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Rapid Fire Questions with 2020 Enduro World Champ Jesse Melamed

Chelsea Morrow on March 21st, 2022

In episode 115 of the Dialed Health podcast, Coach Derek had the amazing opportunity to interview Jesse Melamed.

Jesse is a professional enduro racer who is currently ranked third in the world based on his standings last year (2021) in the Enduro World Series, one of the important races in enduro riding. And in 2020, Jesse actually won the series. With all of that being said, in our opinion at Dialed Health, he's one of the best riders on a trail bike period.

Here are some of the questions Coach Derek asked him in their interview...

What is your favorite riding spot?

Home! Sea to Sky, which includes Whistler, Vancouver, Squamish. I know I’m cheating, but they are all just too good. I also enjoy riding in Pemberton. It’s all within an hour of each other!

What’s more important, suspension or tire pressure?

The two go hand-in-handle, but I think if your suspension is dialed, your tire pressure isn’t that big of a deal.

What’s more important, wheel size or suspension length?

Again, these two go hand-in-hand! But, I think the bigger the wheel size, the less you need to worry about suspension length.

What is the best piece of riding outerwear that you own?

I've been really enjoying the new waterproof Race Space racing pants.  They are just so comfortable to wear and fit me like an absolute glove.

My favorite winter base is my Shimano MW7 riding shows. They are full vortex and full wrap-around. I ride in these 100% of the time in the winter.

What is your best strength training advice?

Don’t focus on how much weight you are lifting and focus exclusively on your form. It’s not about just lifting a certain amount of weight just to say you did it. It’s about lifting a certain amount of weight with proper form. Without proper form, you’re always susceptible to injury.

What’s your favorite exercise?

The kettlebell windmill is by far my favorite exercise.

I love the way it feels and it’s also so transferable to the bike. It requires you to brace yourself in so many different positions, which is exactly what you need to do when you’re on your bike.  Compared to other exercises, the windmill replicates the strength you need on your bike the most.

What’s your favorite snack for long rides?

I always have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on me at all times while riding. That is always my go-to snack. If I’m going for a really large ride, I’ll back two sandwiches and stuff my pockets with some cliff bars and a gel. With that being said, I try to avoid just eating for the sake of eating while riding. I’ll eat the PB&J sandwiches first and I’ll only dig into the bars and gels if I really need them.

How do you spend your off-season?

During the winter, I don’t ride my mountain bike and do other forms of training and riding. It helps me come back feel fresh and extra excited to hit the trails, which I wouldn’t feel if I continued to ride all winter. I feel like taking a break from the mountain bike helps me avoid feeling burnt out.

What is your nutrition philosophy?

I don’t limit how much I eat as long as I am eating healthy. I focus on buying foods that aren’t processed and are high quality. For example, if I’m going to eat a salad, I’m not going to limit how much of that salad aI can eat.

I also avoid dairy. I’ve realized that it does not work for me and feel so much better without it.

Another thing, I don’t allow myself cheat days anymore. I find that the longer and longer I go eating healthy, a full day of “cheat meals” makes me feel terrible. So if I eat a crappy breakfast, I’ll make sure to eat healthy the rest of the day. 

What is your favorite food? 

Hamburger and chips (Least favorite: olives).

What is your favorite riding spot?

Home! Sea to Sky, which includes Whistler, Vancouver, Squamish. I know I’m cheating, but they are all just too good. I also enjoy riding in Pemberton. It’s all within an hour of each other!

Listen to the full episode on the Dialed Health podcast here...

115: Jesse Melamed: How to Train like an Enduro World Series Champion + How to Have Your Perfect Enduro Stage Race

What we discuss:

12:00 - Taking time off from riding

16:00 - XC bike tires/geometry/brakes

21:00 - What training looks like as a top riding

28:00 - Comparing training plans to other riders

35:00 - Strength training

45:00 - Kettlebell training

58:00 - Habits for optimal health

1:00:00 - Nutrition

16:00 - How to race your fastest enduro line

25:00 - Rapid fire questions

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