that riders could either follow from home or in the gym. I wanted it to be really high quality and really great value. I paid a Professional Graphic Designer to make it look great and be easy to use. I filmed videos to demo each exercise. I went over it with a fine tooth comb to produce something I really felt would help riders get as fit as possible on the bike.
In February 2018, I launched the MTB Fitness 12 Week Training Programme. I was blown away by the response. After putting out free advice for 2 years, I couldn't believe everyone's support. In the first 20 days, 300 copies sold. People were really happy with the programme.
Since then, the 12 Week Programme has helped thousands of mountain bikers in 57 countries. It's officially recommended by the British Heart Foundation to help those entering their mountain biking events. It's received hundreds of 4 and 5* reviews. And to this day somebody buys a copy of the 12 week programme every 3 hours.
Since then, I've released the follow on 16 Week Advanced Programme and my nutrition guide - Stupidly Simple Nutrition for Mountain Bikers. MTB Fitness has over 500,000 followers on social media and reaches over 1,000,000 mountain bikers every week.
I'm really excited that you are here joining me on this journey today.
The vision of MTB Fitness is simple : to help as many mountain bikers as possible become fitter, faster and stronger on the bike so they can enjoy riding more.
Thanks so much for reading!